School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: May 2012
The Red Fridge

By Roland

I have recently taken down from my book shelves a copy of a much treasured copy of a book written in 1986 called ‘Spilling the Beans – A Style Guide to the New Age’ by Martin Scott.

In the book the author talks of The place to live as being in a triangle formed by the towns of Totnes, Ashburton and Buckfastleigh.  The house where I live is in the exact epicentre of that triangle.   

But it was his description of the typical kitchen for Alternative Types  – his name for the New age people of the 1980s  (“ATs fall in love with themselves – and have relationships with other people”) – that made me suspect that he might be a secret inhabitant of this house.  He lists various items that were essential for the New Age kitchen – A Rayburn or Aga (yes our kitchen has an old cream coloured Rayburn Royal), plentiful jars of lentils and beans (again a ‘yes’ – although gone now are the old large sweet jars with black plastic screw lids that used to line the shelves and in their place are the Ikea modern alternatives), strings of onions (yes) and a hand knitted tea cosy (a definite yes).  OK all these items could be found in many kitchens in 1986 and for that matter the present day.  But what convinced me that he intimately knew the house was when he advised would be ATs to paint their fridge red. How did he know – how could he possibly know -  that the fridge in our house was painted bright red?  I knew of no other house with a fridge painted red not even within the mystic South Devon triangle.  It was then that I realised that it was not the house that formed the epicentre of that triangle, it was the red fridge.

Twenty five years later I am still here in the house and although the red fridge has gone and been replaced by a more environmentally friendly model, and right in the centre of the house, between the kitchen and the living room, there now sits the Movement Medicine office (wooden desk, large computer, small filing cabinet, telephone and a printer on top of which there is normally a large ginger cat called Hitchcock). There are though many other aspects of the house that still capture the essence of the descriptions of The Spilling the Beans book – the occasional smell of wood smoke, plentiful dry wood neatly stacked next to my tall antique Danish stove (not one of your modern glass-doored wonders here) and most tellingly and importantly  NO microwave in the kitchen.  Us ATs are very wary indeed of new technology. As Martin Scott said we like our electricity to power our lights and hi fi and not much more.  Although I think if he were doing a re-write he would include our computers and recharging our mobile phones – but as I am a really dedicated AT  I don’t even have a mobile phone. 

And this leads me onto the next subject I wish to write about:  Recently my attention was drawn to story posted on the Movement Medicine Facebook Group page about an experiment that a teenage girl did in a science class at a school in Sussex to find out what effect using water that had been microwaved would be on plant growth.  In the experiment “filtered water was divided into two parts. One part would be microwaved and allowed to cool before being given to the plant, while the second part would be heated on a conventional stove top and given to an identical plant. Results were observed over a nine day period. By the third day it was already clear that the plant given the microwaved water was not faring as well as its counterpart.
By the ninth day the microwaved plant was virtually non-existent in its pot, having literally shrunk in size to just a few inches above the soil. The second plant was growing beautifully
.”    This was the proof I had been waiting for. My instinctive dislike of microwaves was finally vindicated.  “Yes!” I cried. “These machines are dangerous.  They should be banned.” 

I don’t think that I would be alone in wanting this experiment to be true and to revel in the poetic justice that the dangers of modern technology should be proved by a teenage girl in a school science experiment. 

However, there was something that was worrying me.  Who was the girl?  Were there any plans for further studies?  I did an internet search and found lots of results.  Strangely the girl who did the experiment seemed to live in several different places in different countries and have a bewildering number of grandparents with different names and had conducted exactly the same experiment on numerous different occasions dating back to at least 2003.  I knew it must be the same girl because the pictures illustrating the story were exactly the same.   Not only that, but a lot of the stories referred to the fact the Russian Government had been so concerned about microwave ovens that they had banned them until very recently. 

Surely this was enough to show that microwaves were dangerous? 

Sadly not.  Both the Russian ban on microwaves and the experiment with different types of water are just urban myths.   They are just great stories that I not only wanted to believe in, but actually had placed great personal investment in their veracity.  Such disappointment!

In conclusion, I realise how much more my beliefs and tastes are a reflection of the time and place I live in and are much less a reflection of my own core essential being than I feel comfortable with.  But then I look around me at the books on the shelves, the large brown horseshoe shaped leather sofa, plants trained across the ceiling and I reach out and stroke Hitchcock on the printer and reflect on the fact that I dearly love my life, my house, my garden and my work with my dear friends Susannah and Ya’Acov.  Yes, I surmise, my life is really pretty good.  Much better to continue to cultivate a sense of humour, tolerance and acceptance of my personality than to worry about it or fight against it.  Like my body it’s the only one I’ve got.

For those of you who are wondering what steps you should next take on your life journey you might be tempted by the Movement Medicine Vision Quest 8th – 15th June led by Ya’Acov.  The residential aspect of this workshop will take place at the  Rill Estate in South Devon and there will also be two days out in nature in Dartmoor National Park.  One of our practical assistants has recently had to cancel this workshop and so we now have one place available at a slightly reduced price in exchange for some practical work during the workshop.  Any queries and to book contact: Roland at 00 44 1803 762255

And don’t forget that there is a Movement Medicine webinar coming up on Tuesday June 15th.  You can sign up for 10 webinars at any time by going to

Katriona, our Swiss Movement Medicine organiser tells us that there are places available on the following workshops:

with Ya’Acov Darling Khan in Thun,  17th May 2012 (evening)
Move! “A Taste of Movement Medicine”
with Ya’Acov Darling Khan in Luzern, 18th May 2012 (evening)
The Way of the Dancing Warrior
with Ya’Acov Darling Khan in Luzern, 18th - 20th May 2012 (weekend) 

To book and for more details on these Swiss workshops please contact Katriona +41 33 676 2708

Susannah will be in Denmark on the weekend of the 18th – 20th May teaching E-Motion: Heart of the World in Copenhagen..  To book and for more details please contact Bina +45 22 84 88 22  

The weekend of  25th – 27th May will see Ya’Acov in London teaching E-Motion: Fire in the Heart.  Contact:  Alex + 44 7868842219

Susannah will be going to Israel and teaching Poetry of Presence 31st May – June 2nd.  Contact:  Aviya +972-9-7418203

The busy spring schedule will continue with Ya’Acov teaching Poetry of Presence in Holland 1st – 3rd of June Contact: Frank +31 71 8893253

Finally the Summer Long Dance July 5th – 9th.  We have unfortunately lost our site on Dartmoor but thanks to the generosity of David at the EarthSpirit Centre we are able to return there for this year’s event.  We still have places available if you would like to book.  Any queries concerning this event should be addressed to Roland at  Application forms are available at

Wishing you all courage in the dance


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.