Mindfulness for Cancer

CancerDo you have, or have you had, cancer? Your cancer may have been cured, or this may not be possible. 

Perhaps you have had surgery. You may have had further treatment such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or both.

Mindfulness gently supports as you start to rebuild your life, with practices that are easy to learn and can help you to feel significantly better.

People with a diagnosis of cancer often report that a particularly difficult time for them emotionally can be when their treatment is completed, and regular hospital attendance stops.

This can be a time of feeling less supported by professionals, and even by family and friends, who can assume that they are alright now that the treatment is finished.

In reality this can be the time when they are just beginning to come to terms with everything that has happened and feelings can arise which can be hard to understand and manage.

Our course will help you to:

  • Regain control
  • Learn to live your life in a different way
  • Make life more enjoyable again

Sheila Bond of Living Well Mindfulness has trained with Trish Bartley at Bangor University.

Enriched by her own personal experience of cancer, Trish’s approach is described in her book ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer’. Elements of this approach have been used to enrich the Living Well Mindfulness ‘Mindfulness for Cancer’ course.

Living Well Mindfulness is taking expressions of interest for the next Mindfulness for Cancer course. If the Mindfulness for Cancer course is of interest, please contact Sheila.

Who can Mindfulness for Cancer help?

Mindfulness for Cancer can help if you are living with cancer.

You may have had surgery. You may have had further treatment such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or both.

Mindfulness for Cancer is most helpful when you have completed your initial treatment for cancer.

How can Mindfulness for Cancer help?

Mindfulness helps you to become aware of what’s happening in your body and mind, and in the world around you, in the present moment, as it happens.

This increased awareness brings many benefits. Mindfulness for Cancer provides you with a wide range of mindfulness techniques to ease the suffering associated with cancer.

What does the Mindfulness for Cancer course cover?

Our course provides you with a wide range of mindfulness techniques to ease the suffering associated with cancer.

There are two key principles which underlie all aspects of mindfulness and run through the Mindfulness for Cancer courses

  • You will learn to live in the present moment and breathe into your experience, rather than tensing against it.
  • You will learn to respond rather than react to your life’s circumstances.

Breath Awareness

We begin by investigating our breathing habits, so we can learn to use the natural breath as an aid to managing our pain, illness or stress. We encourage people to develop habits of breathing into their experience, learning how to use the breath to soften resistance to pain or illness and to let go of tension.

Body Awareness

The body scan helps us to develop habits of greater ease and awareness of the body. Adopting a comfortable posture, lying down or sitting, we take our awareness through our whole body, using the breath to help us let go of areas of pain and/or tension. We give course participants a CD to use at home

Mindful Movement

We guide you through some gentle movements, based on yoga and pilates, especially devised for Breathworks by a very experienced yoga teacher. The movements are suitable for all, being easily adapted as necessary so they are appropriate for people suffering from a wide range of physical conditions. We also discuss the importance of keeping our bodies in as good physical condition as possible, in order to stop a cycle of disuse, loss of function and more pain or fatigue.

Mindfulness of Daily Life

By bringing awareness to the activities of daily life you will learn to overcome the very common tendency of overdoing it on good days or collapsing on bad days, with accompanying emotions of unrealistic hope followed by frustration and despair. You will be guided in some detective work about your daily activities, using diaries and symptom scoring, which will enable you to become more aware of what activities cause aggravation. You will learn how to make choices throughout the day, based on your developing awareness, enabling you to have a more balanced approach to life.

3 Minute Breathing Space

This is a very effective way of coming back to an awareness of yourself in the midst of daily life. We will teach you how to take three minute breaks in the midst of whatever activity you are engaged with, when you can simply rest your awareness quietly with the breath. This can be a remarkably effective way of bringing a sense of calm, peace and presence into your experience. Then, feeling refreshed and focused, you can go back to what you were doing.

Meditation Practices

During the course you will be introduced to seven different mindfulness meditations that build progressively on one another. These are all about 10 minutes long:

  1. Body Scan Meditation
  2. Breathing Anchor Meditation
  3. Mindful Movement Meditation
  4. Acceptance and Self-Compassion Meditation
  5. The Treasure of Pleasure Meditation
  6. Open Heart Meditation
  7. Connection Meditation

How long is the Mindfulness for Cancer course?

The course runs weekly for 8 weeks. Each session lasts 2.5 hours, with a tea break.

Where does the next Mindfulness for Cancer course take place?

Our Mindfulness for Cancer courses are run in different venues in West Berkshire.

How many people are on a Mindfulness for Cancer course?

Mindfulness for Cancer works well in small groups of 8-10.

It is also offered individually on a 1:1 basis.

How much does the Mindfulness for Cancer course cost and what does it include?

The course costs £200, plus £25 for materials, which includes a handbook and four audio CDs or a flash drive.

You will be provided with audio CDs or MP3 downloads of the meditations so that you can practice at home and you will also receive a course workbook.

There are a limited number of concessionary places at £170 available. Please contact us before booking to enquire about availability.

There are a limited number of payment plans, available upon request. Please contact us before booking to enquire about availability.

Do I need to do anything else as part of the Mindfulness for Cancer course?

Home practice is a very important part of the programme.

For best results from the course we suggest that you set aside 20 to 40 minutes, on 6 days out of 7.

There will also be some course material to read each week.

Why do you offer Mindfulness for Cancer courses in a group?

When learning mindfulness, it is very helpful to be able to share experience of learning the techniques with others who are at a similar stage in the learning process.

Previous course participants value the kindness and friendship of other people who understand what it is like to live with a diagnosis of cancer.

You will not be asked to share details of your condition with the group.

What evidence is there that Mindfulness for Cancer will help me?

Christina Shennan in 2010 reviewed the research for Mindfulness-based interventions in cancer care and found that Mindfulness can help to improve anxiety, depression, stress, sexual difficulties and immune function.


Cancer ribbonUpcoming Mindfulness for Cancer Courses

Mindfulness for Cancer

8 week course run on behalf of My Cancer My Choices
Wednesdays starting September 2017, 10-12.30
Contact My Cancer My Choices 01344-662906