Spiritual Lifestyle

Health and Wellness

Education and Learning

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Posted by Alicia On 8:51 PM
One of the reasons people visited their general practitioners (GPs) was spiritual problems which they were not facing up to, the chairman of the Medico Clergy Foundation of Victoria, Dr Edwin Berg, said in Canberra last week.

He said that the foundation was not an organization but an organism. It began in Melbourne and was a group of doctors and clergy which now included para-medical fields. The foundation conducted seminars and retreats and courses.

After working as a general practitioner for 11 years Dr Berg established a practice dealing with "medicine of the whole person". He said, "What I learned from the time that I was in general practice was that a lot of the things that brought people in to see a GP were much more than just the physical symptom that they had."

"Beneath it there were deeper emotional problems and indeed I began to believe that there were even spiritual problems that people were not facing up to."

"So I decided that I was going to spend more time with people, allowing them up to an hour's consultation ... So rather than prescribing medication, at times I would simply counsel the people." This was still a regular medical consultation.

He said that many people went to doctors who were too busy to deal with their problems and often symptoms were being treated when really people had to face up to what their symptoms were saying to them.

Asked if he believed the Holy Spirit was involved with healing he said, "I think this is an important area that we need to look at more and I think that, as medical doctors, we need to look at this more. I think that from what the Scriptures teach us, God is a God who is interested in the whole person, that he is a God of love who is concerned with people and that often our illnesses, whether they are physical or psychological, come out of imbalance. That we are out of harmony with our creator."

Spiritual Problems and Solutions

On whether he believed in miraculous healings he said, "I believe it is impossible. The thing that concerns me a little bit about that area is that if people simply go along for the healing of their complaint . . . without really trying to understand what their complaint is saying to them ... I don't believe that God inflicts us with illness. I believe that much of our illness comes as a consequence of us living out of harmony with his laws."

Despite these views there were times when he referred people to medical specialists and there were times when he prescribed drugs. It was important though not to use drugs to cover the symptom without trying to get to the deeper problem.

Most people who attended his practice came from a Christian background but for those who did not there was no forcing of Christian beliefs on them. He said he had kept an open mind to the so-called charismatic healings.

"I've not personally seen people who have been miraculously healed physically," he said. "I do believe it is possible. . . The thing that I think we have to be careful of is that we don't equate healing with the miraculous. It doesn't have to be miraculous healing to be a valid healing. Sometimes the healing process may be slow. It may takes weeks or months, or even years, and we need to realize that."

Some people were looking for the magical or the sudden miracle and if they did not get a miracle then "God isn't healing." The greater majority of healing went on in a quiet way.

He believes that all healing is of God. "Any doctor realizes that what they do doesn't heal the person," he said. A doctor helped to provide the conditions for nature, or God, to do the healing. Medical science was needed to help in the understanding of the healing process.

There probably were doctors who would see the spiritual as irrelevant. It was a pity when people believed what they were doing was meeting a whole need. Though in his work he had that perspective, there were still limitations. "I can't do everything and I don't try to do everything," he said.

Dr Berg and his wife, Valerie, were visiting Canberra to attend a healing seminar conducted by the O'Connor Uniting Church. Mrs Berg, who is a trained nurse, believes that for people to maintain good health they should begin by looking carefully at their diets.

At least six glasses of water each day provided a basic cleansing of the body. People should move more towards a more natural diet, avoid "fast" foods, and foods with a lot of coloring and preservatives.

People also had to recognize that often they did not do a lot of physical exercise and should find a form of exercise which was good for them. It was also for people to look at how they were handling stress and learning to relax.

Mrs Berg said, "I would equate the whole thing with religious belief. I see it all as a whole. I don't see my diet as separate from my growing relationship with God. To me the whole thing is very much a blending of living our lives as whole people: body, mind and spirit."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Posted by Alicia On 7:50 PM
Yes, it's true - it does help if you're pretty. But skill also plays its part in bringing favors your way.

If you're a plain Jane, don't give up. Go out, sell yourself, develop skills like typing, overwhelm with efficiency and enthusiasm, take trouble over your make up you do better in the end than the pretty girl with the same qualifications.

As the nursery rhyme says, your face is your fortune. Unfortunately, people do notice if your nose is too big or your eyes too small, and it does affect their response to you, especially if you're a woman.

British psychologists Ray Bull and Julia Stevens gave 72 schoolteachers the same essay to mark. Some received it in good hand writing, some in bad handwriting. Some of them were typed.

A report card with the candidate's educational achievements and a photograph was attached to each essay. The report was always the same, but the photograph was either of a man or a woman, some of whom were attractive and some of whom were unattractive.

Men received the same grades regardless of whether their handwriting or their looks were good, bad or indifferent. But with the women it was a completely different story.

Attractive girls with poor handwriting did better than unattractive girls with poor writing, so looks are an advantage if you have nothing else going for you.

"Females are judged more by their faces than men because of conditioning through the media, books and teenage culture," said Mr Bull, senior lecturer in psychology at the North East London Polytechnic College. The study by Mr Bull and Ms Stevens appeared in the British Journal of Occupational Psychology.

But they were surprised by a totally unexpected result. Unattractive women who typed their essays were awarded better grades. In curious contrast, pretty women typing their work received bad marks.

Mr Bull thinks a negative over-reaction may partly explain why the pretty women's typed essays were marked down. Typing might be seen as dumb and mechanical when done by an attractive girl (the dumb blonde stereotype?) but as a sign of resourcefulness when done by an unattractive one.

Is Your Pretty Face Really Your Fortune

It was a very pretty woman friend who first alerted attention to the way in which people respond to appearances. "If I go into a situation where there are strangers, like a party or a dinner, and I immediately come on strong, nobody - male or female - wants to know me," she told him. "But if I play dumb for half an hour, then it's okay."

The same rules apply at job interviews, says Ray Bull. "Initially an unattractive girl has a greater hill to climb to win favor so she should go in and hit hard with useful information to sell herself." But an attractive woman should play cool at the beginning. If she begins by saying how wonderful she is, it's a turn-off; she appears conceited."

If there is anything that can be done to make an ugly child more prepossessing - correcting buck teeth or pinning back bat ears - parents might consider it carefully. According to Mr Bull, even teachers let their prejudices run away with them and fail to provide positive reinforcement for the less attractive children.

Is there a universal yardstick for beauty, certain criteria which everyone finds pleasant to the eyes?

Apparently so. "People can't describe it in words but when we showed them a random sample of faces, there was strong agreement on which were good looking and which weren't," said Mr Bull.

Women looking at other women were in more accord over who was beautiful than, surprisingly, men looking at women or even women looking at men. Sexual chemistry, this would imply, has more to do with the attraction between a man and a woman than the perfection of the nose.

The further one strays from the norm, the less attractive one is, could be a rough rule of thumb. There are people who are far from the norm - disfigured either by birth defect or accident - and these encounter the most prejudiced reactions.

Take Angela Mackeson who at 23 used to be confident, outgoing and full of life. A car crash left her with a long scar across her nose and under one eye, and changed her personality. "I'm very self-conscious now, especially when I meet new people. No one comes up to me at parties. Even in bus queues or on the trains, if someone wants to know the time, they'll always ask someone else," she said.

Ray Bull tried to find out if this was true - or if, as Angela's doctor told her, she and other disfigured people were blaming their faces for their failures.

He sent a research assistant on a house-to-house collection for charity, knocking on alternate doors. Later she knocked on the other doors in the same streets, but this time with a large red birthmark under one eye, applied by a makeup artist.

Only half as many people gave money to her and those who did were less generous.

But, as with typing, people will reassess their response if they think a disfigured person is trying to do something about his or her plight. In another of Mr Bull's experiments, researchers who were either normal or disfigured asked passers-by at a big railway station for money to either telephone a friend, or a hospital. Those phoning a friend had more success if they were normal looking; those phoning a hospital had more if they were disfigured.

Ray Bull's research has aroused much sympathetic interest among surgeons unhappy with British National Health Service priorities, under which people with minor physical problems caused by facial disfigurements went to the top of waiting lists while those with severe psychological problems from major disfigurements remained at the bottom.

As a result, although the wording of the priority rules has not changed more surgeons are now interpreting them psychologically as well as physically.

Mr Bull believes we ought to be treating the prejudice where it grows at the roots. We learn to associate appearance with character from an early age: from children's books, where villains are scarred and grotesque; from advertisements idolizing physical perfection; from the handsome "goody'' and ugly "baddy" on television.

The public should be made aware these are only stereotypes, Mr Bull urges, and that an ugly person is not necessarily stupid, evil or diseased.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Posted by Alicia On 11:26 PM
Shortly after the birth of Christ, King Herod ordered the slaughter of every child under two in Bethlehem, according to Matthew the evangelist.

Educational Toys

Today, Christmas is usually less dramatic, but it can still hold dangers for children.

Teddy bear eyes, toy-car tiers, threading beads, small plastic farm animals, and burst balloons can all choke a toddler. The executive officer of the ACT division of the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia, Denise Blayden, said the most dangerous thing about educational toys was that most parents assumed they were safe.

Parents take precautions to safeguard their children when there is an obvious potential hazard, watching or guiding a child across a busy road for instance, but how many parents expect that a child playing with his or her favorite stuffed toy or rattle is at risk of injury. A bear's eye could be twisted off and swallowed or the end of a rattle may be jammed down a child's throat.

One of the key problems with buying toys for children is that most parents believe their child is above average, so they are tempted to choose toys for them which are too advanced.

Apart from the danger, children don't play happily with toys that are above them.

Parents should take into consideration a child's age and strength when choosing a toy and remember that the toys would probably be bitten, tugged, sucked, jumped on, thrown and generally abused.

A child under three could choke on anything smaller than a Ping-Pong ball. A good guide for checking if something is safe for an infant to play with is to try and fit into an ordinary photographic film container. If it went in, then it could choke a toddler.

The Standards Association of United States had published the American Toy Safety Standard which required manufacturers to use non-toxic coating or plating materials and clean, harmless fillings when constructing their toys. It also covered, construction, flammability requirements, age labeling and packaging.

There is a section of the standard designed to protect children under three from unsuitable toys and it had been adopted by the federal Government as a mandatory consumer product safety standard. It specified that, when a toy intended for an infant is tested, for "use and reasonable, foreseeable abuse" it must not have or produce and small parts which could be swallowed or inhaled.

However, some manufactures "label out" their obligations by marking the product "not suitable for children under three", when it is obviously intended for use by that age group. The labeling had nothing to do with the educational or developmental aspects of the toy, it is a safety standard.

It is also important to remember that novelty items designed to go on Christmas trees did not have to meet the same standards as toys, and a tree adorned with small toy-like decorations and flashing lights could prove irresistible to toddler.

Good toys:
  • are safe and well manufactured, 
  • are durable and able to withstand very rough love and abuse,
  • are suitable to the child's age and level of development. Toys needed to provide a challenge but not one which couldn't be met, 
  • encourage the child's involvement. Active participation is required, not just turning on a switch and watching a toy perform, 
  • are versatile - for example nesting cups which could be used for stacking, and in the bath as water toys, 
  • have a long life - toys which encourage children to keep coming back, that can grow with the interest of the child or toys which can be added to, 
  • can be enjoyed by the whole family - or at least so not drive adults crazy (noisy toys for instance).
The supervision of children's play is crucial to ensure that a toy, which could be perfectly safe in the hands of a six-year-old, did not become a hazard for a younger member of the family. Misuse or abuse of toys could also end in injury. Teaching children respect for their toys and encouraging acceptable behavior while playing is the beginning of injury prevention.


Shape and finish: Check that there are no sharp points, splinters or rough edges on the toy. Nails, screws or other fasteners should be tight and properly attached. Moving parts can be traps for small fingers. Make sure mechanical parts are safely enclosed.

Surface and fillings: Paint and fillings must be non-toxic and stuffing should be non-flammable. Make sure products have labels displaying this information. Check for weak stitching, button noses and the like in stuffed toys.

Size: For children under three-years "the smaller the child the bigger the toy" is a good rule of thumb. Make sure that small parts which could be accidentally swallowed are firmly attached.

Strings and cords: Strings, cords, even fluffy tails can choke children. Ensure a maximum length of 30 cm. Where ever possible remove these dangers from a child's bed-time companion.

Enduring the play: Is the toy well-made and tough? Will it stand up to being bitten, tugged, sucked, jumped on thrown about and well-loved? Always consider the child's age and strength, as children can be surprisingly strong.

Ventilation: Check that there is adequate ventilation in toys that cover the mouth and nose.

Labeling: Labels should include instructions on how to use the toy, age recommendations and should state whether the toy is non-flammable and non-toxic.

Packaging: Once opened, immediately remove all items of packaging including pins, paper and plastic.