Footsteps Festival 2021

Living well with Fibromyalgia


Join experts and people living with Fibromyalgia for this exploration of how living well despite Fibromyalgia is possible.

This session intends to provide an overview of some of the research related to fibromyalgia, physical activity and sleep and discuss how this can be implemented with the perspective(s) of people living with fibromyalgia.
We hope to utilise an interactive workshop style approach during the session in relation to emotional wellbeing and may include some movement for those that would like to participate.
Saturday 30th October 10.00 am to 12.30 pm with a comfort break


This page will be updated as we have more information on the event, please check back!


Living well with Fibromyalgia

Gemma Chua-Tran


Meet the Expert Panel

Dr Anushka Soni

Dr Soni, MA, BM BCh,MRCP, DPhil (Oxon),  is a Rheumatologist with a research interest in musculoskeletal pain mechanisms. During her DPhil, she studied the impact of abnormal central pain processing in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. She showed a relationship between the presence of neuropathic pain and central sensitization pre-operatively, and that this modified the patient’s response to knee replacement surgery. Moving forwards, her work will use a combination of techniques, including neuroimaging and clinical pain quantification, to investigate pain related predictors of response to treatment in inflammatory arthritis.

Dr Soni completed her medical degree at Magdalen College, Oxford in 2003 having obtained a BA Hons (Cantab) in Natural Sciences in 2000. She then completed her general medical training at the Oxford Deanery and moved to the North London Deanery in 2007 to commence her specialist training in Rheumatology. She returned to the Oxford Deanery in 2008 and took up a Clinical lecturer post in 2009. During her specialist training she secured an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship in order to complete a DPhil (Oxon) entitled “Pain Characterisation in Osteoarthritis”. She  completed her specialist training in Rheumatology and was awarded an Oxford-UCB Prize post-doctoral fellowship

Anushka Soni

Leila Heelas


Leila, MSc, BSc, PG Cert,  is the Clinical Lead Physiotherapist in the Optimise Pain Rehabilitation Unit and also contributes to the Physiotherapy Research Unit at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.  The Optimise service offers a number of group programmes including, a pain management programme and a Compassion-Focused group for persistent pain.  Psychologically-informed physiotherapy is used across the service. Leila has a personal interest in offering treatment to people who may have psychological barriers to group work.

Leila holds an MSc in Pain Management and has studied the graduate certificate in Psychology. She is interested in how to promote the benefits of pain management as a specialism and as such is an executive member of the Physiotherapy Pain Association and a co-opted member of the British Pain Society Council. Leila is a recruiter for the UK National CRPS Registry.

Leila has published articles and presented at conferences, including The British Pain Society Scientific meeting. She is an honorary lecturer at Brookes University and has received training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy as part of an Oxford University trial and has undertaken training delivered by psychologists in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Compassion Focussed Therapy, Motivational interviewing and CBT for pain.


Leila Heelas


Sandra Wiltshire


Dr Sandra Wiltshire, DClinPsych, is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over 27 years of clinical experience in the NHS. She is currently the Lead for  Adult Pain Psychology at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She has been specialising in the field of chronic pain for the last 10 years, where she has helped to develop the well-reputed pain management programmes at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford.
Her therapeutic models include Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Compassion-Focussed Therapy (CFT) and Mindfulness approaches. She also has a 2-year Diploma training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and for several years ran therapeutic groups utilising Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Sandra is an experienced supervisor and trainer in psychological treatments.​



Sandra Wiltshire

Amanda, MSc, BSc, is the Clinical Lead Physiotherapist in the Chronic Fatigue Service. She has worked in the specialist fields of chronic pain and chronic fatigue management for over 13 years, both in London and Oxford. Amanda has particular interest in joint hypermobility syndromes and disordered sleep in chronic conditions, and is currently doing an MSc module in the Physiology of Sleep at Oxford University.

Amanda worked in clinical research before training to become a physiotherapist. She now also works part time as a clinical research assistant at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Oxford University, on a chronic musculoskeletal pain project alongside Dr Anushka Soni. She has undertaken small research projects of her own, presenting posters at conferences, and hopes to build on her research interests in the sleep disturbances in chronic pain, specifically fibromyalgia.

Amanda is a member of the Physiotherapy Pain Association and the British Pain Society, and she was granted an Oxford Academic Health Partners award this year.


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or email with “Living well with Fibromyalgia” in the subject


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