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New Support for Local People with Pain and Illness
Friday 2nd October, 2009

New Support for Local People with Pain and Illness

Wigan Borough Council is funding a new series of courses for workless people in the Borough suffering from chronic pain or illness. Several thousand people in the Borough are unable to work due to back pain or other muscular or skeletal conditions, and in many cases there is only a limited amount that can be done with conventional medical treatment.

The “Living Well” programme is being run by a not-for-profit organisation Breathworks, and uses an approach called “mindfulness”, recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The approach uses guided body awareness exercises to develop greater ease in the body, natural breathing to help manage pain or stress, and aims to help people to manage their own body and thoughts and get the most out of life.

Wigan Borough Council with the local NHS Trust have allocated some European funds, via the Working Neighbourhood Fund, to fund a series of Living Well courses in the Borough. Courses are free to local people who are out of work and suffering from pain or ill-health, and it is hoped that it will help people to return to greater activity and quality of life, with some returning to voluntary or paid employment, though course participation is not linked to benefit provision in any way.

"Many of our patients report that they have found the Breathworks course very helpful" - Professor Anthony Jones, Human Pain Research Group, Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust

“I am more active and feel more in control, responding better to day-to-day difficulties, which also benefits my family” - SJ (diabetes + neuropathy)

“The course has given me tools to help me manage pain and associated anxiety much more effectively. I get so much more out of life now” - CC (hyper mobility syndrome + fibromyalgia)

“I experience less reliance on drugs to stay well, and decreased stress levels” - AM (Kidney Failure)

Next courses start in Wigan on October 12th, with more starting around the Borough in 2010. For more information contact Breathworks on 0161 834 1110, www.breathworks-mindfulness.co.uk.

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