The Immeasurable Power of Caring

It happened while I was in my dentist’s chair. The bright light was shining in my face as I endured another round of repairs on my front teeth, broken out over forty years ago when I was ten years old.   Over the years, I had finally developed a suitable coping method that included self-hypnosis, nitrous oxide, and a rockin’ playlist in my ear bud. With this safe retreat, I could remain semi-present to the shots, cuts, drilling, hammering and grinding. While undergoing my second or third casting of the day, as Christie was holding the form in place, something remarkable happened. She gently reached up and removed a piece of casting material stuck on my upper lip.  Her gentle manner was like that of a mother caressing a baby or an artisan tending to a precious treasure. At once everything changed. I was no longer suffering through the tormenting drudgery of restoring my fractured smile, I was receiving care.  Decades of trauma dissolved.   FULL ARTICLE



Cup of Tea? The Healing Power of Herbs



Making Pain Hurt Less

Pain is a four-letter word. Sometimes simply saying it hurts. Pain comes in many different manners: acute, chronic, primary, secondary, intermittent, progressive, debilitating, phantom, etc. Chronic pain reportedly impacts one-third of Americans, more than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. A top pain medicine, Vicodin, is the number one prescribed medicine in the US and it has doubled in usage in the past decade. While untreated pain may lead to increased severity and other complaints such as decreased sleep and immunity or reduced function and social interaction, the direct cost of pain in treatment and lost productivity is estimated at $600 billion dollars per year in America. This is comparable to the Defense Budget. We are waging a not-so-quiet War on Pain.   FULL ARTICLE


That Healing Aroma

We have all shared the same experience, the sudden awareness of aroma and its transcendent effect on us. We are affected by the subtle hint of jasmine on a calm summer evening, the buttery popcorn waft drawing us to the theater concessions, the fog of freshly mowed grass enveloping us while driving down a country road, the vented crispy fluffiness serenading us to a bakeshop, even the piercing sanitized odor of swimming pool chlorine. Smells both evoke reactions and encode our memories. While scent adds dimension to every recollection, our description of odor is assigned less to its character than to its effect on our emotions and state of being. We report a smell as being pleasant, soothing, invigorating, or repulsive. So potent is the force of aroma that it activates both internal and external reactions, while existing only in the invisible ephemera of our flowing inhalations.   FULL ARTICLE



The Healing Art of Reiki

The first time I heard the word “Reiki”, I asked my friend to say it twice and spell it once. I knew instantly it was an important word for me, sounding both foreign and familiar. I later learned that it was actually two words combined, “Rei” and “Ki”, and that the term was Japanese. The first syllable, “Rei” is translated as “Universal or Divine Wisdom” and the second, “Ki” means “energy”, the Japanese version of the Chinese term “Chi”. Together, these words define a system of energy medicine that is rooted in the concept of balance through extra-personal wisdom. The common American pronunciation is “Ray-key”, but according to one authority, the proper Japanese pronunciation is “rLay-key”. Beyond the peculiar and diverse sound of the word, Reiki is an elegant system of care that individuals can use to harmonize body, mind, and spirit.  FULL ARTICLE



The Mystery of Hypnosis

The first time I was hypnotized I did not know what to expect. I looked deep into the piercing eyes of Gil Boyne, his azure pupils compelling me to respond. A command to “Sleep!”, a snap of the fingers, and a jolt from behind brought me collapsing onto Mr. Boyne’s shoulder. I felt my breathing instantly drop into a slow, effortless pattern. My legs became weightless below me and I floated on the persistent counting and swaying that Mr. Boyne used to deepen my trance. I don’t know what I was expecting, really, perhaps some vanishing point black-out, or awakening to a psychedelic world of twisted physics like in the movies. I recognized my experience instantly. It was a trance, just like trances I had experienced in theater and yoga training. I recognized that distant, yet present feeling, floating, aware, yet dis-concerned.  FULL ARTICLE


Hypnotherapy: The First Protocol

 Treatment trends for HIV/AIDS are changing, again. High tech molecular medicine is relying more and more on the oldest of medicaments, the mind of the patient.  Toward this end, hypnotherapy is increasingly becoming a common choice.

Following the advent of drugs known as ‘protease inhibitors’ in 1996, AIDS death rates in the USA and other developed countries declined sharply.  In combination with similar drugs in an ‘antiretroviral cocktail,’ the new treatment model was termed ‘highly active antiretroviral therapy’ (HAART), and the declared procedure or protocol was to “hit fast and hit hard.”  Newly infected individuals were immediately placed on a ‘cocktail’ and encouraged to watch their immune cells (T-lymphocytes) increase as the HIV decreased.   FULL ARTICLE


Accidental Opportunities

Hypnotherapy is fundamentally about ideas.  Famed hypnotist Milton Erickson stated that relaxation is an artifact of hypnosis because it is a suggested behavior.  In other words, the hypnotist presents an idea about relaxation, and the client converts that idea into a state of relaxation.  James Braid himself, after coining the word hypnotism to define the “sleep of the nervous system,” concluded that the state was not that of sleep at all, but of intense fixation on an idea.  In vain he tried to rename the art “monoideism.”    FULL ARTICLE