Meet Dr Sands McCutcheon: Head of Mindfulness

Today we’re announcing an exciting addition to the team at Champion Health: Dr Sands McCutcheon – our new Head of Mindfulness.

We can’t wait to introduce her story, her science-led approach and the incredible sessions she has created for our members.

“Mindfulness can be evidence-based, effective and science-led. Everyone can practice it – at home or at work. That’s why we partnered with Dr Sands: to make mindfulness accessible to everyone, with bitesized mindful minutes to fit around busy, messy – and let’s face it – stressful lives,” summarises Harry Bliss, Co-founder at Champion Health.

Introducing Dr Sands

Sands (short for Sandra) worked as a scientist for 18 years before discovering mindfulness by chance.

She started her career in biomedical science, specialising in the field of infectious diseases that damage the brain. But, in her own words, she felt like she was “living with a broken brain” at the time, experiencing a high level of mental and emotional stress in her professional life.

“I was growing in success, but with that success came challenges: more responsibilities, deadlines and very long hours. That also came with mental challenges and strains. My brain felt like it was constantly switched on and didn’t know how to switch off.

“Eventually I was referred to an eight-week mindfulness course and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” remarks Dr Sands.

It was this experience that led her to mindfulness, which not only transformed her own life but also paved the way for her to transform the lives of others.

Mindfulness, meet science

Mindfulness can be seen as fluffy and we want to break down this stigma. When mindfulness is led by science and applied to real-life situations, the benefits are tangible. But don’t just take our word for it.

With nearly two-decades of experience working in biomedical science, Sands is keenly interested in how modern brain science and mindfulness intersect.

Through her work she has discovered that practicing mindfulness can change the physical shape of the brain, improving how you think, feel, focus, communicate, manage emotions, relate to others and, essentially, how you live your life.

Over the last decades, the brains of individuals who practice mindfulness have been studied extensively by neuroscientists and clinicians alike using functional MRI scans.

“Our brain does everything for us – and everything relies on our different parts of our brain talking to each other and communicating.

“Mindfulness has been shown to actually change the physical structure of our brains. This can happen as early as three days after mindfulness and we see big changes over time.

“The more you practice mindfulness, the more it changes the structure of the brain. Put simply, it can make our minds stronger and healthier,” adds Dr Sands.

Dive into new mindfulness sessions and guides

Sands’ mission with Champion Health is to give our members practical, science-led ‘mindful minutes’ that can be part of both your working day and home life.

Inside the Champion Health app, you’ll find new sessions designed to:

  • Help you navigate challenging times more skilfully and with less stress
  • Improve your performance
  • Boost your attention span
  • Celebrate the good in your life

We’ve also worked with Dr Sands to create new guides for HR professionals, people managers and leaders who may not have yet explored the benefits of mindfulness within their organisations:

And to learn even more about Dr Sands, Harry Bliss, Co-founder of Champion Health, chats to her on The 12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast. Listen below.

Mindful times ahead

We partnered with Dr Sands because we love her personable, empirical and science-led approach – and we’re confident you will too. You’ll meet Dr Sands after your complete your digital health assessment on the app.

And if your organisation is not yet part of the Champion community, talk to us about workplace health today.

Other content Karsten has contributed to:

12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast Episode #21

Boosting your wellbeing with nature

Eating Disorders in the Workplace

Other content Laura Dallas has contributed to:

12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast Episode #21

Boosting your wellbeing with nature

Eating Disorders in the Workplace