While waiting to go into the Doctors I sat reading a Good Housekeeping Health Living magazine. It had a brilliant article on finding the right type of meditation to suit your mood. These are some of the tips to help you find the techniques that work best for you.

  • If you need flexibility then look at the apps that are available for help with all kinds of needs from performance to sleep. They recommend Headspace or Happier and Calm apps.
  • Headspace also runs bite-size guided meditations for anyone who is busy (who isn’t?) All you do is sign up for a free trial at Headspace or you could find meditation courses online but they state they can be expensive from
  • If you are having trouble sleeping (that’s me) then they say there is evidence that mindfulness works. The technique that has the most mental health studies supporting it is mindfulness-based ‘Cognitive Therapy‘, and there is an abundance of details online.
  • If you prefer to be taught personally then they recommend Vedic and Transcendental Meditation which are courses you can start with a one-to-one lesson when you’re given your mantra. Find Vedic and Transcendental Meditation from this website.
  • If your feeling angry or lonely then they suggest you try loving-kindness meditation, where you repeat a positive mantra. Visit Ten Percent Happier for details on this.


Most people think of meditation as something that you sit and do quietly, but studies have found that music, walking and even laptop tools can help you to meditate. There are over 100 benefits to meditation from lowering your heart rate to building your self-confidence.

You can listen to it on your way to work, at home or wherever your going. Your normal heart at rest should be around 75 beats a minute and music pulsing at around 60 beats per minute can help to bring on an alpha state, which is the same relaxed state that is created by normal meditation.

To get the most benefit you should do it regularly but start slowly and there are a number of inspirational tools that you can buy to help you to meditate. A CD ‘Dr Andrew Weil Presents Vibrational Sound Healing’ is soothing music that’s not just whale noises!

You could also listen to ‘Alla’s Instant Retreat’ a 3D audio CD of meditations to help you relax.

You could also meditate on your laptop by hooking yourself up via fingertip sensors, and guided breathing and visual meditations from Meditations UK.

Iphone fans can also download a phone app which gives you timed breathing techniques and ocean sounds which has been rated as ‘seriously good and so portable’ at around £2 from My Meditation App.

If you like to walk and meditate then ‘Chi Walking’ by Danny Dreyer is highly rated or ‘Walking Your Blues Away’ by Thom Hartmann.



Find out how to feel happier, sleep better and beat stress.

It’s as easy as signing up, sitting down, and pressing play. Then just sit back and relax as you are guided through a simple process making it easy to learn how to meditate.

According to Healthline ‘Calm‘ (available from itunes and Amazon )is one of their top meditation apps. If calm is what you need, Calm is the app for you. It starts you out with a seven-day program. This is a great way for beginners to start meditation. Choose between options for sound and length of time, as well as scenes from nature for you to visually focus on while you meditate.

Other features include multiple guided as well as unguided sessions. When you decide you are ready for more than the seven-day program, you can pay for a subscription, which opens up a 21-day program.


Headspace is another great app (available from Headspace website and Amazon) which makes it easy for people just learning the art of meditation. Their level one course features easy, 10-minute sessions for each day that will help you get into the habit of meditating regularly. There are reminders, and you can choose to focus on aspects like foundation, health, and performance.

Once you have mastered level one, you can purchase a subscription that allows you to access even more features and options so you can expand your practice.


Another good one is Omvana (available on itunes ) which gives you access to many meditation sounds, music, and guided sessions with meditation experts. Focus options include: mindfulness, stress, relaxation, sleep, and more. You can choose the length of each meditation session, from three minutes to an hour.


And finally number four is the Take a Break app (available on itunes and Amazon) which allows you to do just that — take a break. You can choose between a short break or a longer meditation break. Both options allow you to choose with or without music and, if you are new, there are easy instructions for how to get started.

The app was designed to give users a quick and uncomplicated break to help relieve stress whenever you need it.






Train your mind with feel stress free’is a new app which uses clinically proven techniques (CBT and also mindfulness techniques) in order to build resilience, prevent and manage stress/anxiety. Along with this it has recently been proven to accelerate depression recovery time.

Sometimes we can all feel like things are getting on top of us. That’s why the psychiatrists and psychologists at Thrive have created this app that will help you relax in just 5 minutes. By practicing the techniques in the app, you will learn to build resilience to the pressures and anxieties life throws your way.

With proven CBT tools in the app, you can seek to support yourself 24/7. If you have any technical issues? Email

At the moment Thrive have a free offer for their Train your mind with feel stress free’app, by simply downloading it from this link.  With Christmas just around the corner and pressure on us all this app could be the best download you have made for a while.




Failed back surgery syndrome (also called FBSS, or failed back syndrome) can occur in 10-40% of people who undergo spinal surgery.

Although it is not actually a syndrome, as such, as it is just a term for a number of factors to describe the pain some patients have even after having surgery.

There is actually nothing else like this term ‘failed’, as in ‘failed knee surgery syndrome’. Failed back surgery syndrome is completely on its own.

Some factors which can cause failed back surgery are scar tissue which can form around the incision site, or an infection can occur (which did in my case) or that simply the actual technicalities of the operation were not successful.

Surgical operations are usually performed for spinal decompression and spinal fusion using cages, bone graft, bars and screws (which I have) and if a patient continues to have pain after the procedure, then the condition is then called ‘failed back surgery syndrome‘.

In my case my first spinal surgery was a fusion done some 30 years ago which simply wore out and so had to be repeated. The second surgery included a cage, bone graft, bars and screws but this surgery ended with a bad infection. This has since be classed as a FBSS.

The only options they can offer me now is conservative treatments like the injections I have and pain medication. Having further spinal surgery in my case is not an option any more even though there are a lot more successful keyhole procedures available now. In fact with today’s knowledge and technology people can recover from spinal surgery in a matter of weeks which when I had mine was months or longer.

As a result of the FBSS and other issues I was then also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and sometimes I find it hard to decipher if my symptoms are FBSS related or Fibromyalgia related, as they can be so similar.

Although when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia it was not as well known as it is now, I still feel that there is an awful lot of help and knowledge available for Fibromyalgia but not for FBSS.