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Editorial Issue 62

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 62 - March 2001

The origins of numerous effective therapies and treatments often arise from the desperate search for relief of sufferers of devastating illnesses. In this age of evidence-based medicine, which often is the end result of discovery and development, it would be a pity to forget that misery is often a spur for invention and innovation.

In this issue of Positive Health, there are several inspiring and informative articles which arise from personal experience. These include the article by David Johnson about Ericksonian hypnotherapy, which originated with the amazing, now deceased, Milton Erickson, who was paralyzed twice (through paralytic polio) and had to relearn to speak and even move each time. This man has been acknowledged as a genius in hypnosis; his techniques of induction and his methods of therapy genuinely helped his clients to achieve real and lasting transformation in their lives.

Mary Bolles' Integrated Sensory Learning Technique originated with one of her sons who was experiencing learning and behavioural difficulties. There wasn't a lot known about working with such children during the early 1970s; Mary Bolles 'borrowed from' and then further refined several of the existing techniques, finally realizing the benefits of combining the three sensory modes of light, sound and movement, rather than working with the senses in isolation.

Judith Price, nutritional therapist, is herself an ex-sufferer of endometriosis and PMS. Through her own painful ordeals and those of other women, she has developed an extensive dietary repertoire of nutritional treatments to reduce the inflammatory cycle of pain and balance hormone levels.

The development of a powerful saliva ELISA test to accurately detect Candida, as described by Nigel Abraham, will overcome the long experienced frustration of the difficulties in diagnosis of this fungal-type dysbiosis, which, with its pervasive and highly distressing symptoms, is still not accepted by some medical practitioners, and sometimes tends to be overdiagnosed by others. In this instance, it is the perseverance of the clinician to achieve an improved clinical result that is the spur to innovation, and ultimately to improved treatment.

Presently among the medical research fraternity (although relations between the factions are not always fraternal) there is a highly focused attention to research outcomes based upon results of clinical trials, and more particularly, randomized double-blind clinical trials. There is no doubt that properly designed research clinical trials, usually with the help of statisticians, are invaluable in ensuring true randomization, adequate numbers to achieve significant results, and investigation of a sufficient number of treatments, with proper and true controls for each treatment.

Readers of research journals such as FACT, with Editor-in-Chief Prof Edzard Ernst from Exeter University, where each research abstract is critiqued, particularly for its methodology, will be aware that there are very few published research trials which have been ideally, or even correctly designed and executed.

Readers of The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, Ph.D., reviewed in Issue 60 will be treated to one of the most erudite and scathing attacks upon the mainstream research literature about heart disease and cholesterol over the past half century. Dr Ravnskov points out how data have been omitted, manipulated or simply misinterpreted, in order to prop up the alleged causal relationship between cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.

Dr Ravnskov is not saying that cholesterol is not a factor; however he points out very clearly that the research data viewed in its entirety does not show a direct association between cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease, apart from a small minority (which appear to be overselected in many research studies) suffering from the hereditary condition hypercholesterolaemia. Numerous studies, or parts of studies which never get mentioned actually disprove the alleged direct link, indicating instead that people with heart disease don't necessarily have lower cholesterol levels, and the converse, that people who have their cholesterol levels lowered, don't necessarily suffer a reduced risk of heart disease. For students of research design, this book is compulsory reading.

For everyone else, it is a take-home message that even research scientists are not perfect, that there are huge disagreements regarding methodology, and even greater concerns regarding publication and information delivery in the media. This is particularly so in cases where the corporations funding the research are the very pharmaceutical companies making the drugs (or vaccines) being tested.

My plea is that we must never forget to appreciate the huge clinical value of individual insight, research and pure serendipity which so often presages great discoveries which change the medical world and ultimately bring cures for previously incurable ailments.


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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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