|Editorial Issue 171|
The politics and political status of Complementary / Alternative / Integrated Medicine have been central features throughout the past 16 years since Positive Health PH Online has been published. Although many of the overt signs of the struggles and vicissitudes facing many complementary disciplines haven't always been visible, pressure from the media, the medical and pharmaceutical professions have never been very far away.
The issues and machinations concerning the regulation of Complementary / Alternative / Integrated Medicine have been bubbling away, for many years since 1993, to a large extent under the auspices of The Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH), which helped to set in motion regulatory framework processes for many individual professions and which has announced that the Charity will be closing down imminently.
There is already statutory regulation in place for Osteopathy and Chiropractic. Acupuncture and Herbal medicine are currently undergoing proposals for statutory regulation. Since 2005 FIH has been working with government and a dozen other complementary healthcare practitioners to help them establish self-regulatory frameworks for their professions. These are Alexander Technique, Aromatherapy, Bowen Technique, Cranial Therapy, Homeopathy, Massage, Naturopathy, Nutritional Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Reflexology, Reiki and Shiatsu.
Political and clinical issues surrounding regulation of Complementary / Alternative / Integrated Medicine play a prominent role in several features published this June Issue 171:
... the economic crisis will be a major factor with many potential students wishing to train, but being unable to afford the fees as well as the other expenses of full or part time education...
And Bernadette Ward MSc describes how the lack of a Register has affected both patients and practitioners in The Absence of Regulation for Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine Practitioners - Impact upon the Clinical Relationship:
...In 2005 The National Working Group report on the regulation of CAM therapists was published. The report recommended the statutory regulation of Acupuncture, Herbalism and TCM, as "Category 1" therapies in terms of risk exposure to the patient, also in the interests of public safety.
Nutritionist Penny Crowther DN Med MBANT NTCC delves into the evidence for some of the discredited nutritional strategies for cardiovascular disease, including some cholesterol myths and research demonstrating the clinical ineffectiveness of statins.
...A US study in 2008 involved a group of 74 patients with raised cholesterol who were randomly divided into two groups. One group received treatment with a statin drug, together with printed materials about diet and exercise recommendations. The other group received fish oil and red yeast rice supplements and received face to face lifestyle advice from a variety of professionals, both orthodox and alternative. The results after three months were that the alternative treatment group showed a 42.4% reduction in cholesterol levels compared to a 39.6% reduction in the statin group.
In the Research Updates of this Issue under Heart, Fung and Frank from Department of Nutrition, Simmons College, Boston, MA 02115, USA prospectively examined the association between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in women. The authors concluded that regular consumption of SSBs is associated with a higher risk of CHD in women, even after other unhealthful lifestyle or dietary factors are accounted for. www.positivehealth.com/research-list.php?subjectid=127