Archive for category Self-Help

You Are Feline Very Sleepy…

Hypnotherapist Cats: A Real Threat

Hypnotherapist Cats: A Real Threat

This week I’m going to take you back to my native North East – imagine if you will the taste of fresh stottie, the smell of the River Wear and the lush and verdant scenery of Durham’s forest. And then forget most of that, because it’s in no way relevant to what we’re about to talk about. Which, specifically, is an episode of the BBC One North East show Inside Out. The show this week featured George Jackson’s success in registering with a professional-seeming organisation of hypnotists. Many people might think a little odd, given that George is in fact a cat.

In the show, which took a look at the hypnotherapy industry and the sham claims to legitimacy of many practitioners, presenter Chris Jackson decide to test just how easy it is to set yourself up as an “accredited” hypnotherapist with absolutely no qualifications. Rather than register himself, he decided to try the Ben Goldacre approach and aim for feline registry – and he discovered that using a fake diploma and paying a pretty nominal sum it was alarmingly easy to set his moggy up as a ‘genuine’ hypnotherapist.

The stunt is reminiscent, of course, of Hettie Goldacre’s success in achieving membership of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants (AANC), despite being both a cat and dead. Ben registered his deceased moggy in order to show up the nutritionist and non-doctor Gillian McKeith’s claims to accreditation – reports of the whole affair can be read in full on his excellent Bad Science blog. Read the rest of this entry »

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Take A Deep Breath: Yogic Cancer Therapy In Scotland

Baba Ramdev, left, in orange

Baba Ramdev, left, in orange

This week, the BBC ran a report about the North Ayrshire island of Little Cumbra which is being converted into an international yoga camp after a blessing from India’s most popular lifestyle guru Baba Ramdev.

The island was bought by two devoted Glaswegian followers of the Swami, and will be renamed ‘Peace Island’ for the project which will build the camp – and if the claims Baba Ramdev makes are to be believed, the £2m paid for the island was a bargain. If his claims are to be believed. Which, it turns out, is quite a big ‘if’ – considering the wild claims he’s prone to making.

In fact, the BBC report itself puts some of his wild assertions out uncritically, specifically regarding the healing powers of the Swami’s practice of yoga and pranayama. Pranayama, in case you’ve not heard of it, is a Sanskrit word meaning “restraint of the prana or breath”. In Yoga, it’s used to denote the control of breathing practiced throughout the stretching. But, as the BBC reports, it has other properties too Read the rest of this entry »

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Cosmic Ordering: Real Or No Real?

Noel Edmonds, host of Deal or No Deal

Noel Edmonds, host of Deal or No Deal

This week it’s emerged that bearded box-opener Noel Edmonds of the granny-pleasing game show ‘Deal or No Deal‘ has something other than dumb luck and a penchant for stripey jumpers on his side. Noel, who’s career was saved by the quiz show after his popularity plummeted with the demise of his long-running 90s show ‘Noel’s House Party‘, has pinned his recent success firmly on ‘Cosmic Ordering‘.

For the uninitiated of our listeners, Cosmic Ordering is the mystical self-help movement whereby followers are encouraged to write down a wish list of things they want to come true and submit it to the cosmos and wait for it to happen. In that way it’s a lot like the Oprah-tastic self-help piddle ‘The Law of Atraction‘, essentially telling people that if you wish hard enough, anything you want will come to you.

In Noel’s case he was turned on to the power of the cosmos by that sure-fire source of life expertise – his reflexologist. Because, obviously, anyone who spends their day magically rubbing the feet of strangers clearly has the secret to getting ahead in life… but enough of the ad hominems. Instead lets look at this from a professional, respectable angle. Oh, sorry, mistake – let’s look at this in the Daily Mail. Read the rest of this entry »

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iWoo: Woo on the iPhone

I love my iPhone. I love the way that photos insert themselves into messages and posts.  I love the fact it’s a real computer that does stuff relevant to my life. I love the screen, the touch screen and I particularly love the fact that when I bought it, I was among the first to adopt this latest 32GB 3GS model. I cannot normally be described as an early adopter; I shop at TK Maxx for goodness’ sake!

But the thing that makes it sing (I like that rhyme) is the apps, or applications for long.  Yes, there is a whole world of people out there who have quickly and brilliantly devised handy tools that you can download and which reside on your iPhone.  Just waiting for that perfect conjunction of need and opportunity to arise.  Then they spring, gazelle-like, into action with just the lightest press of your finger on the screen, bringing almost immediate gratification and a rush of happiness.  “What is my bank balance just now?”; “How much would the payments work out to on that car with £1000 deposit?”; “What time is the next train to Liverpool from where I am right now?”; for that matter “Where am I right now?”. Read the rest of this entry »

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