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Editorial Issue 81

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 81 - October 2002

Published Research is inspirational for me. In this issue, MacPherson et al reported that of a total of 34,407 acupuncture treatments, there were no serious adverse events reported. There were 43 significant minor adverse events such as nausea and fainting, bruising, etc. This is a huge endorsement of acupuncture as being safe. I wonder how would this compare with the same number of conventional medical treatments?

Another research finding – Bidoli et al reported that incidence of ovarian cancer was inversely associated with intake of vitamin E (odds ratio 0.6), beta-carotene (odds ratio 0.8) and other nutrients. In other words, the higher the intake, the lower the risk. Another remarkable finding was that vitamin E showed significant benefit in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (Tsoureli-Nikita et al ). Anyone reading Jennifer Worth's feature about her excruciating agonies with eczema that almost drove her to suicide would concur that the prospect of vitamin E being able to bring about great improvement or even complete remission should be hugely trumpeted by the media.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my colleague Dr Amanda Jackson-Russell who has been assisting me in preparing these Research Updates for the past year; she will be taking a break while she resumes some training.

I rail against and feel largely out of step with the current media-driven world which hypes up celebrity, sensationalizes bodily appearance, money in the bank, and bashing your body until you drop. This media frenzied world obviously doesn't appeal to you either as readers, or you wouldn't be reading this magazine, but instead other magazines which promise instant health, wealth and virtually instant answers to our physical, spiritual, relationship and health problems.

Having been around the block several times, I have suffered and know what it is to suffer illness, pain, loss, relationship break up, spiritual uncertainty and emotional trauma. I am much more interested in hearing from ordinary people and practitioners who have healed themselves or have developed successful therapies for their patients, than from famous celebrities (unless these people have a powerful story to convey of interest to the likes of me).

Specialist publications like Positive Health are different from the majority of other magazines. First and foremost, the entire purpose of the magazine is to provide as much authoritative information to our readers about complementary medicine, rather than cramming in advertising and selling as many copies as possible. This means having expert authors rather than journalists, extensive published research updates and references to the literature as far as possible. Furthermore, editorial integrity is paramount over advertising. When I commission articles I stress to the authors what our readers require – reliable information, background to their therapy and Case Studies of people who have benefited from their treatment.

I guess that being a totally independent publisher matters a lot; not beholden to shareholders, we are able to publish a magazine with integrity.

However, being a small independent publisher has its downsides too; we aren't flush with money to print tens of thousands of copies, we don't have the clout to 'bribe' newsagents to place Positive Health on the shelves, alongside Hello and other titles. Hence we are dependent, as are all small publishers, on our readers to read Positive Health.

In the course of my work, I speak with many authors, most of them practitioners, many of whom haven't taken the time to buy the magazine. I understand the pressures they are under, running their practice, their family and their lives. I also feel that it is imperative that health practitioners read everything relevant in their field so that they are up-to-date with current knowledge and technique. Reading is part of continuing education.

This is our 81st issue. It is such a rich resource of varied information, considering that per month for less than the cost of a cup of coffee and sandwich you have available to you the expertise of practitioners, professional survey of published research and book reviews. Positive Health is written with practitioners and serious readers in mind; I feel it is a shame that so many practitioners can't find the time to read it. I seriously ask you to add this pleasurable task to your schedule; it will reap many rewards in your personal and professional life.


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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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