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Editorial Issue 100

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 100 - June 2004

How should we practise medicine? At first glance, this might seem as daft a question as How long is a piece of string? Or How do I love thee, let me count the ways. You might imagine that you would get a different sort of medicine practised by each individual medical practitioner.

On a range of extremes, medical practice spans a huge spectrum – from the holistic general practitioner to the specialist oncologist surgeon, from the naturopath and homeopath to the neurosurgeon. So, a simple answer to the above question is that there is no one universal way to practise medicine, just as there is no universal way to eat or breathe, although every human being both eats and breathes.

In fact the real question affecting all of our lives is the flipside ofs How should we practise medicine? – namely What sort of healthcare should patients receive?This is an issue about which we are all experts; however, in the majority of cases our experience is based on not receiving what we want and need when we are at our most vulnerable – namely when we or our loved ones are sick.

The short answer to what we need as patients is that we need the very best of all available therapeutic modalities – from the life-saving high tech to the ancient traditional arts of healing, herbal and nutritional medicine.

It is an absolute disgrace that the most qualified and highly trained medical practitioners are almost totally deficient in so many of the essential tools – nutritional and herbal medicine, homeopathy, massage and bodywork therapies, psychotherapy, applied kinesiology, acupuncture and Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine – which can make a significant impact to the majority of chronic, non-life threatening conditions afflicting us. And, that so many complementary practitioners are forced to practise in the absence of the expertise and support of the highly trained medical practitioners.

Thus, in this 100th issue, the Cover Story How We Should Practise Medicine by Dr Sam Shohet (see page 23) is about what Integrated Medicine would look like on the ground, at the sharp end. Providing the patient with the right techniques, with the priority being first, do no harm, for their range of problems.

This is not a new concept, far from it. Holistic, Integrated Medicine is exceedingly traditional, even ancient. It is nothing short of common sense to first treat the individual suffering from an allergy with the correct nutritional or herbal or energy technique, rather than subject the patient to potentially toxic drugs. Or to treat back pain with massage and bodywork rather than painkillers and ultimately surgery. Or, at least to try to get to the root cause of asthma with nutritional medicine and/or breathing techniques, before strapping on an inhaler, which is only palliative anyway.

The final Part III of Dr Nicholas Calvino DC's illuminating series Integrative Medicine for Colon Cancer (See page 30) persuasively argues the case for nutritional approaches to Colon Cancer, with full reference to the scientific literature. For all interested in cancer, this 3-part series should be archived for future reference. This feature also recounts the resistance to nutritional approaches from the medical establishment; however it also documents the reluctance of oncologists to be treated with the medicine they usually dish out to cancer patients.

Drs Graeme and Lilian Munro-Hall outline their integrated approach to cancer detoxification (see page 35), again using a health and immune-boosting panoply of remedies custom-tailored to their patients.

And Hazel Scade describes her own survival from advanced invasive breast cancer when she could no longer tolerate chemotherapy, using a variety of nutritional, naturopathic and environmental approaches (see page 42).

Mary Martin discusses how Reflexology can be of immence therapeutic value to cancer patients (see page 20).

Integrated healthcare is not some type of new buzzword; it is simply the rational and intelligent application of the full hierarchy of available remedies and techniques, in the order of the least harmful first for non life-threatening conditions. We don't need a dozen Royal Commissions to arrive at this conclusion. But this type of healthcare is certainly not on the government's agenda. Only cost and drugs appear to be the major issues on the government's plans. What a pity and a disaster for all of us.

So, what kind of healthcare do patients need? An integrated, full spectrum range of therapies. And we certainly don't need nutritional and herbal supplements to be banned, so please remember to support the Alliance for Natural Health's legal challenge for our right to use supplements –


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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