Albury’s Paule Gauquie has long been aware of mindfulness and meditation.
So when people began to suggest such practices after her cancer diagnosis 19 months ago, she was already there.
“I have four very important therapies,” she said.
“The first one is people therapy, the second one is garden therapy, the third one is my dog therapy and the fourth is the oncology department.”
Mrs Gauquie is pleased new mindfulness programs for patients and carers will be held at the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre, with the first series of eight weekly sessions to start on July 23.
“I was doing it before I got cancer, but since the diagnosis I have done it a lot more,” she said.
“I think because everybody’s amazed at how I’ve gone, it has contributed but I can’t tell you what proportion. For me it’s wonderful.”
Funded by the centre’s Trust Fund ($17,000) and Rotary Club of Albury ($5000), the mindfulness based stress reduction program aims to help people relax and manage the challenges they face.
Wellness Centre co-ordinator Karen Mildren said feedback had indicated people wanted the centre to include mindfulness and meditation.
“We know through the research that mindfulness just helps people to refocus and stay in the present, helps them to lower their stress levels and all the busy thoughts that are going around and it can help with anxiety and depression,” she said.
Mindfulness teacher Ben Engel, of Border Mindfulness, said the sessions would teach various techniques, such as breathing and movement-based activities.
“What participants learn in a nuts and bolts way is to be kind towards what’s going on in their bodies and minds,” he said. “The ultimate goal of it is to improve the quality of their lives.”
Mr Engel has been running similar courses since 2010 for a wide range of individuals and groups.
“I’m used to people coming as they are,” he said.
“They tend to come with a sense of curiosity and a willingness to give it a go and that is the foundation we can work from.”
Rotary Club of Albury president Mike Burke said his members had wanted to support carers and so asked the Wellness Centre how they could help.
“We thought it was a good idea, it was needed and we hope it’s going to continue,” Mr Burke said.
The course includes a full day retreat on September 1. The $40 cost will be waived in cases of financial hardship.
- To register for the course, contact the Wellness Centre on (02) 6064 1562 or email email@example.com
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