Heal • Revitalise • Balance

News, Blogs & Updates from Shining Tree

Feed A Neigong Journey

February 19th, 2016


To those uninitiated with the Internal Chinese Martial Arts or Neigong, a brief introduction would be useful.

Neigong means internal cultivation; Westerners are more familiar with the word “Qigong” – breath cultivation. Although it might not specifically imply martial training, those in the martial arts world will be aware that the word “neigong” is synonymous with health cultivation and conditioning for martial training.

Chinese Internal arts date back a long time. If we take the understanding of “hard” and “soft” as a fundamental of the internal arts, then it can go back to the Spring and Summer Annals of Wu and Yue (5th century BC).

The 5th century BC also saw the emergence of Taoism in China and Buddhism in India. A momentous century indeed!

Chinese Neigong with its deep roots in Taoism and Buddhism helps us to embrace our physicality and spirituality through love, kindness, compassion and benevolence in our interaction with the Universe. They give us a code of conduct, to live life with, to take positive control of our own lives. Unlike certain religions that seems to control, usually through fear, guilt, dissatisfaction and the promise of rewards,
Taoism talks about “humanity, heaven and earth”. How we connect with our own universe. How we go about cultivating of our inner smile, to be light, lovingly detached and always having gratitude in our interaction with the world. Intention with no expectations……do we actually need to understand more than that??!

These are operation systems, tools, vehicles for us to apply in our journey through life. They help to form that primary relationship with ourselves; after all, if we haven’t got a good relationship and understanding with ourselves and our own body, how do we expect to form good relationship and understanding with any other being?

Wuji (Wu Chi) & Taiji (Tai Chi)

A lot of people learn Taiji, but do not really understand what it means; let along the meaning of Wuji.
Wuji translates as “no ultimate” and Taiji as “supreme ultimate”
To a Westerner, Wuji does not have much meaning, as some may understand it as “nothingness”. In an external materialistic world that we live in,
“nothing “doesn’t sound too good, but if you change the word from ultimate to limits then the meaning changes. Wu Chi becomes Potential, Stillness, and Emptiness with presence, being in the moment without inner chatter.
Taiji becomes the limits of our journey… The max! Possibilities!
Wuji, Taiji, potential and possibilities. Every moment of our lives is Wuji, Taiji, potential and possibilities. So Taiji is not just about old folks moving slowly in silk pyjamas. It’s not about relaxing and switching off…….it is about switching on and understanding. Frequently people come along and tell me that they want to do “Tai Chi” and “Yoga”, and that they want to be “healthier”. Sadly, time and time again, the said people could never tell me what “Tai Ch” or “Yoga” mean, or even what “health” is.

Relevance of martial training

Internal Martial training is not about violence and aggression. It is about endurance, character building, cultivating the fighting spirit without the physical fight, understanding boundaries, respect and self-respect, compassion and strategies and of course, health and internal balance/harmony.
More than ever we need the above qualities in our lives. For those of us who are therapist healers, not only do we need to manifest these qualities in ourselves, we also need to share them with our patients and students.

At Shining Tree, we practise a variety of Neigong systems, Come and join us.

Best wishes,
James Wong Lic.Ac.

Feed Retreat feedback

December 1st, 2014

Image (27) Image (28) Image (29)

Feed making orange lentil dahl.

July 15th, 2014

IMGP2668Check out the photo album on our facebook page  to see how to make orange lentil dahl.


great protein

high in soluble fibre

high in plant oestrogen and sterols

quick and easy to make

can be frozen once cooked

Feed Feedback from June retreat 2014

June 2nd, 2014

Clinical therapies

Fabulous. Highlight as my shoulder is so much better. Didn’t expect that.

Yoga, Qigong and Meditation classes

Very informative and interesting. Different perspective from gym mentality which is solely aimed at getting the body into strange positions. Now I know why I am doing these positions and more.

Preparing the main meal of the day

Best bit. Rather than just mindlessly stuffing it in, you can appreciate it.

Did you get from the retreat what you wanted?

YES.I feel able to face the world & life’s challenges again now.

Feed Feedback from May retreat

May 29th, 2014

“The therapies exceeded my expectations. The salt glow massage was very relaxing and helped me reconnect and focus on my breathing. Hydrotherapy was a very good choice”.

“I have started with great teachers here, I will need to find a Tai Chi school when I return. I have a basis for standing and breathing &thinking about incorporating Tai Chi in my daily life”.

“I am already thinking of a return visit. Shining tree has been an oasis of thought and space for me”.

Feed It’s all a matter of balance.

August 18th, 2013

images (2)Question

How can you tell when you have got a good balance between Being and Doing ?


When your life is no longer a struggle, where each day is a new journey and wisdom and understanding can be gained.

You are in control of your body, your health….your life.



How do you find that balance?


Through stillness and creating a good relationship with yourself.



Can anyone achieve this?


Yes. When we are ready to give up our excuses and justifications as to why we can’t change and grow.

Om Shanti

Feed To cover ourself or to be accountable to ourself? One will set us free, the other will enslave us to mediocrity

July 21st, 2013

When we “cover ourself”, we are manifesting our lower self. That of indifference, selfishness, to do the least we can. After all ,”we are not expected to come here and work”, ha ha ha ha.

To be accountable to ourself, we are manifesting our higher self. That of self respect and kindness. When we are accountable to ourself we can then be accountable to others and treat others with kindness and respect.

This is not happening in our society, our world; and definitely not in our NHS.

Our NHS is not flawed, we are flawed as a society. When we fix that , all the institutions around us will reflect that.

Come and join us for Stillness Meditation. Every Friday at 11.30 am.

Feed Which way will you jump?

June 16th, 2013

Which way will you jump?

When someone with a health challenge say the following:
1. It’s hereditary
2. I have faith and trust in God to help me.

They are going to take one of two courses of action:
1. They are going to sit on their fat arses and do absolutely nothing to help themselves.
2. They are gong to do everything in their powerful to help themselves and to be as well as they can be.

Because God help those who help themselves; and just because there is a hereditary element in our health history doesn’t give us the excuse to eat crap and not exercise our bodies.


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Feed Retreat feedback from Spring 2013

June 10th, 2013

1. Accommodation

“Comfortable and peaceful”

“Comfy, warm, peacefully relaxing”

“Comfortable, clean, warm, happy”

“Very comfortable. I had everything I needed”

2. Clinical therapy programme

“Therapies were tailored around my needs and were relaxing- Kim and James knew exactly what would suit me.”

“The improvements was instant. I felt healed and the effect will stay with me for a long time”

“Very personal”

“I now know the nutritional values of food and juices. I also know a lot more about my body and what it needs. I feel the Colon Hydrotherapy benefited me a great  deal”

3. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong and Meditation

“Learnt some useful techniques to take away with me”

“Very good and well explained”

“Enlightening, challenging and very interesting”

“Educational, relieving”

“I loved all the classes. I realise what I have been doing wrongly at my yoga classes at the moment and want to learn more about Tai Chi. I feel more balanced.

4. Food and food preparation”

“Wonderful. James is an amazing cook”

“Very tasty, I was introduced to new and yummy food. good for my health and mind. Inspiring, interesting and fun.”

“Yummy and abundant”

“absolutely delicious. It had the added bonus that I knew what I was eating and how it had been prepared”


General comments

“Thank you for the most amazing experience and for sharing your knowledge with me. I could have stayed alot longer. I didn’t know what to expect and came with an opened mind and heart and feel I have learnt new things and a better way of living. Hope to see you again very soon”

“Kind, warm, informative, gentle,healing, enlightening, rich- I feel enriched in all my senses, taste, sounds, smells,feel and eye opening. I got much more than I ever wanted or expected”

” You are both so kind. Your efforts are clear in your action. This was a joy to see and experience & being a part of the happiness with you. The meditation and Yoga was fantastic. The Tai chi was fun.”

“It was a lovely 4 days. I enjoyed being by myself. I loved the food and felt it was for specific needs. The location, grounds especially are fantastic. Kim and James were so helpful and did everything needed. I loved the classes and Kim taught me so much about the food I ate and should eat.                                                                                                                                      I will definitely recommend the retreat to all at my yoga class.”

Feed If you had cancer would you leave your survival to chance…….or can you be extraordinary?

February 24th, 2012

Breakfast news talked about the discovery of the genetic code of hereditary breast cancer this morning. At present patients with this dilemma can have mastectomies to prevent the cancer occurring. In the future, I am sure a “cure” for cancer and even other chronic life threatening conditions will be found,but does that mean we will all then enjoy everlasting health? I personally don’t think so.

In life, you reap what you sow; the success, achievements and life you have is a testimony of your journey . If you believe that “life is a bitch and then you die” , so be it. If you believe that life is nothing more than amassing as much material wealth as you can and getting through life with as little difficulty as possible, then so be it. Or you might feel that life is a journey for growth, understanding and enlightenment through challenging and empowering lessons; in which case having a relationship with our physical body, respecting it and maintaining it is vital for our growth. But do we?

Over two decades as a naturopathic practitioner, I consistently see patients who are completely dis empowered by the medical profession and even from complimentary practitioners. Anybody that you consult for you health who foster dependency from you and don’t teach you anything are dis empowering you. You don’t have to be qualified in anything to tell someone that they should eat healthily and exercise. But when you profess to be  qualified in conventional or complimentary medicine, then you advice must be clear,  concise, practical, achievable and effective ……..it is also not about flogging as much drugs, supplements and merchandising to vulnerable patients either.

Time and time again, patients come to me with no knowledge of what they can do to help themselves. Even with life threatening conditions like cancer, people will say that they were told that they don’t have to do anything other than follow the treatment, which would be drugs, surgery, chemo/radiotherapy.  Are we really that gullible ? Or are we just relieved that someone has given us permission to sit on our fat arses and do absolutely nothing to help ourselves. “We can’t do anything because it’s hereditary”, “The consultant said there is nothing I can do to help myself”, yeah right! Another very common displacement  is someone who has been helped with a life threatening condition, then go on to raise money tirelessly for charity…….but still not doing anything to improve themselves!!!!!!

I tell my children that I don’t care what they do in life. Whether they empty dustbins or are brain surgeons, be extraordinary, give it 120%, always be kind and be nice. If I have raised a child who is a kind and nice person, then I have succeeded as a parent. So am I saying that if you have the hereditary breast cancer gene, you shouldn’t have your breasts removed? No. Your life depends on the choices you make and the things that you do, not on the things that other people do. Don’t just listen to the “experts”. Take control, make changes in your life to improve your health. At the end of the day, whether you fail or succeed, you can hold your head high and know that you did the best you could, not the best that someone else could for you.

Be in control, be aware,make a relationship with your body, learn stillness, find joy in all that you do, look inwards rather than outwards for        happiness, be alive, but most importantly be extraordinary.



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