Blog Articles

A27. Dreaming of a House

I had expected to have several more sessions with DJ in order to continue our post-transition work. However, we met on only two other occasions to discuss his career development path, and then he felt he no longer needed to return.

Dec 21st, 2015
A26. Another Synchronicity of Events

After living in Syracuse for a number of years, my wife said that she was tired of the difficult winter weather there, which affected the city nearly half of each year.

Dec 14th, 2015
A25. Guided through Life

During the summer prior to medical school I met with the Cantor at my parents’ synagogue and asked him to help me to continue to learn how to chant from the Torah.

Dec 7th, 2015
A24. Finding my Spiritual Self

The amazing events with DJ reinforced ideas and feelings about life that I had been developing for a couple of decades. Thus far I have shared how my involvement with the world of medicine helped instruct me about how life can work.

Nov 30th, 2015
A23. Return of a Friend

During the following two weeks until DJ’s next appointment with me, I kept thinking about the remarkable lessons that DJ and his subconscious were teaching.

Nov 23rd, 2015
A22. The Role of a Leader

DJ brought a copy of “Dharma Bums” to his next visit with me two weeks later. “You were right!” he exclaimed. “The part about the paths was not in the book.”

Nov 16th, 2015
A21. What happened?

I looked out my office door at 4:59 pm on Sunday, December 23. And precisely at 5 pm DJ walked down the darkened hall towards my office. (For some reason, no one else was seeing patients at that time.)

Nov 9th, 2015
A20. The Transition

I waited eagerly for an e-mail on December 21. The world did not end. And there was no e-mail. There was no e-mail on December 22, either.

Nov 2nd, 2015
A17. The End of the World

During the six years after DJ learned about hypnosis he continued to use this technique on a regular basis in order to calm himself during stressful situations.

Oct 12th, 2015
A16. Hypnosis for Self-Awareness

When DJ returned a month later he reported that he no longer developed shortness of breath. He said he had practiced going to the beach in hypnosis on a nightly basis for 3 weeks, and used the fist technique to calm himself before running.

Oct 5th, 2015
A15. How Do We Know Hypnosis Really Happened?

DJ had just returned from his first formal hypnosis experience. “What happened?” I asked. “I was on the beach!” exclaimed DJ. “It felt really real.” “How long were you there?” “It seemed like a week!”

Sep 28th, 2015
A11. A Boy with Shortness of Breath

After I used hypnosis with patients for a number of years, I started lecturing widely about the benefits of such therapy and publishing about my experiences in the medical literature.

Aug 31st, 2015
A10. On the Road to a Better Life

For much of my career as a pediatric pulmonologist great strides were being made in our fight against cystic fibrosis. Several new discoveries had extended the average life span of patients with cystic fibrosis to 30 years by the late 1990’s.

Aug 24th, 2015
A9. The Power of Negative Words

Sometimes words might have an unintended harmful effect. To evaluate the health of my patients’ lungs, I often ask them to undertake lung function testing.

Aug 17th, 2015
A8. The Power of Positive Words

The field of pediatric pulmonology involves taking caring of patients with many different lung problems. Many of the patients I have taken care of have asthma.

Aug 10th, 2015
A7. Dialogues with Henry

I met Henry during my second month of residency. He was a blonde, tall, thin, 15-year-old who was in the hospital because of his cystic fibrosis. Henry was hungry for attention because his family rarely visited him in the hospital.

Aug 3rd, 2015
A6. Overnight my Signature Becomes Important

Medical training after medical school continues within a residency. I decided to pursue training in pediatrics because I had always enjoyed working with children, and I felt that helping a child allowed for improvement that could impact a lifetime.

Jul 27th, 2015
A5. Questions about Healing

My questions regarding the limits of medicine continued as I neared completion of my medical school education. I recognized that I had received outstanding training to employ many tools of modern medicine.

Jul 20th, 2015
A4. Lessons from the End of Life

On a cold, snowy day in January, 1982, I received a telephone call from Larry’s mother. “I’m sorry to have to call you,” she said. I held my breath.

Jul 13th, 2015
A3. Encountering the Limits of Medicine

Larry came to visit me from California during my second year of medical school. He was proud to tell me that he had received his driver’s license, and that he was thinking about a science-related job to take after high school.

Jul 6th, 2015
A1. My First Pen Pal

“Hi!” said the thin young boy, who appeared to be approximately eight years old. “I’m Larry.” “Hi Larry,” I replied. It was my first day as a volunteer with the Child Life Program at the Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Jun 22nd, 2015
The Migraines with a Mission

“I have had bad migraines for the past three years,” explained Sarah, a 12-year-old who was referred by a pediatric neurologist. “But last year they got really bad.”

Jun 1st, 2015
Back from a Sleepy Future

Thus far this blog has reported events during my first two years of using hypnosis. In this week’s edition, in order to complete Brian’s story arc I would like to share a story from 16 years after he first learned to use hypnosis.

May 25th, 2015
Contagious Health

Brian continued to use hypnosis on a regular basis for many months. Not only did his behavior greatly change following the insight he gained for hypnosis, but I noticed that his mother’s behavior also changed.

May 18th, 2015
Theodore Roosevelt and the Patient with Cystic Fibrosis

I have shared several examples in this blog about patients who gained insight from my discussions with their subconscious. I realized that patients could benefit from improved interactions with their subconscious on their own.

May 11th, 2015
Another Glimpse into Eternity

As part of my work as a pediatric pulmonologist, I took care of patients with cystic fibrosis whose lung disease progressed to the degree that their lives were in danger.

May 4th, 2015
Anxiety Relief in 30 Minutes

I first met Lori in the spring of 1999 when our pediatric oncologist referred her, for help to control her vomiting which was associated with chemotherapy.

Apr 27th, 2015
A Bridge to Heaven

Three months after Paul’s death I attended an hypnosis workshop sponsored by The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. In one of the sessions of this workshop we were to practice helping patients deal with traumatic events.

Apr 20th, 2015
Love Songs

Ian’s subconscious asked to share a love song so that Ian would become aware of it.

Apr 13th, 2015
Feelings of Well Being

Several months later I again met with Ian. He was so much more relaxed than when I first met him.

Apr 6th, 2015
Another Poet

Over the subsequent week Ian had five pain-free days as he regularly employed hypnosis. I congratulated him on the great improvement in his symptoms. Ian was very interested in learning other uses for hypnosis.

Mar 30th, 2015
Dave Matthews Concert Therapy

Ian’s mother accompanied him to our Center. Ian was a tall, thin young man who told me about his story with an occasional bemused expression. Since he was 3-years-old Ian developed recurrent abdominal pain.

Mar 23rd, 2015
My Brother's Keeper

I met Steve when he was 14-years-old and terribly abusing his asthma medications.

Mar 16th, 2015
Why Hypnosis Might Not Help

In my first year of using hypnosis with patients, approximately a fifth of the time patients indicated to me that hypnosis was not helpful for them. It is important to share these experiences because they illustrate examples of why hypnosis might not work

Mar 9th, 2015
A Cough Named Bob

Scott asked about “somnambulism.” (His word!) I explained to him that this is the ability that some people have with hypnosis that allows them to act without being consciously aware of their actions.

Mar 2nd, 2015
A Life Derailed by a Cough

Scott was a lanky 14-year-old referred to me by another pulmonologist for hypnotherapy. When Scott was 3-years-old he began to develop coughing whenever he had a cold. This coughing was especially pronounced in the fall.

Feb 22nd, 2015
Touched by an Angel?

I called Paul’s family on the following day. “I am so very sorry to hear what has happened,” I said. “We meant to call you,” said his mother. “But there has been so much on our minds.”

Feb 16th, 2015
The End of a Battle

Two weeks later, on a rainy Thursday, I received a call from Dr. George Byrd. “I have very bad news to tell you,” said Dr. Byrd. My heart sank. “Paul is on a ventilator at his local hospital,” said Dr. Byrd.

Feb 9th, 2015
Poetry and Hypnosis

In early March, 1999, I met with Paul for further work with hypnosis. He complained that he was not feeling well, because during the previous several weeks he had had inexplicable vomiting.

Feb 1st, 2015
Putting Pain in it's Place

A month later Paul again ended up in the Emergency Department after developing an allergic reaction to something he ate. This time, because of his problems breathing he developed an air leak around his heart and under his skin in the upper chest

Jan 26th, 2015
Tasty Hypnosis

In the fall of 1998 Paul began experiencing increased allergic reactions. It was unclear whether this was due to his ingestion of milk products, or whether he had developed new allergies.

Jan 19th, 2015
When Confidence Spills Over

Peter returned two months later in order to be monitored for his asthma, as well as to learn more about hypnosis. He reported that use of hypnosis helped him very much with lacrosse.

Jan 12th, 2015
The Power of the Imagination

Thirteen-year-old Peter who came to see me because of his asthma, told me that he was very afraid of blood tests. He explained that needles caused him a lot of pain.

Jan 5th, 2015
The Elite Runner Who Could Not Compete

As part of my role as a pediatric pulmonologist, I directed a pulmonary function outreach program through which our respiratory therapists take portable equipment to pediatricians’ offices, where they check children’s lung function...

Dec 29th, 2014
Hypnosis in a Medical Crisis

Paul often talked about his plans for his life. He wanted to help people. I suggested to him that perhaps his teaching me about hypnosis was part of his role in life. Paul agreed.

Dec 22nd, 2014
The True Nature of Captain Hook

On another hypnosis “adventure” I suggested to Paul that he imagine meeting a fictional character. Paul chose Captain Hook. I commented this might be “dangerous.” (I wondered why Paul would want to interact with such an unpleasant fellow such as Hook.)

Dec 15th, 2014
The Shadow’s Depth

I asked Paul’s subconscious whether it was ready to talk more about the “shadow’s depth” that he had written about. “Do you remember? You said that you would have ‘more later’”? He wrote, “I want to finish that poem now.”

Dec 8th, 2014
Through a Tunnel

Paul was fascinated by his ability to do hypnosis, and looked forward to learning more about how his mind works.

Dec 1st, 2014
Bedknobs and Broomsticks

The more I learned about hypnosis in that first year, the more exhilarated I became. Here I was discovering new facets of the human mind that I never realized existed. I was reminded of the movie “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”

Nov 24th, 2014
Expressing Emotions through Writing in Hypnosis

“Paul,” I said on one occasion. “Would you rather allow your subconscious to write instead of speak?” “I’d like to write.” “Do you want to be hypnotized first?” “Yes.” “How do you want to be hypnotized?”

Nov 17th, 2014
Moving from Recipes to Creative Hypnosis

Paul and I continued to meet through much of 1998 to work on hypnosis. Even though I knew he was an outstanding hypnosis subject, I was always impressed and amazed by what he was able to accomplish at each of our sessions.

Nov 10th, 2014
Tips about Hypnosis by the Lake

As my work with hypnosis progressed it became clear that I would benefit from finding a mentor with whom I could review my progress on a regular basis.

Nov 3rd, 2014
Better Breathing in Outer Space

As I continued to learn about hypnosis with Paul, I began applying what I learned to help treat other patients of mine. Quickly I came to realize that many patients benefit from application of hypnosis to various issues in their lives.

Oct 20th, 2014
About Hypnosis for Professionals

This week’s blog addresses health care professionals who have an interest in hypnosis. My story about my patients' adventures with hypnosis will continue in next week’s blog.

Oct 13th, 2014
About Hypnosis

I think it is important to stress that I encountered and learned about hypnosis in an unorthodox fashion. I want to share with you some of what I have learned, in the hopes that you will be inspired to find applications for hypnosis in your own life...

Oct 6th, 2014
Hypnosis and the Subconscious

Paul was very interested in knowing what had happened when he was seven years old and needed to be placed on a ventilator for the first time. When I obtained the hospital records for him from that year, he continued to have many unanswered questions.

Sep 29th, 2014
My First Teacher of Hypnosis

In order to help my patient, Paul, I asked around my Medical Center whether anyone there practiced hypnosis. I could identify no one. I went to my local bookstore, and purchased a couple of books about the subject.

Sep 22nd, 2014
My First Encounter with Hypnosis

When Paul returned the following week, it was one of those days with a clear blue sky that seems to extend to the heavens. It was much too nice of a day to meet inside the small examination room in my clinic.

Sep 15th, 2014
Was This Faith Healing?

A week later I received a phone call from Paul’s mother. “I didn’t know who to call,” she apologized, “but Paul has been having an awful lot of pain at the site where the tube was in his chest."

Sep 1st, 2014
A Patient With a Lot on His Mind

I met Paul in our clinic where he was sitting with his parents. Paul and his mother appeared to be nervous. As he rose to meet me, Paul grimaced but nonetheless extended his hand to me in greeting.

Aug 25th, 2014
How Life Can Pivot Quietly

Many times in life big things start from small events. Sometimes, different resolutions of small events can lead to very different courses of life. One small event in the spring of 1997 fell into this category of being pivotal in my life as a physician.

Aug 18th, 2014