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Crystal Healing Edinburgh

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  • Sometimes Life Throws You A Curved Ball

    Peace Harmony and Joy Sep 12, 2018

    Sometimes Life Throws You A Curved Ball Sometimes life throws us a curved ball which makes us take a look at where we are. I was recently off work due to hurting my back. When I returned to work it was obvious that my back was not up to sitting in a chair all day. Due to this I decided to leave work and my last day will be on 31st December 2018. I will start 2019 in a totally different place as I have decided to become a Full time Therapist.The interesting thing was for years I thought my back would not stand up to seeing clients all day. When I did the maths I found that I did not require to do this. I love reiki and very often am found chatting for up to an hour after a therapy session. I decided I did not wish this to change. I do not want to be rushing a client out to see the next one.I was speaking to a client at the weekend who asked me when she should return. I told her what I tell everyone- when they decide they need more reiki. In the past I have had contact with a company who[…]

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  • Living In The Moment

    Peace Harmony and Joy Aug 23, 2018

    Living In The Moment Today I was walking beside work and saw brown leaves falling from the trees. These are the first I have seen that shows that Autumn is on it's way. We are almost three quarters of the way through 2018 and for most of us it has gone quickly. This year I decided not to have any New Year Resolutions. I often find we break them quite quickly anyway. I decided instead that I would take the year as it came and enjoy doing what I do. Now you may think that is not good enough, but so many opportunities came my way and I feel that I have done more this year than in previous years.Sometimes when we put ourselves under pressure to do or not do a specific thing, all that happens is we feel weak and that we have let ourselves down, when something stops us taking the action. Instead, if your aim was to lose weight for instance, you may find doing things on the spur of the moment and being happy will do one of two things. It will either stop you worrying about your weight because you are out and about enjoying yourself and having[…]

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  • Beautiful Colours, Beautiful Thoughts

    Peace Harmony and Joy Aug 13, 2018

    Beautiful Colours, Beautiful Thoughts What are you grateful for today? I  love the fact that the garden is full of colour. Looking out my front window I can see trees and hedges with different colours of green. In the  side garden I have orange Crocosmia, pink Roses, yellow Polyanthus, purple Lavender, pink / red Honeysuckle. I also have bushes that have flowered and now have the green leaves on them, and that's just in my side garden!Inside my house I have trailing plants that are great for putting out Oxygen as well as good to look at.  If I look out my back garden then I am grateful to see all the plants that a neighbour planted for me including a fir tree that I love.I have barely left my home in the last few weeks due to hurting my back but I think as long as you are surrounded by colour it can make life more interesting. Sometimes you may not be able to do all that you want but it makes me happy if I can appreciate things around me.  Even if you don't have a garden, plants in the home are good for your health so why not grow a few[…]

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  • Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jul 26, 2018

    Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life Today I want to talk  to you about the different types of people that may be in your life. If you have read The Celestine Prophecy you will be aware of 4 personality types. They are:1.The Intimidator2. The Aloof3.The Interrogator4. The Poor me I'm sure we all know someone who is an Intimidator. They control you by being in charge and making you feel fearful. They intimidate you and are generally not nice to be around. Perhaps if you don't do what they want you may lose your job! You may be unlucky to work around this type of personality. The solution is to try and remove them from your life.The Aloof person attracts your energy to bring attention to themselves then withdraws. How about these people that post on social media that something terrible has happened or they are at the hospital but don't say any more? They then have every one posting "How are they? What's wrong?". Of couse you are left hanging without getting an answer. You might also ask how their day was and the only response you get from them is "Fine".The Interrogator can be similar to the Intimadator but makes you question yourself.  They are[…]

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  • Teaching Children Meditation and Howto be Confident

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jul 12, 2018

    Teaching Children Meditation and Howto be Confident This week I had a special visitor. Up till 5 years ago I hosted Foreign Language students in my home. One of my students from 9 years ago was visiting Edinburgh this week and dropped in to see me. He was someone I always remembered, as when he arrived he brought me a purple scarf and on leaving he bought me The Reiki Bible with lovely words from him inscribed inside. He was a teacher and I always thought his students were so lucky to have him. While he was staying with me, he kept buying books and eventually sent 2 very large boxes full back to Spain. All purchased with his own money. Roll on 9 years and he is now the Deputy Head teacher of his school. He also told me they have introduced Mindfulness forhis students from age 3 onwards. Like me, he believes if you teach them early it will set them up for life.He is also aware that children learn more from interactive actions rather than sitting learning only from books. We discussed that children pick up languages much faster when they are younger. Each year his school brings in a teacher from another country[…]

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  • REIKI - THE WHITE LIGHT OF CHANGE

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jun 19, 2018

    REIKI - THE WHITE LIGHT OF CHANGE I was just filling in a questionaire about my business. It really made me think what I was doing with it. I will explain what I mean by that. Reiki to me is my life but when I started down this journey, I remember saying to my teacher at first  that I was never going to treat another person. Instead I was doing it just for me. Of course that did not happen lol.The next stage, when I trained to Teacher level, I again said this was just for me. I also said I would train 1 person only, which was my daughter. I remember him laughing at me as he just said "Watch this space!" So you see, I never meant to make reiki my business. For me it was a way to change my life for the better. The energy has a way of making things happen. Not only did I train my daughter, but I also trained her husband plus two of my Grandchildren! First after level 2 I was asked to work in a therapy shop at weekends and I found I loved working with people. Then about 9 months after teacher level training I was telling[…]

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  • Reiki Awareness week 2018

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jun 10, 2018

    Reiki Awareness week 2018 This week from Saturday  9th June is Reiki Awareness Week. Have you heard of or had a session of reiki before? What did you think of it? What is it?Reiki is Universal Energy. One of the misconceptions about reiki is that the practitioner is using their own energy. This is not correct. In actual fact you can find giving reiki to another actually gives you more energy! This is because the energy flows through the practitioner to the recipient.Reiki helps your mental attitude and can make you more positive in your thoughts. It can help you de - stress and also relieve pain. As I wrote on my Facebook page today it can also help people who are terminally ill to pass over more comfortable. What is there not to like about reiki?One of the great things about reiki is once you are attuned to the energy it is with you for life. How cool is that. I even had a student that had not used it for 7 years and was surprised to find it still worked when she called upon it to help after an injury. Even better is you do not need to carry a therapy couch[…]

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  • Children's meditation

    Peace Harmony and Joy May 25, 2018

    I put this together for my Grandchild after I made  my first one for her. She is 9. My Grandson who is 13 said the first one made him so relaxed that he would pay for it. I am taking him at his word and decided it would be lovely to make personalised meditations for other children. These can include things, places or animals that the individual child loves. If this resonates with you then please get in touch.I think in todays world it is too easy for children to get stressed. Teaching them to Meditate and go into a quiet space can help them.Children's meditation

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  • PROUD TO BE SCOTTISH

    Peace Harmony and Joy May 21, 2018

    PROUD TO BE SCOTTISH Tonight I am so proud to be Scottish. I have just been for a visit to the Social Bite Village for the Homeless. Social Bite started a few years ago by  two people opening a cafe in Rose Street, Edinburgh where people would buy a coffee or meal and leave money to Pay It Forward for a Homeless person to enable them to get something to eat and drink too.  They soon started employing homeless people and have now opened up more cafe's in Scotland and a restaurant also in Edinburgh. After speaking to Homeless people and hearing the same story over and over again they decided they could action change. Last year they had CEO's who slept outside to raise funds. This allowed them to get some tiny houses built.  It was meant to take 4 years but instead  in under a year they had them built plus so much more was done.They organised Sleep In The Park where 8000 people slept in Princes Street Gardens and raised an enormous amount of money. With the help of the Cyrenians who have great knowledge of homelessness, and Edinburgh Council who have  loaned them a piece of land, they have now[…]

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  • Having The Confidence To Change

    Peace Harmony and Joy Apr 29, 2018

    Having The Confidence To Change I was reading today about people leaving their jobs and feeling lost as they left workmates behind.  The main thing that I took on board was to make sure you have a life outside work. Those who do many events with workmates can feel more adrift after leaving that workplace. Work should not be all your life is about. It is to pay for you to have a life.I was sitting in my garden reading this and saw a plant which made me think. Do you feel you are in the wrong place? My plant was planted 22 years ago and never flourished until it was finally moved last year by my wonderful neighbour Billy. Look at it now with all the new growth on it. If you feel stunted where you are then open your eyes. Life is all about change. Perhaps it's time for you to make a move. Don't feel you have to stay in a stuck situation where you do not feel happy. If you cannot make a move now, then start to put things in place so you can plan for your future. Learn to do things that will make you happy outside of work[…]

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  • Synchronicity - The Universe Is Listening to you!

    Peace Harmony and Joy Mar 10, 2018

    Synchronicity - The Universe Is Listening to you! I love how synchronicy works. I just had a long conversationwith a friend and heard about all the synchronistic things that were happening to her. I have had a few of my own recently including yesterday. I have a complaint open regarding an account I have. As the person persisted on calling me when I was at work and never emailing me again I thought I would get in touch with her. I went through my work internet to access my home email as she had emailed there once before but I found it blocked.  Can you believe they even block my website as it is Spiritual! I then went into my account on line and found I could not remember the password as at home it automatically connects. Thinking I would have to wait until I got home to email her I gave up at that time. Not 10 mins later who should email me at my work email but the complaint handler! I had given it to her but it was the first time she had used it. I had just been thinking surely she knows to contact me through my work email lol.Last week I went on[…]

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  • Communities Come Together For Beast From The East

    Peace Harmony and Joy Mar 2, 2018

    Communities Come Together For Beast From The East With the UK getting lots of snow over the last couple of days it brought back memories of when I was  growing up. Back then all we were concerned about was throwing snowballs and making snowmen. Back to today, as an adult, we are now concerned with getting to work safely especially as there was no public transport and a red warning which means not to travel. Out of this has come many acts of kindness, from individuals, taxi firms, garages, shops and many more. Some people were offering lifts for staff and patients to get to and from Hospitals. Others were carers in communities that outside carers could not access, so they took it upon themselves to help those in need. Many shops have been decimated and have no bread or milk left so locals have been helping others in their areas out with either giving them food or going out to the shops on their behalf. We have churches opening up to allow people a warm place to sleep and eat and people donating things including coats for the dogs. There is even a Vegan restaurant in Edinburgh called ROOTS that could not open their shop due  to the[…]

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  • How To Reduce Stress In The Workplace

    Peace Harmony and Joy Feb 14, 2018

    How To Reduce Stress In The Workplace This is what I posted on Facebook this week and thought I would expand on it a little."I was looking at my Blog stats today and saw that someone had accessed ablog from 2015. After reading it I had a lightbulb moment. At work Ihave headphones on and often don't hear those around me. It has become ajoke that I don't hear being advised to come off the phones lol. Myblog was all about Mindful Meditation and how you can cut out soundaround you and just hear the sounds of nature. I realised that when I amat work I cut off from the noise around me and concentrate on listeningto the person at the other end of the phone. I have trained my brain tocut out the waffle going on around me and concentrate on what is reallyimportant. See, Meditation really does help you, unless you are meantto be getting a break from work!"It made me think about all the people who are stressed at work. This may be to do with work or their personal circumstances. If you are an employee what would you like your employer to put in place? If you are an Employer what steps have[…]

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  • Synchronicity and The Celestine Prophecy

    Peace Harmony and Joy Feb 10, 2018

    Synchronicity and The Celestine Prophecy I was speaking to someone today about when we can feel like a Victim. The thing that helped me understand this was when I read The Celestine Prophecy. This tells you of the different types of people that come into play in our lives. I found that I was living the life of The Victim.  Everything was going wrong in my life and it was all "Woe is me". Once I recognised this I was able to make changes and with the  help of reiki too I managed to change my mindset and have never looked back. My story gets interesting from then on. This is what is said by the author James Redfield.“If one can connect and build up enough energy, then coincidental events begin to happen consistently.”―James Redfield,The Celestine ProphecyThe first book came into my hands after a friend had read it. She advised I had to read it and she would bring it in the summer when she was coming to stay with me. Not two weeks had gone past when it arrived in the post with a message that it could not wait and I was to read it now. While I read the book which[…]

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  • Looking back over 2017

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jan 6, 2018

    Looking back over 2017 2017 was an interesting year for many. Politics in the UK have been all about Brexit and some of the false things that were put before the voters. There was also an oil line built through Dakota Indian reservations against the wishes of the Indians living there. There has been a leak there already. Whenever there is an oil spill it kills all the area and wildlife around it. This can affect the land and water for many years after a spill. Many disabled people and those on benefits are not being treated correctly in the UK either with many being left homeless or without money. On top of all that, Donald Trump also advised there is no such thing as Global Warming! These are people in  power making those decisions and saying these things. It really makes you wonder where common sense and humanity to all has gone from those in power.So many decisions made by governments that we wish could be taken back. It reminds me of the song by Queen-Is this the world we created. We have all been granted time on this earth and should all be taking care of it.  This may be voting in[…]

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  • Are You Crazy? Think Again!

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jan 2, 2018

    Are You Crazy? Think Again! I saw this today on my drafts in my Blogger and it got me thinking. I never posted this! There are thousands of people out there, myself included, that know there is more to life than getting up in the morning, going to work and going back home again. Between us we practise Reiki, Meditation, sound baths, Law of Attraction and many more therapies that all help us in different ways.I am very grateful that I am in touch with so many other therapists that have expanded my horizons over the last few years. It is great to share ideas and practices with others.When I started working with reiki energy people thought it was odd. Now it is accepted by most people that I speak to so it has now become more mainstream. Some people though are very  traditional and don't want to believe that anything outside conventional medicine can help them so are unwilling to believe the alternative things on offer. I have found recently that you can only tell people about these new ideas and see how they react, even if the result is they roll around the floor laughing.I had this recently when I was talking at[…]

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  • Gratitude for yourself and others

    Peace Harmony and Joy Dec 6, 2017

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  • Helping Others Worse Off Than Ourselves

    Peace Harmony and Joy Dec 4, 2017

    Helping Others Worse Off Than Ourselves Today I am not at work as I have done my Back in. It has not done that for 2 years, which I am grateful for. It made me think that at least I can access painkillers and stretch out on a bed if required. I also have electricity to plug in my Sun Ancon Chi machine. Others are not so fortunate. Imagine those that are living on the streets with no money or fixed abode to get help when they need it? Imagine also how cold they are with Winter arriving.Christmas and the Holiday season has landed. We are all thinking about what to buy for those we know. Usually, instead of sending cards to people, I buy something through Unicef to help the third world. I am a great believer that the majority of cards end up in landfill and it is such a waste.This year, instead, I am helping my Grandson Eamonn who is 13 years of age to help the Homeless in Edinburgh. We are going to gather as much money as we can to help buy gloves, scarfs and hats for those on the streets.  Edinburgh is doing a lot to help the homeless but[…]

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  • Be Happier Through Being Grateful

    Peace Harmony and Joy Nov 21, 2017

    Be Happier Through Being Grateful  Today I feel so grateful for my life. We all have times in our life when things may not be as we like, but the more you are grateful for what is good in your life, the happier you will become. You really should try it and see over the coming weeks the difference it  makes you feel.Instead of watching TV and hearing about horrible situations, or watching soaps and getting caught up in family dramas (please remember the latter are not real), go outside instead. Let the wind go through your hair, even if it's getting to the time of year to wear hats and scarfs. Being in tune with nature is the way for a much healthier state of mind. What's even better is it's free!Be aware that your life really does matter and somehow it impacts on others. I remember my grandson seeing a homeless person and gave him some of his lunch. We now have Social Bite who are trying to erradicate homelessness. If that person had not made an impact on my grandson, Eamonn would not be wanting to do more to help others at this time of year.I was telling my reiki students yesterday[…]

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  • Feeling rejuvenised and rested

    Peace Harmony and Joy Oct 18, 2017

    Feeling rejuvenised and rested I have just returned from a cruise. It is something I had wanted to do for 13 years, since I did my last one and only cruise with my daughter. It came about as I was on holiday with a friend last year and mentioned I could never get anyone willing to travel on the water with me. They all wanted a holiday on land.  This friend shouted out "Me!" After she said that, we went to a travel agency and booked. Talk about the Universe giving me the answer I needed.It used to be that people that went cruising were elderly and rich. You do still get that but our cruise was full of people of all ages, like us, that had saved up and there were also families that had been put forward by the Make a Wish Foundation. These are holidays for children who are terminally ill. There were others that had moved closer to cruise terminals so they could get cheaper cruises, more often. There were many families with children of all ages too. They were all catered for.We met loads of lovely people on board and learnt many stories from people. One lady even told[…]

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CHILDREN AND THE SUN ANCON CHI MACHINE

 

This weekend my Grandchildren have said they will help me make a video about the Sun Ancon Chi Machine. They have both had use of one for a few years. My Granddaughter who is 4 was introduced to it when Mum was pregnant. Not only did it help my Daughter who had SPD but it also put the baby to sleep when she was restless. Mum also used to use the Chi machine halfway through the night to get my Granddaughter back to sleep again.


My Grandson is now 8 but I remember him being desperate to try it when he was younger. I had said when he was 4 he could use it so a few days after his 4th birthday he came to the shop I was working in. The room had a wonderful light that changed colours and sheets looking like sails draping down from the ceiling. Funnily enough this has now been replicated in my own therapy room. He was so taken by the lights changing colour that he did not want to lie down for more than 30 seconds and kept raising his head to look in awe at all the colours in the room. The good news is after this he learned to stay still for more than a few seconds and uses it now when he has a headache or a tummy ache.  


My Granddaughter was so eager to use the Sun Ancon Chi machine that she used to watch Mum and Brother on it and as soon as mum switched it off she would lie down and make her body move in the same way as when the electricity was switched on. The ways it makes the body move is like a figure of eight so this used to keep us very amused. As soon as she too turned 4 she was able to use it with the machine actually doing the work for her.
To see the faces of the two of them when the Chi machine switches off is fun. Unlike adults they find it really hard to be quiet and enjoy the sensation and instead we get bombarded with words of how they are feeling and usually a lot of laughter too. Don’t you just love children!


The Sun Ancon Chi machine can help with so many health issues or just to help people relax and chill out. If you want any more information about it to find out if it may be able to help either you or someone you know please feel free to contact me for further information. Contact me.
I will upload the video to my Facebook page.  Please feel free to like it.

GRATITUDE
I woke up thinking about gratitude today. I especially wanted to think about some of my life experiences that had not been so good and why I should be grateful for them.


I grew up in a house where my Mother was often ill. I then found out how great my extended family were for taking care of me each time I went to live with them . This also involved going between 2 schools for a while so I had to learn to fit in with each schools way of learning. This meant accepting each time that I was moving up or down a class too as the teaching methods were so different.

I got married too young and had a problem marriage but gained 2 wonderful children from it and now my beautiful Grandchildren. I learned a lot about tolerance and patience through this period in my life and how to make ends meet on a low budget.

I suffered from serious Back problems then found Reiki and the Chi machine to help and inspire me. I am now a much more positive person than I was before. Through both of them I have been able to move on with my life and also help others who have health issues. I have also been able to use these therapies to raise money for various charities.

I had a leaking roof for years that various companies could not correct. Eventually when this was sorted a friend built me a Therapy room in this space which is awesome and was a great surprise for me.

Do you see the similarities? Out of each negative event in my life something really positive came out of it. I have also learned on the way to have respect for others and to accept what cannot be changed but also to help change what is not acceptable.

What happens in life shapes the way we will grow. We can learn from it and improve our life or we can get stuck in the “Poor me” situation. Which direction have you taken? If it is the wrong one there is still time to change your life for the better.

If you want to check out my latest or any of my aticles that I have been writing this year you will find them here http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Joy_Fraser

 

This is my latest one

Developing Superior Confidence - How to Raise Your Self Esteem

Expert Author Joy Fraser

I visited a friend a few days ago who had the most gorgeous 8 week old puppy. She had only been home a few days and will build her self-confidence as she grows. I really wanted to take her home as all she wanted to do was curl up and sleep. The pup has been found to have a problem with her leg which may cause her problems as she grows older. She is lucky to live in a loving home where this was spotted quickly and with the right training she will grow to be a beautiful confident dog. It made me think that we are not all perfect but still lovable. The problem is do we know it?

Most of us have something in our lives that we are not happy with. I know I would love to lose some weight and gain enough money to have a stress free life and be able to help others more (although some stress is good for us all). Too many times in life we are looked at only from the outside by others. This can often make us feel negative about ourselves. The most important thing for us all though is to look within. What should really matter is what is inside us and how we feel -not what others want us to believe about ourselves. We all have love to share with others but do we love ourselves? We are the most important person in our life we should learn to love ourselves first to allow us to appreciate others more fully as well.

Low self-esteem can be a problem that many people have. This may be due to how they were brought up or relationships that may have gone wrong when they were younger. They may have been bullied at school because they were overweight or shy and did not make friends easily. If no one helped them through this minefield it may have continued into their adult life.

The good news if you are stuck in a negative feeling about yourself is you CAN change. Nowadays there are so many Life coaches available to listen to on the Internet that it does not even have to cost you any money. One of the people I love to listen to is

. YouTube is full of his motivational videos. If any of the above rings true for you NOW is the time to take control to change whatever situation you are in to a positive one.

I chose Reiki without knowing how much it would change my life. I now feel the world is my oyster and I am stronger and more positive than before. For each of us there is a way forward and we owe it to ourselves to find the correct solution to help us change to make our lives more positive. There are many clubs nowadays for people who enjoy all different interests whether it is social, sporty or crafty. A well rounded club that I know of is Spice UK which covers all over the country. Check it out and see if it could fit into your life.

Whatever choice you make take the action now and watch your life become positive and fun. Check out the internet and find things that interest you because now is the time to build your self-confidence and enjoy the rest of your life.

Synchronicity and the Universe

A few nights ago I had been writing an article on Synchronicity. I will add a link here shortly. A few days before I had decided I wanted to make some short videos about the Sun Ancon Chi machine as I think it's awesome. I feel it's my duty to spread the word as it can help so many health issues. This week when everybody around (including me) has been getting headaches due to the weather it has come into it's own. If I wake up with a headache 10 minutes on the machine and it's gone.

The synchronicity continued on the same evening. I had been befriended a few days before by someone on Facebook and that evening he sent me an invite to a webinar on making videos. It was very interesting and gave me lots of info to get started. The very next morning I received information for a course I was about to take part in that I needed a video of myself before I started. Talk about getting the message loud and clear!

I have found more and more this year that often when I think of something the answer comes up a few days later. It can be as simple as needing x £'s and then finding that overtime suddenly comes available and I can earn the same amount.

One thing has certainly become clear-the Universe is listening. It's really important to put out positive thoughts. Don't say " I have no.... " Instead imagine that you are doing what you want to do and that whatever is needed will come in at the right time. If all you put out is that you have no money, bad health, no relationships etc then this will continue to be attracted to you. Instead whenever one of these thoughts enter your head change it to a thought that you are now at the place you are meant to be and only positives things will come your way from now on. One thing to be aware of is sometimes things happen in our life that seem negative but often when you look back on that time you will see that it taught you something that you took onboard and it changed things in your life for the better.

We all go through life learning as we grow. On looking back my life started to change when I took up Reiki but in 2012 synchronicity is speeding up!

 

If you would like to follow me on Facebook you can find me here. https://www.facebook.com/peaceharmonyandjoy

M.E WEEK

 

Following on from my posting this morning I was led to this great piece of writing by Sonia Pouton's Blog in the Daily Mail which I thought I would share with you all.

 

M.E. is comparable to AIDS, so why do so many people still deny it exists?

THIS week is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Week or, as it's more accessibly referred to these days: M.E. That may not mean a great deal to you. Certainly, it didn't to me.

Oh wait, yes it did.

Based on no personal knowledge whatsoever - fortunately neither I or my loved ones have M.E. - my judgement was gleaned from how the world has portrayed the illness.

Like millions of others, I have seen M.E. through the eyes of the medical establishment, the Government and the Media. The picture has not been good.

Here is what I have previously understood about M.E. and those who have it.

M.E. sufferers are workshy malingerers. They whine, constantly, about feeling tired. They are annoying sympathy seekers.

Damn it. We're all tired. Especially those fools like me who work all hours God Sends (and even some he doesn't) to support the type of people who say they are too tired to work.

Oh, and mostly, importantly, M.E. is 'all in the head' and can be overcome with a bit more determination and a little less of the 'poor me' attitude.

That, generally, is what I thought about M.E.

Until, that is, a reader sent me a DVD of a British-made film about the illness titled 'Voices From The Shadows'.

I receive dozens of clips and films each month, and I try and see as many as I humanly can, but there was something about 'Voices...' that stopped me in my tracks.

One of the reasons the film had such an impact is because it challenged my deep-seated preconceptions about M.E.

Through 'Voices...' - and the subsequent research I have conducted - I have come to realise that what I thought I knew about the illness was a fallacy but, more importantly than that, was actually detrimental to those affected.

So, as a naturally curious individual, I'm not a journalist by mistake, I began to question why I had been furnished with one version of events - and inaccurate ones at that.

The more I began to delve into the subject the more curious it all became.

Like for example, why are records pertaining to ME locked away in our national archives in Kew for 75 years? The normal period would be 30 years.

75 years, the period generally used for documents of extreme public sensitivity and national security, is excessive.

The reason given, that of data protection, is a nonsense as it is perfectly acceptable, and easy, to omit names on official documents. The excuse, supplied in Parliamentary questions by the Department of Work and Pensions, didn't wash with me.

Why, I thought, were they making such an exception?

It got me thinking about what information the files actually do contain. And, seeing as the topic of M.E. is still beset with misunderstanding, we could all benefit from some enlightenment on the subject.

So, to this end - and seeing as it M.E. Awareness Week - here is my personal guide to shattering the myths and blatantly-pedalled untruths about M.E.

Myth No. 1: ME is a mental illness

Not so. It is a neurological one. It is not a case of 'mind over matter' despite many GP's and health professionals still thinking it is. Psychiatrists have bagged it as 'their thing' and the General Medical Council has been somewhat remiss in suporting it as a physical condition.

I spoke with one ME sufferer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of upsetting the medical professionals who are currently treating her. She said a new GP at her practice had suggested she take up meditation to help her combat her decades-old condition.

Thankfully there are some doctors, few and far between admittedly, who really understand the physical nature of M.E.

Dr. Speight, a medical advisor for a number of M.E. charities does. Commenting on the wide-ranging debilitation of the illness, he has said:

"The condition itself covers a wide spectrum of severity but even the mildest cases deserve diagnosis and recognition because if they are given the wrong advice or don't handle themselves correctly they can become worse.

"At the more severe end of the spectrum there's a minority of patients who are truly in a pitiable state...some of them in hospitals, some of them at home...and this end of the spectrum is really one of the most powerful proofs to me of what a real condition this is and how it cannot be explained away by psychiatric reasons."

Sadly, there are still many health professionals who buy into the notion that M.E. is a psychological disorder and should be treated as a form of insanity.

In Denmark, only last week, The Danish Board of Health sought to remove a 23-year old woman, Karina, from her family home on the grounds of mental illness despite the fact that what she really has is M.E.

Karina, bed-bound, light and sound sensitive and too weak to walk is considered to be insane, rather than physically sick, and her family has been repeatedly told by Danish doctors that the diagnosis of M.E. is not recognised.

Myth 2: ME is just extreme tiredness, right?

Wrong. Despite falling under the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome category - as does Fibromylgia which has its own Awareness Day next week - it is entirely wrong to assume that M.E. is merely about lack of energy.

This confusion arose over the past 20-odd years and is due to the condition being re-classified as a Fatigue Syndrome.

The result of this has been to trivialise the illness which has served as fodder for ill-informed public commentators who have used M.E. and Fibromylgia to talk about 'scroungers' in the benefits system who are 'too lazy' to get out of bed.

For those who know about the illness, this type of commentary is viewed as dangerous rhetoric that deserves to be classified as a form of hate crime.

Myth No. 3: M.E. is just like a bad flu

Oh, if only. M.E. is a complex, chronic, multi-system illness that affect the body in similar ways to Multiple Scelerosis. In addition, inflammation of the neurological system can lead to heart disease, extreme muscle pain and other debilitating and life-threatening conditions.

As one doctor put it, comparing M.E. to an illness like flu is like comparing Emphysema to a chest infection. It seriously undermines the truth extent of M.E.

Myth No. 4: M.E. sufferers should just 'pull themselves together'

Many sufferers have found themselves abandoned by health professionals, struck off of registers and even rejected by their own families when they have failed to respond to 'tough love'.

Too many people assume that M.E. can be overcome with the right mental attitude. This consequently leaves M.E. sufferers even more vulnerable to issues like depression as they are further isolated.

M.E. is not a case of the mind being able to heal itself with determination. M.E. breaks the body down and that also includes the brain.

Myth No. 5: Only adults have M.E.

Children have M.E. and their childhoods are destroyed as a consequence.

Margaret Rumney of Allendale, Northumberland.watched as her 11-year-old daughter, Emma, was reduced to a shell of her former self when she was struck down with M.E. nine years ago.

"Since then it has been a continual rollercoaster of emotions and has been one fight after the other," says Margaret. "It is very hard for my daughter being ill, she is virtually housebound, often reliant on a wheelchair, and to have to cope with disbelief and ridicule on top of this makes this illness even harder to bear.

"Our experience of my daughter's school was an awful one. When my daughter was receiving home tuition organised officially by the Education Welfare Officer we were threatened by one professional that if my daughter didn't return to school that it would be classed as a psychological issue and social services would get involved."

Threats and intimidation of this nature at the hands of the authorities are a constant feature of those in the M.E. community, and particularly those caring for children with the illness.

Naturally, this pressure merely adds to the overall anxiety that sufferers are already experiencing. Education is key. Bullying is not.

Myth No. 6 - You can 'catch' M.E.

Absurd. It is no more infectious than a broken leg is. M.E. appears to follow various viral infections, including meningitis, although the true cause is still a hotly debated topic among professionals.

Myth No. 7: Real M.E. sufferers are few and far between.

There are currently 250,000 recognised cases of ME in the UK. That's 1 in 250 so that's hardly an insignificant amount, is it?

Myth No. 8: Only severe cases of M.E. are worth acknowledging.

Terrible misconception. M.E. ruins people's lives even if the patient is not entirely bedbound.

The media tend to concentrate on the worst case scenarios but this does not help the full situation as it leaves others, who are still able to move at times, with the stigmatisation of 'not being ill enough'.

Claire Taylor-Jones, a mother of one from Rhyl in South Wales, has been unable to pursue her ambition of becoming a solicitor after she was diagnosed with M.E.

In common with other sufferers, Claire has good days and bad days but she is not consistently well enough to pursue her goals and she is left in a type of limbo land. Her plans are on hold.

Myth No. 10: Children with M.E. have neglectful parents

There's the notion that children with M.E. are actually victims of mothers who have Munchausens by Proxy – the illness where parents act as if the child is sick to further their own need for attention.

This is a particularly dangerous belief system as it leaves the true M.E. sufferer without sufficient support and diagnosis and the carer is treated as the problem.

Myth No. 11: Phyiscal exercise will benefit M.E. sufferers.

Absolutely not true. Worse, still, enforced 'graded exercise' can escalate the condition to dangerous and irreparable levels for the patient.

During the research of this subject, I have watched footage of hospital physiotherapists literally bullying M.E. patients to stand and walk. It is pitiful to witness.

The physios say things like 'Come on, you can do it. You just have to put your mind to it' and, at worst, 'You're not trying hard enough.'

Julie-Anne Pickle, who has had M.E. for the past seven years has experienced a serious deterioration in her condition as a consequence of wrong diagnosis and ineffective medical response. She is now 90 per cent bedbound and has been diagnosed with depression, diabetes and Angina.

She told me:

"Cardiology phoned me with an appointment the other day and they told me to wear trainers because they want me running on a treadmill while on an ECG! I said: 'You do know I have M.E.?' They said they did but not to worry as I won't be running for more than five minutes! Running? I crawled on my hands and knees to the loo this morning!"

This idea among some of the medical professional that enforced exercise will help the condition of a M.E. belongs to a darker time in our history. A period when we thought that autistic children were a result of being born to cold and detached women or 'refrigerator mums' as they were heinously and immorally labelled.

Myth No. 12 - M.E. is not life-threatening

It is, although the true mortality rate of M.E. is mired in great confusion.

Recently, Labour MP George Howarth asked Paul Burstow, Minister of State for Care Services, to supply details of deaths to arise from M.E. Mr. Burstow replied that 'this information is not available and is not collected centrally'.

As with so many issues regarding our sick and disabled, the Coalition had this wrong, too.

According to figures obtained from the Office of National Statistics, there have been five deaths listed as the cause of M.E. in recent years.

For campaigners this is nothing less than a fudge of the true scale.

Figures are easy to massage with M.E. because it triggers so many other illnesses, such as heart disease. Given that many health professional still deny that M.E. is a physical condition, they are unable to list it as a cause of death even if it is.

Myth No. 13: M.E. is an excuse not to work

Despite recognition from the World Health Organisation in 1969 that M.E. is a neurological disorder, many Governments - including our present Coalition - have chosen to ignore this.

Consequently, M.E. sufferers are subject to a battery of controversial fit-to-work assessments. The anxiety and physical exertion this requires generally worsens the condition.

When the M.E. sufferer is unable to work, because of their illness, they are removed from disability benefit and are plunged into poverty.

So, for M.E. Awareness Week, let us be clear. M.E. is comparable to AIDS and Cancer and all the other vicious and uncompromising diseases that savage the body and, in some extreme cases, kill it completely.

The fact that it is still so widely misunderstood is a modern day travesty that must be addressed without further delay. Or is it convenient that we still view M.E. as being 'all in the mind'?

I believe that we, as a nation, deserve to know the truth. Not only for those still battling the disease, but for those poor souls who have already been lost to it.

 

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