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Editorial Issue 43

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 43 - August 1999

Very recently, a lovely woman known to all of us at Positive Health arrived in tears, with the devastating news that her 46-year old daughter had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and would be having surgery to remove her breast.

In addition to the emotional trauma attendant with such a diagnosis, all the practical events upon which our lives are intricately structured, were now in total disarray for the entire family. Work and businesses are now disrupted, a very special holiday has been cancelled; also this mother is experiencing an almost inevitable guilt, wondering why this hadn't happened to her, rather than her daughter.

Despite the extremely common occurrence of cancer nowadays – it is estimated that one of every two or three people will suffer from cancer during their lifetime – no one is ever fully prepared for a diagnosis of cancer, although I dare say that many of us think quite considerably of what we might do in the circumstances. No matter how much we have prepared, it is never the same as being confronted with cancer.

This is why we have continued to publish factual research, true stories and personal approaches to healing – to help people in such a traumatic and devastating moment in their lives. In this regard, reading the special Breast Cancer Special Feature issue No. 33 (Oct '98), Maureen Usher's cancer story (Issue No. 40 May '99) and The Cancer Resource Centre, Wandsworth (Issue No. 42 July '99) can be of practical help and support to people who are in true need of support, hope and advice.

This is how I see the role for all medicine – complementary medicine, included – to help people get better, to heal people, to comfort people.

This is not, however, the manner in which many practitioners from many disciplines within the complementary medicine community deport themselves. Far from it. Our experience, dealing with virtually every therapeutic organisation and discipline across the spectrum, has been more akin to viewing battlegrounds and blood on the carpet, with very few exceptions.

Regardless of the nature of the therapy – Aromatherapy, Bowen, Crystals, Healing, Hypnosis, NLP, Reiki, Nutrition, to mention merely a few – there have often been ferocious conflicts between the major principals within the professions, many of which have led to bad blood, even litigation in the courts with all the disparaging publicity in the media.

The people involved in such actions will know exactly what I am discussing; many others in the general public, or hard-working conscientious practitioners, may be truly shocked.

The fact is that most people are of the opinion that people who work in complementary medicine and healing somehow behave in a manner congruent with their healing pursuits, and that they are above meanness, libellous disparagement and ferocious competitive battles to be top dog. Most people would assume that people within complementary medicine are able to work together for the greater good of the people who really matter – their patients.

I certainly have been greatly disappointed to witness and read of these vitriolic and divisive conflicts which have threatened to tear apart and annul much of the good work which has gone before.

Meeting and speaking with people who, through no fault of their own, fall ill and need our undivided attention, really brings home to me the utter futile wasted energy of the constant in-fighting going on within every profession within complementary medicine.

Returning again to Positive Health, this issue is once again replete with a wonderful array of authoritative articles, ranging from esoteric healing, the energy medicine disciplines of phytobiophysics and radionics, the body/psychotherapy of biosynthesis, factual nutritional articles about mineral analysis and mercury free dentistry detoxification programmes, and innovative bodywork therapies.

It is not the individual practitioner at fault, more the original sins of ego and greed for power. So, please don't shoot the messenger. Time and human nature will sort out the rest. If only it could be otherwise.


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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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