‘Trust life, believe and know that anything is possible
when you focus in mind in body.’
Hi I’m Tess, the CEO and founder of ‘In Mind In Body’. A cancer survivor and an advocate of the health benefits of physical activity, I’m a keen runner and a former personal fitness trainer, having trained in both the UK and USA.
Following my Triple Negative Breast Cancer diagnosis in June 2010, I found myself unable to exercise due to effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Embarking on my quest for additional help, I attended The Haven, a wonderful charity in Fulham Broadway who offer free alternative support to people with breast cancer. I benefited enormously from my emotional healing sessions with Sara Davenport, The Haven's founder. Here I addressed aspects of my life which were causing me untold stress. Whilst in my recuperation I aslo read a large number self-help books and it became clear to me that stress had been a major factor in the depreciation of my health. But how did I become stressed? It had to be elicited through my own thinking, through my perceptions and beliefs. It was time to address my core beliefs and perceptions, to change my thinking - to tell myself another story.
In June 2011 ‘The Move More Report’ was published, commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support, outlining how physical activity was an under-rated wonder drug that could help reduce the side effects of treatment and improve recovery outcomes and yet many patients were unaware. As a personal fitness trainer, I thought this was an important message I could help get across to people. However, I was also acutely aware, after my own experiences, that there are times when treatment is so debilitating that exercise is virtually impossible. How could I help those people, who need the support the most?
Visualisation or imagery was already a common technique adopted by athletes to improve their performance, could similar techniques be applied in healthcare? I began to research further into the power of the mind-body connection, the psychology of stress, the effects of guided imagery in healthcare, how the brain can affect muscle strength, imagery and the autonomic nervous system and the effects of suggestibility and belief on performance outcomes. Linking together these research findings, the exciting potential for improved responses to medical treatment through imagined movement began to reveal itself.
In April 2013, In Mind In Body was formed. Its aim is to inspire and encourage people to play an active role in their health. Three years later, my team and I finalised the initial development of a pioneering relaxation and learning technique we’ve called ‘active imagery’. This technique synergises the benefits of guided imagery with physical activity and mental exercise imagery to boost the immune system, alleviate stress, increase muscle strength, slow down muscle atrophy and elevate mood and optimism. Our strength training and muscle recovery mp3s have been carefully crafted and draw upon my own 20 years experience as a personal fitness trainer. The listener is carefully positioned, encouraged and motivated throughout the exercises, as if I was standing next to them in the gym or their own home, helping them to achieve their optimal performance. The products are easy to use, relaxing and above all self-empowering.
I’m delighted to be able to share with you 'active imagery' from In Mind In Body.