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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot