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Editorial Issue 147

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 147 - May 2008

In all the years since Positive Health (PH) has been established, one key area which has never ceased to astonish me has been the vastly differing areas of perception regarding diverse complementary disciplines among the enormously varied community of health professionals.

For example, many medically or scientifically qualified researchers or health practitioners,  accustomed to handling scientific or medical data, may not have the highest opinions of disciplines which they may politely term ‘soft’, ‘esoteric’ or even ‘flaky’. For this group, this would include pretty much everything dealing with Healing, Energy Medicine, Homeopathy, Light, Colour therapies, even possibly such old and venerable traditions such as Chinese Medicine, Yoga or Tai Chi.

The extreme hard core of physicians and scientists may reject everything that doesn’t fall into the standard medical or scientific paradigm. So, within the Positive Health (PH) remit, they can and will reject the validity of everything except Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Environmental Medicine, Physical Therapies, Research Studies, and possibly Acupuncture.

Certainly, individuals from this group have told me in the most colourful language imaginable how they view much of the content of PH, even Bodywork therapies such as Massage, Osteopathy and Chiropractic. I leave it to your creative imaginations to visualize how such groups view certain of the therapies and topics discussed in this May Issue 147 – Plant Medicines and Shamanic Healing (please see page 9), Crystal Healing (please see page 16), Homeopathy (please see pages 21-23), even Yoga and Ayurveda (please see page 43).

We see countless examples of this bias toward complementary medicine in the very reductionist, tangible scientific and medical worldview in the print and broadcast media, even in television programmes purporting to investigate the efficacy of complementary therapies such as Reflexology, Meditation, Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy. And, very recently, even the BBC have astonished me by removing their entire content of Complementary Medicine from their website (please see more correspondence on pages 47-48).

It is so easy for the media and health professionals to criticize, mock and deride concepts and disciplines which they don’t understand. Yet, the moment scientists or medical professionals ‘discover’ or ‘invent’ an new energy scanning device which is described from their own paradigm, all of a sudden this is instantly accepted as a proven, verifiable and hard-scientific device. So MRI scanners which use magnetic resonance to visualize the body structures and soft tissues are state-of-the-art, whereas other magnetic devices marketed to relieve pain or stimulate bone growth are dismissed as gimmicky rubbish.

A good scientist or physician realizes how little we know about the body, how it heals, how medicines work, even about so-called scientific facts which are later proven not to be facts, but merely hypotheses which have been disproved. So, from this perspective, when presented with Case Studies such as published by Lettie Vantol (see page 40) who was able to effect rapid improvement with Crystal Therapy from a man suffering severe knee pain and a woman with extreme back pain, despite any beliefs, reservations and possible scepticism regarding the efficacy of Crystal Therapy, it is imperative to at least give these the respect they deserve. We may not understand how Crystal Therapy can effect such pain relief, but at least we could have the courage to admit that we don’t know everything.

Yet, despite all the above perceptual differences which may explain certain of the hostility toward non-hard scientific therapies, this doesn’t in any way begin to account for the insurmountable opposition of the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry worldwide toward what is one of the most researched and scientifically validated area of medicine – nutritional medicine and supplements. This, despite the grim statistics of 204,000 American deaths per year from prescribed drugs and post-operative infections alone (please see Dr Robert Verkerk’s Expert Column, page 24).

One would expect that with the rising death toll from conventional healthcare, the international medical and pharmaceutical fraternity would be welcoming with open arms  health-enhancing, virtually side-effect free, inexpensive nutritional and herbal supplements. For a selection of peer-reviewed references on such a topic, please see Letter on page 48-49) However, as PH readers are well aware, such is not the case. The opposite, in fact. The EU Supplement Directive and CODEX initiatives are at this moment going down the road to restricting availability of many safe nutritional supplements, possibly leading to a day when such non-drug approaches to health and immune enhancement may  be illegal. This is despite the voluminous and exhaustive published research in such fields; witness yet a small fraction on the PH website

Finally, I implore PH readers to support the Steven and Ondrea Levine appeal. These individuals have given so much; in their hour of desperate need, please be generous and donate:


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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 27+ 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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