TWO eight-week courses aimed at reducing stress and boosting health are being launched in Fordingbridge and Ringwood.

The Mindfulness course will teach meditation focussing on your breath as it flows in and out.

Course leader Steve Smith said: “Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but that it also positively affects the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability so that when they arise, they dissolve away again more easily.

“Other studies have shown that regular meditators see their doctors less often and spend fewer days in hospital. Memory improves, creativity increases and reaction times become faster.”

Mr Smith’s Release Mindfulness Training was set up after he searched for a cure for his own chronic pain condition 15 years ago and stumbled upon meditation.

He says he has helped people with chronic back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, post-operative pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis, ME and Parkinson's disease.

Mr Smith has also worked with students, most recently at Burgate, to help students shrug off their stress and concentrate, and study more productively.

The Mindfulness for Stress course starts on Wednesday, January 22 from 7pm until 9.30pm at The Victoria Rooms in Fordingbridge.

The Mindfulness for Health course starts on Thursday, January 30 from 10.30am until 1pm at the Ringwood Health Clinic.

Details of both courses can be found at or on 07792 782 374.