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Special Feature - Nursing

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in nursing, originally published in issue 24 - January 1998

This special extended feature about Nursing in Complementary Medicine, written by recognised leaders in the various fields of nursing and midwifery, is intended to honour this hard work and thank nurses for their invaluable contribution in advancing the use of complementary treatments and thereby enhancing the lives of many patients recovering from illness, surgery and painful treatment regimes.

A hospital or clinic ward is a different world from the private treatment practice of a complementary therapist, who typically sees patients by appointment for a specified time period and performs a specific therapy. The nurse or midwife, by contrast, often works within an exceedingly hectic and frequently unscheduled routine, where any complementary treatment regimes need to be approved and integrated with other scheduled treatments and procedures. Not an easy task!

As eloquently expressed by Denise Rankin-Box, nurses, by using complementary therapies such as massage have helped to make life more bearable for patients such as David undergoing traumatic treatments such as “chemotherapy, which had removed from my life all the things that made it pleasurable: eating, drinking, having sex, playing sport and laughing.”

The Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital (RLHH) is dedicated to complementary medicine as an integral part of the NHS, and Sheena Wyllie discusses the professional issues and policies which are being developed and evaluated in order to achieve the integration of complementary therapies within the many constraints of an NHS Trust healthcare system.

Angela Avis presents the historical context and reviews the literature regarding the therapeutic use of massage within nursing, Hermione Elliott describes the way that nurses can work within a holistic framework, applying a broad range of therapies to nursing care, and Sylvia Baddley reminds us of the many issues raised for midwives by the increased demand for complementary treatment by pregnant women giving birth.

In addition to these important articles, we also publish a Nursing Research section in the Research Updates, containing a selection of research published by nurses about clinical practices involving a range of complementary therapies.

Complementary Medicine has a great deal to thank nurses for their tireless efforts to improve the lives of their patients using complementary therapies which are tactile, pleasurable and help to restore balance and health. I certainly feel that we are all their debt.


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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. She has focused 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.


In publishing in Positive Health PH Online authoritative articles and book reviews by leading proponents of numerous alternative cancer treatment approaches, Dr Goodman has demonstrated her passion about the necessity of making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, considerable clinical expertise in areas of Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. She is a member of the Therapy Advisory Panel of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Scientific Expert Committee member of the Alliance for Natural Health and a Patron of the Avalon Complementary Medicine Trust in Wells, Somerset. Nutrition and Cancer.


Dr Goodman and Mike Howell, her long-term partner, seek individuals with the resources, structural organization and interest to continue and expand the legacy of Positive Health PH Online forward into the 21st century, adding facilities to conduct online seminars, fund raise for alternative cancer research, as well as to promote leading holistic organizations and businesses internationally. Follow her Blog and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  Dr S Goodman may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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