Editorial Issue 137

This July Issue of Positive Health (PH) has an overall healing theme, with lucid and inspiring features about Meditation (Chronicles of Samadhi), Reiki (Angelic Reiki – A New Healing for Our Time?) and Hypnosis in Childbirth (The Benefits of Self-Hypnosis in Childbirth).
This is a counterpoint to today's grisly situation, where we witness daily killings, raping, beheadings, amputations and other unspeakable horrors in many conflicts around the world – Iraq, Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Darfur, Kashmir, Congo and Sri Lanka.

The grim present world situation is almost impossible to reconcile with the overwhelming optimism, self-belief, determination and love which permeated the globe during the late sixties and even through into the eighties, where I recall participating in meditations at Findhorn trying to bring down the Berlin Wall!!

The zeitgeist during the sixties of hope, love, revolution and a commitment to work together to change the world do seem to have flipped over to darker, more sinister forces of religious and tribal hatreds, conflicts and wars, which is utterly despairing.

I wasn't alive during the second world war, but can now imagine from today's perspective what it must have felt like when Germany flipped from its then bourgeois and liberated atmosphere to the fascist repression of the Nazis.

However, witnessing how much events can change, even after the horrors of war, gives me some cautious grounds for optimism; it's just such a shame that Mankind seems to have to go through violence and bestiality before the beautiful light of peace is seen.

Mirrors of some of the above dark tendencies have begun to permeate our daily lives, where for the past few years we have witnessed a fairly dramatic transformation from a laid-back and tolerant society to an almost flagrant Big Brother atmosphere. This has become manifest in the countless 'security measures' which now populate our every day living – from CCTV cameras, to tedious security passwords to operate our bank accounts, debit and credit cards, to the growing array of laws which have the potential to criminalize us for trivial offences such as dropping litter, and legal powers such as Stop and Search which have been conferred upon the Police. Today's resemblance to Orwell's Big Brother is uncanny.

The connection of the above to Complementary and Alternative Medicine has increased in parallel to the gradual bureaucratisation and endless stream of regulations in every other endeavour of life and work. Each Complementary discipline is presently engaged in setting  training and professional standards for its particular therapy, which will eventually lead to a unified system of voluntary self-regulation for every profession. We hope that this will eventually have a happy outcome, notwithstanding the considerable doubts and conflicting views expressed in previous issues and which were summarized in the previous (June '07) Issue – www.positivehealth.com/article-view.php?articleid=2111. I continue to urge all practitioners to take an active role in monitoring the stance and progress in their respective professions. We don't want to witness any proverbial sleepwalking into oblivion.

On the wider stage, however, concerning more global issues of Nutritional, Herbal and other Supplements, involving the EU Supplement Directive and CODEX, war clouds have been looming for quite a few years; and it will take concerted action and support of organizations including the Alliance for Natural Health (www.alliance-natural-health.org) to keep up the pressure to prevent the powers of the pharmaceutical lobby to restrict access to life and health-promoting nutritional and herbal supplements.

I have always envisaged my work and that of Positive Health to be a part of a global programme to move from viewing healthcare from the narrow 'Two Solitudes' approach to an Integrated Medicine paradigm. Unlike the massively funded multi-national pharmaceutical companies, PH is a tiny minnow, completely self-funded from subscriptions and advertising. In fact, much of the work in PH is unfunded, in particular the Research Updates and PH's internet site. Minnows can still achieve oceans of results; however, if you are not able to support PH through being a subscriber, then perhaps you could make a donation (click on the Home Page button at www.positivehealth.com) to show your appreciation for the vast amount of information available at no cost to the user.

I hope that in time, PH will be able to help form a global force to preserve and protect natural health approaches and counter the restrictive regulations emanating from the pharmaceutically-led lobbies.

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