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February 10, 2010

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Psychic journey to Shanghai

SHANGHAI is usually the center of commerce, a place to make money for Chinese and expats alike.

But for one Swiss self-described "psychic and holistic healer," Shanghai was the unlikely inspiration for the next stage of her spiritual journey.

In 2005, Marianne Niederer was working in the straight-laced corporate world. But in her spare time she was slowly discovering her inner "sixth sense" or intuition. It was in one of her meditations that this inner sense clearly spoke to her and told her, without doubt, that China should be her next stop.

After consulting the Western and Chinese zodiacs and numerology, she moved to the city during the auspicious period of February 2007.

The well-travelled Swiss had lived in many countries, including the US, Germany and Japan. But it was in China that she first became a professional healer and psychic, establishing her In Touch workshops in January 2009. She now teaches other people how to get in touch with their "sixth sense."

"It takes courage to say you're a psychic, it's not like telling people you work in finance or at a jewelry shop," says Niederer.

"I find Westerners are so caught up in their logic, they can't hear what their intuition is saying. Chinese are much more open to what I have to teach. The inner sense work shops are all about raising sensitivity to your intuition - the sixth sense outside of the five senses," she says.

Spiritual journey

Niederer's spiritual journey started in 2004. Having worked for years in the corporate world in companies ranging from perfume and jewelry to the Swiss Stock Exchange, she was at a crossroads. Through the recommendations of a friend, she consulted a psychic.

"I really wanted to see someone who would see me as a whole," explains Niederer. "And also I always felt I had something - which everyone has - the sixth sense and the intuition."

It was a special gift that she had seen in her grandmother who predicted a string of illnesses, deaths and calamities in her family. A particularly deep impression was made when her grandmother insisted that doctors remove her son's appendix. Though doctors could find nothing wrong with the boy, it turned out that the appendix was dangerously inflamed.

As a teenager, Niederer also had dreams about other people which, she says, later came true. But she put these strange events out of her mind as she went to university and trained to be a kindergarten teacher. Before starting work she went traveling and it led her on a meandering path through the corporate world.

The pieces of her spiritual self did not make sense until she went to see the psychic when she was in her late 30s. She was particularly struck by the psychic's last words, counseling her to develop and discover her own intuition and psychic sense.

From that encounter on, she started meditating to develop her sixth sense so that she could be a medium, and learn how to use tools such as pendulums and Tarot cards. She learned how the spirit, mind and body are all interlinked.

Delving into this world, says Niederer, was "overwhelming." It was like opening a closed book, "I dared to open it and a whole new world opened with it."

When Niederer works with clients, she usually balances chakras, or energies, which link the spirit to different parts of the body, followed by reading Tarot cards that reveal the big patterns in a person's life. She makes suggestions.

A pendulum may also be used to pinpoint specific problems. According to Niederer pendulums can even find lost objects, remove pain, and find water through the earth's magnetic grids.

With the client's permission, Niederer can also look for their spiritual guides.

"I can see images, feelings, symbols and sometimes repeated thoughts, surrounding a person. By analyzing this together with the client we can work out together what is happening and find a recommendation for what they should do," she says.

For Niederer the process is not fortune-telling - she believes both in the Eastern ideas of reincarnation, and traditionally Western ideas of free will and the space to choose one's own future. Though she is fascinated with coincidences, which she sees as strong signs of fate, she says it's up to individuals to make what they will of them.

This is a point that often confuses Chinese clients for whom fortune-telling is traditionally about what the heavens have planned for them.

"Chinese always believe in fate, they always ask me, 'Will this happen to me?' instead of, 'What do I want to happen?' I think the challenge will be to help them recognize their potential and go for it," says Niederer.

By contrast, common problems for expats in China involve a feeling of being rootless. People hold back from really putting down roots, investing in their lives here and making peace with the place.

"You really need to let yourself be here," recommends Niederer. "It's always easy to escape through the mind, but thoughts are energy and if you do that then the flow of energy in your body is disturbed and interrupted. You become 'dis-eased,' instead of 'at ease.' It will even result in physical symptoms, which can become quite severe."

For more information, check or e-mail to Marianne Niederer

Nationality: Swiss

Age: 45

Profession: Holistic practitioner (channeling, healing, teaching)


Self-description:Creative, unconventional, funny.

Strangest sight:

My numerous encounters with electricians, carpenters, and other such craftsmen. They seem to act first and think later, if at all. Once a workman installed an electric heater right next to my shower hose, it was so dangerous with constant risk of electrocution. It makes me wonder if I'm living in a parallel universe rather than just a foreign country. I just don't get them!

Perfect weekend:

Last Sunday was a good example. There was time for brunch, and time to relax and do nothing. Later I found a cool new TV series in my favorite DVD shop, followed by dinner with a friend. After that I Skyped with friends back home, and there was a taxi just when I needed it.

Worst experience:

When I broke my shoulder bone and was in excruciating pain, I still had to call a number of different hospitals and bargain for an MRI scan. I felt ripped off because it was not transparent. I was being taken advantage of just because I was foreign and it was an emergency.

Motto for life:

Nurture the whole of you - body, mind and soul.

How to improve Shanghai:

Turn off car engines at red lights, it can help with pollution.

Advice to newcomers:

Don't compare China with any other country you have ever lived in. Take it as a whole, go with the flow, and expect the unexpected!


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