Monthly Archives: October 2009

Magnetic Therapy

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Using magnets as a therapeutic tool has ancient roots, going back to 2nd century China.

Afterall, magnets are naturally ocuring in our environment. The earth itself has its own magnetic field which influences our cellular development, growth and life-processes.

Our body itself, as a electo-magnetic organism, and generates its own magnetic field.

Magnetic therapies can alter circulation, stimulate repair, stimulate nerve cells, cause relaxation, affect blood pressure and heart rate, alter the absorption of medications and nutrients, affect acupuncture energy movement, stimulate magnetophosphenes.

Magnets can be used to assist with general health and more specific health issues.

Some of these beneficial actions include:

· reducing muscle tension
· improving circulation
· improving tissue healing
· reducing pain
· improving clotting factors
· slowing the development of arthritis
· stimulating the immune system
· improving cell function
· helping the body to detoxify
· improving the uptake of nutrients
· reducing blood pressure
· helping nerve function
· helping liver function
· balancing the acupuncture meridians
· improve sleep
· reduce stress
· bone healing

As with many complementary therapies, magnetic therapy is not intended to replace conventional medical assistance.

Resources:

1. Magnetic Products:
Magnetic Therapy Products

2. Website:
A highly informative website by Dr. William Pawlak:
Dr. William Pawlak

3. Book:
Healing with Magnetic Therapy

 
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R U Getting This?

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Have you ever had the feeling that when you’re addressing some people, it seems like you’re talking to a brick wall?

Whilst with others, you get on like a house on fire!

Strange isn’t it? People are just weird (well other people anyway, we’re the normal ones).

One of the NLP observations of people is that their language patterns correspond to their physical senses. If you see what I mean.

These cunning NLP chaps realised that if you listen carefully to someone and identify their primary mode of expresing themselves, and then reply to them in the same primary mode, hey-presto, you suddenly get on much better. Now you’re both speaking the same language.

We use our five senses to experience and to express ourselves in this world.

Here’s a guide on the main characteristics of our sensory representational systems, as developed in NLP.

Visual
When someone’s primary representational system is visual, they often use the following types of phrases in their speech:
I can plainly see what the problem is.
She’s pretty as a picture.
It appears to me as if you’re starting to get this.
Looks like I’d better move on.

Visual people tend to be very dynamic and exaggerated in their gestures. They frequently look up, as they often think in pictures. They are often attentive to appearance.

Auditory
For their primary representational system, auditory people will often use phrases such as:
I’m getting the message loud and clear.
She voiced her opinion.
That rings a bell.
We’re really tuned into this now.

They are a bit more moderate in their gestures, and frequently talk to themselves. They are deliberate and exacting in their spoken words and very attentive to speech, and the quality of sounds and word sounds.

Kinesthetic (Feelings)
Here their primary representational system gets to grips with things, and they will often use such phrases as:
We need a firm foundation before we move forward with this.
She’s rather hot headed.
Hold it!
We’re getting the drift of your argument.
Some say he’s a smooth operator.

These people tend to be slower movers. Touching or doing things gets them going. They often rely on a gut feeling to know what to do.

Others:
We have other senses of course. You could nose around the internet if you don’t like the smell of this NLP stuff and see what others have to say.

Afterall, there may be some juicy articles out there which you can feast your eyes on.

If you like what you’ve heard and would like to see some more, then get you hands on this book:

Introducing NLP: Psychological Skills for Understanding and Influencing People,
by Joseph O’Connor and John Seymour.

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Transpersonal

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Transpersonal: Extending or going beyond the personal.

Is a natural expression of being human, and maybe as we develop and mature, a more commonly experienced and acknowledged phenomena and way of living.

It can arise from different directions – the overtly spiritual, a philosophical transcendence or through some social system. However, whatever the source, it has a common thread of putting us in touch with the sacred, the whole, with spirit, something greater than ourselves.

In a certain sense, the transpersonal is not new. Men and women down through the ages have regularly reported experiences beyond those of normal everyday consciousness. The holy women and men from shamanic, yogic and other mystical traditions have actively sought to explore these shifts in awareness. And have tried to share the meaning of their insights with all of us.

One unfortunate side-effect of this is that some naiive spiritual seekers have interpreted reports of these ecstatic experiences a little too literally, and have sought to define spirituality solely in these terms. Instead of appreciating it as a fuller blossoming of wisdom and compassion, which has many expressions in our unfolding life story.

For western psychology, which very much coined the term transpersonal, early contributors were great thinkers such as William James, Carl Jung, and Roberto Assagioli. During the mid twentieth century researchers such as Abraham Maslow and Stanislav Grof did exceptional work investigating peak human experiences and altered states of consciousness respectively.

Another thinker in this field, Ken Wilber, has commented that there is a psycho-spiritual process which we are going through, both as individuals and as a historically located culture. Which raises an interesting dimension of what is going on in our increasingly global culture at this time.

Wilber has also provided a model of our conscious development and growth, from the pre-personal, to personal and onto the transpersonal.

The transpersonal is very much an academic discipline, and should not be confused with New Age movements, although clearly there is some overlap. Neither should it be thought of as a quasi-religion or spirituality.

What transpersonal psychology has done is to add the possibility of the soul / spirit to the realm of psychology and psychotherapy. This is why some have called it the fourth wave of psychology following on from early psychoanalysis, beahviourism and humanistic psychology, which basically ignored man’s spiritual dimension.

In doing so, it has opened up to the idea of a ‘spiritual crisis’ as a feature of our psychological landscape. A landscape which may include phenomena such as kundalini awakenings, peak experiences, near death experiences, psychic openings etc. And only by including these in the picture can our health be restored.

As well as the field of psychotherapy, transpersonal thinking also influences ideas on anthropology, sociology and art.

As well as the works of those mentioned above, an excellent summary work is the book by John Rowan:

The Transpersonal: Spirituality in Psychotherapy and Counselling

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Energy Healing

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There are several forms of energy healing.

In the Western tradition, it is commonly known as spiritual healing and in the east traditions such as chakra meditations and Reiki healing are popular forms.

With spiritual healing, the healer acts as a channel for universal healing energy, with the aim of restoring balance within an individual. It is a form of complimentary healing which can be used for a wide range of problems which people have, be they physical, mental or emotional. It does not require any particular religious or spiritual beliefs for it to be effective.

The chakras are energy centres which correspond to the centre line of the body, running up from the base of the spine, to the top of the head and beyond. There are seven associated with the body, and several more associated with soul and spirit. Each centre has a particular flavour or emphasis, and they each have corresponding colors and sounds associated with their vibration. They are not just physical, but also have emotional and mental qualities.

The basic aims of chakra meditations are to unblock individual chakras, enhance their radiance and allow the free flow of energy between them.

Reiki healing has become very popular in the west in the last 10 or 15 years. The modern form of reiki was developed by a Japanese gentleman called Mikao Usui. During his meditation, he realised that a vital life force (Qi) which runs through us all, could be harnessed and used for healing purposes and self-realization.

All of these forms of energy healing and meditations can be learnt and applied quite easily, to assist ourselves, friends and family.

It is important to note that energy healing is not a substitute for appropriate medical care.

For those of you who are interested in learning more, the following resources will help.

To learn reiki in the comfort of your own home:

Chikara-Reiki-Do.com - Here's The Startling Truth About Reiki You Can Attune Yourself...

One of the classic books on spiritual healing is by Barbara Ann Brennan:

Hands of Light: Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field

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Altered States

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Our consciousness, what we are aware of and with, is an ever changing flow.

Whether we chose to or not, our conscious awareness varies during the day. Some of the most obvious changes we experience are those of waking and sleeping. We also have dreaming and day-dreaming states which we’re familiar with.

When measuring the electrical activity of our brains, there are several distinct rhythms which correspond with our conscious sense. These are labeled Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.

The Beta state is ‘normal’ everyday state, where we’re regarded as fully conscious of our body, thoughts, time, environment etc.

I emphasis the word normal, as in terms of consciouness this is a relative term, depending on your perspective.

When we relax and close our eyes, we enter a light meditative state where our brain wave rhythm slows down to a state called Alpha.

A third and deeper, half-awake / half-asleep state is known as a Theta state. Here the brain’s rhythms have slowed further, we are somewhat conscious but our body is immobile.

Deeper still is our fully asleep state, known as Delta. In this state we are largely unconscious, our bodies are immobile.

Exploring and moving around these mental states of conscious is very much the aim of techniques such as meditation, hypnosis and shamanic practices.

Indeed, you could say that one of the aims of these practices, is to stay conscious whilst diving into the unconscious aspects of our being. This is the level of symbolism, intuition and mystical experiences.

Some of the applications of this are to discover more about ourselves, in a theapeutic context to change an unwanted habit and in a creative process to stimulate our imagination and creative faculty.

Another way of thinking of consciouness is by the level of being which we are dominantly aware of, or coming from. There are different views on this, but one possible model is to consider ourselves as body, emotions, intellect, soul and spirit. We have the potential to access all of these levels of consciouness.

These are very much an holistic whole, however where we are focused can differ greatly during each day, and especially during the different phases of our lifetime.

Where we are coming from, in terms of body, emotions, intellect, soul and spirit, ties in very closely with who or what we think we are, and this in turn will have a powerful effect on our behaviour, attitudes, value systems etc.

For An Effortless Way To Experience Deep Zen Meditation:
Click Here!

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Once Upon A Time

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Stories have such a compelling nature that we almost never tire of them.

They are so embedded into our every day lives, that we seldom give them a second thought. We have an endless diet of novels, movies, theatre and personal tales available to us 24 hours a day.

Entertainment is not they only use of them. They are used in fables and social teachings of many religions and philosophies. As their format presents an easy way of getting across what might be quite complex social messages. Even modern day TV soap operas have been used to explore the implications of many social dilemmas.

Sometimes they have been used in the form of riddles, such as zen koans, in order to engage the listener further.

Another use of stories is in their shortened metaphor format. These can be applied in a therapeutic setting as a way of getting a message across, or suggesting an alternative strategy or way of being. They are a highly effective way of embedding a message, without making it obvious. A part of the beauty of a metaphor, is that it invites you to go inwards and it triggers unconscious searches, without the conscious mind getting in the way and sabotaging new options.

The story form also has the advantage of engaging the superficial conscious mind, whilst at the same time getting another message across to the sub-conscious mind. A great example of this technique are the advertisements which are story form based, such as a family scenario, where we get engrossed in the family members and what they’re doing and saying, and don’t then filter out the message to buy their service or product.

As you can see, stories provide have a wide range of applications, in both social and business settings, when you want to get your message across. They can be applied to audiences of all ages, and have an almost endless variety.

To become a maser of this communication genre, I’d recommend Kevin Hogan’s Advanced Metaphor 3 CD course.


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Act Of Knowing

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Gnostics

Apparently, having or aiming for a direct experience of the divine is not an acceptable christian practice.

At least, that was the view of the early christian church in the 2nd century as various groups slugged it out, to establish who would be the big dog on the block. To the winner went the spoils of war – the power, prestige and wealth.

These heretics, collectively known as Gnostics were very active in the mediteranean region in the 1st and 2nd centuries after Christ, and in later centuries in various parts of europe as outsider or mystic groups, such as the cathars. Many faced persecution by their fellow christians of the established orthodox church.

Since they were effectively sidelined in the 2nd century AD, and persectued thereafter, only patchy information was available about them and their beliefs until the mid-twentieth century. Then a chance discovery of ancient texts in upper Egypt in 1945 revolutionised modern understanding of Gnosticism and led to a revaluation of some tenets of main stream christianity itself.

These texts are housed in the Nag Hammadi Library. Work on translating them was broadly completed in the 1970s, although scholars have continued to work on them since.

Several gospels, which it had been thought were lost for good were a part of this find, including those by Thomas, Philip and the gospel of Truth. Revelations were also forthcoming on the real nature of Mary Magdelene and here relationship with Jesus.

So, what did the gnostics believe? Well broadly speaking they were not much interested in dogma and theology for its own sake, they believed direct experience of the truths of existence was accessible to all human beings, and was their highest achievement.

Key amongst these truths, was the divine revelation of the source of self (or seed Self), which was an awakening to God.

As a consequence, texts and scriptures which the Gnostics found a source of great insight and value, were completely unacceptable to the orthodox church. Hence they were not included in the official New Testament.

They also believed in the union of man and woman as a potential mystical act for overcoming duality and reaching a oneness.

So, its not hard to see how they differed from orthodox christian views, and their reliance on intermediaries (i.e. a priest class) to manage man’s spiritual affairs.

A recommended starter for knowing more about these fascinating people and their beliefs is a book by Elaine Pagels:

The Gnostic Gospels.

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Or, if you want to dive in and become a fully-fledged heretic, then try this book:

The Gnostic Bible: Revised and Expanded Edition

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Oh Shaman!

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As our villages gave way to towns, and in time, our towns gave way to cities – so we gave away our connections to spirit.

Out of the timeless dharma, the ryhthms of the tribal ceremony and the personal intimacy of our holy woman (or man), we have given ground over the millenia to our connection to source. Our wholeness, our holiness.

Today, here and now, we stand confused, betrayed and uncertain of our future.

Our shaman, our beloved shaman, who once held the rememberence our history, the keys to who we are, and in ceremony reflected back to us the reality of our being, our love, our union, our creator.

Today, if you happen to wander past the anthropology section of your bookshop, maybe you will find a passing reference to your spirit ancestors. Those who thought you worthy of rememberence, those who kept a verbal transmission of your glory.

The priests betrayed you – wrapped you in a cloud of unknowing – and a confuson of symbols.

The psychologist hates you, reflecting back to you only their own shortcomings.

And the pyschiatrist, evils as ever, wants only to subjicate you to their will.

Oh! Shamam. Fly free!

And sing back to us your sacred journey, so that those of us who have yet to lose our sanity can fly with you, and remember our original home, our love, our creator.

Body Language

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Body Language

Do our bodies ‘speak’?

Absolutely!

If I smiled sweetly would you react differently to me than if I growled and snarled?

OK these are extreme examples, but you get the point?

Our bodies are us, and they are expressing how we feel, think, believe, what we want or don’t want, all the time. If we’re open, if we’re closed, if we’re trying to hide things, if we’re exagerating or playing hard to get etc., etc.

So body langauge is perfectly natural, and we are all of us, able to read it, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. Learning body language is a part of our growing up and the natural development of our social skills. We need to learn who is friendly and who isn’t. Who’s being honest with us, and who is lying through their teeth.

What can we do to refine these skills and get better at it? Also, what are the cultural differences which may lead us to mis-interpret body language signals?

If you don’t believe there are cultural differences in the way people express themselves through body their langauge, then take an opportunity to watch some Italians in conversation, then go watch some Japenese people interacting.

In fact, it is the powerful role body language plays in our social interactions and relationships that make it such a fascinating area of study. A number of studies have indicated it can have an important effect on how we are perceived, although there is a disagreement on the exact percentage split between the importance of body and verbal language.

This is an important facet of body langauge, it is not only can we read other people more accurately, but also are we projecting an accurate message ourselves. Is the reason our boss dilslikes us due to our body language habits?

Another issue worth being aware of, is that body and verbal language are intimately linked and choreographed. So, it can be a mistake to take one out of context to the other.

Other applications are in the field of rapport building with others. One of the pet subjects of NLPers and covert persuasion experts the world over. If you can read and subtly mimic someone’s body language back to them, then they will warm to you more than if you don’t (allegedly).

This fascinating area of our lives is going on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unfortunately it is too big a subject to cover here in the limited space of a blog.

Whether you have a professional interest, say in making more sales, or a personal interest in getting on with your partner more easily, then it is certainly worth being knowledgable about.

During my research I have turned up a couple of sources which I think you will find useful if you’d like to know more about the finer points of body language.

The first resource is a book by Geoffrey Beattie, who was an official psychologist on the famous Big Brother TV show. Using diverse examples he takes on the issue of what our everyday gestures mean and how they affect our relationships with other people.

Visible Thought: The New Psychology of Body Language

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The second resource is for the connoisseur who, out of professional necessity or personal fascination, wants to learn from an acknowledged master, Kevin Hogan:

Body Language Expert – Home Study

Full Details Here =>

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Patanjali’s Yoga

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Ripling down through the centuries to us is an age-old yoga philisophy of mind, body and spirit which helps us to reveal the true beauty of ourselves.

Within the diverse yogic sytems and traditions there echoes a simple and direct core message of who we are within the wonder of this universe.

At the heart of yoga is the experience of meditation. Around this, and to support our meditation activity, are other aspects of yoga practise such as the physical exercises (asanas), recommended life-style etc.

And woven through yoga is a timely reminder that we are not separate from our source and we never have been.

Structure:
One of the key gifts of yoga is the way it has structured an approach to living which allows us to discover and express more of ourselves within a non-dogmatic experiential framework.

One of the main sources of this yoga structure or system, is an Indian sage known as Patanjali.

Mr P. provided a coherent body of teachings which aimed to relieve our restlessness, pain and agnst in our daily lives, and to replace them with peace, joy and an understanding of our true nature.

A summary of the basic goal of yoga is a realisation of Kaivalya or eternal oneness, i.e. a dissolution or seeing through the illusion of separateness from our source, and a freedom from identification with the modifications of the mind.

For us to accomplish this state, Mr P. elucidated 8 sections or parts to the practice of yoga, and these are:

1. Yam (Injunctions)
These are guidelines for healthy living, such as don’t steal, not hurting others, being truthful etc.

2. Niyam (Observances)
This encourages us to have healthy relationships based on cleanliness, devotion to source and inner contentment.

3. Aasan (Physical Postures)
These are the designed to cultivate our physical bodies in the persuit of kaivalya. This is the form of yoga which may of us are most familiar with. These aasans were designed to strengthen and purify the body for meditation.

4. Praaanayaam (Breath Regulation)
This deals with the cultivation of one’s life energy (or praan) through breathing.

5. Pratyaahaar (Inward Attention)
You learn to focus your attention on your mind, instead of unconsciously following the dictates of your senses.

6. Dhaarnaa
Focusing your mind.

7. Dhyan
Stable meditation practice.

8. Samaadhi
The state of oneness.

These last three are effectively one seamless activity called meditation, which we practice over and over again until its second nature. This meditation practice aims to reduce our unconscious distractions and lead to a simple focus on our state of oneness.

As you can see, there is an elegant simplicity to Patanjali’s formulation and one which is practical for us, some thousands of years after its formulation, to appreciate and follow.

More on these in subsequent blogs.

A book which you will find useful on these:

Sacred Texts: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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