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Editorial Issue 121

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 121 - March 2006

There is a huge volume of published material in all fields of Complementary Medicine. Such is the volume, that finding a place to house all the books and journals which PH receives on a daily basis is a huge problem. Literally behind my desk and work station are two eternally large piles of books, awaiting commissioning and review; the piles diminish slightly every time I have a blitz and send out books for review, but they fill up again in no time.

Therefore, when the BBC series Alternative Medicine, presented by Prof Kathy Sykes (BBC2, Tuesday evenings 9 pm) is seemingly dismissive of the vast volume of both published and current research in Acupuncture and Healing, the two fields thus far aired, I am appalled.

Why, in the entire universe of knowledgeable people about Acupuncture and Healing could the series not have found highly published and respected individuals such as Giovanni Macciocia (Chinese Medicine) and Dr Daniel Benor (Healing) for example?

Instead, Prof Sykes, who repeatedly refers to herself as a scientist, insists that she is ignorant of these fields, cannot understand and doesn't accept concepts such as energy and chi, and then has to go on her own personal journey to attempt to explain efficacy in her own terms of reference.

She is ecstatic to discover that acupuncture stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain, which may account for how acupuncture can alleviate pain. In an analogous process, she can't understand terms such as 'energy' in spiritual healing, so she entirely side steps healing and goes on to explain placebo and substitutes placebo for healing.

This is of course not to discount that acupuncture's pain-relieving properties may be in part due to the release of endorphin, nor to deny the existence and power of placebo. However, they ought to consider the 4000+ years empirical experience with acupuncture, and the ability of healing to help plants, seeds, animals, even people not aware of receiving healing because they are in a coma, not dismiss the most utilized concepts by the majority of practitioners.

How can a scientist not review the published research in each field, which is considerable, rather than boast of knowing nothing of the subject. As a scientist myself, I would be ashamed to admit, that in 2006, I was totally ignorant of disciplines that have received so much attention from the medical community and are now part of medical treatment.

The field of Healing has been one of the most thoroughly researched fields; such research has been summarized in several volumes by Dr Daniel Benor (www.wholistichealingresearch.com/) entitled Healing Research as well as in books by pre-eminent physician Larry Dossey (www.dosseydossey.com/larry/book.html) including Reinventing Medicine (Harper 1999), which discusses the voluminous solid scientific evidence amassed from research with prayer and other healing practices.

As it happens, the National Federation of Spiritual Healers is currently recruiting a new Chief Executive, following the retirement of long-serving Ken Wyatt; please see advert on page 68.

In a somewhat related matter regarding the chasm, indeed the abyss separating professional views about homeopathy, I recently received and read with much interest, the current issue of Homeopathy – the Journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy. In this edition (Jan 2006), 8 detailed letters from a wide cross-section of the world's most prestigious homeopaths were published, in response to the recently published meta-analysis in the Lancet and the Editorial in the same issue The End of Homeopathy?[1] These letters, which revealed flaws in clinical homeopathic practice, statistical analysis and bias in the selection of the trials, ought to be required reading, not only for doctors not expert in homeopathy, but also to any researcher interested in the minutiae of randomized trials, bias in selection, clinical practice of homeopathy and in fact about publishing the truth. I highly commend this issue of Homeopathy to PH. www.trusthomeopathy. org/case/res_research.html#meta www.intl.elsevierhealth.com/journals/homp/ www.liebertonline.com/toc/acm/11/5?cookieSet=1

This issue of PH features a selection of features including Reiki, Nutrition, IBS, Naturopathy, Bodywork, Myofascial Trigger Points and Tuina. The letters section features an update on the relentless progress of Codex regarding the classification of nutritional supplements and the apparently inevitable fixing of recommended levels too low to be beneficial. There is much to fight for.

References

1 Shang et al. Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. Lancet 366: 726-732. 2005.

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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. She has focused 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.

 

In publishing in Positive Health PH Online authoritative articles and book reviews by leading proponents of numerous alternative cancer treatment approaches, Dr Goodman has demonstrated her passion about the necessity of making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, considerable clinical expertise in areas of Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. She is a member of the Therapy Advisory Panel of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Scientific Expert Committee member of the Alliance for Natural Health and a Patron of the Avalon Complementary Medicine Trust in Wells, Somerset. Nutrition and Cancer.

 

Dr Goodman and Mike Howell, her long-term partner, seek individuals with the resources, structural organization and interest to continue and expand the legacy of Positive Health PH Online forward into the 21st century, adding facilities to conduct online seminars, fund raise for alternative cancer research, as well as to promote leading holistic organizations and businesses internationally. Follow her Blog and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  Dr S Goodman may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via: sandra@drsgoodman.com     www.drsgoodman.com  sandra@positivehealth.com   and www.positivehealth.com

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