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Letters to the Editor Issue 42

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 42 - July 1999

The Dangers of Aspartame

As a practitioner in alternative therapies I have been advising my clients not to eat or drink anything containing Aspartame for many months. It was not until I visited friends in the USA recently and a nurse friend gave me an article that I realised that this substance was so toxic. It can cause symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. If you are eating or drinking anything containing this toxic substance and are suffering from fibromyalgia, shooting pains, numbness in the legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision or memory loss then you probably have "Aspartame Disease". A colleague who was a 2 large bottles of diet cola drinker per day has given up and now feels less depressed, sleeps well and no longer has headaches which plagued him daily. There are hundreds of foods and drinks containing Aspartame including some yoghurts! Almost all so called diet foods and drinks contain it as well as some squashes and drinks for children. Aspartame is deadly for diabetics and may escalate Alzheimer's disease. A substance called Stevia, which is not an additive, would be ideal for diabetics. Not only is Aspartame not a diet substance but those who eat it will find that they want more fats and carbohydrates and will not lose weight; in fact they may put on weight.

The whole of this article is on the internet. Please read it and get your relatives and friends to do so.

Elna Forsyth,
London W13

Editorial Note

The article referred to in this letter can be seen at Monsanto, the manufacturer of Aspartame, has claimed the article is a hoax but almost all research that is independent of Monsanto and the organisations that it funds has found problems with Aspartame. (Walton, Ralph G., 1996. Analysis of Aspartame Research Relevant to Human Safety.) Dr. Walton found that 83 of 90 independent studies found problems with aspartame (92%) while 74 of 74 industry studies found no problems with aspartame. Dr. Walton is the Chairman of The Center for Behavioral Medicine, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.) The Aspartame Toxicity Information Centre has excellent information on the subject.

Internal Warfare!

I was recently saddened to rediscover to what degree my discipline of the Alexander Technique is affected and damaged by internal warfare. I know from talking with associates in other complementary disciplines that this is a widespread if not universal problem. It is a tragedy, because it dilutes and diminishes our work, and the public are bewildered and put off by it.

I think that in every discipline there are, on the one hand, people whose focus is to conserve its essence, and on the other hand, people who want to innovate and expand its boundaries. These two groups are usually in conflict, each one believing the other is a danger to the work. Surely both these ways of thinking are vital? Those who want to conserve, who stay with tradition, protect the heart of the discipline, and keep the core ideas clear. Those that want to expand and explore are also vital, as they ensure that the discipline is enriched and energised by new information and new methods. If one stays strictly within the core information the work will stagnate and wither, and if one focuses only on innovation, the information will disperse and diminish.

This is a heartfelt plea to all Alexander Teachers and also to all complementary practitioners to find a way to the middle ground where mutual respect can flourish between us, and we can work together honouring our differences instead of using them as vehicles for judgement and criticism. I believe our work will be held back from the acceptance and support it deserves until we do.

Lucy P Grant BA MSTAT

The Editor Comments

The degree of competitive in-fighting within just about every discipline in Complementary Medicine has always been a source of dismay to all of us at Positive Health, who truly honour the role that each therapy, practitioner and product may play in promoting natural health.

It is perhaps inevitable that within each therapeutic discipline there exist differences in approaches, techniques, personalities, not to mention products. These differences contribute greatly to the scope, potential and breadth of each complementary discipline, and need not be viewed as a threat or source of conflict.

However, conflicts and disputes have been abundant in almost every discipline, including the fields of Alexander Technique, Aromatherapy, Crystal Healing, NLP, Reiki, Reflexology, Bowen and Nutrition. The above is not intended to be a comprehensive list, merely a short mention of some of the fields which devote considerable energy to in-fighting.

There have always been strongly divergent views and opinions within every profession and walk of life. As Lucy Grant has mentioned above, these differences can be a vital source of innovation, and need not be a focus of conflict, distrust and disparagement.

It is, in my opinion, always more professional and more helpful to the wider public at large, to be complimentary rather than critical of our professional peers; there is enough space in our lives to hold different views yet still work together for the common good.

Sandra Goodman, Ph.D.


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