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The two sisters sat in the airport lounge, waiting for their flight to Kerala. It was delayed. They were keen to get going. Their mother had died the day before and they were going to settle her affairs. “She had a good life. She lived to 97,” explained one of the sisters. “You know what her secret was? Coconuts.”

The Irritations of Modern Life 41. Colonic Irrigation

IT'S ONE of the most baffling success stories of the Nineties. Diana set the trend, Fergie followed it, and now thousands of women are having hosepipes shoved up their butts as a fashion statement - and paying for it.

Can you feel the heat?

New Age beauty products claim to heal the soul. What tosh.

Women more at risk from lung cancer

WOMEN SMOKERS are more at risk from lung cancer because they are genetically more susceptible to tobacco carcinogens, according to new research.

pounds 115,000 for study of voodoo in UK

THE DEPARTMENT of Health is funding a study into the role of voodoo priests and witch doctors in treating mentally ill black people in Britain.

The Life Doctor: Eleanor Bailey

LOOK INTO my eyes. You can control your life. Repeat after me: "I am feeling very relaxed. I will always buy my lovely Independent On Sunday."

Letter: Get the point?

Sir: Adrian White (letter, 10 November) is wrong to imply that modern physiological understanding provides a superior basis for the practice of acupuncture than traditional Chinese theory.

Right of reply: The chair of the British Acupuncture Council replies to Professor Ernst's recent article

PROFESSOR EDZARD Ernst is to be congratulated for his article on acupuncture (Health, 20 October) which highlights its growing popularity. What a pity then, that he compared it to Western medicine in the Middle Ages and devalues the extent of its use.

Interview: Paul McKenna, hypnoti...zzzzz

He's rich. He has goals in life. And for the price of a video, he'll put you to sleep. But despite his dazzling talents, Paul McKenna couldn't bake a Victoria sponge to save his life

Americans flock to therapists

AMERICANS ARE flocking to alternative therapists in growing numbers, despite scientific studies which found that some alternative forms of medicine are not effective.

Letter: Needle match

Sir: Ron Bishop (Letter, 3 November) declares that traditional Chinese acupuncture is superior to the form of acupuncture used by doctors, which is based on western physiology. This raises questions which are also relevant to the debate about many other complementary therapies.

Health: Healing: is the spirit at work?

Spiritual healing is the alternative therapy with which science has the most difficulty, but it seems to help some people, says Professor Edzard Ernst, in his third article in our series on complementary medicine

Health: Can you pour oil on a problem?

Complementary medicine is growing in popularity all the time, and aromatherapy is by far the most common form. But are aromatherapists qualified? Is it safe to use oils at home? Our special health series is here to guide you. By Professor E Ernst

Attack on health shop headache cures

HEALTH food shops were yesterday accused of offering dangerous medical advice to customers. The claims followed a survey which showed that a woman who visited a number of shops - posing as a patient with a potential brain tumour - was recommended 42 different types of alternative treatments and therapies.

Back experts only of 'marginal benefit'

CHIROPRACTIC, one of the best established alternative treatments for back pain, is of marginal benefit and it is probably not worth the cost, according to a new study.

Alternative medicine a health risk, say experts

ONE OF the world's most influential medical journals launches a blistering attack today on alternative medicine, warning that its remedies are untested, unregulated and can pose serious risks to patients.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US