The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month between 7pm and 9pm. New members are requested to contact Michelle in advance to book onto the session.
These meetings are an opportunity for people to come together and share their experiences and support each other as well as a chance for people to feed back into local services through research. Visiting speakers are invited to attend these or additional sessions according to identified need.
New members are requested to contact Michelle firstname.lastname@example.org first to book onto a session.
The Old Library, Muller Road, Eastville BS5 6XP
email@example.com or phone 07759 150727
In addition to the meetings where we have been visited by expert speakers, the group has had monthly meet-ups and discussions, and mindfulness sessions run by a local pyschological therapy service.
The September meeting welcomed more new members to the group and provided an opportunity for regular members to deepen the supportive social connections that have been formed since the start almost a year ago. The Bristol group has welcomed over 50 people through its doors, and has hosted a range of speakers addressing topics including psychological, nutritional and lifestyle therapies to complement the medical approaches being trialled by individual members. The facilitator, Michelle is a health psychologist in training at the University of the West of England and is available at each session to offer support and facilitate the sharing of experiences in a warm and non-judgemental environment.
In this session, we were again extremely lucky to have another visiting therapist. This time, Shaitzu practitioner Hannah Currant introduced Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT or 'tapping' is a form of acupressure which works by releasing 'blockages' within the energy system via tapping acupressure points whilst addressing core beliefs and behaviours which may limit our emotional and/or physical state, resulting in a lack of confidence and self esteem, feeling stuck anxious or depressed, or may maintain problematic relationships. In this session, we learned about the origins of EFT and had an opportunity to learn the techniques on ourselves, as well as observing a session as a group. 16 people attended the session and feedback was extremely positive.
We were very lucky to welcome Victoria Kubiak, Nutritional Counsellor, Allergy Therapist and bodywork therapist (massage) to our meeting. Victoria runs a fatigue clinic in Bristol and has been a Nutritional Counsellor at Penny Brohn UK (cancer charity) in Bristol for 20 years. 20 attendees took part in the two hour workshop which looked at key aspects of managing fatigue.
The session included a discussion of the physical and emotional impacts of living with fatigue; and provided tools and resources to increase resilience to cope with the challenges that fatigue brings to everyday life. Some of the topic covered included healthy eating and foods to fight fatigue, movement and positive psychology techniques. Victoria's session was extremely well received by the group and we hope to have her back in the future for those who missed it.
We also welcomed Julia from the Thyroid Cancer Support Charity committee. We look forward to strengthening local links and providing wider support for people living in the South West.
The group looked at people's experiences of using alternative testing services (like medichecks) and heard positive and negative experiences of managing thyroid diseases without access to routine testing (such as vitamin levels, T3, autoimmune antibodies, etc). We discussed people's experiences of adrenal dysfunction and the impact of delayed diagnosis upon the physical (e.g. liver, digestion) and psychological health. We compiled questions for Prof. Dayan who will be giving a talk to the group later in the year.
The group enjoyed a mindfulness session from Chris Bowles from Oasis Talk. It was really helpful as she went through two guided group meditation sessions, with some teaching and training in between about thoughts and feelings associated with living with and managing chronic illness.
April and May 2017
The first two meetings took place in a lovely setting called the Old Library on Muller Road. We have seven members of the group so far, with a mix of Grave's disease, Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism. We have initially come together to get to know each other and share our stories and experiences, and family members have also felt free to attend. During the second session, we briefly looked at some useful tools to map our symptoms and to consider their impact on our health, emotions and wider lives. Mapping symptoms can be a simple but effective way of seeing the whole picture of our health and communicating our experiences with others, including our healthcare providers. In the next group we hope to list some questions we feel are unanswered and use these to invite speakers to future sessions.