In Vivian's Corner, Health and Wellness, News & Blog, Opinion, Peer Profiles, SCI BC Event, SCI BC News

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.

vivians-corner surrey 2019

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.

SCI BC Surrey City Centre Bean There Coffee Group

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Theme: Loneliness vs. Solitude

Surrey City Centre Library, READ Ability Lounge


Mindfulness Resources – Articles & Books:

Mindfulness-Related Resources – Videos:

Other Interesting Information:



Wheelchair Gadgets:

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 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.

Vivian’s Corner – June 2019


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 .

Heather Lamb, SCI BC Information Resource Specialist
Josh Dueck
Josh Dueck, SCI BC Peer Program Coordinator and Paralympian

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


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!

amit sharma
Amit Sharma, host of the SCI BC Indo-Canadian Coffee Group

Here are some recommendations from Amit:

Thanks for reading this month’s Vivian’s Corner! Stay tuned for Vivian’s July newsletter on the topic of ‘Loneliness vs. Solitude’ and be sure to join the Surrey City Centre Bean There Coffee Group meeting tomorrow, June 5.

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