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Editorial Issue 20

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 20 - May 1997

Dreams, Visions, Goals. These are the stuff which inspire and motivate us, fire our passion and spirit and, through our conscious and unconscious actions, ultimately determine and create our reality. Our rich unconscious repertoire of symbolic imagery – used as metaphor – can also help to guide us to solve physical or emotional problems, a process beautifully described by Kendall Dowie (see page 5).

Images in every form – poetic, literary, artistic, film, electronic – have always played a major role in shaping societal and cultural values and events. Similarly, beliefs – be they moral, religious or political – have shaped the world stage for millennia. The great religions, huge conflicts such as the Crusades and the World Wars, have to a considerable degree been the product of people acting upon their beliefs.

During the 1960s, idealistic aspirations of wiping out war, poverty and hunger in the world, led many in the West to believe that education, science and knowledge could achieve these social goals. During that decade and thereafter, countless millions of sincere people worked, fought, meditated and visualised for the dawning of an era of peace, enlightenment, justice and brotherhood. We are still waiting.

But what about Illusions, Delusions, Shattered Promises and Loss of Beliefs? The flip-sides of motivation, belief and vision are exactly that – the underside, the rubbish bin into which we throw out our dreams or discard beliefs we discover to be naïve, untrue or even fraudulent. Throughout the past few decades revelations have continued to emerge demonstrating that many of the twentieth century’s most cherished and revered leaders, gurus, religions and ideas were in fact flawed, corrupt or outright fraudulent. Yet, even as we recognise the errors of our perception, we can grow in awareness, admit our collective fallibility, yet once again admire the power of belief and dream.

Complementary medicine, which for many years has suffered the slings and arrows of destructive metaphors – snake oil, quack cures –  has moved from the periphery of ten and twenty years ago to virtually the mainstream, or at least toward the centre of medical healthcare. Such has been the speed of reversal from disrepute to “latest new marvel” that the many hundreds of associations and colleges associated with so many different disciplines, are to a large extent, scattered and lacking the cohesive organisation seen amongst the medical and allied professions. Even single disciplines are frequently divided between several schools, each with their own therapeutic approach and training standards.

This disarray is now undergoing a transformation, whereby each therapeutic discipline is in the process of establishing transparent standards. Within the next decade, we shall  see the eventual array of complementary therapies under an umbrella which will have an intimate and organic relationship with the allopathic medical professionals. I hope that eventually all healthcare practitioners will be trained to an appropriate common standard of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etc, which will then enable students to choose their ultimate speciality, whether it be massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture or herbal medicine. This will not necessarily be an easy process, but one that will signal the maturity and graduation of complementary medicine into the healthcare system.

As practitioners, healers and carers, in order to help our patients we must sincerely believe that the therapeutic practices which we dispense are appropriate and helpful, although despite our best efforts, as with all health treatments, they may sometimes be ineffective. Perhaps the real growth and maturity in complementary medicine entails beliefs, dreams and visions, as well as the baptism of fire gained through disillusionment, despair and rigorous skepticism.

We warmly welcome June Butlin’s column Nutritional Approaches (see page 36), and eagerly look forward to reading her clinical case studies from her holistic practice.


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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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