Mindfulness in Motion for Mental Wellbeing

Depression and anxiety can be a significant burden to any individual and their family. With an estimated one in six of the UK population diagnosed with significant anxiety or depression at any one time1, it’s an economic burden to the country too, with rising health care and lost employment costs.

To address this situation, the government has introduced the evidence-based ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) initiative. And one of the most influential approaches to the management of relapsing depression has been Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)2. This approach uses mindfulness meditation to increase awareness of the ‘here and now’ supporting new and healthier choices.

How TMW can make a difference

TMW offers a similar mindfulness based approach – ‘Mindfulness in Motion’ – which comprises carefully structured and mindful Tai Chi movements. Sitting and extended meditation does not suit all individuals and TMW offers a simple and gentle movement and exercise approach. Unique movements, such as ‘Return to Centre’ offer an ‘anchor’ for the individual to interrupt negative thoughts and awaken to more healthy, balanced and embodied choices. TMW would be excellent in addition to both MBCT and the IAPT approaches. It has also been designed to match the MBCT protocol and can be learned by virtually any qualified staff and provides an extremely cost effective solution.

One student’s story…

Following an accident, one of our students had issues with anger. Before the accident the student was used to being very active. However, a brain injury as a result of the accident meant the ability to make decisions and carry them out was severely affected. This resulted in a great deal of frustration, lack of self esteem and anger. Unfortunately, the student’s partner bore the brunt of any outburst.

One of the benefits of TMW for mental wellbeing is its ability to calm an individual. For this student we used the “Return to Centre” movement as a prompt to calm them down whenever the frustration began to build.  We also employed certain movements as mental triggers to help remind the student to release the problem.

One night, when the habitual cycle of frustration began again, the student used this movement to break the cycle and reflect another way of being with the frustration.  As a result of the movement and the student’s decision to go outside and get some fresh air, a difficult situation was avoided – breaking the cycle.

  1. Centre for Economic Performance, 2006
  2. Kabat-Zinn, 1996; Segal, Williams and Teasedale, 2002