Sep 092008
 

An Introduction to Shiatsu Massage(Part One)
Shiatsu originated in China at least 2000 years ago, when
the earliest accounts gave the causes of ailments and the
remedies that could be effected through a change of diet
and the way of life. The use of massage and acupuncture was
also recommended. The Japanese also were practitioners of
this massage after it had been introduced into that country
and it was known as anma. The therapy that is known today
as shiatsu has evolved with time from anma under influences
from both the East and the West. It is only recently that
it has gained full recognition and popularity, with people
becoming aware of its existence and its benefits.

Although East and West have different viewpoints on health
and life these can complement each other.  The Eastern
belief is of a primary flow of energy throughout the body,
which runs along certain channels that are known as
meridians. It is also believed that this energy exists
throughout the universe and that all living creatures are
dependent upon it as much as on physical nourishment. The
energy is known by three similar names, ki, chi and prana
in Japan, China and India respectively. As in acupuncture,
there are certain pressure points on the meridians that
relate to certain organs and these points are known as
tsubos.

Shiatsu can be used to treat a number of minor problems
such as insomnia, headaches, anxiety and back pain. Western
medicine may be unable to find a physical cause for a
problem and although some pain relief may be provided, the
underlying cause of the problem may not be cured. It is
possible that one session of shiatsu may be sufficient to
remedy the problem by stimulating the flow of energy along
the channels. Implementing an exercise regime with a change
of diet and lifestyle may also be recommended. Shiatsu can
encourage a general feeling of good health in the whole
person and not just in the physical sense.

There are believed to be a number of  auras or energy
layers that surround the physical body and can be detected
or appreciated. The first layer which is known as the
etheric body and is the most dense, is connected with the
body and the way that it works. The astral body is much
wider and is affected by people’s feelings. If it is
detected by a clairvoyant it is said to change its shape
and colour depending on the feelings being experienced. The
next aura is the mental body which is involved with the
thought processes and the intelligence of a person.
Similarly, this can also be detected by a clairvoyant and
is said to contain ‘pictures’ of ideas emanating from the
person. These first three auras comprise the personality of
a person. The last aura is known as the casual body, soul
or higher self and is concerned more with perceptive
feelings and comprehension.

It is believed in reincarnation that the first three auras
die with the body but the casual body carries on its
process of development by adopting another personality. As
a person grows in maturity and awareness, these different
auras are used and energy is passed from one layer to
another. It therefore follows from this that any alteration
in the physical state will, in turn, affect the other
layers and vice versa. It is believed that there are seven
main chakras (centre of energy) found in a midline down the
body, from the top of the head to the bottom of the torso.
They are situated along the sushumna, or spiritual channel,
which runs from the crown of the head to the base of the
trunk. Energy enters the channel from both ends. Since the
flow is most efficient when the back is straight, this is
the ideal  posture for meditation or when powers of
concentration are required. Each chakra has a component  of
each aura and it comprises what is known as a centre of
concentration. Each aura is activated as a person develops
and the same applies to the chakras, starting with the
lowest and progressing to the others with time. There is
also a change of energy between the auras of each chakra.

The crown chakra is concerned with the pineal gland, which
controls the right eye and upper brain and affects
spiritual matters.  The ajna, brow or forehead chakra, also
known as the Third Eye, is linked with the pituitary gland,
which controls the left eye, lower brain, nose and nervous
system. It has an effect on the intellect, perception,
intuition and comprehension. The throat or expressive
chakra is concerned with the thyroid gland and governs the
lymphatic system, hands, arms, shoulders, mouth, vocal
chords, lungs and throat. It affects communication,
creativity and self expression. The heart chakra is
concerned with the thymus gland and controls the heart,
breasts, vagus nerve and circulatory system and affects
self awareness, love, humanitarian acts and compassion. The
solar plexus or personality chakra is concerned with the
pancreas. It controls the spleen, gall bladder, kidneys,
liver and digestive system and stomach and has an effect on
desire, personal power and the origins of emotions. The
sacral or sexual chakra affects the gonads and controls the
lower back, feet, legs and reproductive system. This
affects physical, sexual and mental energy, relationships
and self worth.  The base or root chakra is concerned with
the adrenal glands. It controls the skeleton,
parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, bladder and
kidneys and affects reproduction and the physical will. As
an example of this, if a person is suffering from an
ailment of the throat, it is possible that he or she will
not be able to voice private thoughts and feelings.

—————————————————-
Andrew Tomkinson is a writer of articles on the subjects of
health, fitness, nutrition, animals and business
opportunities.
http://www.fitnesshealthnutrition.org

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May 072008
 

Albert Namtjira was the first Australian Aboriginal to be recognised nationally and internationally as an artist. He is best known for his landscape paintings which he painted using watercolours in a western style. He painted the country that he lived in, that he was part of, the land of the Arrernte (Aranda) people in the Western Macdonell Ranges area of the Northern Territory.

Albert lived from 1902-1959. He was born near the site of the Herrmansburg Lutheran Mission near Alice Springs. He was named Elea by his parents but while he was still a young boy his family moved to the mission where he was baptised and given the Christian name Albert. After receiving a western style upbringing on the mission, he returned to the bush at the age of 13 where he was initiated and learnt the traditional ways of his people. This exposure to his culture inspired the love and respect for his country that he would later show to the world through his art. At the age of 18 he married Ilkalita, a girl from a neighbouring tribe. He spent several years supporting his growing family by doing odd jobs and spent some time as a camel driver which allowed him to see more of central Australia. After returning to the mission, his wife was baptised as Rubena.

In 1934 Albert was introduced to western painting by two artists who exhibited at the mission. When one of these artists returned two years later to paint, Albert acted as his guide in return for lessons in watercolour painting. These two months were the only art tuition he was to receive. He excelled and quickly developed his own painting style. His landscape paintings were rich in the colours of the native bush and illustrated the rugged terrain of his home lands.

His first exhibition in Melbourne in 1938 consisted of 41 paintings and was quickly sold out. Subsequent exhibitions in Adelaide and Sydney were equally successful. Albert was soon to become a celebrity, even noting Queen Elizabeth II among his fans. Even though he appeared to enjoy the fame, Albert was not comfortable with big city life, and always enjoyed returning home to his land and family.

Despite his success, Albert preferred the simple life. Sharing what he earned with all of his family in the traditional way. When he wanted to lease a cattle farm for his family, he was prevented by the laws that existed at the time because he was an Aborigine. He tried to build a house in Alice Springs but again he was prevented by the law. It was a ridiculous situation for Albert. He was famous, but because he was an Aborigine he was not recognised as a citizen and was prevented from owning land.

Public outcry over Albert’s situation forced the government to grant him citizenship in 1957. It was 10 years later before the rest of Australia’s Aboriginal population would be granted the same rights.This meant that Albert would now be able to own land, would be able to vote, would be able to enter a hotel and be allowed to buy alcohol.

Unfortunately the restrictions that remained for other Aboriginal people resulted in Albert’s demise. Because of his traditional family values, Albert shared all he had with his family. This resulted in him breaking the white man’s law. He was found guilty of supplying alcohol to Aboriginals. In 1958 he was convicted and served 2 months imprisonment. His conviction and time in jail broke his spirit. He lost his interest in painting and in life. Albert died as a result of heart disease in 1959.

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Apr 302008
 

Brief History of the Australian Sixpence Coin

The Australian sixpence series of coins are unusual in that the same reverse design was used for the entire production of the coins between 1910 and 1963. It’s believed only three master dies were used. The sixpence is second only to the florin for popularity among collectors.

The first sixpence coins were struck in London from 1910 – 1914. In 1915 the coins were struck in Both London and Birmingham with the Birmingham coins identifiable by a small “H” mint mark. After this coins were struck in Melbourne until 1920 and carry an “M” as the mint mark. From 1921-1926 both Sydney and Melbourne mints produced coins but there are no identifiable mint marks. From 1927 the coins were struck almost entirely in Melbourne except for a period during WWII and also in 1951. No coins were struck in the years 1929-1933. Denver and San Francisco mints assisted with production in 1942 and can be identified by “D” and “S” mint marks. In 1943, the coins were struck in just the two US mints and in 1944 they were produced only in San Francisco. After this production resumed from Melbourne mint, assisted by the London Mint in 1951. The 1951 London coins have a small “PL” mint mark.

Example Values of the Australian Sixpence

The following prices are for some of the most sought after examples of sixpence coins. Coins minted in other years are also of value, those listed below are simply the “cream of the crop”. These prices are only a guide to possible marketplace values. There will be fluctuations in the actual marketplace. Prices will also vary depending on the condition of the coin. All values are listed in Australian dollars. For more up-to-date information on coin values, please visit the Australian Rare Coin Ready Reckoner.

Year Average Condition Uncirculated Condition
1910 20 1600
1911 20 1600
1912 40 3000
1914 15 1450
1916 25 2400
1917 25 1700
1918 75 4500
1919 15 1350
1920 20 1850
1922 25 3000
1924 20 2350
1925 10 750
1935 10 1100
1939 1 400
1952 2 500
1953 1 325

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Apr 232008
 

Brief History of Australian Gold Sovereigns

Sovereign coins have been minted since the time of Henry II in 1429. In Australia these coins were struck between the years of 1855 and 1931. Unlike other coins, no value is imprinted on the sovereign. Although the coins represent one pound in value, they term “sovereign” is more commonly used as a reference to the image of the monarch on the obverse die of the coin. The sovereign is the official coinage of the British Monarchy.

The sovereign is not the first gold coin to be minted in Australia. The “Adelaide Pound” coins were struck in 1852. A serious die crack was noticed after the pressing of the first 50 coins. A new die was cut and around 25000 “type II” Adelaide pounds were struck. Due to the rising value of gold, it wasn’t long until it was realised that the actual value of the gold used was higher than the face value of the coins. Due to profiteering, very few of either version of the Adelaide Pound have survived.

All sovereign coins are struck from 22 carat gold. Australian sovereigns minted between 1855 and 1870 carry a unique Sydney Mint design. After this all coins minted in Australia were of the same Imperial design used throughout the British Empire, although they do carry a mint mark indicating whether they were struck in the Sydney, Melbourne or Perth mints. Due to the rising value of gold, production of sovereigns ceased throughout the Empire in the early 1930′s.The Australian coins are much rarer than the English versions and are highly collectible.

Nine distinct types of Australian sovereign can be identified, and many of those can be divided into a number of series based on different obverse and reverse combinations. The types include the early series one and two of the Sydney Mint coins, produced from 1855-1856 and 1857-1870 respectively. These were followed by the Imperial design coins as follows: Victorian Young Head Shield Reverse 1871-1887, Victorian Young Head St. George Reverse 1871-1887, Victorian Jubilee Head 1887-1893, Victorian Veil Head 1893-1901, King Edward VII 1902-1910, King George V Large Head 1911-1928 & King George V Small Head 1929-1931.

Example Values of Australian Gold Sovereigns

These prices are given as a guide only. They are examples of some coins currently found in the marketplace. Actual coin values will vary depending on quality. Coins from other years are also of value. Prices are listed in Australian Dollars.  For more up-to-date information on coin values, please visit the Australian Rare Coin Ready Reckoner.

Australian Sovereign Coins

Grade

Estimated Value

1855 Sydney Mint Type I

EF

16000

1856 Sydney Mint Type I

gVF

6750

1857 Sydney Mint Type II

gEF

3950

1858 Sydney Mint Type II

EF

8000

1860 Sydney Mint Type II

EF

6000

1870 Sydney Mint Type II

UNC

4000

1878 Victorian Young Head Shield

UNC

2750

1881 Victorian Young Head Shield

UNC

4000

1887 Victorian Young Head Shield

UNC

2500

1871 Victorian Young Head St. George

EF

1750

1877 Victorian Young Head St. George

UNC

3000

1879 Victorian Young Head St. George

UNC

4750

1887 Victorian Jubilee Head

UNC

1850

1893 Victorian Jubilee Head

UNC

950

1893 Victorian Veil Head

UNC

1200

1895 Victorian Veil Head

UNC

375

1905 King Edward VII

UNC

325

1910 King Edward VII

UNC

325

1924 King George V Large Head

UNC

3250

1928 King George V Large Head

UNC

4750

1929 King George V Small Head

UNC

4950

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Apr 222008
 

Rare Australian Coin Values – shilling

Australian shilling coins were minted between the years of 1910 and 1963. The currency system used in this period was based on the British pound, using pounds shillings and pence. The coin demoninations were the halfpenny, penny, threepence, sixpence, the shilling(12 pence), the florin (two shillings), and the crown (5 shillings). The crown was only minted in the years 1937-1938.

The following prices are for some of the most sought after shilling coins. Coins minted in other years are also of value, those listed below are simply the “cream of the crop”. These prices are only a guide to possible marketplace values. There will be fluctuations in the actual marketplace. Prices will also vary depending on the condition of the coin. All values are listed in Australian dollars. For more up-to-date information on coin values, please visit the Australian Rare Coin Ready Reckoner.

Year Average Condition Uncirculated Condition
1910 10 395
1911 20 1250
1912 40 3750
1913 20 3500
1914 10 850
1915 80 8500
1918 5 525
1920 15 2000
1921 35 3500
1924 20 2250
1926 6 500
1928 15 1750
1933 125 8500
1934 8 650
1935 5 400
1940 5 575
1946 3-5 50-350

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