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Editorial Issue 145

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 145 - March 2008

When I look at the Research Updates in this issue of Positive Health (PH) (please see pages 30-33), I see the tremendous progress made in the quality and nature of research investigations over the past 15
years since the launch of PH in 1994. Today there are vital and well-informed studies critiquing the methodology of researching Complementary Medicine compared with ‘conventional’ drug-based
medical trials (see Fonnebo et al, page 30). Also, more than 75% of medical students at Georgetown University School of Medicine feel that “complementary and alternative medicine should be included in
the curriculum”.

In the Cancer Research section of the Updates, in addition to the study about how selenium can act synergistically with doxorubicin (trade name Adriamycin, a chemotherapy drug) in counteracting breast cancer, are the studies investigating how calcium or some related component in dairy foods is associated with increased prostate cancer risk (see Mitrou et al, page 31), as well as a randomized controlled trial of
aromatherapy massage in patients with cancer (see Wilkinson et al, page 31). There is also a study from South Korea investigating the neuro-protective effects of acupuncture in Parkinson’s Disease (see Kang et al, page 33).

Similarly, when looking across the depth of material covered in the articles in this issue, including Spiritual Consciousness, Reflexology, Sensitivity, Diet, Healthy Skin and Back Pain, notto mention Ayurveda, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition and Bodywork, one does derive a feeling of progress made by the Complementary Medicine Community over the past 14 years.

However, as PH readers can see from the Letters pages 42-42, relations between the Prince of Wales Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH) and Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Reiki practitioners, currently represented by The General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies (GRCCT ), can hardly be considered even cordial, regarding the issue of Regulation. It might be more appropriate to term the current atmosphere between the groups as being at loggerheads.

Over the past 14 years, it has always saddened me to witness and hear about the conflicts and strife which have gone on within and between the many disciplines comprising Complementary and Alternative Medicine. No discipline seems to have escaped such hostilities – whether it has been Healers, Crystal Therapists, Aromatherapists, Reiki or Bowen practitioners, there has been considerable drama, even litigation at times.

Over the first few years when I was a lay person on the Aromatherapy Group, I thought that rival organizations might come to blows – blood on the floor as they say. However, during the past few years, when there has been a concerted effort on the part of most complementary disciplines to get together, agree training and education standards for their respective professions, matters have truly progressed
– a coming of age so to speak.

That is why it is so frustrating to witness such public spats over the model of regulation between the FIH and the GRCCT, as played out in the letters pages of PH, as well as in broadcasts of the BBC Radio 4 programs such as You and Yours.

However, one heartening aspect of these disputes is that there is a solidly professional approach from the practitioner groups, along with their insistence that inherent in a Regulation scheme is the presence of professionally qualified practitioners for each discipline, rather than committees comprised of lay members only. These qualified practitioners would be uniquely able to ascertain the correct level of education and training needed to meet the high standards required to treat patients and provide protection for the public.

I guess that, considering the amount of time and effort which each profession has devoted to training and education matters in their fields, it is only proper that these issues be thrashed out fully by all sides. One hopes for a successful outcome.

Watch this space.


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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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