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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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Day In a Page

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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