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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

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ALL WRITTEN/PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL ON MY PAGES IS SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT. YOU MAY NOT REPRODUCE, COPY, DISSEMINATE PART OR WHOLE WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR

I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

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THE DANGERS OF INEXPERIENCED PSYCHICS/MEDIUMS

Today I am blogging about inexperienced Psychics/Mediums. There are many psychics/mediums around who give the profession a bad name, t...

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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

HOW LACK OF SLEEP IS DETRIMENTAL FOR OUR HEALTH


The following is an article from the Daily Mail, which shows us of the effects of Cortisol, also produced during stress. Cortisol is a fantastic hormone when it is produced for what its meant for and short raised bursts to deal with acute stress. However if its produced for long term stress its very detrimental on the body (see section here on STRESS AND HEALTH)

How to never get ill: Take a nap

History has many accomplished nappers.
Leonardo Da Vinci took short naps every few hours; Napoleon Bonaparte dozed on his horse. And very wise they were, too.
Lack of sleep causes the body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which gives us energy but restricts production of human growth hormone — limiting the body’s ability to repair itself.
Sleeping baby: A report from the University of Chicago found lack of sleep can lead to heart attacks and strokes
Sleeping baby: A report from the University of Chicago found lack of sleep can lead to heart attacks and strokes
A 2008 Stanford University study found that fruit flies’ immune systems fought invading bacteria best at night.
This backed up the theory that our bodies use dormant hours to regenerate and fight disease (by producing immune cells called monocytes).

And a recent University of Chicago report found that getting as little as an hour less sleep than needed can increase calcium levels in heart arteries by 16 per cent.
This can lead to heart attack and stroke — so catch up with a nap.

Extracted from The Secrets Of People Who Never Get Sick by Gene Stone, published by Workman at £16.99. © Gene Stone 2011.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1392508/How-ill-Take-nap--according-University-Chicago-report.html#ixzz1NxKgWtkI




Maggie Brown (Author)
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Saturday, 28 May 2011

WARNINGS ON CIGARETTE PACKETS

Now I have never been a smoker and probably being an Aquarian, I like to do my own thing and never had any desire to try it, so I have no idea what it tastes or feels like. As I was growing up I lost my grandfather and several aunts and uncles to lung cancer and had other relatives suffer heart disease and other lung diseases. When I went into nursing one of the first ward I worked on was one where there were several patients in the terminal stages of lung cancer. I guess therefore this instilled in me the dangers of smoking and what it can do to you. It's extremely distressing to watch patients suffer from lung cancer where upon death is a blessed release from the extreme suffering. Lung Cancer is avoidable unlike a lot of cancers, so why risk it by smoking. OK so you may want to risk it but research has proven not only are you risking your own health but on others by passive smoking, is this fair? In the UK our much cash strapped National Health System is under severe strain treating all those who indulge in smoking and you have to ask, why should others who take care of their health by not smoking pay for the treatment of those who do? Remember too it's not just lung cancer, but a whole range of ailments are caused by smoking, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, throat and mouth cancers, oesphageal cancer, heart disease, arterial disease, leading to amputation, high blood pressure, strokes. Can you imagine the stresses on the NHS being reduced if all the smokers were to give it up? but more importantly think how healthier the nation would be and how younger they would look too. I can't think of one good reason why anyone should smoke and if smokers were true to themselves, I am sure they would share this view.

Graphic warnings on cigarette packets DO help smokers to kick the habit

Graphic warning showing neck tumours and diseased lungs on the front of cigarette packets do push smokers in to giving up cigarettes, researchers say.
Scientists found nearly all adult smokers in countries that are required to place health labels on tobacco products noticed the warnings.
More than half of smokers in six of 14 countries in the study said the warnings made them think about quitting.
Shock factor: Graphic images are the most effective at encouraging smokers to quit, a study has found
Shock factor: Graphic images are the most effective at encouraging smokers to quit, a study has found
In seven of the remaining countries more than one in four poll respondents said the warning labels prompted them to consider kicking the habit. The only country unaffected by the warnings was Poland.
Researchers analysed data collected between 2008 and 2010 for smokers in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam.

The results of the poll called the the Global Adult Tobacco Survey were published by the US Centers for Disease Control.
Out in the cold: Smoking was banned in indoor public places in England in 2007
Out in the cold: Smoking was banned in indoor public places in England in 2007
The most effective warnings were pictures of graphics that showed the harmful effects of smoking, possibly because they are better at evoking an emotional response the scientists said.
The study found that Brazil and Thailand both had 'numerous prominent and graphic pictorial warnings in rotation' and also had some of the highest rates of smokers thinking about quitting because of the warnings.
Warning: Cigarette packet labels in Thailand are particularly graphic
Warning: Cigarette packet labels in Thailand are particularly graphic
The CDC wants to see further research to try to find out how many smokers who think about quitting because of a warning on a packet actually do, and to determine what other factors come into play in getting someone to stop smoking.
The UK became the first country in Europe to place images on cigarette packs in 2008 that showed the 'grim reality' of the effects of smoking.
They replaced written warnings that had been printed on packets since 2003.
Smoking is responsible for one in every five deaths in adults aged over 35 in England, and half of all long-term smokers will die prematurely due to a smoking-related disease.
In the years from 2007 to 2008 there were 1.4 million NHS hospital admissions for diseases caused by smoking. In 2008, smoking caused 83,900 deaths in England.
Around 65 per cent of smokers in the UK want to quit the habit and around half manage to do so.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1391447/Graphic-warnings-cigarette-packets-DO-help-smokers-kick-habit.html#ixzz1NflWNvbV



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DEPRESSION~SCIENTISTS SAY IT'S GENETIC

I have reproduced this story from the Daily Mail to highlight there is no shame in any form of mental illness. For far too long there has been a stigma attached and the worst thing you can say to anyone who is suffering from mental illnesses is "To pull yourself together" or "Stop being so self indulgent". There is a physical reason for such ailments and slowly scientists are discovering this, hopefully this will lead to better treatments and a cure.

Depression: Scientists say it's genetic - and my family is the proof

For four long unendurable months, she lay in a darkened room, her face as white as the sheet on the bed from which she could not (rather than would not) move.
‘Mum, I want to die.’ That’s what my lively, funny and much loved 17-year-old daughter said to me, day after day, week after week. I was terrified of leaving the house, for fear of what I would find on my return.
She lost a stone, which she could ill afford on her 5ft 10in, size 8 frame, although I tried to make her eat three meals a day. She did her best, even if it was only a bowl of cereal, but said the pain of hunger was a welcome distraction from the pain in her head.
Shared suffering: Sally Brampton and her daughter, who displays all-too-familiar symptoms
Shared suffering: Sally Brampton and her daughter, who displays all-too-familiar symptoms
The teenager who read voraciously — at least four books a week — could not read a simple sentence. The girl who, according to her school, was destined for Oxford University and a brilliant academic career, missed four months of school in her A-level year.
 
She thought she was a failure, a word she used repeatedly. She felt, in some strange way, that it was her fault. It was unbearable.
‘It’s just adolescent mood swings,’ people said. I knew it wasn’t. I took her to a psychiatrist. Diagnosis: major depressive disorder with a high risk of suicide.
I had heard those word myself, a tear-stained pillow clenched over my face in a bed in a psychiatric unit where I was admitted with severe depression.
So, long before the news this month that scientists had found a genetic link to depression, I knew there must be a connection.
Over the years, I had watched my mother standing in the kitchen, crying helplessly. ‘I want to die,’ she, too, had said. The first time I became conscious of her suffering, I must have been about eight years old.
Genetic? Sally knows better than most how the effects of her daughter's illness could shape her life
Genetic? Sally knows better than most how the effects of her daughter's illness could shape her life
She would relapse into apathy, was constantly tired and did not want to leave the house. Either that or she would suddenly become snappy and irritable.
I didn’t understand it back then, either my mother’s sudden acute misery, or my own. I knew nothing about depression. As a family we weren’t given to hanging out with psychiatrists and therapists. These days, I understand it only too well.
In retrospect, I realise I have been suffering from depression since I was a teenager, just like my mother, and just like my daughter, whose episodes of the illness started when she was 13, the same age as me.
There was a reason for my misery; being sent to boarding school when I was ten, a place where I was terribly unhappy.
On top of that, my parents lived overseas, 5,000 miles away, so there was nobody I could talk to. Even if I had, they wouldn’t have understood and put it down to teenage blues.

 'My  mother would suddenly fly into a rage'
The first time I saw a doctor was when I was 20. I told him I was feeling depressed. He gave me medication but it was such a strong sedative that it only made me feel worse and, after a month, I threw it away and battled on.
Even when I was editor of a successful magazine, Elle, and I should have been on top of the world, there were weeks I could not stop crying. I pretended to the staff that I had flu and couldn’t come into the office. I thought I was just tired or stressed.
So the science that proves the first solid evidence of a rogue chromosome linked to depression, which gives some people a hereditary disposition, came as something of a relief.
Not because I wanted to find an ‘excuse’ for depression or thumb my nose at those who urge you just to ‘pull yourself together’, but because I wanted (needed) to understand why three generations of bright, lively women sometimes fade into the dark.
It happens for no reason, but happen it does — to all of us; time after time after time.
More than anything, the research proves something I have long believed; that depression is an illness, not a self-indulgence or weakness.
It is a complicated disorder, despite the blanket term given to the condition. Saying somebody has depression is like saying they have a virus. Which virus? What’s it called?

So young: Sally with her beloved daughter when she was a baby
So young: Sally with her beloved daughter when she was a baby
There are many forms of the illness; reactive depression (as in a reaction to difficult life events such as bereavement, the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a job), postnatal depression, bipolar disorder, bipolar II (which does not include the manic state of bipolar disorder), or simply debilitating, chronically low mood.
Dr Adrian Lord, psychiatrist and medical director of the Cygnet Hospital, explains that depression is so complex it varies even in individuals, let alone between individuals.
In clinical practice, he often sees patients where there is a distinct line of depression, suicide or bipolar disorder running through one side or other of the family. ‘It can span several generations and often does not seem totally due to shared upbringing, so a genetic component does seem likely,’ he says.
Scientists have long believed that certain people are more susceptible to depression than others but have, until now, not been able to offer substantial proof.
Some people shrug off circumstances that would topple another person like a pack of dominoes — which is another reason why depression is stigmatised as weak self-pity. How often have I heard the words, ‘Other people are far worse off than you’. Yes, I know. And?
Whenever I write a personal account on the subject for a newspaper, the comments on the website are inevitably the poisonous, ill-informed malice that any mention of depression seems to inspire.
Here is a real quote from one   website. ‘You should be ashamed of yourself. My Nan worked in a biscuit factory for 30 years, raised three kids single-handedly and never had a day’s depression in her life.’
Well, all I can say is, lucky old Nan.Quite apart from the implications these new findings signify for effective treatments for those suffering from depression (although, still far off in the future), the discovery that a section of DNA is responsible might finally put those ridiculous, antiquated attitudes to rest. It’s bad enough suffering from any severe illness, without being harangued for it.
In fact, it is so distressing that my most fervent wish would be to lock all the doubters and sceptics in a room with my pale, mute, severely depressed daughter for 24 hours so they can witness the illness first-hand and see for themselves the terrible toll it takes.

 'For weeks I could not stop crying'
Depression affects about 20 per cent of people at some point in their lives. Severe, recurring depression affects up to  4 per cent of people and is notoriously hard to treat. That’s the form that afflicts me, my daughter and my mother.
Medication helps but it is not, as some people believe, a cure — and nor are antidepressants ‘happy pills’. That’s the Disney version. They are powerful drugs formulated to help bring neurochemicals back into balance and have extremely unpleasant side-effects. Some work, some don’t — and some make depression infinitely worse.
For the lucky minority (30 per cent) they help to alleviate the condition. I have been on 13 different antidepressants, none of which helped until, under the constant care of a psychiatrist, we finally discovered a cocktail of drugs which keep me stable — at least, most of the time.
The workings of the brain are still so little understood that treating depression is like shooting a gun into the dark and hoping the magic bullet of medication will find its  target.
Hence the comment, from Gerome Breen, leader of the team of scientists at the Institute of  Psychiatry, Kings College London who found the evidence of a hereditary link, that ‘these findings are truly exciting’. An excitable scientist is a rare creature indeed.
Ten years ago, when the episodes of depression I have suffered since childhood escalated into a full breakdown, a psychiatrist implied that my depression might be genetic because my mother suffers from it.
However, he warned, there was no scientific evidence to prove it. I wanted to shout, ‘I am the evidence’, but one woman’s voice is soundless in the face of conjecture. Scientists want hard facts, not subjective accounts.
Down days: Depression is an illness. For some of us, there are no reasons. It just is
Down days: Depression is an illness. For some of us, there are no reasons. It just is
I wanted facts too, and spent years researching depression, even wrote a book about it. I wanted to know what might have caused mine — mainly in the hope of heading off another severe episode.
Was it my childhood and the instability of being brought up in six different countries and packed off to 12 different schools? Was it my mother’s undiagnosed, untreated depression which sometimes made her retreat from her children?
Was it my father, who has Asperger’s Syndrome (high-functioning autism) so is unable to empathise or, as he puts, ‘understand the difference between happiness and unhappiness.’
In other words, was it nurture — what psychologists call environmental or psychosocial circumstances? Or was it just plain nature?
Much of the time, I am happy and optimistic — joyous even. I have prodigious energy, work and play hard and love a project such as doing up a house; summoning builders, decorators, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. My speed and impatience are something of a joke among my friends.
But when I am depressed I don’t have the energy to do the washing up, let alone call a plumber. At my worst, I washed using hot water from a kettle for nine months because I couldn’t make a phone call to get the boiler fixed.

 'I'm not living, Mum, I'm enduring'
I have a successful career, a child I adore, wonderful friends, enough money and good health. What reason do I have to be depressed? That doesn’t stop the days when, quite out of the blue, I wake up feeling black despair and all my thoughts turn to suicide.
It was only when my daughter developed depression for absolutely no reason (happy, popular, with adoring parents and a childhood very different from my own) that it hit me, as clearly and as painfully as a bolt of lightning. Depression is an illness. For some of us, there are no reasons. It just is.
As my daughter put it: ‘I’m not living, Mum. I’m enduring. I don’t want to be here any more. Not like this.’ She tried, though; screwed up every little bit of courage she could find. Stuck on the wall by her bed was a page ripped out of a school exercise book.
On it she had scrawled in biro, ‘I will get better’. Then another line, in capital letters, ‘I WILL GET BETTER’. That brave little piece of paper broke my heart.
Friends came round to try to cheer her up. She sat in her dressing gown, trying to join in, sometimes even smiling, but I’d known my daughter’s face for 17 years and I knew the difference between a genuine smile and a desperate effort to reassure her friends.
In your biology? The discovery of a genetic link could shed light on depression
In your biology? The discovery of a genetic link could shed light on depression
There is no blood test for depression, no easy answers and, sadly, no easy remedies. I have spent countless hours talking to therapists, but when I am severely depressed, no words can reach me.
Depression is not my nature; it is my biology — just as it is my mother’s and daughter’s. I have an illness that causes an imbalance of chemicals in one of the major organs in my body — my brain. To put it another way, I may as well have a chat with my liver and tell it to cheer up.
The discovery of a genetic link does not mean that, because depressive illness is present in a family, it is inevitable. But it may mean severe emotional stress is more likely to trigger an episode in somebody if there is a history of familial depression than in somebody who has no record of mental illness.
In other words, it is a pre-disposition rather than a predetermination. Psychiatrist Adrian Lord says he generally sees the former but admits that, in some people, ‘it is so strong, it does seem almost predetermined’.
Do I suffer from guilt from passing on such a terrible illness to my daughter? Hell, yes. My only consolation is that I know the condition so well, I could get her help fast.

Her solace is that she has a mum who understands and doesn’t dismiss her misery as adolescent mood swings. We call depression our ‘shadow side’. Where there is darkness, there is also light.
Despite missing so much schooling, she got her place at Oxford University, where she is excelling. I am so proud of her, it hurts.
So, for anybody who still believes that depression is strictly for lazy, self-indulgent losers, may I introduce you to my daughter?

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1391742/Depression-Scientists-say-genetic--family-proof.html#ixzz1Nfhi0j2y


Maggie Brown (Author)
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Thursday, 26 May 2011

GIRL FRIENDS, GIRL FRIENDS WOMEN CAN BE SO CRUEL

I've had this done to me too, so I know how it feels. I feel it's something in women's survival instinct, that cause them to do this. Wherever you have a group of women you will always have an element of competition and rivalry where upon there will be jealousy and bitchiness. Likewise most women don't dress to impress men, if you ask them the vast majority if they are honest, they will tell you its to impress and be one up on other women

FROM THE DAILY MAIL

Why are women so cruel when it comes to dumping friends?

For many women, there’s only one thing more devastating — more visceral in many ways — than being dumped by a bloke. And that’s being dumped by a girlfriend.
Like being fired, it is a rite of passage into emotional adulthood that many of us will have experienced — or, if we haven’t, we certainly should have.
It hurts. Hell, it’s meant to. Suddenly, someone with whom you’ve shared everything (except sex and morning cornflakes) for years freezes you out. For ever. You are, unapologetically, ‘iced’.
Famous falling out: Paris Hilton, left, and Nicole Richie were once the best of friends
Famous falling out: Paris Hilton, left, and Nicole Richie were once the best of friends
Women do it to other women with exquisite cruelty. They use the silent treatment. They’ll bitch to friends till the cows come home about what you’ve done to get up their perfect little noses, but they don’t pick up the telephone to try to straighten things out with you.
They don’t return calls, they give parties and don’t invite you (but invite mutual friends so you always hear about them). They never make the first move and, worse, they never make the last move.
There’s no farewell dinner, no Dear John letter, no one for the road, no one for old time’s sake — and therefore, no closure.
Rachel Johnson, editor of The Lady magazine, was dumped twice by friends when she was younger
Rachel Johnson, editor of The Lady magazine, was dumped twice by friends when she was younger
The dumpee is left wondering: what was all that about? Why am I no longer required? Men find women’s behaviour in this regard utterly bizarre.
As a male acquaintance once said: ‘There’s nothing in the world stronger and flimsier in the world of relationships than two female best friends — because today everything is good, but tomorrow you might have to damn her and discontinue that friendship till the day you die.
Yup, I’ve been there. Twice. The first time, I was dumped by my best friend from school because she thought I’d slept with her boyfriend. I hadn’t, strictly speaking. But there were Clintonian shades of ‘I did not have sex with that man!’ to my denials because we had messed around. But we were undergraduates. I was 19, for Pete’s sake!
The second time I was also quite young. My friend was simply fed up with me and our lives had diverged: mine into marriage, the BBC and children, hers into being a single installation artist in a Shoreditch loft.
So I have never been dumped by someone with whom I’ve shared boyfriend misery, childbirth war stories, husband agonies, career dilemmas. When that happens, it must be shattering.
‘I was dumped,’ says a very dear friend of mine. ‘I’d known this woman intimately for 15 years, she was single, and every weekend, the call would come: “What are you up to?” and we would include her in the family. We looked after every spare moment of her long spinsterhood.
‘Then she met a bloke and my husband left me. Instead of calling and saying, “Are you OK?” or asking: “Do you want to come round?” my best friend became best friends with my replacement. She went off with the new woman!’
Life gets in the way: If one of you gets married or has children before the other, it can lead to jealousy and resentment like in the film Bride Wars
Life gets in the way: If one of you gets married or has children before the other, it can lead to jealousy and resentment like in the film Bride Wars
It’s hardly surprising my friend is still spitting about it. Often, you don’t see a man for dust after a sexual relationship has run its course, but you do expect your, er, steady girlfriend to watch your back — and when she doesn’t it can be unexpectedly horrid.
‘It wasn’t more hurtful than being left by my husband, it was a different kind of betrayal,’ says my friend.
So it’s a mystery. According to evolutionary biologists, women have a ‘tending instinct’.
When the going gets rough we round up the kids, protect the weak, hoard food, and align ourselves with other females for protection. So when the bonds rupture, and females go cold on one another, it goes against nature. Or does it?

Perhaps our female friendships are more like affairs than we admit. The female really is deadlier than the male when it comes to relationships. I think this is because we have lots of female friends, and usually only one male lover at any one time and the females are more disposable.
I sometimes wonder whether we pick female friends as we choose lovers — because there’s excitement, chemistry, attraction — rather than as we choose our husbands. When it comes to a life-long partner, we seek dependability, solvency, kindness, among other qualities.
But with new lovers, just as with new girlfriends, there’s the crucial sizzle factor. And an early friendship is actually much like an early relationship — there’s a stage at the beginning when you feel you were made for each other, you can’t get enough of each other’s company, you chitter-chatter on the phone . . .  and then one of you messes up, goes on a bit, and you realise: you’re mates. It’s nothing special, just a common-or-garden friendship.

'Women are programmed to be promiscuous about friendships: we have loads of friends, and few sexual partners - while for men it's the other way round'
And, if you’re lucky, and the friendship has solid foundations — lots in common, children the same age — you soldier on. But sometimes something happens when friendship can’t continue.
There’s too much jealousy (if one of you marries, has children, loses weight and looks threateningly hot). There’s too much resentment (if one of you has poached a friend, betrayed a confidence, or been caught gossiping).
And then, sometimes, it just ends. One of you is . . . let go.
Men approach friendship very differently. They tend to make friends, usually aged eight or so, and hold on to them no matter what — adultery, divorce, betrayal, gender-reassignment.
My husband has five really close male friends, the same ones he’s had since he was in short trousers, and he wouldn’t dream of changing the line-up.
I have an ever-growing roster of female friends, and make (and occasionally lose) friends all the time. When I asked my husband if he’d ever dumped a friend, he had to think for ages, then said: ‘Maybe one . . . ’
When I asked him why, he said: ‘Oh, he became a junkie, and abusive, and every time I saw him he asked me for money, and it just became a bore.’
‘Did you cut him out of your life?’ I asked. ‘Lord no,’ said my husband. ‘I just don’t make, you know, a point of seeking him out.’
I would conclude that women are programmed to be promiscuous about friendships: we have loads of friends, and few sexual partners, while men are hardwired to have fewer friends and more sexual partners. To men, a friend is for life, but not for women.
A girlfriend really can just be for Christmas.



Maggie Brown (Author)
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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

NO SPIRIT CAN POSSESS ANOTHER'S SOUL

I came across this story in the 'Daily Mail' and I was horrified to see, this woman give this excuse. NO SPIRIT CAN POSSESS ANOTHER'S SOUL. Your soul is fixed in your body until death and we all have responsibility for our actions, less of course suffering from a psychosis. What gets me this trial was in the UK and yes witchcraft exists good and bad and certainly negative energy can be aimed at others and used to attack someone BUT your soul cannot be possessed and this is superstitious nonsense and hocus pokus rubbish and it incenses me that these stupid superstitious beliefs still exist. When spirits move to the spirit realms, they progress and they certainly don't wish harm on another. At most those spirits who are trapped in limbo because they are earth bound, all they can do, is give someone a fright BUT THEY CANNOT HARM YOU OR TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. It looks to me a case of misdiagnosis and the psychiatrists need to look again

Freed, girl who knifed her mother 'after being possessed by evil spirits'

  • Mother said Lorraine Mbulawa appeared to be in a trance during the attack
  • Psychiatrists ruled she has no mental illness
Enlarge   Lorraine Mbulawa was found not guilty of attempted murder but was charged with the lesser offence of unlawful wounding
Lorraine Mbulawa was found not guilty of attempted murder but was charged with the lesser offence of unlawful wounding
A young woman who repeatedly stabbed her mother as she slept has walked free from court after a judge accepted she believed she was acting on the instructions of evil spirits.
Lorraine Mbulawa, 20, donned dark clothes, gloves and a  home-made balaclava and attacked her mother with a kitchen knife in Braunstone Firth, Leicester.
The 43-year-old victim saved  herself by grabbing the weapon, but suffered serious face and  arm injuries.
Mbulawa, who was 18 at the time, was cleared of attempted murder at her trial at Leicester Crown Court earlier this year but convicted of unlawful wounding.
Psychiatrists said she was not mad and the jury agreed that she knew what she was doing.
However, the A-level student, who was born in Zimbabwe, escaped with a 12-month suspended prison sentence and was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.
Passing sentence on Monday, Mr Justice Keith said he accepted the defendant had strong beliefs in witchcraft and thought she was possessed by the spirit of her dead grandmother at the time of the attack in May 2009.
He told Leeds Crown Court: ‘She believed spirits can enter the body and make you do things that otherwise you would not have done.’
He praised Mbulawa as ‘unusually confident and assured, also not unintelligent with a degree of charm and poise’.
Family members were in court and her mother Sisbsisiwe gave Mbulawa an emotional hug as she was released from the dock. She will now be able to move back in with her mother in Braunstone Frith, Leicester, after living apart for two years.
Mr Justice Keith told Mbulawa: ‘I hope that you and your mother can come to terms with what has happened. I wish you all the best for the future.’
Mr Justice Keith allowed Lorraine Mbulawa to walk free from court
Mr Justice Keith allowed Lorraine Mbulawa to walk free from court
The court heard a psychiatrist who assessed Mbulawa said she was still a risk because she believed the spirits could possess her again and she has no control over them.
Describing the attack, Mrs Mbulawa, a nurse, told the jury: ‘I saw this figure in my room  and a shiny object was in the air. I was petrified. I thought it was an intruder.’
She turned the light on, pulled off the mask and discovered the attacker was her daughter, who screamed: ‘Mummy, people are after us. They want to kill us.’
Mrs Mbulawa said her husband collapsed and died suddenly in 2000 and she moved to the UK with her daughter two years later.
In her evidence Mbulawa told the court: ‘My grandmother said my mother was responsible for the death of my father and I had to do the honourable thing to my father by killing my mother.’
A policewoman who arrived at the house said Mbulawa was sitting on the stairs in a trance-like state, crying, shaking and hyper-ventilating, while her mother, who was bleeding heavily, was trying to comfort her.
PC Patricia Lutz said Mbulawa was co-operative and appeared to calm down on the journey to the police station and then seemed ‘like a different person’.
After the case Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, said the case was an example of a trend in soft sentencing. He said: ‘It is cases like this that make people lose faith in the criminal justice system and in politicians as well.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1390303/Possessed-teenager-stabbed-mother-times-allowed-walk-free-judge-accepts-strong-spiritual-beliefs.html#ixzz1NNPh0Wkv




Maggie Brown (Author)
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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

ASTRIDESTELLA'S PHILOSOPHY 'DON'T ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THE ANSWER'

DON'T ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THE ANSWER

Being a psychic medium I am asked questions all the time, most often what is he or she thinking? I cannot tell you this as I do not read minds and in fact no psychic medium can read minds. What we do firstly on a psychic level is to read Auras and it is within the aura we are able obtain information about a person's past, what is going on in the present and the potential for the future. I say potential because nothing is written in stone for although we all incarnate with a basic blueprint of choices about what we wish to gain from our life, we also have free will and it is this free will that makes accuracy more difficult. On a mediumistic level I can communicate with guides or loved ones and it is up to them and my interpretation whether I can gleam any information. Sometimes guides will deliberately not reveal information and will step back, this is because there is a challenge and lesson involved and its in our interest to go through it as it will be a valuable teaching experience for us.

Further many will ask questions about a situation and the answer may not be to the questioner's liking. Life is not a bed of roses all the time, so sometimes you may get an answer not to your liking. As a psychic medium I have to give what I am given. Where would my credibility be if I just made it all up and I try my best to give evidence only the recipient would know and I do this mostly with spirit. That does not mean I don't have personal responsibility, that we all do, so I do have to chose what I say wisely and you need to be aware answers are based on many factors, the link, the connection and the medium's interpretation.

Sometimes the answers you may seek will not be the outcome you desire. The moral is: "Don't ask questions if you are not prepared for the answer"



Maggie Brown (Author)
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Monday, 23 May 2011

REFLEXOLOGY 2. A POWERFUL TOOL

THE POWER OF REFLEXOLOGY
It never ceases to amaze me how powerful reflexology is and how useful it is as a  complement to orthodox medicine. More and more local health authorities are recognising it's value and I was fortunate enough to work within the palliative care team at my local teaching hospital. All my patients were terminal and the palliative care team's job was to make patients last days on earth as comfortable and as pain free as possible. I worked both as an aromatherapist and a reflexologist there.

Some patients were still receiving chemotherapy and of course having unpleasant side effects such as loss of appetite and nausea  essential oils played a great part in helping the nausea and helping with the understandable anxiety knowing that their illness was terminal. Because these patient's health was very fragile, the treatment generally was centred on treatment of the hands and feet, as they were too fragile to have a full body or back and shoulders treatment, none the less, these treatments were very helpful and the feed back from the patients and their relatives was very good. The patient's relatives also benefited from therapy too as caring for a loved one who has not long to live is undoubtably stressful.

One case study I recall however was from a client at my local practise, she had been diagnosed as having a terminal brain tumour. Although the tumour was not malignant, it's place in the brain was inoperable and as it had been slow growing it was hard to say how the prognosis would go. She was experiencing tremendous headaches and her eyesight was now being affected as the tumour was growing near the area of the brain that governs sight. Her doctors could no longer do anything but help with the pain and wait and see how things panned out. She was suffering extreme anxiety, as you would expect and she was not sleeping at all well. She explained to me where the tumour was and she had the permission from her doctor to have reflexology, this is very important as reflexology is a very powerful tool and in some cases can stimulate the body so much medications may be affected.

On examination of her feet, the area of the big toes corresponds in reflexology as the head with the base of the big toes as the neck, I discovered a lump like reflex on the pad of the big toe on one foot, it wasn't uncomfortable to work this area on the client, but on the big toe of the the foot although there was no lump like reflex present, it was very sensitive and painful. This did not strike me as unusual given my experience as we know the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa. As I worked her feet, she fell asleep and when I completed the treatment she told me she felt more relaxed that she had for some time. I advised her to come back a couple of weeks later for a follow up treatment.

When I saw her a fortnight later she was smiling and very eager to tell me when she returned home after treatment she slept all afternoon and woke up headache free and her sleeping was much improved, something she had not experienced for a while. I saw her regularly at fortnightly intervals for around six treatments in total and her headaches had lessened to almost negligible. Now I can't say if this was down to the reflexology or the aromatherapy oils I used in the foot cream for massage, but it helped where nothing had previously. Her doctors were pleased with her progress and possibly it was the nature of her tumour, but I do know from the case loads of patients I have worked on complementary therapies are a valuable addition to orthodox medicine.

Up until a century or so ago medicine was all holistic, where the whole person was looked at and ailments were not pigeon holed, I am glad to see, there has been a turn in the tide and physicians are now seeing the benefits of Complementary (holistic) therapies after all, we are all 'mind, body and spirit'.




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Saturday, 21 May 2011

MORE ABOUT HEALING


HEALING 2
When we talk about "Healing" in the spiritual sense it can take many formats and in an earlier blog I wrote on here I mentioned, I thought initially it was possible to have some effect on others but as I have developed more spiritually over the years I now know, this isn't always possible. Firstly the recipient needs to want to be healed and secondly as a healer we need permission from spirit to heal a recipient. I have also learned from experience we are not allowed to interfere with the spiritual pathways of others, my guides have pointed this out to me on several occasions. Healing remember also on a soul level, so even though you may not make a difference on a physical level you can make a difference to their soul but again, its only if the recipient wants it.

I can recall the first time I heard from my guides who told me why a particular person was not feeling better, and that was because they did not want to be healed for they loved the attention they received having this particular condition and they told me nothing could be done until she saw this for herself, to want to have attention for being unwell, was not the thing to do.

Healing can take many formats as I mentioned and not always with the laying on or hands, be that Spiritual Healing or Reiki, but also by listening, talking and counselling. My job as a psychic medium is also healing, by providing survival evidence from the spirit realms, comforting others by letting them know, their loved ones are happy and they still watch over them and by passing on messages.

But we are all capable of healing, by giving a hug, not only does that physical action show we care, but that there is an exchange of energy, where souls touch another soul and send out positive energy to the recipient's auric field. The action of a mother kissing a child's bumped knee or by rubbing it better, there is also this exchange of energy. With my own daughter she had a stuffed toy lamb from birth and it was always with her, she really loved it and when as she was growing and she started not to be so attached to it, she would always ask for it when she felt poorly. I asked her one day why and she told me, "Sheepy" always makes me feel better, and I then realised why, over the years she put so much loving energy into "Sheepy" when she felt poorly, she would draw on that loving energy to make her feel better. This is why babies and small children often have a stuffed toy or a blanket they like, and no you shouldn't wash it, unless you have to for you don't want to remove any of that energy. They draw on that energy when they feel insecure or poorly, it makes them feel better.

All too often in modern life we have forgotten how a simple touch, like touching the back of  hand, never mind a hug, or just exchanging a smile can make another being feel so much better. When you do this small exchange it is also a form of healing.



Maggie Brown (Author)
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Friday, 20 May 2011

HOW BINGE DRINKING CAN DAMAGE YOUR MEMORY

An article found in today's Daily Mail. I certainly wonder about this, certainly when I was lecturing at college and over hearing the tales of what my students got up to. Week end classes were certainly bad, that's if they turned up, they were generally late or fell asleep. No body is saying the odd drink is bad however moderation is the key. Alcohol is toxic to the liver and cirrhosis of the liver is becoming apparent in young people, it is worrying what a whole generation is doing to themselves

Why binge drinking makes you forgetful - it damages your ability to lay down long-term memories

Students who enjoy regular pub crawls are putting their long-term memory at risk, scientists warn.
A study has found that binge drinking affects the brain's hippocampus, which plays a key role in learning and memory.
This brain structure is particularly sensitive to the poisonous effect of alcohol no matter what your age, which is bad news for heavy drinking undergraduates.
Night on the tiles: Heavy drinking can affect your memory long-term and not just the night after
Night on the tiles: Heavy drinking can affect your memory long-term and not just the night after
Lead researcher Dr Maria Parada said: 'We wondered whether hippocampus-dependent learning and memory could be affected by heavy episodic drinking.
'In northern European countries, there is a strong tradition of a sporadic, drunkenness-orientated, drinking style.
'In recent years, the pattern of binge drinking among young people has become more widespread throughout Europe, hence the growing concern about this issue.'
Our long-term memory is split into two types: declarative memory - which is our memory for facts and procedural memory - which is how we know how to physically do something like tie our shoelaces.
Scientists from Universidade de Santiago de Compostela in Spain found heavy drinking had a detrimental effect on students' declarative memory.
Those who admitted to indulging in too many pints were not as good at remembering facts.

THE HIPPOCAMPUS

This seahorse-shaped set of neurons is known to be play a role in both writing a working memory and committing it into a long term memory store.
It also connects memories with other memories to give them context. So pictures from your first day at work may be connected with information about the physical surroundings.

Many people with damage to the hippocampus have anterograde amnesia: they can remember the distant past but cannot form new memories. However, they can learn new skills.

The most often quoted case is of H.M. Two thirds of his hippocampus was removed to relieve him of epileptic seizures in 1953.
Doctors then realised that although H.M had memories from before the operation, he could not hold on to any new memories for more than a few seconds.
His story changed scientific understanding about the brain.
Dr Parada said: 'Our main finding was a clear association between binge drinking and a lower ability to learn new verbal information in healthy college students.
'This was even after controlling for other possible confounding variables such as intellectual levels, history of disorders, other drug use, or family history of alcoholism.'
The study examined 122 Spanish university students, aged between 18 and 20, divided into two groups - those who engaged in binge drinking and those who abstained.

They were then subjected to a neuropsychological assessment which included a logical memory subtest to test verbal declarative memory and tests to measure visual declarative memory.
Dr Parada said: 'This (study) allowed us to establish a clearer association between binge drinking patterns and poorer performance on memory tasks.
'One of the factors that appear to be behind this pattern of consumption is the low perception of risk.
'Whereas most attention has focused on negative consequences such as traffic accidents, violence or public disorder, society and students themselves are unaware of the damaging effects binge drinking may have on the brain.'
She added that the study accounted for variables such as genetic vulnerability, or drug use, such as marijuana.
Dr Parada said they would be following the students long-term to see whether drinking could affect academic performance, when taking variables such as class attendance into account.
The findings are published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1387919/Alcohol-Heavy-drinking-university-damages-long-term-memory.html#ixzz1MuC1XY00


Maggie Brown (Author)
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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

ASTRIDESTELLA'S PHILOSOPHY~DON'T FEAR NEW OPPERTUNITIES

AN OPEN DOOR
If you are faced with an array of doors what do you do? Like if you are choosing a new kitchen or visiting a show home you want to open these doors and see what is behind them. Similarly supposing you have been in a dentist or doctor's waiting room and you see some closed doors, don't you wonder what's behind them?

So why is it when the Universe shows us new doors, we are so reluctant to open them. Sometimes opportunities are put there for us to explore, we might be missing out and we will never know unless we try.

We cannot change what is past but we can influence the present and the future. We only learn new things from trying something new. It's an old saying but a true one "A change is as good as a rest". Don't go through life thinking "If only" If a new opening is presented to you, it's there for a reason.

AN OPEN DOOR

Don't shy away from an open door
Throw caution to the wind and explore
Don't be frightened of what's unseen
You can't change what has been
Think of all the new and bright
Trust in spirit and follow the light
And if it guides you and beckons you step through
For trust and truth will walk with you

MPB ©



Maggie Brown (Author)
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Monday, 16 May 2011

WILL THIS OPEN A CAN OF WORMS?



Will this open a whole can of worms? I feel it will. Some how I don't feel this will be so straight forward. There are always exceptions to the rules, in some it will give a false sense of security and in others it will cause endless anxiety wondering if this day is to be their last. Then what if insurance companies get involved, will they demand and put in the small print, if you've had the test and you don't declare it will this mean they will nullify your cover? The truth is simply this: no one can predict how long someone will live, even those who have been diagnosed as suffering from terminal cancer, it cannot be predicted how long really. There will always be a few who will want to know, but I feel the majority would not wish to. There will be others, whom their curiosity will lead them to have the test and then deeply regret it. There are somethings best left alone to God and nature, this is one of them.



£435 DNA test that tells you how long you'll live to go on sale later this year... but will you be brave enough to take it?

Critics said the controversial new technology opens a Pandora¿s box, whereby insurance companies may demand tests before offering someone a policy
Critics said the controversial new technology opens a Pandora¿s box, whereby insurance companies may demand tests before offering someone a policy
A test that tells you how long you will live for is to go on sale in Britain later this year.
The blood test, which will offer the alluring possibility of estimating your lifespan, will cost £435.
Critics said the controversial new technology opens a Pandora’s box, whereby insurance companies may demand tests before offering someone a policy.
However, some scientists said the test could also provide vital insights into a range of age-related disorders, from cardiovascular disease to Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Medical researchers working on the technology said they will be able to read a person’s ‘biological age’, by the length of structures on the ends of a person’s chromosomes, called telomeres.
Scientists believe telomeres are an important indicator of the speed at which a person is ageing and several studies have indicated that individuals with shorter-than-normal telomeres are likely to die younger than those with longer telomeres.
But the test cannot yet predict the exact number of months and years a person has yet to live. Telomere testing will become widespread within the next five or 10 years, scientists claim.
But some medical researchers have already raised questions about ethical controls, if the technology becomes widely used.

Research: Maria Blasco said people with shorter telomeres had shorter lifespans
Research: Maria Blasco said people with shorter telomeres had shorter lifespans
Faced with bad news, it is not known how people will react to the test.
The results of the tests could also be of great interest to companies offering life insurance, with those not blessed with long telomeres struggling to get cover.
Some scientists are also worried that testing may be hijacked by organisations or individuals trying to peddle fake elixirs of life.
Maria Blasco of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid, the inventor of the commercial test, said: ‘We know that people who are born with shorter telomeres than normal also have a shorter lifespan.
‘But we don’t know whether longer telomeres are going to give you a longer lifespan. That’s not really known in humans.’
Dr Blasco said that the test was simple, fast and very precise.
‘What is new about this test is that it is very precise. We can detect very small differences in telomere length and it is a very simple and fast technique where many samples can be analysed at the same time.
'Most importantly, we are able to determine the presence of dangerous telomeres – those that are very short.’

 
Dr Blasco’s company, Life Length, is in negotiations with medical diagnostic companies to market the test and collect blood samples for analysis in Spain.
Life Length is expecting demand from thousands once the company is able to bring down the cost of the test.
Although Life Length is not the only company selling telomere tests, it is the only one gearing up for over-the-counter sales to the public, said Professor Jerry Shay of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas.
Professor Shay, who is a scientific consultant for Life Length said: ‘Everyone talks about the chronological age, but there is also a biological age and telomere length is actually a pretty good representation of your biological age.
However, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki from Newcastle University, who is an expert in the field said: 'Studies indicate that telomere length in a single individual might vary considerably over relatively short periods of time, much more than the mean value in a population group does.
'If this is so, telomere length might be good to compare groups, but not worth a single pound to tell you about your individual health, at least not its long-term prospects.
'So, personally, I think to sell this to the public is premature, and I would not buy it.'
The test cannot yet predict the exact number of months and years a person has yet to live. But scientists claim telomere testing will become widespread within the next five or 10 years
The test cannot yet predict the exact number of months and years a person has to live. But scientists claim telomere testing will become widespread within the next five or 10 years. (Posed by model)




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PSYCHIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

PSYCHIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE TO FORECAST THE FUTURE AND OTHER QUESTIONS?

I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
Q. What is free will?
A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
Q. How does free will affect a situation?
A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
Q. So what is the Aura?
A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.


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Astrid Brown (Author)
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