Tel +27 (021) 880 1444 | Fax +27 (021) 880 0291 | P.O. Box 12602, Die Boord, Stellenbosch, 7613
editor and publisherDALEEN TOTTENdaleen@naturalmedicine.co.za
copy editorNATASHA BOLOGNESItasha@naturalmedicine.co.za
content assistant MAYLENE LOUIS
national advertising sales managerELEANOR VAN DER MERWE email@example.com
Subscriptions and advertising co-ordinatorLYNDA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org
marketing managerLECIA DURHAMlecia@naturalmedicine.co.za
creative directorDALEEN TOTTEN
art director and digital manager OLGA NIEUWENHUIZEN
graphic designerMIA GIBBS
Dr Ameet Aggarwal, Prof Majid Ali, Paul Bergner, Prof Rashid Bhikha, Jacky Bloemraad-De Boer, Arjan Bogaers, Dr Bernard Brom, Brian Clement, Beryn Daniel, Chantal Deacon Daniel, Dr Melodie de Jager, Dr John Demartini, Heidi du Preez, Klaus Ferlow, Ann Gadd, Dr Raoul Goldberg, Dr Elson Haas, Patrick Holford, Aimee Hughes, Dr David Jockers, Hannah Kaye, Dr Frances le Roux, Stefan Maritz, Connie Meyer, Dr Frank Müller, Carol Murrell, Rev. Dr Alex Niven, Dr David Nye, Dr Sandi Nye, Margaret Roberts, Robyn Sheldon, Dr Lynette Steele, Dr Michael Tierra, Mark Timon, Jason Vale, Dr Arien van der Merwe, Dr DP van Velden, Dr Geert Verhelst, Prof Doreen Virtue, Dr Alta Vogel, David Wolfe and Mandy Young
Ever read something that made you health curious?
Natural Medicine has been dedicated in providing current information on the uses and benefits of complementary medicine to the general public and practitioners for more than 13 years. We provide information on health that is authoritative, consistent and credible, and a magazine that will inspire, educate, advise and motivate – available in both print and online.
The quality of our content is at the root of our appeal.
This publication integrates the most successful approaches to health maintenance, disease prevention and the treatment of ill health. Readers are advised to consult with their doctors before embarking on any self-medication programme, as holistic remedies can be potent.
Natural Medicine is available in print monthly through health shops, Dis-Chem, pharmacies and retail outlets such as, Woolworths, Pick & Pay, Clicks, CNA and other selected retailers nationwide.
Natural Medicine is more than a magazine. It’s a lifestyle that defines a whole industry.
The forerunner to Natural Medicine was published 16 years ago and was called The Complementary Medicine Journal. It was the mouthpiece of SACMA (South African Complementary Medical Association). After three years, the current editor and publisher, Daleen Totten, decided to launch the magazine to the public, together with co-founder Dr Bernard Brom. A 54-page saddle-stitched quarterly journal emerged, dedicated to provide professional, well-researched and objective information. Daleen remembers: ‘We managed to feature 18 articles within those 54 pages! It was difficult to cram all the articles in. There was very little white space, and the images were small. Our 6th issue was 102 pages and our first hard-back! Our print-run was 5 000 copies, creeping up to the 10 000 mark as we went bi-monthly with issue 18.’
Natural Medicine received an overwhelmingly positive response from the general public, trade and professionals; all wanting access to information they could trust. The authors (health professionals with experience in their field) received (and still receive) no remuneration whatsoever. This adds to the credibility and integrity of the magazine. With more articles than they had space to publish, a decision was taken to go monthly with a new-look issue 33.
In the beginning there was a perception that complementary medicine is ‘airy-fairy, fluffy stuff’ or quackery – but that has changed significantly.
Many practitioners have come to understand how important it is to integrate complementary medicine into an allopathic practice and to look at their patients in a more holistic way and not just treat symptoms.
Most people with an interest in health are aware of the importance of a preventive approach and have come to understand the role of optimal nutrition and the benefits of supplementation.
Natural Medicine is available monthly through health shops, pharmacies and major retail outlets nationwide.
Natural Medicine is published monthly by Dreamcatcher publications.
Natural medicine is more than a magazine. It’s a lifestyle that defines a whole industry.
DALEEN TOTTEN is editor, publisher and founding member of Natural Medicine. For Daleen natural medicine is more than taking a pill for an ill philosophy. She has a passion for knowledge and believes that the physical body is the last manifestation of disease. Natural medicine also encompasses nutrition, lifestyle, spiritual health, exercise, and emotional and mental wellbeing. She is the mother of three children.
Interview with Daleen Totten by Gaye de Villiers
You must have seen huge changes in the publication from when it was launched to current issues. Can you describe these in terms of how it’s changed, how the content has changed, and how perceptions of natural medicine have changed over the years?
The first Natural Medicine magazine was published in October 2000, and one big change has to be the cover and the quality of the images. The early articles were difficult to read, containing medical jargon few lay readers understood. The challenge was to ask the authors (all medical professionals) to write in lay terms. They often objected, saying their peers would read their article and think they didn’t have the knowledge to express themselves using scientific terminology, so they tended to insist on the medical jargon staying in, and I had to define all the difficult bits in brackets! In the early stages, Natural Medicine was mistakenly seen by some readers as a publication with ‘a pill for an ill solution’, because of its name and cover. We now have clearly defined sections in the magazine, dedicated to the most significant aspects of health, such as NATURAL NUTRITION, IMPROVING HEALTH, NATURAL LIVING, NATURAL REMEDIES, NATURAL THERAPIES, and the MIND-BODY-SOUL connection.
Has there been acceptance by the medical profession over the years?
I have a passion to further awareness of natural medicine and complementary therapies. Initially the journal was only sent out to medical doctors, 5 000 GPs at random every quarter. At first the doctors were very slow to use complementary medicines in their practices. Most of them did not subscribe, nor did they support the advertisers by ordering products and prescribing them to their patients. I then decided to launch the magazine to the public, making the articles more reader-friendly. We were dedicated to providing professional, well-researched and objective information on natural medicine. I stopped publishing pages of clinical trials and references (for the doctors’ benefit), thinking that if we cannot get through to the doctors directly, we would do so via their patients. We started selling the journal in the CNA, Exclusive Books, Wordsworth and health shops nationwide. By the third issue after we’d taken this step, subscriptions from medical doctors had tripled! They not only wanted to read articles written by their peers, but their patients were asking questions about supplements and optimal nutrition after having read the journal. The perception that complementary medicine is ‘airy-fairy, fluffy stuff’ or quackery has changed significantly. These days most people with an interest in health are highly aware of the importance of a preventive approach. Many practitioners have come to understand the role of optimal nutrition and the benefits of supplementation, and have access to information that enables them to look at their patients in a more holistic way and not just treat symptoms.
When we started out, 13 years ago, very few doctors knew what a probiotic was. I remember many readers contacting us, asking why their GP did not prescribe a probiotic with the antibiotic. My reply: Ask your GP! Natural Medicine played a key role in educating doctors as well as the public in the uses and benefits of complementary medicine – in the early days, through its forerunner the Complementary Medicine Journal. GPs in South Africa had very few opportunities to learn about complementary medicine. They were taught nothing about the age-old traditional remedies and therapies such as herbs and water therapy during their time at university.
And what about how often the publication was printed at first, the number of pages to start with, and the number of copies in the very early days compared with today?
It was a 54-page saddle-stitched quarterly journal, not a magazine. We managed to feature 18 articles within those 54 pages – I remember how difficult it was to cram all the articles we received into the journal. There was very little white space, and the images were small. Our 6th issue was 102 pages and our first hard-back! Our print-run was 5 000 copies, creeping up to the 10 000 mark as we went bi-monthly with issue 18. Natural Medicine received an overwhelmingly positive response from the general public, trade and professionals, all wanting access to information they could trust ... not a magazine article put together by a journalist and paid for by the advertisers. Our authors (health professionals with experience in their field) received (and still receive) no remuneration whatsoever – not from us or from the industry. This added to the credibility and integrity of the magazine. We had more articles than we had space to publish, and were so successful that we took the decision to go monthly with our new-look issue 33. Our print-run is now 25 000 copies, and Natural Medicine features between 20 and 25 articles per issue within its 132 pages.
What sort of content did the very first issue contain, as opposed to today – what was of key interest then?
The key interest originally (in the first few journals) was in the various therapies, modalities and supplements. Specific herbs were discussed, but we did not want the reader to interpret this as meaning that specific supplements should be used to treat specific conditions. There is a bigger picture. Supplements can support the healing process and prevent disease, together with good nutrition, a healthier lifestyle, awareness of the environment we live in, and natural therapies. This is why we ensure that every issue of Natural Medicine reflects this bigger picture by featuring at least two articles in each of the sections of the magazine I mentioned above. Over the past few years we have been focusing a little more on various disease conditions (heart, menopause, depression, etc.), as we believe that readers need a holistic view of these conditions more than, for example, to be educated on use of the herb Crateagus for heart support. We will always feature supplements, but they aren’t the main focus – the name Natural Medicine may therefore be a little misleading. That is why we changed the cover to emphasise the word NATURAL and not so much NATURAL MEDICINE.
Since its inception the publication has been the authority on natural medicine in South Africa, and it is a trusted source of objective information.
What is your background?
I started off as a portfolio analyst for the Prosper Group of Companies, and was offered the opportunity to develop a golf course in Hawaii. During my stay there in 1991, I was exposed to home births, organic food, acidophilus and spirulina, and was made aware of the deteriorating ozone layer. I ended up siding with the reforestation and agriculture associations against the development of the golf course, and returned to South Africa. In 1993 I started my own management company. When I fell pregnant with my firstborn, I wanted to apply what I had learnt in Hawaii and sought the guidance of a complementary medical practitioner. That’s how I met Dr Brom, editor of the Complementary Medicine Journal. When Dr Brom mentioned that he was experiencing problems publishing his journal, I offered to help – thinking he was talking about the publication of a once-off diary! The first issue I managed in 1996 was the fourth of a series of eight Complementary Medicine journals, written by doctors for doctors. I formed a publishing company in 1997 and brought out the fifth issue myself with the help of a reproduction company. When I re-launched the publication as a quarterly magazine, just before the birth of my third child in 2000, it was published entirely in-house with a skeleton staff of three. In addition to the magazine, I have published two books: The Awakening to Child Health and Five Keys to Well-being.
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