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Mindfulness for Health: A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing [Paperback]

Vidyamala Burch , Dr Danny Penman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
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Book Description

5 Sep 2013

Pain, suffering and stress can be intolerable - but it doesn't have to be this way.

Mindfulness for Health reveals a series of simple practices that you can incorporate into your daily life to relieve chronic pain and the suffering and stress of illness. Clinical trials show that mindfulness is at least as effective as the most commonly prescribed painkillers such as Tramadol and codeine. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience demonstrated that it is more effective than morphine. Mindfulness can also significantly reduce the anxiety, depression, irritability, exhaustion and insomnia that can arise from chronic pain and illness.

This new book shares the secrets of the Mindfulness-based approaches to pain and illness therapy, developed by Vidyamala Burch at the Breathworks centre in Manchester and which has its roots in the groundbreaking work of pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn from the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre in the US. The Breathworks Centre and its affiliates around the world have helped thousands of people cope with pain, illness and stress. Its pioneering approach is praised by Professor Mark Williams of Oxford University, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Professor Lance McCracken of King's College London.

The eight-week programme at the heart of this book takes just 10-20 minutes per day. It is particularly effective for the biggest causes of pain - back problems, arthritis, migraine and diabetes but works equally well for cancer (and its associated chemotherapy), heart disease, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, labour pain and even tinnitus. You will be surprised by how quickly your suffering melts away, leaving you able to live life to the full again.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (5 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074995924X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749959241
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 15.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A beautiful and compassionate book, Mindfulness for Health will put you back in touch with the extraordinary person you already are (Professor Mark Williams, University of Oxford)

This book provides an extremely effective and elegant mind-body approach to healing . . . Highly recommended (Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses)

In a world of much suffering, this book is a gift of wisdom and practical help (Professor Paul Gilbert, PhD, OBE, author of The Compassionate Mind and Mindful Compassion, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, UK)

If you have chronic pain or another persistent health problem, if you struggle, feel stuck or feel alone, read and follow this book. It will encourage, guide and liberate you (Lance M. McCracken, PhD, Professor of Behavioural Medicine, King's College London)

An excellent resource for people in the community who live with pain and long-term health conditions, and also for those health-care professionals who support them (Peter Moore, co-author of the Pain Toolkit)

Through simple exercises, well explained and prepared . . . they guide the reader through the principles and practice of mindfulness applied to pain, and towards self-understanding, gentle control and connectedness (Dr Amanda C de C Williams, Reader in Clinical Health Psychology, University College London)

Vidyamala and Danny have written an inspiring book . . . It is alive with heart-warming stories and practical and engaging ways of managing your distress and finding more joy, peace, wisdom and compassion for yourself and others - from day one of this excellent programme. It is a guidebook for thriving and not just surviving each day (Timothea Goddard, MBSR teacher, Psychotherapist - Openground, Australia)

Mindfulness for Health offers those who struggle with the painful loss of health much support to become more alive and compassionate and not trapped by pain and ill health. This truly resourceful book will help people grow their own sense of self . . . and lessen their suffering (Dr Frances Cole, GP, Pain Rehabilitation Specialist and CBT therapist, Leeds Community Trust, Spinal Pain Management Service, UK)

Thoughtful and practical . . . This will be an important resource for the mindfulness community (Dr Elizabeth Foley, Senior MBCT Facilitator & Researcher, Sydney, Australia)

Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman . . . show how the benefits of mindfulness can bring a different kind of healing so that the mind-body can be calmed, focused, refreshed and renewed (Liz Lobb, Professor of Palliative Care, Sydney, Australia)

Mindfulness offers a distinctly compassionate and authentic way to reconcile our experiences of pain . . . I would really encourage you to give yourself eight weeks with this book. You will be rewarded with a profound change (Dr Margaret Macky, FAFOEM, Occupational Medicine Specialist, New Zealand)

Meeting pain with the "tender gravity of kindness" is courageous and transformative. Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman "walk the talk"; they invite people suffering pain to reclaim their lives through this accessible, personal, wise and eminently commonsensical guide (Willem Kuyken, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Exeter)

Book Description

A new book and CD/audio download package by bestselling Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world co-author Dr Danny Penman and Vidyamala Burch, co-founder of Breathworks. It contains a practical programme for relieving pain, managing illness and boosting wellbeing with mindfulness meditation which has been clinically proven to be as effective as the most commonly prescribed painkillers in relieving pain and managing chronic illness. Foreword by Professor Mark Williams.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, helpful book 10 Sep 2013
Mindfulness for Health makes mindfulness simple, practical and accessible. The programme can change your life and is easy to follow. For anyone living with pain or illness or experiencing aches and pains due to stress - get this book. Packed full of case histories, all the benefits are well illustrated. I liked the 10 minute meditations on the cd very much. Vidyamala Burch has spent decades developing the Breathworks programme that is the foundation of the book, and it shows. Not just nice theory, all the techniques have been honed through both her and Danny Penman's personal experience as shown in the way they talk about using mindfulness to deal with their own injuries. Highly recommended to anyone with pain, stress or illness or just wants to learn more about mindfulness and be shown how to apply it to life.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book 6 Oct 2013
By Dickens
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read a number of books on mindfulness they were all really good, but this book gives you a different perspective by dealing directly with being in pain. Whether that pain is real like a broken limb or in the mind through stress etc, it's irrelevant, you are in pain and this book not only recognises that but it also gives people the right to address that pain. The best book I have read so far.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, heartfelt approach to mindfulness 9 Sep 2013
By Karen T
I loved this book. Not only does it guide the reader through an interesting and enjoyable mindfulness course, but it brings the practice to life with inspiring personal stories of people who have benefited enormously from mindfulness techniques. These stories provide a compassionate insight into everyday life, and how easy it is to lose ourselves when things get tough. Whether you've become distanced from your real self through stress, a pain condition or illness, this book teaches you mindfulness techniques that can put you back in touch with your true self again. It is thoroughly well written, in a very open and approachable style - reading it is like doing a mindfulness course with a friend.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book you'll ever need 11 Oct 2013
Having suffered with fibromyalgia, ME, chronic migraines and violent anxiety wondering what was wrong with me for the last 4 yrs and having tried almost everything. I found the original book "Living well with pain and illness" and within 6 pages I knew everything was going to be ok. So much so that I am now on week 3 of the Breathworks course in Manchester and I know with certainty that I want to become a Breathworks teacher so that I can spread the word. This new book is just the icing on the cake and so easy to read and understand. No mumbo jumbo. Enjoy the journey and remember, as Buddha said -Illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not a sign of misfortune or defeat. Suffering is the fuel of wisdom and opens the way to happiness. Through illness human beings can gain insight into the meaning of life, understanding it's value and dignity and strive to leave more fulfilling lives.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformative and practical kindness 22 Nov 2013
Beneath this wonderfully accessible text lies an impressive depth of scientific research and the authors' extensive experience of managing their chronic pain. The guided exercises are easy to follow and the whole suggested programme is realistic for someone in pain or suffering stress and illness. I particularly liked the 'habit releasers'. The tone of the book is warm and down to earth, but also incredibly inspiring. This book goes beyond many pain management programmes in being both very practical and also engaging the heart. Learning mindfulness techniques and meditation is NOT about passively accepting your fate, becoming falsely positive or sitting cross legged on the floor for hours a day! By incorporating these Breathworks mindfulness practices into my life I am now happier and more connected with others than I was even before my accident.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has helped with pain control. 27 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book and it has a CD to assist meditation. It is easy to follow and has helped me to deal with the pain and helped me relax alot more. I find it easier to live in the moment now.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly useful text on mindfulness 23 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Mindfulness for Health successfully adapts and extends the Breathworks mindfulness-based pain management programme.

The engaging and clear writing style provides the essential skills and supporting theoretical context. The technical aspects of meditation and neurobiology are communicated without obscuring the 'how to' and experiential aspects of mindfulness. The result is `the means whereby' to apply mindfulness to both the prevention and management of chronic health conditions and stress. Allowing those new to mindfulness techniques to meaningfully apply them and more experienced practitioners to gain fresh insights to integrate into their own practice or teaching. I am particularly enjoying the guided meditations CD and freshening up my practice.

Without discounting Vidyamala's and Danny Penman's considerable experience and credentials of teaching and publishing on mindfulness, their perspectives are clearly enriched by the first hand experience of benefiting from mindfulness. An important aspect of the programme is its authenticity, both authors bring their own experiences of applying mindfulness to managing personal pain and suffering.

There are few that would not benefit from this programme
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book well worth buying 22 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading this book it is so worth buying it helped me such alot while suffering with back pain, and Achilles tendinitis. Really makes you see things in a different way and learns you how not to concentrate on the pain and coping mechanisms, If you are suffering this book is well worth the read its a book that you can keep referring back too, definitely worth buying.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my friend loves the book
Published 3 days ago by karina
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 17 days ago by Virginia
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivered as described
Delivered on time, in good condition. A gift which has been enjoyed & helpful.
Published 17 days ago by Mr. M. K. Aitchison
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy with my Kindle version
I have downloaded this on my Kindle and managed to download the meditations - which play perfectly. The confusion may be around how to download them. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Cockney Sparrow
5.0 out of 5 stars It is easy to understand and use
As a person who lives with chronic pain I became reliant on prescribed medication, surgery etc to try and get me through the day. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Frances
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Not really one for meditation, bur having recently been told I have an illness/disorder, it's been a god send. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mitch
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing book, in the opinion of an open-minded sceptic
I tend to be a bit sceptical about these sorts of things, but I bought this with an open mind and I really can't recommend it enough. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars This Works - Try It
I agree with the other reviewers, this really does work! Don't know how but it does. I only came across this by accident, I had no idea such a pain management method existed, and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Catriona Lynam
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book.
Just having attended a Mindfulness course, this book is a great resource to refresh what I learnt on the course.
Published 1 month ago by Floss
5.0 out of 5 stars believe me the results are amazing. I used to suffer Headaches and...
% stars is NOT enough for this book & CD. Having stayed in Frenchay Hospital following a Head Injury the methods in this book are used to aid recovery, believe me the results are... Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. J. De Maziere
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