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August 05, 2007



Was interested to read the Barbara Ehrenreich article. I've had a bee in my bonnet about this for a long time - look at the history of medicine and you'll find any number of diseases that were once believed to be "psychological" in origin that turned out to have physical causes.

I particularly dislike the idea that a positive attitude can cure cancer - it puts the onus for getting better on the patient, and ends up blaming the patient for their failure to get better. In the end, I really do believe that physical illnesses have physical causes and are cured by physical interventions.

One thing - I was surprised by Ehrenreich's assertion that breast cancer rates plummeted when women came off HRT. Is there evidence for that?

Finally, Derren Brown's recent book has a very good passage on reiki. As you say, it's all nonsense.

Isobel Mags Buchan

At the risk of suggesting the obvious, have to you tried a TENS machine, as some do when in labour? When I suffered with back pain I found foot reflexology did help ease things for a while and it is certainly a nice way of relaxing for 30 minutes.

Dina rabinovitch

thanks Isobel, I've just gotten a tens machine so will hook it up and try it out...


My brother found acupuncture very effective in minimising back/neck pain due to arthritis and the after effects of a motor bike accidnet. He is a builder so puts a lot of strain on his back. might be wroth a try...


Even more obvious, but is it possible for you to have a blast of radiotherapy on the tumour pressing against your nerve? Often works for bone tumours (like mine), if that's what's giving you the pain.

The first time I had Reiki at our local hospice, I was very bad-tempered and impatient, and thought it was rubbish. But I tried again, and found some relaxation -- of course, it could have just been the lying still for half an hour in a calm scented room with twinkly music playing . . .

Dina rabinovitch

thanks Carol, thanks Marilyn - too freaked out by needles to try acupuncture! I've had the radiotherapy already on the tumour, and it did shrink, but this is just what's left...

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