Yoga classes aim to help Crohn’s sufferers

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Sunflowers Cancer Charity start a four week Yoga session for Crohn’s and Colitis. Pic © Adele Matthews JMU Journalism

A new yoga class for sufferers of Crohn’s and Colitis is to begin at Liverpool’s Sunflowers Cancer Care Centre in a bid to alleviate stress and discomfort.

A four-week programme starting Tuesday November 13th will introduce those affected to yoga and mindfulness practices, which aim to help them deal with and reduce pain, anxiety and improve general wellbeing.

Instructor and Sunflowers trustee, Stuart Speeden, was diagnosed with the disease 50 years ago and will be taking the classes at the Aigburth-based centre.

The 66-year-old told JMU Journalism: “I have Crohn’s disease and I’ve had Crohn’s for a long time. I know the benefits of this kind of exercise regime, so developing into those areas seem to be both useful to existing clients and opens up these facilities to people who currently don’t have anywhere to go.”

Crohn’s disease is a condition that causes inflammation to the digestive system and the gut. It’s lifelong and ongoing, however there may be periods of good health and certain circumstances when the disease is more active, either through relapses or flare-ups.

YouTube: Adele Matthews

Sunflowers, founded in 1986, provides support to individuals and families affected by a cancer diagnosis in the Merseyside region. Run by a small staff team and a large number of volunteers, the charity provides counselling, arts and crafts therapies and exercise classes.

Development manager, Bobby Magee, told JMU Journalism: “These are lifelong conditions and it’s the same for everyone, they’ve got the same fears, the same concerns that they can speak to someone about. It’s almost not fair that there could be people living over the road who feel they can’t come in because they don’t have cancer, so we’re trying to make it more inclusive.”

Mr Speeden added: “There aren’t a series of services outside of the Royal hospital for Crohn’s and Colitis sufferers, so I hope that this will actually start to provide the basis upon which people actually get to know each other and develop mutual support.

“It was almost unknown when I was first diagnosed, but now there’s an awful lot more people with it but general awareness of it is still low.”

The course is £12 per person and begins at 2pm, running until the December. To sign up, email linzi@liverpoolsunflowers.com or call 0151 726 8934.

About Adele Matthews, JMU Journalism