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Editorial Issue 41

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 41 - June 1999

Sadly, more often than not, it is only when we ourselves, or someone close to us, become seriously ill that we realise our own fragility and lack of certain knowledge regarding natural and effective health care approaches to healing.

What a shock it truly is when we discover that our elderly relative or even youthful partner fall seriously ill and become disabled through such intractable diseases such as stroke, Parkinson's or multiple sclerosis. Suddenly, a person who was previously fit and leading a full and productive life, can be totally devastated and confined to wheelchair or hospital bed, with limited prospects.

We generally are reminded of how precarious our lives are when we hear of the death, accident or murder of people we may know, well-known TV presenters such as Vincent Hannah, Sheena MacDonald or Jill Dando or tragic mass murders or bombings in America, Britain or Northern Ireland.

Much of the time, however, many of us, particularly in the healthcare professions, carry on with our therapies, research and workshops, busy, efficient and perhaps a trifle aloof from the devastating reality of such life-altering illnesses or events. Except when it happens to us or those close to us, that is.

I often receive heart-rending pleas for information and referrals to physicians from patients and their relatives, people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease.

Sometimes, I actually know the person in question, which really brings the situation home. Being somewhat over- empathetic, and having personally suffered from a variety of non life-threatening yet infuriating injuries and traumas, I feel a great responsibility to try to help people within my capacity, to suggest practitioners or provide a list of published research or books on the topic.

A number of such serious conditions have been shown to respond to a range of complementary therapies including healing, nutritional, homoeopathic and herbal medicine, acupuncture and various kinds of bodywork.

Published research is documenting how acupuncture treatment can significantly improve the prognosis of stroke patients. A considerable body of research suggests environmental connections (aluminium, mercury) between neuro-degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Motor Neurone and Multiple Sclerosis. Nevertheless, these illnesses often become long-term, very difficult challenges to treat, with an often uncertain prognosis for the person afflicted.

Quite distinct from the somewhat miraculous reports I frequently hear about people flying out of their wheelchairs, or illnesses suddenly disappearing following the ingestion of a particular herb or vitamin, the more usual reality which my family and I experience is a less miraculous and more gradual improvement, if there is improvement at all.

Of course, having a skin problem or a knee or ankle strain is not in the same league as Parkinson's or multiple sclerosis or cancer. Nevertheless, the pain and incapacity of even these minor ailments can considerably restrict one's enjoyment of many ordinary activities.

All the more reason to remain truly humble regarding the limits of our current knowledge in so many areas of health and to keep in mind "there but for the grace of God go I". Isn't it somewhat of a pity that we can't seem to take the advice of many wise sages past and present that we try to live our lives in the present, with death always perched over our left shoulder. Perhaps we could have more time and space for those less fortunate, and remain more humble about our powers to heal.

Our priorities as health professionals ought to be first and foremost to help people who are ill, to advance knowledge and understanding of the therapeutic efficacy of natural approaches, and to help reverse some of the environmental damage causing much illness today. Life can be full of surprises, so it is important to keep our priorities foremost in our consciousness.

It is indeed a pleasure to publish such a number of truly innovative and informative articles in this issue, encompassing the fields of energy medicine, allergy, reflexology, naturopathy and childbirth. Each and every article is a credit to the field of health and healing.


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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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