Each month Vivian Garcia, long time Peer mentor and organizer of the Surrey City Centre SCI BC Peer Coffee Group puts together a newsletter about upcoming Surrey events, opportunities, and important information for people living with SCI—featured here in Vivian’s Corner.
This edition of Vivian’s Corner highlights:
- Theme: Mindfulness
- InfoLine Corner: Guided Meditation
- Peer Stories: Josh Dueck and Amit Sharma
Click here to download the PDF of the June newsletter.
IN FULL NEWSLETTER:
Mindfulness Resources – Articles & Books:
- Mindfulness: A Beginners Guide (Jon Henley, The Guardian)
- The Best Meditation Apps of 2019 (Jessica Timmons, Healthline)
- Efficacy of Internet-Delivered Mindfulness for Improving Depression in Caregivers of People with Spinal Cord Injuries and Neuropathic Pain (Hearn et al., Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
- In the Moment (Jaisa Sulit, The Spin Summer 2016, pages 20-23)
- The Science of Mindfulness (Cynthia Macdonald, University of Toronto Magazine)
- Effects of Mindfulness on Psychological Health: a Review of Empirical Studies (Keng et al., Clinical Psychology Review)
Mindfulness-Related Resources – Videos:
- The Importance of Mindfulness (Goldie Hawn, Youtube)
- The Science of Mindfulness (Dr. Ron Siegel, Talks at Google, Youtube)
- Mindfulness, Emotions and Pain Treatment (Dr. Pohl, WWDP Webinar)
- Mindfulness and Living with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI BC’s Virtual Peer Group with Jaisa Sulit, Youtube)
- The Surprising Science of Happiness (Dan Gilbert, Youtube)
Other Interesting Information:
- 5 Reasons to Clear the Clutter Out of Your Life (Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Psychology Today)
- Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids (SCIRE webpage)
- List of Meals on Wheels Programs in the Lower Mainland (SCI BC Database)
- Inclusive Yoga: A Practive for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability, Youtube)
- Adaptive Yoga for Veterans (Youtube)
- Canadians Disrupt Fashion Industry with Clothing for People with Disabilities (Elizabeth St. Philip, CTV News)
- Studies Overestimate Prevalence of Depression, Article Shows (Wendy Leung, The Globe and Mail)
- What Really Matters at the End of Life (BJ Miller, TED Talk)
- Intro to Kidney Stones for People with SCI (Shepherd Center)
Bean There Coffee Group leader George Pope sent some info about one of these devices, and our Infoline staff Bert and Heather suggested some other, similar attachments of note!
The Firefly Attachable Electric Handcycle by Rio Mobility: An innovative way to get around town. Go to the grocery store, visit friends, or go to the park. Whatever you want to do, you can, without hurting your hands or shoulders. Light up the fast lane with the Firefly!
The Dragonfly: Turns your wheelchair into a handcycle. It’s a bicycle for your hands! Attaches to most wheelchairs.
The Batec: This company also has handcycle versions of the add on.
Max Mobility Smart Drive: The Smart Drive is a type of power assist for manual wheelchairs: a rear manual chair add on, to make going up hills or across rough ground easier.
Freewheel Wheelchair Attachment: A non-motorized attachment for the front of the wheelchair. With the FreeWheel your wheelchair casters are lifted off the ground, turning your chair into a 3-wheeler, so you simply roll over any obstacle: curbs, dirt trails, grass, gravel, snow, and sand. No more wasting energy and slowing down to pop a wheelie.
What is Mindfulness?
The Dictionary.com definition of Mindfulness is:
noun [mahynd-fuh l-nis]
the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.
1. a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them: The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.
2. the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.
with Heather Lamb, MSW
Information on guided meditation and the research behind mindfulness
I’ve recently come across something called Yoga Nidra. It’s a guided meditation that puts people into a deep state of relaxation sometimes known as yogic sleep. It’s restorative and can help people sleep better at night as well as feel more refreshed during the day.
In a typical class, students lie down on their yoga mat with whatever supports they want (eg. blanket, bolster, etc.); however, it can be done while lying in bed for those that can’t get down to the floor, or in a reclined position in a wheelchair.
Here’s one research article about it, from Yoga Journal: How Yoga Nidra Can Help You Get More Sleep.
Call SCI BC’s InfoLine: 1-800-689-2477, toll-free: 9 am–5 pm, Monday–Friday.
Or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here are some recommendations from Josh:
- One of the great yoga teachers, Matthew Sanford, has a great deal to offer this world and has an especially relevant approach for those living with a SCI.
- For mindfulness, there are many approaches and resources available to explore ways to calm the mind and reconnect with your personal truth. One of the great influencers in my journey to explore meditation is Dr. Carlos De Leon.
with Josh Dueck
Adventure is always calling.
As a kid the call for adventure was around every corner and often brought me deep in nature. When I grew a little older my appetite for adventure became a little more refined and involved a good deal of risk. Growing through and evolving from these experiences, my penchant for risk has changed however my desire to adventure still burns bright.
It was my drive to become the best athlete that introduced me to both yoga and meditation. At first it was no more than an outlet to stretch my body and relax my mind to enhance my performance; to my surprise these technologies served me quite well from the beginning. Today my desire to explore ‘the adventure within’ has shown me a depth and potential that I could never imagine, it has opened my mind and my heart and expanded the connection with my body.
To connect with Josh, he can be contacted at email@example.com
with Amit Sharma
Mindfulness meditation reduces pain medicine.
I started Meditation after reading about mindfulness and its benefits. Mindfulness has been described as ancient wisdom enhanced by modern science. The practice of mindfulness has roots in the meditative practices of religious traditions, roots going back to 1500 BCE.
Meditation or mindfulness is a technology which helps our human body to perform in good shape. Doing meditation has several ways of being done: it’s like going to ice cream store with so many flavors of ice cream, so the mood and taste differences of different people means they choose different ice cream.
Meditation or mindfulness is a mind-body practice used to increase calmness and physical relaxation, improve psychological balance, relieve depression, cope with illness, and enhance overall health and well-being.
Mindfulness’ goal is to relax the mind and body, acknowledge and release feelings about pain or other challenges, let go of tension, and tap into a positive outlook. Mindfulness allows you to step back from negative thinking. It brings focus to the present moment and allows you to interrupt the vicious cycle of negativity and pain.
Jon Kabat is a leading figure in promoting the health benefits of mindfulness through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). According to studies, pain is not only a physical experience but an emotional one. Learning to manage those emotions is important to manage chronic pain. Scientific studies are backing up what people over the centuries have known: Meditation can be beneficial for people living with pain. Mindfulness or Meditation has been shown in clinical trials to reduce chronic pain by 57%. Accomplished meditators can reduce it by over 90%. Imaging studies show mindfulness soothes the brain patterns underlying pain and, over time, these changes take root and alter the structure of the brain itself, so patients no longer feel pain with the same intensity. Many say they barely notice it.
Yoga is another tool that helps me control pain. Yoga is a mind-body and exercise practice that combines breath control, meditation, and movements to stretch and strengthen muscles. What sets yoga apart from most other exercise programs is it places as great an emphasis on mental fitness as on physical fitness. People have been doing yoga for thousands of years.
Mindfulness and yoga is helping me to learn to step aside from suffering and begin to handle pain very differently.
To connect with Amit Sharma, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org!