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Editorial Issue 28

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 28 - May 1998

There is a clichéd and outmoded notion that as we grow older we get more rigid in our beliefs and ways of viewing the world. As a teenager I enthusiastically embraced the slogan that you couldn't trust anyone over the age of 30. Now, I am more certain about the importance of moderation and healthy lifestyle, yet less certain about many practises and beliefs – nutritional and spiritual – I used to take on board. However, as I get older I have started to realise that the strength of my beliefs is often more down to cycles or phases I am going through, rather than a strictly linear chronological progression.

Take health and spiritual/social endeavours. First of all comes the flush of "youthful" exuberance at the discovery of the latest technique, nutrient or herb, or teacher of "The Way to Good Health". Attendant with this discovery is energy, excitement and great hope that at last we will be delivered from whatever is ailing us at the moment.

In the next phase we may seriously devote ourselves to this process, and possibly benefit greatly from its effects, be they health-enhancing or spiritually uplifting. Many endeavours may arise – businesses, training courses, books – and eventually, if successful, this discovery, technique or practice may become part of the mainstream, subject eventually to commercial exploitation. As time goes on, however, unless we have found our entire life's work in this development, our interest will usually pass over to another endeavour.

Complementary Medicine has been going through a long cycle of its own. Forty years ago Macrobiotics, Raw Foods, Hypnosis, Meditation and Bodywork were viewed by the mainstream as entirely fringe activities. Now, each of these and many other therapies are virtually mainstream health-promoting activities, with their own multiplicity of gurus, organisations, books and products. Furthermore, as reported by White, Resch and Ernst (See Alternative Medicine, page 47), two thirds of GPs in the Southwest of England had been involved with some form of Complementary Medicine during the previous week and a majority of GPs felt that chiropractic, osteopathy and acupuncture ought to be funded by the NHS.

However, attendant with the enormous proliferation of interest in Complementary Medicine has come a huge amount of conflict and competition for who and which organisation becomes Top Dog, which technique is the purest and the best and, most important of all, who regulates and therefore sets the rules over all the rest.

This has resulted in the quagmire of which Dr Harry Alder elaborates in his enlightening article – Mind Over Mindfield (see page 22). It is also alluded to in the Introduction to Part Two of the Allergy Series, where experts are known to have strong disagreements regarding methodologies of Allergy Testing. Although it is probably human nature to find another way, or improve upon the existing truth of a given technique or practice, I for one sincerely hope that practitioners can find more elegant ways to disagree with each rather than constantly trying to place themselves on top of the pedestal while at the same time displacing their colleagues.

There has always been extreme disagreement amongst "Experts" of most professions – medical, scientific, legal, financial and political. Somehow, however, they learn to disagree yet co-exist. It behoves Complementary practitioners to follow these examples before they dilute all the energy and enthusiasm they have for their disciplines with in-fighting and bickering.

Finally, with some sadness, I report that this is the last column of Dr Allan Rudolf, who has decided to take a break from writing following his recent annus horribilis elaborated in his recent columns. We will miss him and wish him the very best.


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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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