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Mindfulness For Pain Relief – Vidyamala Burch

A lesson in how mindfulness can be used as pain relief

Vidyamala Burch is co-founder of Breathworks, the internationally acclaimed mindfulness organisation based in the UK. Breathworks arose out of her experience using mindfulness to manage severe pain following spinal injuries in her teens. She has written a range of articles and books and recorded a number of audio CDs and downloads of guided meditations. Her main titles include Living Well With Pain & Illness and Mindfulness For Health, co-written with Dr. Danny Penman, published in 2013. Vidyamala trains and teaches mindfulness internationally.

Today, join Vidyamala Burch as she explores how mindfulness is helpful for chronic pain sufferers. There are several videos on this page so be sure to check them all out. The top one is a presentation by Vidyamala about mindfulness for chronic pain but it is very relevant for all of us because it explores how we react to the pain and suffering of everyday life. Vidyamala talks about how we can relate to pain and suffering with more wisdom, skill and ease.

The second video is an experiential teaching and meditation including a long ‘body scan’ meditation practice. The last video is all about Vidyamalas inspiring organisation ‘Breathworks’.

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Show Notes

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If you’d like to know more about Vidyamalas book and courses go to http://www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk




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Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

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Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass

Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass


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109 Responses

  1. Jane Parkman

    Thank you Vidyamala. It is so invigorating to hear a story of triumph over debilitating circumstances and then hearing how this seeming disaster can become a catalyst for lifesaving work and giving to those who find themselves in a seemingly hopeless situation. I am currently volunteering with the Pastoral Care Team at our local Paliative Care Unit and can see how this training could assist the people who access this service. I feel inspired. I will definitely accessing your book and looking into your training courses. Melli, can’t thank you enough for this life changing Summit, and we are only half way through.

    1. Judy Gale

      Jane, thank you for being involved in Paliative Care. It is something I’m considering after my experience being the primary care-giver for my Mom, my Dad, and then my Step-Father. Are you familiar with Dr. Ira Byock’s writings?

  2. Pam Swiderski

    Once again an another wonderful day at the summit. I was diagnosed with a genetic disorder that is accompanied by chronic pain. I have managed to accept my pain and pleasures in my life. I do have those crash days. I am looking forward to signing up for a breath work class. I am so relieved to see this kind of help being offered! Thank you for sharing and allowing us to be part of your journey.

  3. Rose Momsen

    Vidyamala’s breath based body scan meditation today was so delightful, like a kiss of kindness to every interior part of my being. Thank you! And thanks for the exposure to the Breathworks organization and the amazing work being done through them. I am learning so much by my commitment to watch and participate every day of this generous online course. What a difference you are helping to make, Melli. Well done.

  4. Patti Weiss

    What an inspiration! Vidyamala, you have used your life challenges to make the world a better place. Your techniques and your kind spirit are a gift. I am so grateful to be attending this Summit. Every single day has been an outstanding experience. I love the wide variety of speakers, approaches, and topics. I have been practing mindfulness for many years, including many professional-level trainings and I am learning new things here every day. Thank you!

  5. Mary Mackenzie


    The “contact us” button seems not to be working. I am having difficulty purchasing a pass and need to contact someone.. All talks viewed so far have many take away Pearl’s.

    Many thanks!

  6. John Andrew+Wesley

    I was able to view the 2 videos at the bottom of the page, but was doing the body scan video now and it cut off. I checked my internet is working but the video streaming is just not working. We should still have 1 hour left, its 11pm here in California. Is it possible to stream this video? I really wanted to finish the amazing body scan. Thanks! John

  7. Helena Saray

    Thank you Vidyamala Burch for today’s session with Melli as well as your video presentations. Its great to hear of the amazing work you and your colleagues are doing. And thank you for sharing your journey, wisdom, and knowledge with us today. Truly inspirational!

  8. Teresa Gray

    Wonderful once again! Thank you so much for the talk and taking us through a meditation. it helped my lower back pain to the point of fully disappearing. I felt light and much easier to move. Thank you again Vidyamala!

  9. Schalk Lubbe

    Thank you SO much for this presentation, Vidyamala. I have been suffering from lower back pain since 1999 and hip pain since 2006 (when I had a hip replacement which did not deliver the pain relief that I thought it would).

    I will most definitely study more of your work in the coming months.

  10. Nichola Barlow

    Thank you Vidyamala, your breath based body scan and the breathworks mindfulness for health techniques you have developed have changed my relationship with my fatigued and sometimes painful body. I have a better quality of life since incorporating the breathworks approaches into my daily life. I highly recommend both Vidyamala’s books and the 8 week course delivered by breathworks teachers around the world.
    Keep up the good work. ????

  11. Leslie Carleton

    I was so looking forward to this talk, as someone with a chronic pain condition, but wasn’t able to carve time yesterday. I woke up early this morning to listen and it has already been taken down. I thought the talks were up for 24 hours? Am I missing something?

  12. robin willis

    Very disappointed that you have to pay for video for one day missed , had a family emergency my 25 year old daughter’s car caught on fire it took a few days to help her get back on track it was a very scary situation , I really could have benefited from the pain and suffering summit. I would be nice to atleast get a couple of days to listen. Hadn’t missed a day up until then, Emergency do arise.

    1. Angie Stewart

      Hi Robin, I was able to log in and watch the rest of yesterday’s videos with Vidyamala Burch, so you do not have to pay for the one day that you missed. Once you are logged in, just click on Day 14 from the list of daily speakers that is to the right hand side. I hope that helps.

  13. sharon

    Thank you for this wonderful presentation. Several years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.. With mindfulness practice I could continue my psychotherapy practice. Then last year I moved to Florida, where I would have to sit for my license, which is not reciprocal here. I am physically unable to do this. The wisdom and courage she shared is a blessing. Thank you for these powerful, compassionate works.

  14. Jo-Anna Roberts

    Thank you so much for this exploration of mindfulness in a health context. I am a health psychology student and have lived with ME/CFS for over 20 years so very relevant to me personally and so many others too. What a wonderful mission and message to spread this practical wisdom to those who suffer.

  15. Jim Brumfield

    I have lived with chronic pain for three years now since a whiplash spinal course injury. I am grateful for this internally soothing practice and plan to use in as a part of my ongoing pain management, self compassion program.

  16. maria

    So wonderful. I am really moved by the impact of Breathworks. It is so needed and is helping people live much richer lives, despite their pain. Thank you Vidyamala for you dedication to helping others. This is powerful and very heart opening.

  17. Trinette Wellesley

    I also have been very disappointed that – being in Switzerland – and not being able to watch the video at the time – next day, in less than 24 hours it was no longer possible to see it. Then having payed the $79 I still get the same asking to donate ad no access to the video;
    Why is this not av

  18. Ngaire Ashdown

    Hi, I have paid for my Full Access Pass but cannot find Vidyamala’s presentation video to download.
    I have the second video and the Breathworks video but not the first presentation.
    Should this be available for download, too?

  19. Xandra Koster

    I really loved Vidyamala’s presentation and the bodyscan is really powerful. In fact so powerful, that people who are diagnosed with EDS (like me) and hypermobility disorder should be warned before doing it. I ended up with a (partial) dislocated hip and the insibality in my pelvic-region that I always experience was way worse than before, this morning after a long bodyscan that I found on one of Vidyamala’s CD’s on Spotify. So please be careful if your connective tissue and therefore your joints are too lax! I would really like to know what Vidyamala advises me to do. I have a chronic disease and chronic pain, but these exercises make it worse. So please advice, what should I be doing?

    1. vidyamala Burch

      Hi Xandra thanks for that comment and am sorry your body gets so soft that your joints become too loose. That presents a conundrum – how to let your body release some tension without too much! I would suggest you do shorter practices and that, whilst you are doing the body scan, you also maintain some awareness of not letting go too much. Hope this is helpful.

      1. Xandra Koster

        Thank you Vidyamala for answering my question and I will try to do the bodyscan differently. I am just way too obedient. If I here you say: “let your leg fall out of your hip”, then that’s exactly what I do ????????????

  20. Gillian Moon

    Thank you, thank you Vidyamala and Melli. I so enjoyed the practice of the body scan. I think it is the most relaxed my body and mind have ever been. I really got the concept of when holding on (eg fist) then our natural breathing stops! I felt so rejuvenated and refreshed after this.
    Love and light


  21. Sonia

    What a wonderful presentation and interview. I find Vidyamala’s story very moving and she comes across as very sincere in her motivation to help other people. No vanity. Thank you

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