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October 2000 - March 2002 archive.

The Myth That Is Detox.

Scientists have decided to put detox under the microscope, and in doing so have found a mulit-million pound industry based on myth and speculation. Many people use detox products in the new year, in order to speed up their recovery from festive excess. However, for most healthy individuals, rest, tap water, and a healthy diet are all that is required. This from The BBC.

Vegetable Proteins Reduce Blood Pressure.

Researchers studied over 4,000 people and found that those that had a diet rich in vegetable proteins, had lower blood pressure and a lower risk of related diseases. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and can be found in vegetables. Vegetables are also high in beneficial antioxidants and low in salt. This from The BBC.

Multivitamins, healthy for who exactly?

Many people take multivitamins each day in order to supplement their diet and ward off disease. However, there is a growing body of evidence showing that multivitamins do not in fact protect people from illness. New research in Scotland appears to re-inforce the argument against multivitamins. Researchers in Aberdeen studied over 900 elderly people and found no difference in health between those who did and those who didn't take supplements. This from The Guardian.

Fishing for health.

People who eat at least one meal a week containing fish rich in omega 3, are less prone to mental decline and Alzheimers disease. Over 3,000 people took part in the study in Chicago, Illinois, by taking a simple recall test, and making a record of their diet. Although decline in mental powers is associated with ageing, regular physical exercise, a healthy diet and regular mental exercise have all been shown to have positive effects. This from CNN.



Large Scale Study Endorses A Mediterranean Diet.

A large scale, pan-European study, involving data collected from over 74,000 Europeans from nine European countries has confirmed results from previous smaller trials; that a diet rich in plant foods and low in saturated fats is associated with increased life expectancy in the elderly. This from The BMJ.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Garlic?

Researchers in the US have been reviewing the evidence on the effects of garlic in preventing heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure. They searched 11 electronic databases and found some evidence that garlic is beneficial in the short term, in reducing lipids, but inconclusive evidence of it's effect in preventing blood clots and heart attacks. The evidence that garlic may prevent cancer is also inconclusive. This from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), at the request of The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Eating salty foods can lead to stomach cancer.

Eating salty foods can double your chance of getting stomach cancer. These are the findings of researchers in Japan, where stomach cancer is the most common form of the disease. They conducted a longitudinal study of 40,000 middle aged people over an 11 year period, monitoring their dietary, drinking and smoking habits.

This from Englemed.

Cigarette smoke kills non-smoking staff.

It has been estimated that 52 people working in bars and restaurants die each year from passive smoking in the UK. Assuming that there is three times as much smoke than in the home of a smoker, Professor Jamrozik of Imperial College was also able to estimate that as many as 700 non-smokers die from tobacco smoke in the workplace generally. Then why are so few businesses introducing smoking bans? Evidence from the New York suggests that doing so does not affect profits and actually encourages smokers to quit, something the majority want to do anyway.

From The BMJ.

Ashanti Remedies In Succesful Trial.

A collaboration between researchers in Ghana and the UK has found that some traditional Ashanti remedies are highly effective against bacterial and yeast infections. The Ashanti, one of the largest ethnic groups in Ghana, use extracts of the African Tulip tree and Secamone afzelli in the form of pastes, to treat wounds. Researchers found that the pastes also had anti-oxidative properties, thereby reducing inflammation. Many people in West Africa have little alternative to traditional remedies.

Chinese Tea YZH clears jaundice from mice in tests.

Babies are sometimes born with jaundice, as the immature liver is unable to clear waste products from the body. The usual treatment for this temporary condition is to place the baby under a light which helps to eliminate bilirubin through the skin. However, a trial in the US on mice, found that a particular chinese herbal tea is an effective treatment for jaundice. Yin Zhi Huang (YZH) has been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat jaundice for many years. Reserchers found that the tea activates a key receptor in the liver.

New advice on herbal remedies from the NIH.



The National Institute Of Health, is a great place to find the best information and advice on a whole range of conditions and their treatments. The Institute uses the latest research to help the general public make informed decisions on health issues.

The new advice the NIH gives to people who are considering herbal supplements is equally well considered and based on the latest evidence. Therapy-World recommends that anyone looking for a herbal remedy, should read their guidelines first. Remember, claims made by some manufacturers and retailers are not always based on scientific fact. You might get more than you bargained for, you may well get less. Click on the link to find out more.

Will routine vitamin supplements prevent cancer and heart disease?

The short answer is, "we don't know". This is the conclusion drawn by a panel of leading experts in the field of health promotion. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) carried out a sytematic review of the available research and found it wanting. Much of the research they considered, was "inadequate", "conflicting" and otherwise unreliable. In addition, they make a recommendation that beta-carotene may actually be harmful to some groups, smokers in particular.

The USPSTF don't rule out supplementation but those who take vitamins on a regular basis may find their report interesting.



Healing through consciousness, more reality than myth?

Is a truly compassionate practitioner, able to improve another's health through consciousness? If so, can two practitioners, working together, have an even greater effect?

These questions are now being answered by researchers in the US. Scientists have known for some time that consciousness can change the nature of events, although the processes at work remain a mystery.

For example, researchers at Princeton University developed a machine which generates a random electrical signal. They constructed a study which measured the effect of the consciousness of different people, on the same random electrical signal. They discovered that without touching the machine, consciousness had an effect, creating order out of chaos.

Not only that, they also found that the effect was not dependent on how close a person was to the machine, having had the same effect from thousands of miles away, as they had standing by the machine, or whether they were communicating at the same time or by recording.

Therapy-World reported on a previous study some time ago, which demonstrated how people praying in one country, could significantly improve the chances of successful in-vitro fertilisation for people living in another.

Researchers are now studying the effect of healing consciousness in a clinical setting. We will be following their progress closely and have added their website to our links page.



Sexual Health In England In "Rapid Decline".

Recently, there were reports throughout the media, of a rapid decline in the sexual health of people living in England. Their source, was a government funded survey which found that around one in ten sexually active women, are infected with chlamydia, that syphillis infections have increased by 500%, and gonorrhoea by 100%.

The full report, which is available through The Stationary Office , also found that the most widely used test to diagnose chlamydia was ineffective, and that sexual health clinics were in a woeful state, ill-equipped to deal with the growing sexual health crisis.

HIV is also increasing, particularly amongst people travelling to and from sub-Saharan Africa, which means that minority ethnic groups bear the brunt of poor health and social stigma. The cost of HIV therapies continue to spiral, drawing resouces away from clinics and towards drug treatments.

To read the full report, visit The Stationary Office.



Athletes at risk from ephedra.

Startling new evidence has emerged which appears to show that ephedra may be life-threatening in combination with stimulants and strenuous exercise.

A health warning was issued by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, in response to a review of "adverse events" where no cause for injury, other than ephedra, could be found. Reactions range from tremor and insomnia, to strokes, heart attacks and death. Products containing ephedra, also known as Ma Huang, make up only 1% of sales of dietary supplements, but are associated with 64% of adverse events from dietary supplements as a whole.

Given that ephedra has been extensively promoted as a performance enhancing supplement for athletes, the DHH has initiated a process of warning and consultation in order to safeguard the public and allow for a proper assessment of risk versus benefit. It has stopped short of an outright ban at this stage.

You are advised to approach all dietary supplements with caution and to seek a medical opinion.



New addition to our "Links" page.

Many people in the UK and across the globe suffer from anxiety. Symptoms can be so severe that living a normal life can become impossible. Can you imagine, not being able to go out and meet friends, because of an overwhelming fear of sudden death?

Anxiety can wear many guises; panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, post traumatic stress disorder to name but a few. But when it strikes, the effects can leave an otherwise confident person, confused and withdrawn.

Conventional medicine has no quick fix for anxiety, as you will know if you have ever gone to your G.P. and asked for help. Drugs which are available to treat the condition, have debilitating side effects and cause dependence. A drug addiction is the last thing you need if you have anxiety.

Finding help online, can sometimes be a hit and miss process, with many websites making dubious claims about their particular products. But there are websites which provide reliable, evidence based information on anxiety, describing common conditions, and offering sound advice and practical support.

The Phobics Society website is one such location. There you will find a DIY diagnostic tool to help you compare your experience with common symptoms. There are fact sheets, information on anxiety research programmes, support groups, a chat room, bulletin boards, and a list of other sources of help and advice.

We have now added The Phobics Society to the Therapy-World Links Page.



Smoking Cannabis Is Bad For Your Health.

You are four times more likely to develop schizophrenia and major depression if you regularly smoke cannabis, according to studies in Sweden and New Zealand. Although findings are controversial, researchers believe cannabis smokers are also taking a greater risk with their health than those in the 60's and 70's, as the drug is more potent now. In addition, smoking cannabis is associated with cancer. This fromThe BBC.



How reliable are health websites?

People who have cancer, often look to alternative medicine for new treatment options, instead of, or complementary to conventional medicine. They may choose the internet a source of information, but how reliable is it? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, believe that asking five simple questions may be one way to evaluate a website's reliability. This from Yahoo.

Probiotics, the facts.

Probiotics are an increasingly popular food supplement, available from a growing number of manufacturers. Research has shown that enhancing the numbers of helpful bacteria in the gut can help reduce the side effects of antibiotics and may protect against bacterial infection. However, Consumerlab tested 25 probiotic products and found that 1 in 3 had less than 1% of the number of bacteria they claimed to have or are thought to be effective. Consumerlab also give a useful resume of the evidence on probiotic efficacy.This from Consumerlab in the US.



How to have healthy sperm. The evidence.

Men who are exposed to high levels of lead in the workplace, or those who have high levels of lead in their blood due to smoking, drinking alcohol or failing to exercise, are less likely to father a child. These are the findings of researchers in the US. Evidence shows how lead interferes in two ways with the process of fertilisation. Another study found that the health and vitality of male sperm deteriorates with age, and although a man can become a father late in life, evidence suggests that this becomes more and more unlikely. This from The BBC.

New diet as effective as anti-cholesterol drugs.

It is possible to reduce your blood cholesterol by almost a third by diet alone. Researchers in Canada discovered that a combination diet of soy milk and sausages, oats, fruit, nuts, broccoli and red peppers had an effect comparable to cholesterol busting drugs, known as statins. Participants were required to stick to a strict dietary regime to feel the benefits however. More from The BBC..



February 2003 archive.

Homeopathic arnica fails in hospital trials.

Arnica is a popular homeopathic treatment for people who ave ondergone surgery for musculo-skeletal conditions. Evidence has emerged that casts doubt on the efficacy of arnica, and suggests that it's reputation for aiding recovery is folklore rather than fact. Opinion is as divided as ever however, with supporters of homeopathy critical of the size and reliability of the study. This from The BBC.

Male sweat for fertility.

Male sweat can have a startling effect on women, according to new research to be published shortly. Women who took part in the study, responded to having traces of male sweat swabbed below their noses, by becoming more relaxed and more fertile. Scientists were surprised and intrigued by their findings, and as yet have not identified the compounds which are responsible for this observation. This from The Guardian..



January 2003 archive.

Public have little appetite for five-a-day.

Efforts by the Department of Health to get people to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, may be failing, according to the latest survey of eating habits. Only around 20% of people from the poorest areas eat the recommended amount, compared to over 30% of people in the richest areas. On average, only 25% of the population as a whole, eat enough fruit and vegetables. Research has shown that cancer and heart disease are less prevalent where five-a-day is the norm. Children in particular seem most at risk, whereas the elderly have in many cases been heeding the advice. Clearer labelling is to be introduced in an effort clarify the information available to the public. Some food companies have apparently been trying to cash in on the campaign by falsely claiming benefits for their produce. This from The Guardian.

Get the facts from the DOH Five-A-Day website.

Study says women on the pill choose macho men.

Any woman looking for a long term partner may want to think again before deciding to go on the pill, if new research to be published in the summer has any bearing. According to psychologists at two universities in Scotland, women on the pill were more likely to choose men with masculine features over men with sensitive features. Apparently, women who are thinking of starting a family are normally more likely to go for the latter, as they are looking for a more caring person. Psychologists argue that men who have softer features may be more reliable and trustworthy than their macho counterparts! One explanation which is being studied in Newcastle, is that the pill may interfere with a woman's sense of smell. This from The Times..



Exclusion diets for children may cause malnutrition.

There has been an alarming rise in the number of parents who are being advised to exclude whole food groups from their childrens' diets, according to a Guardian article which appeared over the christmas period. Some nutritional therapists, although not qualified in childhood nutrition, are prepared to recommend exclusion diets for children. Worries over food allergies are causing parents to seek nutritional advice, however some experts believe the risk of food allergy has been overstated. A number of children have developed serious health problems, such as anaemia, as a result of poor advice. This from The Guardian.

Female sexual dysfunction, a drug company myth?

Researchers may be in the process of creating a mythological disease for women, in an effort to build a lucrative market for their sex-enhancing medications. A significant effort and resource is now being employed to define and measure "normal" female sexual function, because until now, there hasn't been one. Individual differences in sexual experience between women and over time have previously been attributed to emotional and environmental factors. However, drug companies are sponsoring a new physiological and psychological definition of female sexual dysfunction. Experts claim initial research which found that 43% of women experience FSD, set out to include as many women as possible. This from the BMJ.



December 2002 archive.

Echinacea for a longer lasting cold?

Echinacea is one of the most popular herbal remedies in the UK, an important and widely available product, in a herbal market which turns over an estimated 126 million each year. However, researchers in the US found that people who took echinacea to combat a cold, actually took longer to recover than those who took a dummy pill. Extracts from echinacea, a popular remedy with Native Americans, have been prepared in a variety of ways, although the active ingredients, if any, remain a mystery. This from The BBC.

Reliable Heart Research Online.

A tool now exists online, which can help those who are receiving treatment for a variety of heart and vascular conditions, to explore the range of options which may be available to them. Never before have members of the public had such a wealth of research data at their finger tips, allowing them to get the full picture on their condition, complementing the valuable work done by physicians and surgeons within in typical time constraints. Reliable information can now be retrieved from The American Heart Association's Heart Profilerb



November 2002 archive.

Diabetics may benefit from drinking tea.

Evidence that black and green teas have health giving properties has been emerging in the scientific community. Tea contains chemical compounds called polyphenols, which have anti-oxidant properties and can protect against the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Scientists have now identified one specific compound called epigallocatechin gallate, which in laboratory tests, enhances the effects of insulin. Further research is now required to find out if the same benefits may be observed in the body. This from The Guardian.

Acne may be due to eating too much bread.

Previous studies have shown how raised levels of insulin are linked to acne. New research, carried out in the US. now appears to show how refined grains and sugars cause a rapid increase in insulin and consequently a surge in male hormones, resulting in an overabundance of sebum on the skin and the embarrassing condition, acne. Epidemiological studies have already shown that acne is non-existent in those populations which have a diet free from refined grains and sugars. This from the BBC.



October 2002 archive.

Cancer patients warned against exotic cures.

Having to struggle with a life-threatening illness can lead some people to reject conventional medicine in favour of an uncommon approach. Cancer sufferers for example, may be willing to try a novel therapy either as an alternative to, or to complement their existing treatment. A leading authority on cancer treatment has warned against "cures" for which there is little or no evidence of success. Professor Ernst, director of complementary medicine at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, has reviewed the research on a number of the most popular alternatives. He found that some complementary therapies are beneficial in supporting the patient through conventional treatment regimes. There is no evidence supporting their use in place of conventional medicine however. Positive thinking for example, has not reduced mortality rates. This from The Observer.

Study into anti-cancer selenium cancelled.

The Medical Research Council has decided against funding a study into the anti-cancer effects of selenium. This trace element has become less abundant in our diet in recent times. One particular study in the US, found that people whon had raised levels of selenium in their diet, had a fifty per-cent less chance of dying from cancer than those with low levels. It was as a result of these findings that a much larger study was planned in the UK with over 14,000 participants. More from The Observer.



An alternative to sexual dysfunction.

Sexual dysfunction can mean different things to different people. For some men, it may mean an impairment or absence of erection. In women it may be a loss of libido or inability to orgasm. Doctors now have the option of prescribing Viagra for men, a drug which has been proven to improve erectile function. However, Viagra is is not suitable for everyone, being relatively expensive and subject to certain prescribing criteria in the UK.

Before Viagra came along, there were a variety of alternative treatments for sexual dysfunction in both men and women. These products still exist and some of them have been the subject of research studies. Ginseng, yohimbe, epimedium, arginine, and ephedrine to name but a few, are still available in health food stores, through magazine ads and the internet. However, as with all supplements, caution is advisable as they may not subject to rigorous quality controls. There have been reports of some treatments being spiked with the active component from Viagra.

Before you buy a herbal remedy for sexual dysfunction, you might want to know whether or not it works. You might also want to know the possible complications and side effects. Does it contain the ingredients stated on the label in the amounts promised? Are you in for any nasty surprises?

This review from the excellent Consumerlab.com discusses the available evidence for the alternative treatment of sexual dysfunction, and presents results of the independent tests it ran on a number of commonly available supplements in the US. Only 41% got their seal of approval.



September 2002 archive.

Campaigners fighting to save health supplement industry.

New European legislation to regulate health supplements, may mean the closure of up to 75% of health food stores across the UK, according to experts. As the campaign to save the industry gathers pace, a report appeared in The Guardian recently, arguing strongly against further regulation. The Guardian.

Drinking water reduces the risk of heart disease.

Whilst the argument continues about exactly how much water we should drink, new evidence emerged recently which appeared to show that drinking five glases of water a day may half the chance of death from coronary heart disease in men and reduce the same risk in women by 40%. Researchers at Loma Linda University found that drinks other than water had a detrimental effect. This from altmedicine.com



Turning nightmares into dreams.

For many people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, nightmares can be a chronic fact of life. Victims of physical or sexual abuse can be tortured by the subconscious mind during sleep, being haunted by disturbing images and dreams. New evidence has emerged, however, which appears to show how one particular treatment is succesful in significantly reducing symptoms. Imagery Rehearsal Therapy uses a conscious dreaming to re-write nightmares, turning them into healthy dreams. This from JAMA

Can coffee really prevent cancer?

You may have heard in the news how coffee and chocolate may be good for you after all. For those of us who have long since taken these health sensations with a pinch of salt, it's usually worth having a look for the reality in the story. Researchers at University College London have found that caffeine, which occurs in coffee and chocolate, does have anti-inflammatory properties. However, scientists warn that simply drinking large amounts of coffee will do more harm than good, and the challenge they face is to create a substance which simulates the effects of caffeine on cells, without the harmful side effects. This from CNN.



August 2002 archive.

Broccoli may offer protection against stomach disease.

New research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how certain strains of broccoli offer protection to mice against a bacterium which causes ulcers and tumours in rodents and humans alike. Helicobacter pylori is a common precursor to stomach disease and in some cases is resistant to antibiotic therapy. Broccoli appeared to eradicate helicobacter pylori from thoses areas of the stomach where it persists. Gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer are common in developing countries where sanitation is often poor.

Why do we drink so much water?

It has become a widely accepted fact of life , that we simply do not drink enough non-caffeinated fluids. The new rule for the health conscious is to drink more water. Eight glasses of water a day to be exact. But where is the evidence to back this up? Dr. Heinz Valtin, a kidney specialist and author of two widely used textbooks on the kidney and water balance, couldn't find any. He believes that the obsession with drinking water is unecessary unless you live in a hot country, are engaged in strenuous sports or have kidney stones. For the overwhelming majority of us, there's nothing wrong with drinking when thirsty apparently. This from altmedicine.com.



July 2002 archive.

Making childbirth bearable without analgesia.

Many expectant mothers are afraid of the pain of childbirth, a fact which may well alter not only their experience but the course of labour itself. Hypnotherapy appears to be a succesful way of mentally preparing for the event and dong away with the need for other forms of pain control. Find out more about hypnobirthing in this article from the BBC.

Side effects of herbal remedies on the net.

Getting advice on the side effects of herbal remedies is not always straightforward. The Natural Pharmacist was one place where this was freely available until being taken over and made subscription only. I recently came across a similar resource at www.personalhealthzone.com. This site includes side effects, contraindications and interactions.

Herbal industry in Britain under threat.

An effort is being made to standardise the regulation of herbal medicines across Europe. The implications of this for a 70m British industry have brought about a campaign involving high profile personalities such as Sir Elton John and Sir Paul Macartney. Products such as ginkgo biloba would have to be withdrawn from sale if the proposals go through. This from the BBC.

Herbal medicines may cause liver disease.

You may be risking liver disease and even death by taking some herbal remedies. The Centre for Liver Research issued this stark warning at the beginning of July in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The evidence for their findings relates to 30 patients who developed inflammation of the liver after taking herbal remedies.

The report's authors concede that conclusive evidence has proved elusive, but warn that the purity of some herbal remedies is in question. For example, Chinese herbal remedies are sold as food supplements and are not subject to strict controls which govern the manufacture and supply of other medicines.

Two Chinese herbs in particular have been associated with liver disease, Jin bu huan and Dictamnus dasycarpus, the latter being prescribed for eczema. One man died after taking Chinese herb roots and subsequently becoming jaundiced. Doctors were unable save his life with a liver transplant.

This from Yahoo Healthscout/Reuters.



June 2002 archive.

Hypnotherapy relieves irritable bowel syndrome.

Further evidence has emerged showing the benefits of hypnotherapy as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. The first dedicated IBS hypnotherapy treatment unit has been established in at The University Hospital of South Manchester and the results of it's first audit are highly encouraging. After twelve sessions and homework, patients reported improvements in their symptoms, mental health and quality of life. This from PubMed.

Vitamin E may prevent prostate cancer.

The incidence of prostate cancer appears to be growing in the UK, with a growing number of cases reported each year. Given the absence of symptoms until the disease is relatively advanced, health agencies are keen to improve early detection measures and identify protective factors. Vitamin E (specifically alpha-tocopheryl succinate) has appeared to protect potential sufferers in epidemiological studies. Researchers in the US now think they know how. More from PubMed.



May 2002 archive.

Calculate your life expectancy online.

Insurance companies have long used health and lifestyle questionnaires to help them calculate our insurance worthiness. It is generally accepted that consuming fatty foods and avoiding exercise may cut your life short. But what other factors are significant? The BBC have come up with an online life expectancy questionnaire which is based on "statistically robust research" from New England. How long will you live? Find out more at BBC.co.uk/health.

Florida's fright at Sunny Delight

Call me cynical but news of Florida's powerful fruit farming lobby taking a leading role in our health and happiness finds me hunting for a dollar sign. When you consider the size of the market for fruit beverages across the world, it comes as no surprise to see a row break out about Procter and Gamble's "Sunny Delight". With a fruit content around 6% in the US, protestors argue that children are being duped into drinking sugary water with minimal juice content. Here in the UK, P&G; raised the fruit content to 15% and spent 12 million advertising the fact.

This from CNN.



April 2002 archive.

A complementary NHS?

The Prince of Wales is to launch a campaign to promote complementary healthcare through G.P's, in order to support people who can't afford to pay for alternative treatments. Through the vehicle of The Foundation For Integrated Medicine, schemes which offer alternative medicine in primary care may benefit from learning support and increased publicity.

This news will be welcomed by many people like myself, who believe that the NHS has been too slow to offer a range of popular complementary therapies to the UK public. I was frustrated by being passed from pillar to post for over a year following a request to a G.P. for hypnotherapy.

The Foundation For Integrated Medicine was set up to "promote the integrated delivery of safe, effective and efficient forms of healthcare, including orthodox and complementary medicine, through greater collaboration between all forms of healthcare." To visit their web site click on the link above. You will find the following publications there;

  • a proposal for a national strategy for integrated healthcare;
  • good practice awards;
  • key issues on a national strategy for research
  • a guide to good practice when setting up a new service.
You can now access The Foundation For Integrated Medicine on our links page.

Evidence against Kava grows.

I was asked this week about the herbal supplement Kava. Someone who was taking Kava regularly, found that they were losing weight. Also, they experienced unpleasant side effects, similar to being slightly intoxicated with alcohol. Kava is normally suggested to people who are suffering from anxiety or insomnia. The FDA in the US. issued a warning to consumers last week advising them that there is growing concern on both sides of the Atlantic, about Kava causing serious liver damage.

Click here to find out more from Yahoo.

How a feather bed beats breathlessness.

Researchers in New Zealand have discovered that synthetic quilts and pillows contain seven times more allergens than traditional feather bedding. Dust mite faeces is a significant irritant to millions of asthma and allergy sufferers around the world. If your quilts and pillows are made of man made fibres, you might want to go back to the natural way with feathers in future. Scientists at Wellington School of Medicine believe that the difference comes about because of the looser weave on material containing synthetic bedding, allowing dust mites allergens to pass through freely. There is an alternative to feathers though, which are becoming increasingly rare on the high street, tightly woven covers are available from some chemist shops.

This from Ananova.



March 2002 archive.

Mosaraf Ali now online.

Dr. Mosaraf Ali has become something of a celebrity in the world of alternative medicine here in the UK. He has a high profile clientele, having been endorsed by Prince Charles and Andrew Lloyd-Webber amongst others. His Integrated Medical Centre in London has a growing reputation for high quality holistic medicine.

I first came across Dr. Ali's work when reviewing "The Integrated Health Bible". I received a steady stream of e-mails from people wishing to buy the book. I recently received a request from a Therapy-World visitor wanting to make an appointment at the Integrated Medical Centre and searching for contact details.

I was fascinated therefore when I discovered "Integrated Health Online". Here is a web resource with a refreshing approach to electronic holistic medicine. I carried out the "online health check" and I thought the process made sense.

Dr. Ali belongs to a family which operates health centres around the world. Their "Integrated Physical Therapy" is the foundation of their practice, balancing energies in order to promote healing.

The Ali philosophy doesn't exist to deny the contribution of other forms of medicine, rather it appears to offer an opportunity to combine a variety of different approaches. Even though the web site appears to be cashing in on their succesx so far, I still think it's well worth a visit and have made it a welcome addition to our links page.

Click here to see for yourself.

How healing heals the healer.

Last week, The Guardian ran a story which I found particularly interesting. Four people described how and why they turned to complementary medicine as an alternative to life in the fast lane. All had successful careers with a high salaries, yet chose to practice the healing arts, where the rewards were spiritual rather than financial. Read for yourself how an accountant, a barrister, an I.T. specialist, and a surveyor swapped their succesful careers for the chance to heal others.