Archive | October 2008

Alexander Technique Trials, Smurfs and Labyrinths…


Alexander Technique Trial


A randomised controlled trial of the Alexander Technique in the UK was published in August. The results showed that the Alexander Technique is effective for back pain sufferers.

Initiated by a professor who had observed anecdotal evidence of the benefit gained from those who tried the Alexander Technique, the study showed that 24 lessons of Alexander Technique was the most effective for reducing lower back pain.

The South African Society of Teachers of Alexander Technique advises on their website ( that up to twenty lessons may be required before any significant benefit is often felt.

The study compared 4 groups – six A.T. lessons, 24 A.T. lessons, massage and a control group. Half the patients in each group also received aerobic excersize with nurse behavioural counselling. The best results were noted in the 24 lesson group.


Kathleen Ballard, an Alexander teacher in the UK and a teacher in the trial, says that there was a huge amount of work and dedication required to get the trial completed. She says it took ten years from initiation to publication, and depended on having strong advocates in the research fraternity who wanted to conduct the trial. A grant was received from the MRC to conduct the trial only after ten reviewers submitted reports on the proposal.


The Society of Teachers of Alexander Technique in the UK hope that this trial will lead to them being added to the NICE guidelines for backpain and a greater rate of recommendation and referral by NHS GP’s.


 Colloidal Silver may turn you into

a Smurf

Papa Smurf still drinks his silver supplement!



This man is not wearing make-up – he has a rare skin disorder called “Argryia”; which was caused by ingesting colloidal silver. It doesn’t happen to everyone who takes colloidal silver, but it is a known side-effect and is often referred to as “silver poisoning”. Argyria is irreversible with no cure.


Colloidal silver is often used to treat all manner of ailments. The man pictured here took it for his arthritis. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s silver was often prescribed to treat skin conditions, arthritis and even syphilis. It was used in much the same way that antibiotics are used today. Consequently, Argyria was more common in those days. In the USA, colloidal silver is outlawed for use as a medicine, however, it is still available as a supplement and health “food”. The man pictured above used a kit which he purchased over the internet that extracts silver from the silver wire often used in soldering.

Interestingly, the arthritis symptoms which promted this man to treat himself with colloidal silver have all disappeared. He still takes his silver supplement, despite his skin having turned blue. He does not feel that being blue is a reason to be unhappy…

View the whole story by clicking on this link:


The Labyrinth at St Georges


By Richard Majewski


Many consider Labyrinths to be “New Age” but in reality they are pre historic, the first examples being Minoan. Little is known about the origins of Labyrinths but over the ages they have been evident in Greece, Rome and later in Christian Churches of the middle ages.

 At the Rome Germany Museum in Cologne on the river Rhine, one can see a square labyrinth as part of a Roman house, while a few hundred metres away, another square Labyrinth features on a staircase landing in the mighty Dom Cathedral.


The Labyrinth at St Georges is based on the classical Chartres Cathedral 11 circuit medieval design. It was inspired by the Dean Rowan Smith when he experienced the spirituality of a Labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and learned more about them from world expert Dr Lauren Artress a serving priest at Grace Cathedral.


Dr Artress has more or less single handedly revived interest in labyrinths in the modern era, writing and teaching about their use and interpretation. Dr Artress trained the first facilitators at St Georges and is hoped to return in the spring of 2009 for a “Labyrinth Week”.


Built in 2003, the St Georges Labyrinth was consecrated on the 4th of May 2004 in a special ceremony.


While the St Georges labyrinth, called Siyahamba (Pray with your feet) is on Church property, it is open to all. It is used by the congregation for liturgical walks on holy days, but the interpretation while Christian, is not dogmatic. Visitors are however free to interpret the Labyrinth as they see fit. Dr Artress has stated that within every church congregation or group in general, there are always “Seekers” looking for further spiritual understanding and meaning, and they should not be bound by dogmatic rules.


The site is open to all weekdays from 08:00 to 17:00 and of course on Sundays during and after services.


Every 2nd Saturday of the month, a facilitated walk is held from 14:00 to 16:00 with guidance, time for meditation, space to talk about the experience, and a place to learn more about labyrinths. Invitations are circulated regularly and anyone wishing to receive them can subscribe by sending me an e-mail.


Groups may book walks at any time and use the labyrinth in their own way.


All activities are free, and in the nature of Churches, donations are always welcome.


Since opening, the labyrinth has attracted a steady stream of walkers, more and more of whom are becoming regulars. The position in the courtyard, between Parliament and the high rise city blocks has a special type of peace, evening in a city centre. There are public toilets open at all times, and sometimes Choir practice wafts down upon the walkers as if in an aural blessing from above.


We encourage your readers to come and see us, join in a share the Labyrinth.


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