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Feed Pensioners and prisoners

November 29th, 2011


The following is part of email from Paul Roche…..hilarious!

Let’s put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.


This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.


They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.


They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.


Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.


A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.


They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.


They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.


Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.


Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.


Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.


There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.


The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised.

Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week.  Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Feed “If if makes you feel better,do it”.

November 27th, 2011

Picture the situation. You are at your doctor’s surgery. You have a chronic health problem and nothing that he gives you helps, in fact, you have developed secondary symptoms and problems as a result of the medication that you have been taking. You do feel grateful, as you have had a battery of tests, investigations and seen loads of different consultants . You ‘ve got IBS, chronic arthritis, hormonal problems, migraine, you are overweight, stressed and you are getting on in years as well. Is it any wonder that you feel you will never, never get better or have a better quality of life.

Out of desperation you seek”alternative” therapies to help yourself. Often we pick a therapy by what we have read in magazines, what celebrities have had done and what friends might have recommended……..not exactly a very scientific way of trying to find someone to help improve your life! Some people are so debilitated and desperate they even have Colon Hydrotherapy! A very good treatment, I might add, although you might think I am biased! So you pluck up the courage to tell your doctor that you are seeing another therapist. You are nervous because you don’t want to offend him/her. In fact, in decades past, some GPs have taken patients off their list for seeing an alternative practitioner. Times have changed and some doctors will now recommend patients to see various therapists. My only concern is that often they have no experience themselves of the therapy they are recommending. I like to think that if I was recommending something to you, be it Colon Hydrotherapy or a new biomass boiler system; I would bore the pants off you with the intricacies of the subject matter, as I know both areas intimately. My GP sometimes recommends patients to me . He tells me that the patients who come from him are generally satisfied with my treatments. I don’t think he actually know what I do, other then I use to be a nurse and I treated one of his family ( successfully thank God!). His recommendation is probably based on the fact that I have a nursing background and that he knows colleagues and family who has been to me. Most of my patients who comes to me don’t really know what my qualifications are……….because they come to get better, not just for a therapy.

Once you have told him, you might get two reactions. He would either be defensive , as you are basically telling him that he is not able to help you. Or he will say to you: “If it makes you feel better,do it”. Strange comment! If you adolescent son came and informed you he was taking up hard drugs, would you say “if it makes you feel better,do it”?

Now what does he mean. He could mean that he really really wants the best for you. As conventional medicine can’t help you, he supports you in exploring a holistic and naturopathic approach to health, where you want to be educated and empowered to take control of your life and make a good relationship with your body, learning to understand and respect it.

Or he could think that you a gullible idiot with more money than sense. don’t you know that chronic health problems can’t be cured? Why do you think they are called chronic? You are over sixty years old, you should have pain, shouldn’t you? Even if you do improve, it’s only the placebo effect, purely mind over matter.

What are your reasons for having complementary treatments?


Feed A passionate discourse on the placebo, intention and Yi

November 26th, 2011

Had a discussion with a colleague recently about the so called “placebo effect”. As far as I am concerned, there are three views of this.1. the conventional medical view , 2. the view of the general public and 3. my view.

Wikipedia defines the placebo effect as: is a sham or simulated medical intervention. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect.

So basically it is an action based on lies, deception, smoke and mirrors. It is usually talked about in context of medicine and medical research. What seems to happen is that  a belief in something i.e. perceived medication , can result in an actual physiological change and relief of symptoms in the body. This is generally  the perception of the public as well. My colleague who is an acupuncturist say that new patients actually asks her whether the improvement from the treatment they are going to receive is due to the placebo effect? She feels that the placebo effect is important to her as one of the reason why patient improves with treatment  and also because she does scientific research, she has to speak the same language as others do in the field of medicine and medical and  research An example she gave me was how she was given some painkillers for a headache when she was six years old, as soon as she took the medicine, her headache went. Thus she saw as the placebo effect, as the medication would not have had time to act yet. I would disagree with her on this . Yes, there was a definite physiological change in her body leading to a cessation of symptoms; but there was no deception on the part of  the person giving this to her. This I would call the “intentional effect”. Now, some of you reading this will query whether I am splitting hairs here. What does it matter what we call it as long as the effect is the same?

Intention or Yi

It does matter. For a start, relationships matter. The karmic outcome of a relationship built on lies and deception is going to be different from one built on respect and understanding. To put it simply, do you trust the person who lie to you or the person who is honest with you?

When a talented racing driver enters a race. He will win if he has the talent and skill, the best car, and lastly, the confidence and intention of winning the race . The Chinese call intention mindfulness or Yi. Another word to describe this is focus. When we have intention backed up by knowledge and skill…..we will always win through. If you have no skill or knowledge, than no matter how positive you are ,you will not win. We hear this sometimes from people who have been told they have cancer and are embarking on a programme of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They will be positive and say they will fight the cancer. Yes, having a positive attitude is essential in everything that we do, especially if we are fighting cancer. But all too often, the patient do not do anything else to help themselves while undergoing medical treatment .The answer is usually that the consultant they are seeing has told them they there is nothing else they need to do for themselves. Is it not plausible that to make the body as healthy as possible could help ? For most cancer patients, sadly, it isn’t plausible.

It seems that the placebo effect is often talked in context of illness . Even if taking a sugar pill can fool the body and create  physiological changes, how long does it last? Will the patient eventually get better or will he lose out to the disease process? Why not focus on actually helping to educate patients to get healthy? The reason is because the people working in the NHS are experts in diseases and not health. They don’t seem to understand that unless you know about health, you cannot cure diseases.

It seems to me that some people will always be part of the “placebo effect” group.These people will never ask too many questions, do as they are told, keep taking the tablets, blame everybody else for their woes. Whether they get better or not will have very little bearing on what they actually understand about their bodies or actively done to help themselves. While others will be of the “intention/Yi effect” group. This group of people will find out what they can do to help themselves, make positive changes such as changing their eating habits, taking up Eastern Yoga, Tai Chi , Qigong, meditation; and generally get to know and make a relationship with their bodies. Intention backed up by action will create  real change and growth. The perception and mentality of the people in the above  two groups do not just affect their health but every other aspects of their lives. Which group do you think you belong to?


Feed Balance and harmony

November 25th, 2011

Fools will rush in where angels fear to tread; but he who hesitate is lost.  If you can steer the middle path between the two in life , then you will have balance and harmony

Feed Dharma Quote of the Week

November 17th, 2011

In general, most non-Buddhist religions meditate on the deity as being outside the physical body. In these cases the deity takes the form of a refuge, or of a protector or messenger. Thus do they meditate, and of course this is fine. In the Buddhist tradition, however, the deity is not meditated on as being outside the physical body. One meditates on the deity as being one’s own essence expressing itself through oneself arising as the deity. One therefore thinks, “I am the deity,” and with this conviction one meditates.
Why is it justifiable to meditate in this manner? As previously seen, the five afflictions are actually self-expressions of the five kinds of primordial awareness; thus our own mind is in essence exactly the same as the mind of a Buddha. In the philosophical treatises this is sometimes referred to as ‘sugatagarbha’ or ‘buddha-nature’.
Because all beings possess this innately pure buddha-nature, they are pure by nature and not at all impure. Being pure by nature it is perfectly justified to meditate that you are the deity, because this is exactly how it is!(p.95)
–from Everyday Consciousness and Primordial Awareness, by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, translated and edited by Susanne Schefczyk, published by Snow Lion Publications

Feed Vibrational medicine……the basis of all healing

November 17th, 2011


I saw a feature on the news about how singing appears to help symptoms of Parkinsons disease and Altzeimers as well. So sound and breathing can strengthen the body and promote healing? Would it surprise you to know that Yoga and Chinese Shamanic practises of sound and breathing were recorded as far back as 3000BC in the East?

Look beneath the surface                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 Typical of “Western Science”, it looks at the surface i.e. reporting an effect of a certain action but never seeming to looking at the cause of the effect. So do you have any idea how singing can improve our health?

Everything is vibrational                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 I’ll keep this simple…because I am  a pretty simple kind of guy. Often when someone makes something complicated, either they don’t understand it themselves and/or they really do not see passing on practical knowledge to you as necessary….. after all you are only a pleb. Okay, here we go.

1. Everything is made up of atoms.

2. Atoms are held together by energy…… energy vibrate and has frequency and amplitude. Example- if you clap your hands, the number of times you clap per minute is the frequency, and how hard you clap is the amplitude.

3. So looking behind the physical manifestation of our physical world we see energy. When you massage someone, you are expressing that action with frequency and amplitude , coupled with your intention……. these are the energetics behind the body. When you breathe, there is frequency and amplitude depending on how you breathe .A body absent of energy is………a corpse. This is where the age old debate of God is about. Is the energy that powers the Universe just an impersonal source or is it a super sentient being up there somewhere?

How singing improves health  

Therefore when you sing, the vibrational and energetic effect will specifically affect body structure through the thorax and abdomen, increasing oxygenation and stimulating all vital organs and systems. The physiological effect of healing normally includes an increase in neurotransmitters such as endorphins and serotonin, increase in immune function by increase in red,and white blood cells, optimising blood biochemistry and absorption and assimilation into body cells and optimising healing.When our body feels stronger, normally we are emotionally stronger and able to effect positive changes in our lives. This is not rocket science, when we remove as much negative influences from our live….such as eating crap, smoking, destroying our liver with alcohol and watching Eastenders; implement  more positive support systems in our lives (check out www.shiningtree.co.uk ) , and the described positive cascade will take place.  The structure of our  bodies, the physiological processes, our emotions and our perception of spirituality, combines and defines who we are – body, mind and spirit.

Applying the science                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Yoga, Taoism and Buddhism all  have comprehensive and powerful systems of breathing and meditation techniques. Whether you practice the stillness or dynamic aspects of these arts, you body will be vibrating and pulsing, balancing itself energetically and optimising itself physiologically. We also practise a Taoist system called the Six healing sounds. We teach this in relations to the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine, this incorporates the seasons and emotions as well. Really cool!  So come over to Shining Tree and check it out.

 However, I do believe  though that there are some of us, myself included, who  should never, never, never be allowed to sing in public.



Feed Feedback from October retreat

November 16th, 2011

This for me has been a wonderful experience and an important first step. I have felt loved, respected and cherished- thank you for that.I think that my time at Shining tree has been very important to me and I hope to come back.

Thank you both so very much.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          L

Feed The emperor’s new clothes syndrome

November 16th, 2011

Saw an advert on the TV last night. One was for a new movie system from XBox which was voice activated. While on one level, it seems very positive and a sign of progress in technology; on another level, it’s another opportunity for us to sit on our bum and do even less.

Technology should make our life easier so that we can have more time exploring and making relationships with our physical, emotional and spiritual self. Rather, it has become the golden cow that all everyone wants to worship. Materialism has become the new god to all. Brainwashing and indoctrination is so clever and subtle, you have to admire them…just see the adverts. Buddha said that life is an illusion or a dream. The story of the Emperor’s new clothes demonstrate this……. if ever body around you believe something to be true, it must be true. So how much of what we believe in is our own actual perception and how much of it is manipulation ?

So who do we blame? The bankers? The marketing gurus ( I really believe that if they wanted to, they can persuade you to eat your own baby)? Tesco?

The above is merely a reflection of a part of our own nature. So if we hate them, we are merely hating an aspect of ourselves. If we don’t want to be led and controlled then we must stop acting like sheep, we must all become shepherds- our own shepherd. When the negative aspects of ourselves are balanced by our positives aspect, then  the bankers, PR gurus. Tesco and other tyrants and manipulators will disappear like the illusions that they are.

How do we get that balance………….. you got it-meditate.

Feed When your horse dies………..you walk.

November 9th, 2011

I saw a patient today, someone that  I haven’t seen for a while. When Anne ( not her real name )first came to see me, what came across was a lovely vibrant , focused and capable  business woman who was also vivacious and fun. She was totally exhausted, burning the candle at both ends……..usual story . Through treatments,followed by two retreats at Shining Tree, she appeared to have got the message, and hopefully her life would be more balanced with the right support systems and not just work, work work.

Through a mutual friend, I was made aware of her progress, and it wasn’t good. The project that she was so passionate about crashed and burned, taking with it  all her savings. The free lance work that she did successfully also seemed to have dried up, probably not helped by her dis-illusionment   about life in general. Like most dramas in life , this was compounded by two failed relationships .

My friend rang me this morning, and said that Anne had stayed overnight at his and had a severe backache and could I see her for a treatment in his place. Interesting to think that he rang up for her and will pay for her treatment, because he is a generous, lovely man. Why didn’t Anne suggest the treatment herself? Was she really that hard up that she couldn’t afford to book a treatment for herself? Was she embarrassed to see me?

It was lovely to see Anne again. She did look tired, almost a shell of the person that I first met. Typical exhaustion symptoms- aches and pain, tiredness and lethargy. Those  who knows me,knows that I do  a lot of nagging as part of my treatment, I justify this by telling patients that if I didn’t care,about them, I wouldn’t bother to nag;  just save my breath and take the money. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus…..so it is said. Well, a lot of the time my advice is generally Martian in nature, sometimes people need to be told where to get off; I don’t mind someone letting off steam now and again, but if the person goes on and on repeatedly about the same issue, then martian know-how is definitely required.

Anne told me that she was ready now to start again and she was even going to cut her hair short as a symbol of a new beginning. She wanted to get her health back and become a therapist to help others and was considering doing an NLP course to get the ball rolling. I commended her for wanting to get well and to share her knowledge with others, after all that is what my own journey is all about. However, I reminded her that she already had all the knowledge she needed from all the treatments, and retreats she had experienced at Shining Tree. She has in-depth understanding of theory and practice of nutrition, Yoga, Qigong and meditation. That is the same knowledge base from which I try to live my life and share with my patients and students.Why do you want to learn anything else? I asked her. It seems that a lot of us has this tendency to be like butterflies, flying around from one thing to another, never achieving anything, only to find out later that we had it all along.

I said to Anne that even if she was given a lot of material wealth tomorrow, or maybe . the project that failed so miserably for her had succeeded, she still would not be happy. Our happiness come from our inner wealth. When we have that, then our external environment will reflect this, be it relationhips,work or material wealth. As long as we have enough external and material wealth to live on, why do we need more? If there is uncertainty in our lives, what do we do? We meditate and look inwards for the answers. Wouldn’t it be boring if we cruised through life without making any mistakes? We’d never learn anything!

Anne seemed to take on board what I shared with her. ” I just need to get back on the horse” she said to me with her normal verve and enthusiasm. No, I replied. There is a Chinese proverb which goes: when your horse dies…..you walk, I told Anne. “Don’t get back on the horse, in fact, don’t rely on any horse.Walk on your own two feet. Rely on yourself, meditate , find that inner wisdom”.

Feed Good wishes

November 4th, 2011

Practice for the New Millennium by the Dalai Lama The Practice:

1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.

2. Spend 5 minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.

3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet.  Practice cherishing the “simplest” person (clerks, attendants, etc) or people you dislike.

4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.

These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful.

The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart.

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