ThinkWellness360: Many Happy Returns

Words: Dr Sandra GOODMAN

I am grateful, flattered and humbled by the invitation from Raj — Dr Rajgopal Nidamboor — to write a special piece for ThinkWellness360, for reaching its one-year milestone: First Anniversary.

From the perspective of entering its 28th year of publication, Positive Health PH Online — launched in 1994 to refute the assertion that there is no research in complementary and alternative medicine [CAM] and to attempt to bridge the chasm between conventional and natural treatment approaches — has provoked in me considerable reflection and introspection. More so, when we are merely days ahead of the deadline to publish yet another PH Online.

ThinkWellness360, launched August 15, 2021, as its mission statement articulates, is “committed to inspire you to lead a healthy, vibrant life, with the best there is in integrative, complementary and alternative medicine [CAM], viz., Ayurveda and homeopathy, aside from nutrition, among others.”

There is synchrony, indeed, between the two publications.

Events Prior To Positive Health PH Online

I had been, prior to the mid-1980s,  a research scientist, working as a molecular biologist in Canada, then in the USA, attempting to describe, locate and isolate plant genes involved in nitrogen fixation — with the objective to reducing agricultural dependence upon fertilisers — relevant to today’s Climate Change Emergency.

When I arrived in the UK, in 1986, I was commissioned by Monica Bryant of Symbiogenesis to write research papers relating to the immune-modulating supplement, organic germanium. I published a paper in Medical Hypothesis entitled Therapeutic Effects of Organic Germanium, followed by the book, Germanium The Health and Life Enhancer and attempted to organise a clinical trial to test its potential clinical efficacy in HIV/AIDS.

In 1989, following lurid tabloid scandals, an article by Duncan Campbell entitled Pretty Poison, organic germanium was [unjustifiably] banned from sale as a nutritional supplement. This sounded the death knell for researchers to discover whether this supplement might have been therapeutically useful against HIV/AIDS. According to Martin Walker, author of Dirty Medicine, I may have inadvertently been partly responsible, having submitted grant proposals to fund a clinical trial to the [then] Wellcome Foundation.

In 1990,  negative publicity about the flawed Chilvers Bristol Cancer Help Centre BCHC research study, purported to show that women with cancer who attended Bristol Cancer Help Centre [now called Penny Brohn UK] were more likely to die than women who received conventional care. The repercussions of the media storm almost closed down Bristol.

In 1992, Pat Pilkington convened a meeting of professionals to discuss Nutrition and Lifestyle Guidelines for people with cancer; I was appointed the lead author, together with John MacLaren and Walter Barker, PhD, of the Consensus Statement document Nutrition and Life-Style Guidelines for People with Cancer, published in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine [subsequently re-published in Positive Health PH Online]. Pilkington — sadly now deceased — who wished to put the Bristol Cancer Help Centre on a more scientifically sound footing, commissioned me to set up a database of research publications about Nutrition and Cancer, which I did in 1993. Some of these findings were serialised in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine — now defunct — and, Leon Chaitow — also now deceased — the then Editor, which indirectly led to the publication of my book,  Nutrition and Cancer – Health State-of-the-Art.

Research Communication Schism. Launch of Positive Health PH Online

I was astonished, even in 1993, at the huge body of published evidence amassed, particularly regarding nutritional treatment approaches; however, little, if any, of this important, potentially life-saving information was being communicated either to researchers of the wider public interested in less dangerous/toxic and potentially more life enhancing treatments for cancer. My partner Mike Howell, with decades of experience in typesetting and magazine publication, pointed this out, and we launched Positive Health magazine in 1994. The mission: to attempt to bridge the gap between CAM and conventional medicine. I always thought that dividing modes of health treatment into different spheres was a complete non-sequitur. I presented a talk at Olympia, in 1997, with graphic schematics of the no-entry between so-called Orthodox and Complementary Medicine, as well as a schematic for   Integrated Healthcare System.

Integrated Health Care System. Schism Between Orthodox & Complementary Medicine

The intervening 28 years have seen endless technical and computer developments, transitions from print to digital technology, and the continuous development and growth of an amazing Positive Health PH Online community of skilled and experienced practitioners and clinicians across the many disciplines encompassing CAM. And, sadly, more than a few brilliant stars have passed away during the interregnum.

Positive Health PH Online Today. The Future For ThinkWellness360

For me, Positive Health PH Online has been more than just a magazine; it has always been about working to bridge the gulf between conventional and natural/complementary medicine. With the cessation of its print avatar, in 2008, PH Online, juxtaposed by the complete archives of all Positive Health’s content since its inception, PH Online has been transformed into a sizeable and independently owned body of significant publication regarding natural treatment approaches.

The content of Positive Health magazine, originally launched in 1994 and PH Online —  launched, May 1996 — includes 150 print issues from 1994-2008 and exclusively online issues 151-280: 4,364 articles, 4,124 research summaries, 1,867 Authors, over 500 advert listings, and thousands of links, attracting 35,420 visits, 230,272 page views per week. During June 2022, PH Online received 150,580 visits from 38,383 Unique Sites/105,656 unique URLs, 813,727 page views, 1,530,104 files and 1,710,962 hits.

The continuous publication of scientific and clinical research and books covering the entire range of CAM, including body/mind/spirit disciplines — including, perhaps, especially cancer — has burgeoned, as has my own knowledge and understanding of the power of natural treatment approaches as well as side-effects of pharmaceutical medicines.

What a pity that the immense encyclopedic treasure chest of the many natural treatment approaches including nutrition, Ayurveda, healing, herbal medicine, haven’t been integrated into the UK National Health System NHS which remains limited to conventional medical approaches — surgery, clinical and drug treatments.

India’s six recognised systems of medicine — Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy [AYUSH] — offer a larger panoply of treatments. This augurs well for India as well as to ThinkWellness360.

The breadth and scope of the mission and team for ThinkWellness360. is more than impressive with its huge experience and expertise globally.

I fervently send my best hopes to ThinkWellness360 and wish them the very best for the next 25 years, and beyond.

Dr SANDRA GOODMAN, PhD, is the co-founder and editor of Positive Health. She first trained as a molecular biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology, in Canada, and the US, and has focused upon key health issues, in the UK, since the 1980s. Apart from being the author of a handful of books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-ArtVitamin C: The Master Nutrient, and Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer, aside from numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the consensus document, Nutritional and Lifestyle Guidelines for People with Cancer. She has also compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, and is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in nutrition and complementary therapies. She lives in the UK.

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