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Editorial Issue 88

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 88 - May 2003

There are few people I speak with who don't consider being afflicted and disabled by a stroke to be one of their worst nightmares. In that momentary cerebral accident, lives change forever, for the victim, their family and their carers. It is certainly one of my worst imagined nightmares – to be paralyzed, perhaps unable to speak, wash, dress, even perform basic toilet functions independently.

Yet strokes are not uncommon; I have spoken to a number of colleagues with relatives and spouses who have been devastated by the effects of this illness; my own father has suffered a number of strokes, adding to his already heavy burden of Parkinson's disease.

Furthermore, as eloquently and tragically pointed out in Stroke Disease – Improving Rehabilitation (see page 39), only about one quarter of stroke patients actually spend even half their time in a dedicated stroke hospital unit. And, as aired in a recent television documentary, compared with the amount of resources and structural support in place to help cancer patients, the amount of care provided for heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions is minuscule or non-existent.

However, as is the case for many health conditions, the above 'official' view only takes into account basic medical treatment as considered by the mainstream medical profession rather than new or emerging paradigms which challenge orthodox views and so-called 'facts'.

For example, it had always been considered a truism that spinal cord nerves and brain cells can't re-grow or regenerate. But recent scientific advances with embryonic and adult stem cell technology, as well as treatments whereby nerve cells are injected directly into the brain and spinal cord, have shown that those previous beliefs are not always true – nerve cells can indeed be regenerated, given the correct environment and conditions. 'Superman' Christopher Reeve has helped to raise the profile of research in these areas in the hope that he may once again walk.

And, as we have seen over many decades, practices advocated by traditional, complementary or alternative traditions, including nutritional and herbal medicine, aromatherapy and acupuncture, which were once considered 'flaky' or suspect, are now being proven, often through rigorous scientific research, to be therapeutically effective in treating often intractable conditions.

For example, a clinical trial of acupuncture for patients with spinal cord injuries by Wong et al from the Republic of China (see page 43) showed "significant improvements in neurological (sensory and motor) and functional scores… in the acupuncture group compared to the control group."

Moreover, as described in The Holistic Treatment of an Ageing Population with Traditional Chinese Medicine (see page 27), treatment of the elderly with a range of TCM medicines including acupuncture, has been shown to prevent and alleviate conditions including dementia.

The tragedy for all of us is that the pioneers of new vanguard treatment approaches are often at best ridiculed and suppressed, and at worst hounded out of their professions or thrown into prison, sometimes dying without seeing the results of their treatments implemented, or more often, forced into exile due to the narrow-minded fixed ideas of the prevailing ruling elite of their time.

Hence the intense ridicule in the media of homeopathy (nothing there), nutritional supplements (wasted urine) and herbal medicines (poisons although they are natural) by the conservative, vested interests cabal whose interests are threatened by natural, royalty-free medicines.

We the public are much the worse for this, for instead of developing, praising and nurturing far-sighted geniuses who are developing energy medicine treatments, or nutritional protocols, or researching essential oils to combat virulent infectious organisms, such individuals are stamped upon, their lives made impossible by the so-called well-meaning authorities.

We all hope that we don't fall victim to strokes, heart attacks, Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's or motor neurone disease; however, it is in our best interests that we encourage the widest possible 'outside the box' thinking and research into natural, non-toxic treatments for such conditions. In that way, we may survive and recover more of our faculties and avoid spending the rest of our lives in an institution, dependent upon the goodwill and charity of our carers and the State.

I certainly hope that by the time these ills befall those of my (babyboomer) generation, we will also have advanced considerably in exercising our free will in deciding what sort of life is worth living and when we have had enough. However, I suspect that is the subject for another issue.


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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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