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Editorial Issue 182

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 182 - May 2011

I recently listened to the very inspiring Inheritance Tracks of Peter Tatchell on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live who selected We Shall Overcome by Joan Baez and Imagine by John Lennon.

This ingenious device of choosing a track of what you have inherited and what music you would like to pass on provides a snapshot, a kind of encapsulation of important themes in one’s life.

In Peter Tatchell’s case, he cited his experiences of marching in the anti-Vietnam war protest marches during the late 1960s, where lyrics such as We Shall Overcome and We are not Afraid provided the impetus to keep going and not be afraid of the riot police. John Lennon’s Imagine enabled the visualization of a world without war and weapons, where people could live in peace and harmony – a better world than the one in which we spend billions, even trillions of dollars / pounds on weapons of war instead of helping people to live more healthy and fulfilled lives.

These sentiments resonate strongly with me, not surprisingly, given we are of a similar generational age; also that I have harboured a similar idealistic vision, despite the current warlike situation across all parts of the world and the complexities of  political and tribal alliances which with one hand arm and train rebels, and on the other hand sanction and wage war on those very same rebels.

I, along with many others, see a similar analogy / dichotomy in health and medical worldviews – the conventional medical / pharmaceutical–led treatment establishment and the natural or holistic treatment disciplines, encompassing nutrition, herbal medicine, bodywork, energy medicine, indeed all the therapies published in Positive Health PH Online.

The ‘default’ view of the general media, the public and the medical profession is to view drug and medical treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy for cancer, for example, as the norm, and to view therapies outside this camp – homeopathy, Ayurveda, massage, nutritional medicine – as somehow ‘dodgy’, non-scientific, even pseudo health or even worse, belief- or cult-based approaches. These medical professionals and the media view every clinical improvement or success as mediated by the placebo effect, or the belief of the patient, despite the fact that many conventional and natural treatments are very often analogous or have common elements.

When it comes to Nutritional and Herbal Medicine, the merging of nutritional and herbal science and development of drug treatments from isolated nutrients and herbs make it difficult to separate the two fields, except of course for the vital difference in approach. Likewise, whereas physiotherapy is considered to be part of conventional medical treatment, osteopathy, chiropractic, and sports and therapeutic massage are considered ‘alternative’. This point of view is ideologically driven due to a certain mindset which predisposes conventional medicine as sound and complementary and alternative therapies as something apart.

A few days ago a fifteen year old girl died of a drugs reaction following a party with other teenagers. The father of the girl in whose house the party was held was arrested and bailed, accused of drugs possession and child abandonment. This man, a University Research Fellow at the Institute of Education aged 60, was also a practitioner of the Alexander Technique; his website about his Alexander lessons was portrayed on TV, with the implied innuendo that this was some strange practice. Whatever the tragic facts of this case, this man’s Alexander Technique practice doesn’t appear to be relevant to the death of the young woman.

The Alexander Technique, named after actor Matthias Alexander who developed these techniques to counter his breathing and voice (hoarseness) problems, teaches posture, deportment and retrains our bad habits in how we through ourselves about, leading to various musculo-skeletal and other symptoms. A more conventional therapy cannot be envisaged. The world is agog with congratulating speech therapists following the success of the movie The King’s Speech; why not the rest of the bodywork professions who support all of us in our everyday endeavours, including sports and acting.

This May 2011 Issue 182 of Positive Health PH Online publishes a wide array of features, including an Interview with filmmaker Len Richmond regarding Cannabis for Cancer, Depression, Homeopathy for High Blood Pressure, META-Kinetics, Energy Medicine, ME, Iodine, Research regarding Macrobiotics and Cancer, the Liver / Gall Bladder Flush, Osteopathic Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment of Headache and Yoga Therapy for Dyspepsia. The Letters page reviews the use of Intravenous Vitamin C as Cancer Therapy and the Research Updates include the topics anxiety, cancer, depression, fibromyalgia, heart,    immune function, meditation, pain relief, safety and regulation, women's health and yoga.

April 2011 saw the start of EU Directive laws regarding the availability (or should we say the restriction) of nutritional and herbal supplements.

“The EU Directive for Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products is due to be implemented after April 2011.  It states that any herb that claims therapeutic properties will be illegal unless it is on an “approved list.”  In order to be on the approved list it will need to be strictly tested and controlled in accordance with pharmaceutical-industry standards, undergoing virtually the same testing that drugs endure…

“It is uncertain how far this Directive will go in sweeping away herbal medicines.  The EU is being quite secretive and there seems to be no hard-fact information about what is actually going to be affected.  Herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and the like will be affected to the extent that they make therapeutic claims, but it is unclear what the immediate spill-over effect will be upon aromatherapy, homeopathy, and certain health foods, although the general consensus is that anything that is to be sold with health or medical claims will become illegal unless specifically approved by the government.  It has also been suggested that herbs such as lavender may even be illegal to grow in our own gardens.  Maybe this is what eventually will happen if we let it; however, at the moment growing herbs may be the only sure way we will be able to obtain them once the Directive comes in, although herbal supplements, herbs in food form, and those dispensed by licensed herbalists are supposed to remain untouched as well.”

I urge all PH Online readers to keep up the pressure to retain availability of nutritional and herbal medicine supplements.   


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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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