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Crystal Healing Edinburgh

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  • Living your life with Gratitude

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jul 20, 2014

    Living your life with Gratitude I have recently had the Bon Jovi song "It's my Life"  going round in my head. Check out the lyrics here. It talks about living while you are alive. It made me think how many people go through day to day just existing rather than living.Do you have a job you go to that feels not right for you? Are you there just to pay the bills or because you like working there? Do you  go to work then come home and vegetate? Would you call this living while you are alive? I certainly don't think so. Life has to have some sparkle to it both in and out of employment.There may be some of you reading this who are unemployed and may feel you just have to get through each day as everyday feels the same, perhaps without much hope depending on where you live. You all have the choice to make changes. It's up to you if you choose to do something about it.If you look around there is so much more out there for you to use your time wisely. There are many charities needing help and there are many organisations set up for whatever you like[…]

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  • CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jun 29, 2014

    CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE I recently had a client who spoke of her Grandmothers positive attitude. She died a couple of years ago aged 100!  The client mentioned that she used to feel uncomfortable if she was complaining about a bad day at work as gran had been on her own all day, but then she only had positive things to say back to her granddaughter. The Grandmother had always been like this and the client thought this was what had made her live so long and contentedly. This made an impact on my client and she now tries to think positively in many more situations she finds herself in.It may have taken some time to break through but the connection was finally made.  Now this client is going on to bring her children up in the same way. This is the way I  believe that children should be brought up, knowing they can look for the best in things as well as knowing they are loved. It is important to be aware that how we talk and what actions we take will all make a difference on how our children grow up. We have to remember that the greatest thing we can do[…]

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  • Get with the programme this summer.

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jun 17, 2014

    Get with the programme this summer. Do you ever feel it's time to wake up and get with the programme?  I was speaking to someone recently about how they were going to make a social media comeback. It made me think that I needed to increase my blogs as I was letting down those that looked forward to my posts. I think we all have spells of concentrating on different things but letting people find out about your business should be constant.I have been remiss in blogging this year as I have been spending time on my reiki workshops and of course my lovable dogs. I am loving the amount of people coming forward for reiki workshops this year but more importantly it's as if everyone is waking from a deep sleep and becoming more spiritual either before or after training in a workshop to become attuned to reiki. The changes that I am seeing in each person are wonderful.I wrote recently on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/peaceharmonyandjoy that as I run small workshops I get to know people in more depth than if I was running larger groups. This is the right way for me to train and word of mouth has attracted more people to[…]

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  • Raising our vibrations.

    Peace Harmony and Joy Apr 16, 2014

    Raising our vibrations. How are you feeling today?Here in Edinburgh we have had sunshine for 3 consecutive days. To some of you that may not seem like much but you can see the difference in people here as everyone goes about their day. You can't walk down a street without seeing someone gardening, washing their car or even sitting in a sun lounger in their garden. Most of all you see a lot more people smiling. If you smile at someone they will usually smile back so why don't you join in and keep the cycle going.When the sun shines it lifts our vibrations. We  feel happier and more communicative with others. We go walking more and often people are to be found in the parks that they have not visited since last summer or autumn. It's like everyone comes out of hibernation. All the fair weather dog walkers can be seen again, joining those of us that are out in all weathers. This is a great way to meet people rather than shutting yourself away during the colder months. I can't believe that my 2 x15 month dogs have now owned me for just over a year. It's amazing how fast time[…]

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  • Changing Your Thoughts To Create Harmony In Your Life.

    Peace Harmony and Joy Nov 17, 2013

    Changing Your Thoughts To Create Harmony In Your Life. I am lucky to have a field locally that is securely fenced. This means that anyone walking their dogs and puppies can let them off their leads to play and socialise. Last week on a day that I was off I took my pups there and saw Willow run to the fence with another dog. On the other side of the fence was a crow. The crow walked slowly on the pavement taunting the pups who could not reach it. It then flew just above their heads landing on top of the fence looking down at them before flying to a tree. I was advised by the other owners that this happened daily as the crow came to their 9 am club. It enjoyed outsmarting the puppies each day and often would fly above just to taunt them! I must make sure I take my camera or phone with me the next time I join in with them.                                               It reminded me of a few years ago walking my previous dog Misty in a local park when we were suddenly attacked  by crows. I assumed that they had chicks in the tree and were being a bit over protective as my[…]

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  • The Social Media Effect

    Peace Harmony and Joy Oct 27, 2013

    The Social Media Effect I was thinking today about what social media has brought into my life. I then found myself in a collage photo on a special persons page. This person Lives in India and I connected with him through a lovely lady who lives in  Spain.  Please check out his website and share it. He is a Heart surgeon and has already operated on 100 children for free due to his charity efforts.You may remember my blog last September when I holidayed with the author of the children's Skellee Rescue series in Spain. In fact back then she was on book number one but has since made a few more. You can find out more here and download a free book if you have young children.This got me thinking that through her and others, I have connected with people all over the world that enrich my life daily. I have to say that previously I  had paid attention to what was just in my own locality, unless a major catastrophe was brought to my attention elsewhere in the world. Now I get information from all over the world and some of it speaks to me so that I also end up sharing[…]

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  • SPREAD A LITTLE HAPPINESS

    Peace Harmony and Joy Oct 5, 2013

    SPREAD A LITTLE HAPPINESS PLEASE SHARE THIS and spread a little HappinessHow does it make you feel if someone steps in to help you unexpectedly? Does it give you a warm feeling?Sometimes we do not acknowledge how much we are able to help other people and the impact it has on them. It may be you giving someone a cup of coffee. It may be helping someone with a project though not necessarily only when they ask. It may be holding a door open for someone or even just giving them a smile.How often do you hear of a problem that someone has and come up with a solution to it?I had a great experience of this a few years ago when a friend of mine on hearing I had a lack of space in the summertime decided to convert my attic on a budget at barely any charge at all. His answer to me was “You supported me when I needed it” This was completely unexpected and made me feel fantastic.I also get a buzz out of helping others. I like to offer the use of my Chi machines or my time if I hear of someone in pain or needing to chill out. This week people[…]

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  • Gratitude through life changes

    Peace Harmony and Joy Sep 14, 2013

    Gratitude through life changes Do you ever have one of those days when you feel your heart is fit to burst? I had one of those moments this morning. This last week has been full of great things happening, some unexpected , but all moving in the right direction and it's going to continue in the same way.When I wake up in the morning and before I go to bed in the evening I always take a few minutes to go over what I am grateful for. This may be the changing seasons, family and friends, my puppies and lots more. Now, sometimes things do not go the way you might expect, but often you may find later that the right thing happened at the right time. Because of this I try hard to find something positive in every situation. I may not always succeed, as just like you, I'm human. This is always work in progress!I have not always been like this. A few years ago I would have a couple of things go wrong and then wait for the 3rd thing to mess up. I then became involved with reiki and my attitude had a big change. I  read the Secrets of[…]

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  • Eamonn's Trading Project

    Peace Harmony and Joy Sep 5, 2013

    Eamonn's Trading Project This week my Blog is dedicated to my Grandson Eamonn. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for the wonderful thing that he is doing. Before school had stopped for the holidays he heard the story of the man that started out with a red paperclip and kept trading up(Kyle).  He ended up with a house! Eamonn did not have such high expectations, and just wanted to try it for fun. A couple of days later he then decided he would help a local charity. He thought long and hard about which charity to help and decided on one that he personally knew was helping others. He went ahead, with dads help, and set up a Facebook page called  Eamonn's Trading Project.In just under one week he has over 200 people liking his page and the swaps have started. As I type he has an Xbox, 2 controllers and 6 games ready to swap. The only rule is that every swap increases in value. The plan is whatever gift is left on Christmas Eve will be auctioned and the money will go to East Lothian Food bank.  This is a charity that helps people who are struggling. Unfortunately with all the benefit[…]

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  • You Too Can Be Happier By Helping Others

    Peace Harmony and Joy Aug 4, 2013

    You Too Can Be Happier By Helping Others I saw something the other evening which amazed me. I was visiting my local park and saw 3 sets of ducklings. They were in the water with a group of ducks and swans being fed by someone. As is usual in this scenario the seagulls were fighting to get to the bread before the other birds. Seagulls are very strong and usually succeed. For some reason I am not enamoured with these birds, probably because I always look out for the underdogs. Many times also the ducklings do not stay alive due to the seagulls and often you can see a brood depleting day by day which saddens me.This is when I saw something I had never seen before. First one of the ducks went for a seagull, trying to chase it away. This continued for about a minute then a coot joined in. What was interesting is there were no baby coots but it still decided to help its friends. To see both the duck and the coot biting into the seagull as well as chasing it away I was curious to see what would happen. The seagull actually limped away before stopping to tend to its feathers. When[…]

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  • Is what you read really Newsworthy?

    Peace Harmony and Joy Aug 2, 2013

    Is what you read really Newsworthy? This is not my usual style of posting but I felt I needed to write this to get it out of my system so decided to share it with you.I made the decision a few months ago to not read or listen to news articles. This was because all the negativity was dragging me down. Since then I have certainly felt as if a burden was lifted from my shoulders and feel a lot happier. Now I have a new problem. I like using Social media, such as Facebook but more and more it is being used to spread all the news I restricted previously from my life. It is also being used for campaigns against perceived injustices.Sometimes these are things I agree with but at other times I do not.I have found myself getting annoyed recently especially at the news stories coming out of America. One was for people not being allowed to collect rain water. How can collecting something given to us from the elements be illegal? Bureaucracy gone mad? Another was from Japan charging people for using Solar Power. Again something we receive free from the elements. Is there a trend here? Greed is coming at us[…]

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  • How to Accept Constructive Criticism and Improve Yourself

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jul 10, 2013

    How to Accept Constructive Criticism and Improve Yourself I wrote this for something else but decided I would rather share it on my blog so apologies if you have read it already.I had an interesting day recently. I went to the Edinburgh Bodyand Soul Fair and listened to Dr David Hamilton. If you have not heardof him can I suggest you look him up. He speaks from both the spiritualand scientific sides and amazingly they both have the same outcomes. Oneof the things he spoke about was people who feel they have to bepositive all the time. We are only human so of course we can feel downat times but do we criticise ourselves when we have a bad day? Do wefeel we are letting ourselves and others down when we do not seem aspositive as usual? I know that in the past I have thought like this butin the last couple of years I have changed my way of thinking. I nowaccept I am having an unsettled time and then move on from it. I oftenfind myself looking back on whatever the situation was to see if I couldlearn anything from it too as we are always in learning mode.Anotherthing he talked about was becoming more aware[…]

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  • Gratitude, Intention and Living a Positive Life

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jun 16, 2013

    Gratitude, Intention and Living a Positive Life A few years ago when I was first attuned to reiki I felt I was starting out on a new journey. There were only a couple of people I knew that also practised reiki and although I loved it I was also a little insecure as many people thought of it as being airy fairy! Admittedly, some still do.One day I was walking along my local seashore and came across this quote on a bench and it really resonated with me so much that when the time came to make my business cards this went on it. I felt a little bit like a Trailblazer at this time as I was telling everyone I met about reiki and what it was doing for me.Last night I went to see Medium Jane Dawson and Psychic surgeon Chris Ratter in Edinburgh and it left me thinking how my life has changed for the better. I now know so many people who not only work with reiki but also Angels and energy in so many different forms.The world is changing for the better and I love being part of it.Through all the people I have met I get introduced to so many new[…]

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  • How to reduce our carbon footprint

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jun 9, 2013

    How to reduce our carbon footprint I was thinking today how we all make an impact on others by whatever we do or do not do. One of the things I started doing years before it became fashionable was to recycle. This then took me into using Eco bags made of Jute and Cotton before the big supermarkets came on board as well. At the time I often saw people objecting to advertising the supermarket brands on the back of the bags so would turn them inside out. How many of you did that as well?I then found a company that sourced ethically produced products and decided to buy some bags direct from them. For years I only ever used multi coloured duffle bags but then decided to choose ones that also resonated with me like the one above. People always commented on the duffle bags that myself and Daughter used and asked where they could get some so I then decided to buy in bulk so more people could use them too.One of the bags that really resonate with me are the Freedom bags because every one that is bought gives money to help people in India improve their level of English to enable them[…]

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  • How to spread positivity far and wide

    Peace Harmony and Joy May 13, 2013

    How to spread positivity far and wide I have had a website for a few years without knowing what I was doing with it. Initially it was built to stop a friend who kept telling me that there was a reason everyone would start talking about reiki  around me and I should set up a website so I said I would take action to get one built. I remember saying that I would not promote it as everyone who was meant to come my way would find me anyway. Things have moved on since those days. Eventually I knew that I wanted to promote my reiki workshops  and therapy sessions but did not know how to take it forward. I had learned that I wanted more people to become aware of what help there was available for their health and wellbeing. A great friend had built my first one as a favour and it was only her second website. It was fantastic but we only added  a few basic tag words on the site. I then had a foreign language student a few years later who redid it but never felt that it was right after that so decided to take some action. By this point I also[…]

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  • Happiness

    Peace Harmony and Joy Apr 15, 2013

    Happiness I hope this finds you well and coping with our very unsettled weather both here in the UK and elsewhere.No one ever becomes an expert at life. We all still learn new things on a daily basis. I recently took part in a Happiness workshop run by Lauren Robertson. She had me looking at something I thought I had resolved long ago but in fact I found it was still in my life. Sometimes we need another person to teach us a way to move forward and that weekend was my lightbulb moment. I am pleased to say that I now have resolved the problem. It was also helped that for 10 days after the workshop the subject came to my attention every day from all different places. When the Universe puts it in your face you just have to sit up and take note.The day was made all the more special as I was also able to have my adult daughter there with me.I love life even through all its hiccups that we come across and am usually positive about most things but the workshop still made me look at things in a different way. One of the things[…]

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  • Puppy update.

    Peace Harmony and Joy Apr 9, 2013

    Puppy update. I can't believe 3 weeks has passed since I brought my puppies home. I thought long and hard about bringing them into my life as I work all day but things worked out even better than I anticipated. I was going to use a company for a few weeks to come in durng the morning to play with the pups but then thought about putting money into my own area so advertised in the local post office. I was surprised to be contacted by someone that I had met at the very same workshop where I had made the decison to replace my dog who had passed over. She actually lives in the same street  as me and recommended someone. I now have the most fantastic lady who comes and plays with the pups and leave me very humorous notes from the pups too.I have been teaching the pups using Victoria Stilwells Youtube videos. They are a fantastic use of positive training and shows how easily it  can be done. Within minutes I had them sitting and now have them staying as well. So far the male ( Merlin) has more staying power- queue the male comments lol. I am[…]

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  • The waiting will soon be over

    Peace Harmony and Joy Mar 7, 2013

    The waiting will soon be over After reading my last blog I thought I would update you all. After seeing all the dogs from the rescue go to reserved and thinking it may take quite a while to get one to fit my requirements I decided to also look elsewhere. I went to the local cat and dog home and was not surprised to see it full of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and mixes of the same. What a change from the last time I visited a few years ago. Then you had a large selection of different breeds but now almost all dogs were from the same breed. It made me wonder what had gone on in all their lives that they now found themselves in a rescue home. The rescue home were also campaigning to let people know these were a gentle family breed after all the bad press they had received.Many of them though could not be with cats, men, other dogs etc and I thought that maybe I should go for a puppy so that I could socialise it correctly with everything. That night I decided to look on a website before I went to bed and saw an advert for puppies which[…]

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  • Happiness is all in the mind

    Peace Harmony and Joy Feb 13, 2013

    Happiness is all in the mind I have just spent the day walking around smiling. Do you ever have a day when this happens to you and you don't know why? I found myself pondering on this when walking home from work in the pouring rain I heard myself singing " I'm walking on Sunshine"! Maybe you'll just all think I'm mad lol. As usual everything, especially the weather, changes here. I wakened up this morning to a Facebook post from someone in Maine in the USA who advised there was over 4 feet of snow there and it was on it's way across to the UK. I got quite a surprise when I looked out of my window to see my car and the streets covered in snow. By the time I was coming home it was raining and all the snow had melted. I was grateful for 2 things. The first was the snow here was not bad enough to grind the city to a halt. I'm sure countries more used to the snowy weather can cope but we have not many roads gritted so it can cause problems over here. The second was I had remembered to take my umbrella to work today[…]

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  • Reiki update

    Peace Harmony and Joy Jan 21, 2013

    Reiki update I'm pleased to say that I now have my Karuna Reiki certificate after a problem with the post. This means that I can now offer Usui Reiki , Karuna Reiki, Crystal and Chi machine therapies.At the moment I am using all of them to help my back which decided to give me a time of enforced rest. I am trying to make the most of it by spending time working on my website and tax return. The tax return is a bit harder as all the information needed for it is at my day job. Some things are just sent to try us.At least by being at home I have access to my Chi machine. After the first day of using it I was able to walk down the stairs rather than hobble. Now I can sit for an hour then use the chi machine to help when I seize up again but it's improving daily. This means that for the next couple of weeks I will be unable to see any clients but will take bookings for after this.I will still be running my Usui reiki level 2 workshop on the 9th and 10th February and spaces are still[…]

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Blog

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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