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Editorial Issue 21

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 21 - August 1997

I suppose that I behave like most other people when hit by a particular health problem. On the one hand, I am driven to discover the nature and diagnosis of the problem to satisfy my medical and scientific curiosity, and on the other, I secretly hope to be magically (and quickly) healed by some practitioner who could just look at me, know what is wrong and fix it painlessly. Unfortunately, I have been seeking these wonderful all-seeing, all-knowing practitioners all my life – if you ever meet one of them, please send me their details.

If I sprain my knee, twist my back, or acquire some gut-wrenching bacterium, it is necessary but not sufficient to know what I’ve got, but on another level I just want to feel better. And this is the dilemma for so many people suffering from chronic debilitating pain – from arthritis, ankylosing spondolitis, migraine – knowing what afflicts you is no comfort – what you need is relief. This dilemma is further described in research updates by Bendelow and Williams and Seers on page 56.

There seem to be two opposite approaches prominent in complementary medicine today – one is the drive for greater excellence, knowledge, understanding, experience and qualifications in each discipline; the other is the search for more self-knowledge and greater inner truth.

You might ask how the scientific and intuitive approaches in health can ever be reconciled. How can the demand for a precise medically-defined diagnosis ever be compatible with the presently non-explainable, yet apparently therapeutically effective disciplines of energy medicine, such as homoeopathy, Kirlian photography and radionics, to name but a few?

An attempt at an answer to this seemingly intractable paradox is that these apparently contradictory
attributes are present simultaneously throughout many disciplines;  healing, meditation and the search for enlightenment often involves both the help from a teacher or spiritual leader as well as daily inner practices of meditation. Healing from cancer or heart disease often involves drugs, surgery and dietary changes as well as lifestyle changes, changes in attitude or spiritual practice.

It also helps to remember that much of what is currently thought of as “truth” will be challenged and possibly overturned in the future by advances of science. The majority of people believe the accepted truth of the day as gospel; however, there are always a minority of “whistle-blowers” who question, criticise and ultimately overturn the status quo. If, ten years ago, you had suggested to your doctor that diet could be a major risk factor in cancer you may have been laughed out of his or her office; today, it is now accepted by all the established medical organisations that diet is perhaps THE major risk factor for cancer.

In the same vein, HRT is presently regarded by the majority of physicians as absolutely the best protection against heart disease and osteoporosis for menopausal women; however, a significant minority of researchers, clinicians and women themselves are seriously questioning the wisdom of ingesting for many years significant quantities of oestrogen which may put them at increased risk of cancer and actually increase bone loss as well.

That experts will always disagree is nothing new and this diversity of opinion is aired in the Special Feature on the Menopause on pages 31–46, which explores an array of natural alternatives to HRT.

As elaborated eloquently by Leslie Kenton, (see interview page 43–46) “90% of lawyers are reasonably mediocre, the other 10% are brilliant, and the same is true of practitioners”. In an ideal world, we would all be able to find brilliant practitioners who would be all-knowing. In the real world we all inhabit, in our search for health and wellness, we need to inform ourselves with the latest knowledge AND be able to trust our own judgment and experience with our own bodies. Because “ultimately it is only you that you can trust”.


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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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