Vanessa’s Blog

Rebecca Crane’s review of Patient H69

Rebecca Crane, PhD, MA, PFHEA, DipCot directs the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University and has played a leading role in its development since it was founded in 2001. Here she reviews my book Patient H69. Vanessa Potter’s book Patient H69 is powerful and compelling. I was transported into the detail of her journey through the experience of a dramatic neurological breakdown which took her sight, and significant levels of motor and sensory functioning. The...

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Second Sight: How I saw Judy Finnegan’s face when I was blind.

It was officially a bad night. I haven't rested well, which leaves me worried that it might not be a grain-of-sand day today. But, doing a mental body scan I quickly assess that my fingertips aren’t quite as numb this morning. That’s okay, one step at a time, I tell myself. Because of this improved sensitivity I can actually leaf through the magazines I can hear rustling on my bed when I move my feet. Of course, this will just be a habitual act, a normal everyday activity that has opened back...

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Patient H69 published today!

‘You could have a great barbie out there,’ my brother yawns as he pulls up the window blind, letting the early-morning sunshine stream in. He stretches noisily and I hear comic squelches as he attempts to extricate his sleep-crumpled body from the marshmallow chair. His fidgeting last night suggested a restless sleep, but I am still hovering in between consciousness and ‘train-crash sleep’ myself, so I gently bat away his random chatter. Mentally scanning my body, my feet still feel painfully...

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Books that light fires

I am well aware of the deep irony that as I am about to publish my first book, until very recently my children considered books a necessary evil to get mum or their teacher off their backs. I have battled with this, not wanting to put them off, but knowing they needed to break through that barrier of basic comprehension to start hearing the stories for themselves inside their heads. I felt they both had a disconnect with the stories they heard outwardly, and were missing that inner connection....

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Mindful of being mindful…

I shouldn't have been surprised but I still was. The irony that I was giving a talk on the physiological influence of one's mind upon the body was uncomfortably present. I couldn't stop the nerves, the jitters, the fear of standing on a stage in front of 700 people. Yet, the meditation, breathing and mind tools I employed in the weeks leading up to my talk were all essential preparation. It's common to rehearse what you're going to say, where you might stand, and even what you might wear - yet...

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A road map to meditation

Meditation is not one-size-fits-all and styles can vary enormously. From mindfulness to hypnosis to psychedelics, my consciousness road trip, covering 12 different mind-training techniques, provides a tried-and-tested roadmap of which practice might be right for you.

Second Sight

Imagine waking up one morning to find yourself blind and paralysed. In 2012 a catastrophic illness wiped out two of my senses. As I recovered I set out on a voyage of discovery to uncover the extraordinary science behind my visual rebirth.

ParkBathe Project

A citizen science green health podcast project with Dr Kirsten McEwan providing FREE 1hr mindful walks for ‘nature sceptics’ to experience the benefits of urban forest bathing in Crystal Palace Park, London. To book a free walk and find out more click below.


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