Editorial Issue 101
I sense that as practitioners and/or consumers of complementary medicine, we currently find ourselves in strained circumstances, sometimes with conflicting allegiances. This, I feel, is somewhat of a reflection, in part, of the rather sombre and foreboding canvas of events unfolding internationally, which is sorely testing our sense of control in our lives.
First and foremost, we are committed to improving our health and wellbeing and that of our patients, families and friends. Therefore, the therapies and remedies we choose, not necessarily those recommended by conventional medicine, are frequently at odds with mainstream 'Establishment' views.
So, rather than automatically reaching for drugs to lower cholesterol, calm hyperactive behaviour or depression, or even treat cancer, the majority of Positive Health readers will attempt to put together more natural treatment regimens. And, mindful of the enormous toxicity present in the majority of household items we use, not to mention the air we breathe and the water we drink, we also seek out environmentally safer products.
This issue of Positive Health illustrates a number of the above tenets, including David Goddard ND's instructive article Naturopathic Hydrotherapy: The Constitutional Treatment (see pages 21-25). As David himself has been in remission from multiple sclerosis for 12 years, using Naturopathic principles of treatment, that in itself makes this venerable regime (the alternating application of hot and cold towels) worthy of note.
In Salt – Its Many Therapeutic Wonders (see pages 34-38), Mr M Amir BDS MSC LDS RCS treats us to a veritable homage to the therapeutic properties of much maligned salt, commending its superiority to toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant and its efficacy in treating sore throats, chronic fatigue, sore eyes, skin problems and insect bites. Our bombardment from an early age by the print and broadcast media by flashy advertisements for the above products almost 'brainwashes' many people into a tacit acceptance and trust in these toiletries. That toothpaste and mouthwashes may be contributing to gum disease, deodorants to body odour and that simple salt may do the job better, may be a revelation to some.
Regular Expert Columnist Anne McIntyre discusses herbal and nutritional remedies for stress while Linda Lazarides discusses the link between gluten and a myriad of allergy complaints, including links to schizophrenia, dementia and autism.
During the past fifty or sixty years, the ground has seismically shifted regarding research knowledge and health treatments. The confidence and optimism in science and medicine to create a better world free from disease, which followed the Second World War spanning much of the 1950s and 1960s, has all but evaporated. In its place is a more cynical, fearful yet aggressive humanity, probably, on balance, distrustful of science and technology. Probably rightfully so, in view of a number of technological, agricultural and environmental disasters which have occurred during the past few decades, not to mention the myriad hornets' nests of political conflicts which have ravaged so much of the globe and to this day.
The distrust toward the medical and pharmaceutical multi-nationals has not yet grown sufficiently, in my experience, among ordinary folk, who, in the main, trust their doctors and the drugs they prescribe. However, the pharmaceutical multi-nationals, far from having benign and well-intentioned motives, appear to be motivated by blatantly commercial concerns, which they are determined to impose upon the world, in forums such as CODEX, which fill the letters pages of Positive Health (see page 58).
The medical establishment suffers from massive ignorance of the huge panoply of natural medical research and is therefore heavily manipulated and influenced by the pharmaceutical giants, who are doubtless behind the constant campaigns to discredit complementary therapies, even nutritional approaches for serious diseases, the research for which is published in internationally renowned elite peer-reviewed journals.
Hence the strains and conflicts in our allegiances. We wish to provide ourselves, our patients and loved ones the very best in healthcare treatment, to conform to the highest standards of clinical practice, but have to question and sometimes refute the accuracy of the official medical establishment views. It is as if we are waging a guerrilla war against the accepted brand of medicine practised, never a comfortable position to be in, particularly since one is never certain of who one's allies are, and who are the wolves lurking/strutting around in sheep's clothing.
During these times when we are sometimes in disagreement even with our own colleagues about the best way forward regarding integration and regulation of complementary medicine, we must, in my opinion, keep and hold to the basic tenets underpinning our holistic education, and attempt to preserve those elements crucial to the survival and flourishing of natural medicine. This means at the very least, to at first do no harm, and to do everything within our power to protect access to health-enhancing and potentially live-saving nutritional and herbal supplements. For further information go to www.saveourvitamins.co.uk;
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