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Editorial Issue 200

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 200 - November 2012

It seems unbelievable that here we are with Issue 200 of Positive Health PH Online. The launch of PH was inspired by a suggestion from my partner and co-director Mike Howell while I was building the Cancer and Nutrition database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993.

That assignment came about in an attempt to put the Cancer Centre on a more solid scientific footing, after it nearly closed in the early 1990s following the disastrous Chilvers study which concluded that women with cancer attending Bristol were more likely to die than those receiving conventional cancer treatment. The results were plastered all over the media; it later transpired that the research was flawed - the group of women attending Bristol were generally more seriously ill than the other group, and it all ended tragically in the suicide of the lead researcher Dr Chilvers. I have written about this at greater length over the years. For detailed references to the published literature please see:  

So what do I know now that I didn’t know then? And what have I learned in nearly two decades, managing to survive the many technological transitions from pre-press film to pdf direct to plate printing to online publication? How do I count the endless things I have learned: commissioning articles, editing, renting premises, taking on staff, letting staff go, dealing with printers, mailing houses, the Royal Mail, websites, search engines?

A main salient point stands out - that  despite the fact that things that used to take hours or days to find can now be sourced in seconds online, the same gems which show through the thousands of articles published since 1994 have remained the constant factor throughout the past 200 issues of Positive Health PH Online.

This Issue 200 is a case in point, with authoritative and clinically informative features spanning a spectrum of clinical interest - herbal and nutritional treatment for acne, strategies for building a personal health recovery, stress factors at work, bodywork approaches for osteoarthritis, how to operate the body’s lymphatic pump, in addition to energy healing of humans and animals. This is the essence of the archive of PH Online and its usefulness to individuals, clinicians and researchers alike. For the Research Update archive provides the taste of what is yet to come, as research becomes translated and embedded into treatment in the future.

As most PH Online readers do, I periodically undertake inner reflection upon my own nature and character. I have been going back to decisions I have made, first of all during the late 1960s to change from a course to become a medical doctor, for a mixture of political and idealistic reasons, and during the mid 1980s to change my research field from agricultural molecular biology to human medicine, also for political, global environmental reasons that the problems of feeding  hungry and starving people were more due to political and economic rather than lack of crops to grow. The past 20 years have combined, as a publisher, many of my deepest interests and concerns - for natural approaches to healthcare, nutrition and eating and the communication of research and treatment approaches.

However I still experience deep concerns for what I perceive is a lack of fundamental change to embrace these most valuable clinical treatment approaches and the persistence of schisms between what is termed conventional allopathic medicine and complementary and alternative medicine. This divide is a permanent feature within governmental, political and international bureaucratic organizations at the highest levels, embodied in the EU Directives and CODEX drives to ban or at least neuter the majority of nutritional and herbal medicines. I am also disappointed at the snail’s pace within oncological medicine to integrate and apply nutritional, herbal and other effective adjunctive approaches to cancer treatment, just as molecular biological approaches are applied to designing better cancer drugs. The benefits of embracing these advances will be improved treatment for all of us.

However, the current mood across many countries is of recession, cost-cutting and regression rather than progress in health issues. Having been driven for many decades by money, the knee-jerk response to the lack of funding has been to reduce services, which may be a reality, but doesn’t really get at the root causes of how to enable people to be healthy. Certainly individuals must play their role and take some responsibility for their health - spending a life smoking, drinking, eating rubbish and popping pills, drugs and indiscriminately harming their bodies will inevitably take its toll eventually. And at the other end of the spectrum, spending endless resources to keep very ill people alive at all costs, even though they are in great pain and suffering and don’t have a quality of life worth living, is not sustainable either.

It appears that we are always at a pivotal juncture; the next twenty years will inevitably see huge changes which are not necessarily predictable nor desirable. It is, however vital that each of us strives to work and effect changes in their own spheres of expertise and influence, trusting that it will all result in a transformative synergy, just as I can see that having the complete archive of Positive Health PH Online all together is definitely more than the sum of its individual issues by itself. Will I still be at the helm of PH Online in twenty years? Who can say, probably not, but part of the work I will be doing will be to ensure that this unique collection of natural medicine articles and research continues to serve as a valuable educational and health-enhancing resource.


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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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