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Monday, December 4, 2023
HomeCultureBooksThe healing power of working your brain

The healing power of working your brain

Reviewing the Situation with Lena Davis

Lena Davis
Lena Davis

Lena has been a music producer, writer and Personal Manager; a photographer and journalist and, over thirty years ago, got together with Caroline Scattergood to create the Caring & Sharing Trust to bring music, hope and love into the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families from throughout Northamptonshire.


“SCAM” is a fascinating and exhaustive study of So-Called Alternative Medicine (which is where the title SCAM derives). Professor Edzard Ernst has spent many years evaluating the effectiveness of alternative therapies and all this information can be yours, via Imprint-Academic, at just £14.95. And it is worth every single penny!

Professor Ernst believes that most alternative therapies bear a close resemblance to a cult. He lists them from homeopaths to reiki to bach flower therapies, all of whom follow the received wisdom of their masters. He even lists Rudolf Steiner as a cult leader who dreamt up his mystical illusions of anthroposophic medicine.

The important thing about this book is that it is also extremely entertaining. The fact that recently GP’s have been banned from suggesting homeopathic practices on the NHS is a sure-sign that the Nation is coming to its senses.

In this often indecipherable and frightening world it is all too easy for scam artists to make money out of our bewilderment. We look for answers where there are none and so we are all too willing to believe the gurus who tell us that our lives will be transformed by such as “positive thinking”. There are lots of books and teachers telling us that thinking positively will bring us contentment, riches and even love. Let me confess that I am probably the most positive thinker you will ever find – and I still often feel despair, particularly at proponents of so-called alternative medicine!

Please, buy this book and have responses at your fingertips when you are offered reiki, taigchi, acupuncture, aromatherapy, etc. by either well-meaning fools or avaricious charlatans.


“Taken for Granted” (Eviatar Zerubavel, Princeton University Press £14.95) is also a feast for the brain. It looks closely at the words and terms we use. For example “openly gay” which is widely used but “openly straight” is not. I must emphasise, however, that this is not a book about so-called political correctness.

He simply feels that by marking “women’s history” or “black history month” we reinforce the apparent normality of the history of white men. Really, both these books are an example of the power of exercise – not our bodies but our brains. I certainly feel invigorated that, in this age of short attention spans, two such wonderful men have found publishers ready, willing and able to give our brains this opportunity.

I'm the editor and owner of The NeneQuirer.

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