Making Life Changes After Illness

If you’re like most people, you probably have a sneaking suspicion that your life is not all it could be. Even if you have attained a degree of success in some areas, I’m guessing there are probably several things that you’d like to improve or change if you could.

Here are some questions to get you thinking:

  • Is your body fit, lean, energised and completely healthy?
  • Is your mind clear and sharp?
  • Are your emotions controlled and appropriate?
  • Are you spiritually fulfilled?

Often in our younger years we can come close to achieving some of these but as we age we can end up settling for second or third best. Life is okay, but certainly not what it was meant to have been. Henry David Thoreau famously stated that ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation‘; if we are being completely honest, it is hard to disagree with him.

Most of us have a vague feeling that our world doesn’t have to be the way it is. We perhaps recognise, at some hard to verbalise level, that something is fundamentally flawed or wrong. We have responsibilities though; bills to pay, a family to care for and work to do, so we push these uncomfortable feelings aside and plug ourselves back into the only life we know.

Then, out of nowhere, we are side swiped and come face to face with a crisis in our health. It may be a condition that has crept up over a period of time or something that literally stops us in our tracks. Whatever the cause, this crisis can often provide us with an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-balance our lives. It forces us to question whether the life path we were on was the right one, or whether we should be approaching things in a different way.

How is it that these crises develop and are there ways we can spot them before they get serious?

(c) Can Stock Photo / keeweeboy

More Than Machines

Part of our problem is that we tend to treat our bodies somewhat like we would a car. When all is running well we probably don’t think too much about what is happening under the bonnet (hood). We jump into our vehicle, turn on the ignition and head off on our journey. It’s only when it starts to feel sluggish, or we hear a worrying rattle, or it breaks down completely, that we realise we need to do something about it and head off to a garage.

In much the same way we don’t generally take notice of our body until something goes wrong and we are faced with the choice of ignoring it (men are really good at this), or booking an appointment with a doctor. If we just ignore the issue we generally end up with a serious crisis that forces us to do something about it. If we go to the doctor we may get some medication that corrects an imbalance, or we may even face surgery to remove an offending part.

Either solution misses an important aspect of health and one that is central to our understanding of what it means to be fully human. The truth is we are not just a mechanical body that can have an annual oil change or parts stripped out and changed like the vehicles we drive. Our body is intimately connected with our emotional and spiritual health and what happens in either of these areas, for good or bad, is reflected in our physical health.

In many cases our dis-ease is often simply a wake-up call that something is seriously out of balance in our internal world. It might be that the lifestyle choices that we have made over a long period of time have caused a problem, or that the stress and pressure that we have tried to live with for too long has reached overload.

(c) Can Stock Photo / PixelsAway

Listening to Our Intuition

We often know when something is wrong even before it has reached crisis level. If we listen – really listen – to what our body is saying we somehow know where the problem is. It is often our dreams that provide a real insight into what is going wrong, as deep levels of our awareness seek to break through when our ‘sentry’ is off duty. There have been many documented stories of people who have had recurring dreams where some aspect of their body is repeatedly ‘attacked’ or pressured in some way, only to find that they have a genuine physical problem in exactly that area.

If we are sensitive to these messages and pick up on these intuitions early enough we can often reverse conditions before they have manifested physically. However, this generally means we have to change the way we are relating to our world and this change must occur on many different levels.

Move More, Eat Less

At a basic level it may require a simple change in diet or exercise. If you live a predominantly sedentary lifestyle the old adage ‘move more, eat less’ represents a very good starting point! Although this may mean starting an exercise regime it doesn’t have to involve expensive gym memberships with all the latest fitness gear. It can be as simple as taking a brisk daily walk. Humans were designed to walk; running was only ever meant to be an emergency escape system, yet so many people pound the streets for hours on end and then wonder why their knees creak and their lower back gets tight. Walking is simply much better for you.

Our health can also be compromised by over-exercising as easily as it can by under-exercising. So many people spend their days rushing around trying to fit family and work commitments in, only to continue to pressure themselves with a visit to the gym or a ‘quick’ 10km run in their leisure time. While there are undoubted benefits to moderate exercise, the obsessive training that many people put themselves through is simply not healthy. If they continue to push themselves their body will eventually say ‘Enough!’ and force them to stop.

All Work, No Rest

Activity, without balancing periods of inactivity, is also damaging to our health. Our modern world has been engineered to promote activity and action over passivity and reflection. We have largely lost our connection to the balancing rhythms of nature that our ancestors would have recognised. We even begin to feel guilty if we are not doing something when we actually find ourselves with a few minutes of downtime. The constant haste and rush-rush lifestyle we are encouraged to adopt is nothing more than a deliberate distraction that prevents us from stopping for long enough to question the madness of our modern existence. As I said, it has been deliberately engineered that way.

And, once again, that quiet background awareness nudges us with that same question ‘Does it really have to be like this?’

Emotional Health

As well as paying attention to our physical health we absolutely have to look at what is going on in the deep recesses of our mind. The state of our mental health is always reflected in our body eventually. If we are unhappy or stressed for a long period of time there will be a physical manifestation of these emotions, whether it be headaches, digestive problems or a compromised immune system.

As with our physical body it is possible to make changes but this could mean that we need to remove ourselves completely from the situation that is causing us excessive stress or unhappiness; ultimately this may mean leaving a job or moving out of a toxic relationship. Not a course of action to be taken lightly but one that may be necessary if we are to fully restore our health and sense of well-being.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Perkmeup

Anger – The Most Dangerous of our Emotions

The default position for so many people is one of anger. They seem angry about everything; life, people, the government, their boss, their parents (or children), or their ex spouse. They have been treated so badly and everything is so unfair. You can see this anger etched on their face and hear it in the bitterness of their words.

Of all our emotions this unfettered anger is probably the most damaging to physical health. Lose your anger or lose your health – it really is that simple.

Illness – A Time to Wake Up?

Our illness or disease is really a time of choice. We could decide to carry on living as we have without making any change and, unfortunately, people do this every day. Modern medicine is very good at patching people up and returning them to some sort of functionality so it is fairly easy to fall off, and then quickly remount, life’s treadmill. Failing to address the root cause however, will usually mean it is not too long before they are back in medical care facing a new, and often more serious, crisis.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Leaf

If we do not listen to these inner intuitions and messages from our body it will eventually force us to sit up and take note. The body will not tolerate a sloppy situation for long and it will often promote a crisis in our health that can in turn present us with an opportunity to reset our behaviour and our relationship to the world. By looking at the way we relate to our own body, other people, and the world in general, we can develop a more enlightened viewpoint. One that contributes in far greater measure to our own health and the health of the world around us.

To do this we need to:

  • focus on discovering our own truth
  • look inside and not outside and learn to trust our own judgements and intuitions
  • take absolute responsibility for our own lives
  • perceive what is really going on both inside ourselves and in the world around us

This path is never easy – it is truly ‘the road less travelled’. It takes time and great personal effort to rebuild our lives from the inside out. Ideas and concepts that we have held as ‘truth’ for most of our lives may have to be rejected and replaced by others that can seem far less certain.

We are a bit like a computer that has been running with an inferior and corrupted operating system. It functions reasonably well in some circumstances, okay in others, but breaks down completely when asked to perform certain functions!

If you have ever tried to install a new operating system onto a computer you will know that it rarely goes smoothly! It is a process fraught with hidden and unexpected dangers and frustrations. However, when it is all set up and running quickly and efficiently the effort seems worthwhile.

We may encounter similar difficulties during our own ‘rebuild’ but the end result will be well worth the effort. The goal is to develop understanding and the realization that there is a way to be in this world which is above mere existence.

It’s up to you. You can ignore the messages your body has sent you or you can use your illness to develop a more enlightened outlook on life, one that allows you to:

  • grow and develop in wisdom and real power
  • return to a more compassionate and enlightened way of living
  • restore a healthier body and a clear mind

Thanks for stopping by. If you are interested in finding out more about how our healing practices work please sign up to our monthly newsletter ‘Confessions of a Misguided Monk‘ or email me directly at  Please, keep in touch. Share a comment or questions and I will get back to you. Click here to read The Big Idea – it may help you to understand more about our healing philosophy.

Understanding the World Picture

There is an old Chinese curse which runs ‘May you live in interesting times’! We are certainly there at the moment and all the indication is that things could get very ‘interesting’ before they get better. Although we talk a lot about individual energy there is a universal energy that is unfolding too. This is the big picture referred to in the title of this post. Our own search is intimately bound up with the the world’s current situation. At a micro and macro level the same process is going on.

If you are interested in Energy Healing at all levels then you need to understand what is happening at a global level. This article really gives a flavour of what is going on and may help you to get a grasp on what is happening worldwide at the moment…..

Suriviving Global Shadow Through Evolving Beyond Your Personal Struggles

Global Shadow is not ‘out’ there – it’s in us! We are part of it and as long as we promote or align our energy to our victimhood and inner and outer negativity, we are feeding it!

Please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Reiki Self Healing Techniques – Do They Work?

How we ‘heal’ at all is something of a mystery. Why is it that one person will be healed by a visit to the doctor and a prescription for some drugs, while another will not benefit at all? Or, another might gain their health back through a course in acupuncture while someone else would find it complete a waste of time and money? And that is before we get into those medical anomalies of people healing after taking nothing more than placebos, or those who gained spontaneous and complete remission from life threatening cancer after undertaking a period of detoxification or meditation.

Healing Begins Within

(c) Can Stock Photo / Amaviael

We are the common denominator of our own health or wellness, and I suspect we are central to our own healing too. I am not talking about structural injuries where we need a leg set after a serious break or surgery for injuries received in a car crash or bad fall – for these we would almost certainly benefit from the skill of the doctors attending us. But for those health conditions that so often creep up on us over a period of several years, where perhaps lifestyle or diet choices play havoc with our body systems, I suspect we have far more power and control than we often believe.

At Universal Energy Healing we believe that all healing begins from within. In fact, we would suggest that no one can heal you without your consent or participation in the process. Perhaps this explains why different healing modalities work for different people but no one modality seems to work for everyone.

How Does Reiki Healing Work

So, how do Reiki self-healing techniques fit into this framework and why do we believe they offer a powerful way for people to regain their health and well being?

First and foremost, Reiki is far more than just a ‘sticking plaster’ solution to a specific malady. When you have a headache you might take a pill that relieves the symptoms but probably does nothing to help the root cause of your dis-ease. Although you might feel better in the short term, it is likely that your headache will return at a later time.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Amaviael

In contrast, Reiki provides us with a model of what it means to be fully human. I say ‘model’ because we have no way of knowing whether this model corresponds to reality exactly, or whether it is a close approximation to something that can never be entirely captured by words. It can be experienced and lived though, and it is in the living of it that its true magic can be felt. In the Reiki model we talk about the whole person (body, mind and spirit), recognising that problems that manifest in our body are often the result of causes that exist in other areas of our total system.

Reiki is an Understanding Not a Treatment

(c) Can Stock Photo / Amaviael

When you go to a good Reiki practitioner for a treatment you should actually be taught the full Reiki model; effectively you are learning Reiki rather than being treated by Reiki. You may feel the effects of Reiki through the hands of the practitioner you are working with, and this may help you to understand what Reiki is about, but it is you who will decide whether to connect to Reiki or not. Remember, all healing begins from within!

As you gain an understanding of what Reiki is about you will probably find that you are making changes in many areas of your life. Each of these changes builds to take you to a place of health and well being which lies far beyond your original reason for seeking out a Reiki healer. This brings us full circle to our original question, do Reiki self healing techniques work?

The answer is simply, it depends. If all you do is follow the self treatment hand positions as in the graphic on this page, then I doubt very much that you will receive any benefit at all. On the other hand, if you buy into the Reiki model we have spoken about, and understand how the hand positions relate to that model, then you will almost certainly feel much greater benefits from these Reiki self treatment techniques.

What is Reiki About?

A new philosophy, a way of life, is not given for nothing. It has to be paid dearly for and only acquired with much patience and great effort –  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

In essence, the Reiki model is actually quite simple but, unfortunately, simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy! It is built on three pillars of understanding:

  • That we are energetic beings with bodies who have forgotten our connection to the source of all.
  • That by reconnecting with the source energy we can restore our mind-body system to complete balance and harmony.
  • That it is possible to direct and channel source energy through our intention.

That’s it, although a quick search around the Internet may make it sound vastly more complex that that. Unfortunately, much that should be freely available for the benefit of all, has become veiled in either an ego driven, or a money driven, shroud of secrets and mystery. This is as sad as it is unnecessary and clearly shows that humans are capable of screwing up pretty well everything; especially an enlightened view on health and well being.

We believe that this knowledge should be available for the greater good of all and one of our goals is to make the philosophy behind Universal Energy Healing available for everyone. We are not just talking about healing specific medical conditions either. The search for a solution to a particular problem may be the reason why you arrived here, but I would hope that you can now see that the self-healing we are discussing is far more than just this. We are looking at righting the root cause(s) behind all our various maladies.

Thanks for stopping by. Remember, all healing stems from within. If you are interested in finding out more about the Reiki model we have spoken about then our online course will be available by the end of March 2017. Please sign up to our monthly newsletter ‘Confessions of a Misguided Monk‘ for notification of when it is available or email me directly at  Please, keep in touch. Share a comment or questions and I will get back to you. Click here to read The Big Idea – it may help you to understand more about our healing philosophy.

We are members of the Reiki Healing Association

Tai Chi vs Yoga – Which is Best?

By Irepkabl, via Wikimedia Commons

Having owned and run a Martial Arts and Fitness Centre for many years I have a confession to make. Although I believed implicitly in the value of exercise, and was acting from the best knowledge I had at the time, I realise now that most of the training advice I dished out was simply wrong.

It was wrong because it was based around short term thinking and a view of health and fitness that was way too shallow. The type of overtly physical training we focused on was simply not sustainable beyond middle age and only concentrated on developing external strength and musculature. It was only as I arrived at my mid-fifties, with joints that were destroyed through over-training and things starting to go wrong throughout my body, that I realised the error of my ways. It was definitely time for a re-think. My choice was to either resign myself to becoming a couch potato, or find an activity that I could practise comfortably for the next 25 years.

You may have arrived here today for similar reasons. Perhaps you are not as young as you once were and the thought of fitness classes of a gym membership is simply no longer appealing. Maybe that type of fitness was never your thing anyway, and you are looking for an alternative solution. Whatever your current thinking you may be researching the benefits of Tai Chi vs Yoga and wondering which of these two alternative practises would be the best one for you.

Similar, Yet Different

By PBS NewsHour from Arlington, [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Yoga and Tai Chi are actually very similar in many ways. They both share many of the same mental and physical benefits and come from what might be called the Eastern mind-body tradition. Tai Chi emerged in China while Yoga developed in India and both arts can trace their roots back some 5,000 years. They both integrate breath control, meditation, and set poses or positions to facilitate health and longevity. Finally, both practises acknowledge the existence and importance of a universal life force or energy that facilitates wellness throughout our total body system. Called ‘Chi’ in Tai Chi and ‘Prana’ in Yoga, it is the successful management of this energy that is seen as the real key to our health.

That said, Tai Chi and Yoga do differ in significant ways. Firstly, they differ in intent. Tai Chi is focused on managing the flow of the universal energy for complete health and well being. In its original form it is also a very potent martial art intended for use in actual combat, although it is now largely now taught solely as a form of slow meditative movement promoting health and wellness. It is probably the case that the vast majority of Tai Chi teachers operating today do not know the lethal combat applications of the movements they make in each lesson.

Tai Chi for Health

Tai Chi vs Yoga
By SONGMY [CC BY 2.5 cn], via Wikimedia Commons
Tai Chi is about balancing the flow of chi around the body. Practitioners are encouraged to breathe slowly, deeply and naturally as they work through the sequences of graceful movements. Most Tai Chi movements are performed slowly from a standing position and take the body through its natural range of motion. Each individual pose is choreographed to flow seamlessly into the next in an unbroken sequence of movement. One of the great things about Tai Chi is that it can be practised by any age group and by people of almost any fitness level. The most popular sequence of Tai Chi is the 24 Form, which, once learned, takes about 6 minutes to complete. It can be easily incorporated into a busy lifestyle or become part of a diverse fitness regime. Studies have also shown Tai Chi can support the functional capacity of women with breast cancer, prevent strokes in high-risk patients and ease post stroke symptoms. Tai Chi also been shown to help with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Yoga – Spiritual Growth and Physical Well-being

In its original form,Yoga is very much a spiritual practise. It focuses on facilitating the union of body, mind and spirit, leading to eventual enlightenment. The word Yoga actually means ‘union’ or ‘connection’. Although Yoga also uses controlled breathing with each movement it applies this in a slightly different way. The poses are often held for a certain number of breaths rather than flowing from one to another on each breath.

While both practices improve physical strength and endurance, both are low impact forms of exercise. However, Yoga can be much more physically demanding than Tai Chi with many of the intermediate and advanced poses requiring significant levels of strength and flexibility to perform. Yoga encourages ever greater levels of flexibility and strength with preparatory stretches, poses and visualisations leading to even more advanced poses over time.

So, What are the Benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga?

People who practise Yoga or Tai Chi experience a very similar set of results:

  • Decreased stress
  • Improved cardiovascular and respiratory health
  • Gains in strength and flexibility
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Gains in cognitive function.

By Mike H from Seattle, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
When deciding which art would be best for you there are some questions you should be asking. What are you looking to achieve? Do you want your mind-body practise to focus on physical and mental health and general wellness or would you like an activity that promotes more spiritual engagement? How physically fit are you? Yoga tends to be more physically demanding. The truth is that it doesn’t have to be a choice between Tai Chi or Yoga. They can complement one another beautifully, with Tai Chi boosting meditation progress and Yoga improving physical strength and flexibility more rapidly.

Watch a short video on Tai Chi and Yoga by CLICKING HERE.

Thanks for stopping by. Remember, whatever your eventual choice you will experience significant mental and physical benefits from either art as both practices provide an amazing integrated health care and healing system for their practitioners. Please, keep in touch. Share a comment or questions and I will get back to you. Click here to read The Big Idea – it may help you to understand more about our healing philosophy.

Energy Healing Courses Online

(c) Can Stock Photo / Nevenova

Energy Healing has been practised by all cultures at all times throughout history. It might in fact be our oldest form of healing and perhaps is a throw back to a time when the human race was much more in touch with its true nature. Somehow, something became lost as humans developed into modern man; with our scientific world view and technological superiority we believe that we have mastered all knowledge, leaving no room for the beliefs of this older spirituality. Like our childhood beliefs in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy we believe we have grown beyond such a ‘simple’ understanding of our world.

This is a classic case of ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ and completely disenfranchises us from our connection to the source of all existence. If the programme we our running in our brain doesn’t allow for the possibility of energy healing then no amount of evidence or personal testimonies will convince us otherwise. So, perhaps the first prerequisite as we explore energy healing courses online is to have an open mind.

Developing the Correct Mindset

Our starting point on this is the acceptance of 3 basic possibilities:

  1. That solid matter and energy are two aspects of the same fundamental energetic fabric of our universe.
  2. That we exist in, come from and will return to this same energetic source energy
  3. That we can control and direct this underlying universal energy through our focused intention.

Modern Quantum Physics seems to be saying exactly this. Particles can exist either as a wave or a particle (solid or energy), can communicate with other particles instantly across vast distances (possible only if they are not ‘separate’ in any way but part of the same vast energy matrix), and appear to be at the mercy of our conscious attention (scientist now realise that the act of observing our world seems to effect matter in some fundamental way).

If we accept that reality is in fact far ‘stranger’ then our high school science would generally have us believe then we are in a better place mentally and emotionally for considering the merits of energy healing.

Beware the Charlatans

(c) Can Stock Photo / ollyy

A word of warning though; when you’re looking for energy healing courses online remember that not all courses are created equal! Either driven by ego or the desire for financial gain there are a lot of charlatans out there. Spotting these is actually easier than you might think. Firstly, use your intuitive feelings about the words you are reading and the images you are seeing. Intuition is a valuable skill and comes to us from outside our conscious ‘thinking’ mind. In itself, it is never wrong and our ability to capture its guidance can be greatly improved by paying attention to its quiet voice within. Like any personal skill, the more we use it the more reliable it becomes. One of our guiding principles is the simple command to ‘Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for all things’. There is a part of you that will recognise whether you are being conned or not; go with that feeling.

Look also at the price. Does it seem reasonable to you or somewhat extortionate? A worker is always worth their wages – even healers have to feed their families and pay their mortgage! However, we have seen many so called ‘energy healers’ who seem to prey on the vulnerability and need of the person coming to them and charge fees that can politely be described as ‘somewhat high’.

Many courses seem also to rely on the magical healing skills of the individual selling the course. It is as though they are the sole holders of some secret knowledge or skill, but will of course share that with you for a price. We see this a lot in one of the healing modalities that we work with, Reiki. There are Reiki levels to be worked through, secret symbols to be learned and special Attunements to be undergone. Of course, only the Reiki Master can teach you this knowledge and attune you to the power of the universe. Nonsense! We are all part of the energy matrix that makes up reality and we don’t specifically need to do anything special to tap into it, except perhaps to give ourselves permission to accept its existence.

Your Truth Lies Within

The truth is that no one can heal you – you can only heal yourself. All any healer can do is to lead you to a realisation of this one simple fact. They may open your mind to things you have forgotten and help you to experience what is freely available to you at all times – connection and energy – but that is it. Once you start to recognise this for yourself you are on the road to being healed. Healing is often no more than a clearing of your own thinking processes, effectively rebooting your mind and body to a more natural and harmonious way of operating.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Nikki24

A good online healing course will take you through the process that allows you to direct your own healing but it cannot do the healing for you. It is vital that you understand this. If you do not then you are simply setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. Hopefully, armed with this information you are better placed to make a judgement about the online energy healing courses you are looking at. Remember: develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything; of course that includes our words too!

Thanks for stopping by. Remember, whatever course you eventually choose there is no magic outside of our own self. All healing stems from within. If you are interested in taking this further our online Reiki course will be available by the end of March 2017. Please sign up to our monthly newsletter ‘Confessions of a Misguided Monk‘ for notification of when it is available or email me directly at  Please, keep in touch. Share a comment or questions and I will get back to you. Click here to read The Big Idea – it may help you to understand more about our healing philosophy.

We are members of the Reiki Healing Association