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Feed Shame on you British nurses!

January 6th, 2012

David Cameron told British nurses to be more caring towards their patients today, that nurses should be more patient and not paperwork orientated. Shame on you British nurses! Did you really have to be told that??

I trained and qualified in nursing in 1986 and stopped nursing in 2004 to open Shining Tree. My area of nursing was always acute medical and elderly nursing. The pay was poor and the work was hard, but that was what I signed up for and loved doing . Nursing to people like myself was a profession, a vocation…….not a “career”. The priority was always the acutely ill patients, whether medical or surgical and patients who were helpless and needed our care -we were their advocates. There has always been indifferent and lazy nurses in the ranks, just as there will always be soldiers who are less than courageous; but if the negative elelment start outweighing the positive then you will have serious problems.As we do now in nursing. Not every nurse liked me when I was on duty, because I made them work when I was in charge of the ward; but they respected me, because I led from the front, I didn’t sit on my arse doing paper work while they gave the care. I gave the care because this is what I trained to do and loved doing. There is really nothing more rewarding than finding a patient covered in poo and pee and leaving them all clean and comfortable, but doing it with their dignity in mind. I can remember many a hellish night of hard, hard slog, but then, we British nurses were the best in the world! Nurses cannot blame management or lack of resources for their poor care to the patients. We have a code of conduct, which states that if a nurse feels that the environment that they are on is unsafe, they can refuse to work. Nobody complains, they just don’t give the care…..it could be your mother or grandmother they are neglecting. How can they do it……..I really don’t know.

It is always people that make things work. Hard work,stamina, compassion, empathy, common sense, intelligence, kindness and a wicked sense of humour are the attributes of a good nurse, not loads of academic qualifications and a reluctance to participate in patient care

Picture is of King’s Lynn School of Nursing class of 1982-86.

Every one of these girls are angels... ….except for the bloke with the dodgy haircut

I had a bad dream the other night. I dreamt that I was back in nursing . I needed to turn a elderly patient and give her some care, but I couldn’t find any nurses who would help me do it.

Feed Meditation rears its ugly head

January 5th, 2012

Meditation has been featured on Breakfast television on BBC over the last two weeks. Usual format, a reporter gives a stereotypical Western viewpoint of what Meditation is, speak to some scientists, joins a group that meditates and see if there is  any improvement in any of the participants; say: “mind over matter”, another time slot on the programme filled. Maybe I am been a bit cynical.

There does seem to have been a ground swell increase in interest about “meditation” lately. I can’t figure out whether it is a natural increase in people’s consciousness in their search for spirituality or whether there is some market led manipulative force at work here- i.e. very soon their will be “meditation lounges” in all Tesco stores and Gyms, and sheeple being sheeple will all flock to do meditation because if  Tesco and Gyms have it, it must be good!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am really looking at a gift horse in the mouth. I should be jumping on the bandwagon, getting in  touch with local papers, local radio, saying “look at us, we do meditation at Shining Tree”. But we have never been very good at marketing ourselves - ranting and raving yes.The outcome of the BBC feature was positive. Basically it concluded that meditation brings about a change in your brain activity and relief of pain http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16406814  It also featured a lady with Lupus ( an auto immune disease characterised with imflammation and pain) who said that meditation helped her. Basically, it finished off with saying its “mind over matter” if it works use it.

My concern with the feature is that Meditation in the Western mind is still perceived as something that is done by wise man and sages and that it is just about sitting quietly. It is of course not- http://www.shiningtree.co.uk/_wp/2011/02/stir-fry-and-meditation-its-a-matter-of-technique/  the article on this link will show you that Meditation is a state of mind, it is mind, body and spirit. The lady with Lupus looked quite unwell to me, and I wonder wonder whether she has a full life style plan such as good nutrition and a comprehensive body awareness programme which covers Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong…………and yes, meditation.

Meditation is not something that you “do” to  suppress symptoms. Meditation is a way of life, it’s an attitude, it’s a synthesis of mind, body and spirit.It is not “mind over matter”, it is “mind and matter”. Whenever I watch programmes which show a very shallow understanding of a subject matter, it reminds me of a young child playing with the box rather than the present. We need to grow up.


Feed Shining Tree Retreat feedback December 2011

January 2nd, 2012
  1. How did you find the accommodation at Shining Tree?   Homely,comfortable,warm,real, natural



  1. a). Did the clinical therapies you received meet with all your needs ? and b). did we tailor make a programme for you specifically? Yes to treatments.  Have been exactly what I needed, without my knowing exactly what I needed. I include the food as a treatment. My particular experience has been much bespoke treatment.



  1. How did you find the Yoga, Qigong & Meditation classes that you at Shining Tree? I wanted a robust yoga retreat when I arrived- and I leave with an enormous gift of meridian yoga. Gentle, strong & harmonious. I have been learning the Qigong stances- Embracing the one, Golden tortoise and Golden plates.



  1. Do you think that you have gained enough knowledge to continue the practice of Qigong, Yoga and Meditation at home? Its a start and I’ll include what I know into my morning practise. I will definitely seek out more qigong in London.



  1. How was the food? Awesome.







  1. Do you think you have gained enough nutrition and cooking experience to continue what you have learnt here? Yes, sprouting, soaking, humus, puddings.



  1. Did you enjoy our pool and sauna area? Loved it. – Right temperature, – never too busy, -great for relaxing.


  1. Did you enjoy our woodland gardens? Yes. The tinsel in the tree, the caravan, the incredible sunset while drinking tea in the garden.



  1. We would be grateful if you would give us a general account of your impression and experience while at Shining Tree. A gentle and healing experience I would like to support and share- especially with my father. Thank you for your wisdom and generosity,


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