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Mandy and I initially met in 2014 when she sent me an email. Ping, in my inbox just like that!

Mandy sent a most inspiring filled message. Aside from her appreciation, Mandy expressed ideas – that caught my attention!

At the time I was a bit swamped and had to take a step back from advocacy as I was on the brink of my big life change from city to seaside. Mandy and I reconnected again via PainTrain and now she’s on the PainTrain Advisory Board – what more could I have asked for for my patient-driven resource?!

Mandy has a PhD in science and professional experience spanning academia, grant writing, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement in the community health and not-for-profit sector. Together with her lived experience of chronic pain she makes a pretty inspiring friend and advocacy ally.

Look out, here we come!

In my chat with Mandy we talk about:

00:49 Mandy’s story
2:30 Painful intros
5:56 Turning point 1 – Not just about me
8:05 Turning point 2 – Ability to relearn
10:42 Turning point 3 – Permission
12:00 Painful terms
Feeling it, wallowing it
16:35 Pain experts
18:20 On practitioners…
28:37 Position change
24:00 Communication at appointments
26:05 Physiotherapists
30:10 The patient role
34:53 Acceptance
35:26 Love & pain
41:43 Kids learning pain
44:14 Future is looking…
45:53 Resources
47:14 Gratitude

Mandy’s favourite resources


— 10 facts about back pain
— My mindfulness blog
— My (not used much now) pain blog


— Buddhism for Mothers: A calm approach to caring for yourself and your children (2011) by Sarah Napthali
— Explain Pain (2013) by Dr David Butler and Prof Lorimer Moseley
— Living well with pain and illness – Using mindfulness to free yourself from suffering (2008) by Vidyamala Burch (also called Mindfulness for Health)
— Manage your pain – Practical and positive ways of adapting to chronic pain (2003) by Nicholas, Molloy, Tonkin and Beeston
— Mind over medicine – Scientific proof that you can heal yourself (2013) by Dr Lissa Rankin
— The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity (2015) by Norman Doidge
— The happiness trap (2007) by Russ Harris
— The pain book – Finding hope when it hurts (2013) by Siddall, McCabe and Murray


Mandy’s favourite little video about pain:

Mandy’s recent fav podcast: