Anxiety with Success
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No matter how many parts of my life were good, I was stuck in thinking about what I didn’t have and what could be better. It seemed to me that almost everyone else had more money,  a happier family, better athletic skills and the list was endless. In retrospect, it’s … Read More

 “Our envy of others devours us most of all”
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What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary – property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell … Read More

Romanticizing Pirates – Normalizing Suffering and Abuse
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Each year we return to Italy to spend time with some of our close friends. My wife lived there for seven years and is fluent in Italian. For me, it is a wonderful experience, as we get to enjoy Italian culture at the ground level. One trip was to the … Read More

Never Give Up
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Hi Dr. Hanscom, It’s Donna, a former patient. I just wanted to write and tell you some good news regarding my back situation. You were right about forgiveness as well as the emotional aspects of back pain–at least in my case. After following the physiological recommendations and taking the various … Read More

Compassion
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A Course on Compassion: Empathy in the Face of Chronic Pain Click to view “A Course on Compassion” lecture videos Empathy is an inherent part of the human experience.   Being labeled as a “chronic pain patient” is one of the worst aspects of an already terrible problem. It’s impossible … Read More

The Placebo Effect – Harnessing the Body’s Healing Power
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The most powerful treatment for any disorder is stimulating your body to heal itself. I was introduced to this concept in the 1980’s by Dr. Bernie Siegel’s book, Love, Medicine and Miracles. He reviews some of literature that links stress with disease and also relates many stories of patients with … Read More

How Much Suffering Can You Take?
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This was the highlighted title of an article in the Sports Sunday section of the NY Times a few weeks ago. Of course, it tweaked my interest and I was introduced to an event that I did not dream possible. The article talked about about the Quintuple Anvil Triathlon held … Read More

“Better Not Look Down”
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A recent study demonstrated that thought suppression damages the hippocampus of your brain, which processes short and long-term memory. It is also been well-documented that when you try not to think of something, not only will you think about it more, there is a trampoline effect and you will think … Read More

Perfectionism—The Ultimate Victim Role
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Perfectionism is an additional—and perhaps less examined— way that people play the victim. Many view perfection as the standard that must be reached in order to be successful. It’s held up as a virtue in all aspects of our lives, especially in professional and vocational endeavors. We feel pressure from … Read More

Remarkable Healing Stories – Dr. Bernie Siegel
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I have had the distinct privilege of getting to know Dr. Bernie Siegel, who is a retired pediatric general surgeon and author of several books, including Love, Medicine and Miracles. He has looked extensively at the stories of patients who are survivors of advanced cancer and documenting common traits in … Read More

Mental or physical health – Which is more Critical?
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I have been considering this question since I was eight years old. For some reason it was a subject that my father felt was important. It was his contention that mental health was more important. I have historically felt that physical health was the foundation of a productive life. Since … Read More

Anger: Damage Control
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I have been through many phases of dealing with my own chronic pain issues. There was a time a few years ago where I labeled myself as “enlightened”, which meant in my mind that I was above going into the victim mode and could maintain a sense of tranquility. It … Read More

The KKK and a Spiritual Journey
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I am a strong supporter of psychology, psychiatry, and any mental health profession that can provide insight into how to live a full and productive life. However, I want you to think differently about mental health for a moment. Consider it not in terms of talk therapy but in terms … Read More

The First and Last Day of School
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“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old.  They grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old. They stop pursing dreams when they are crushed by relentless anxiety… Gabriel Garcia Marquez … Read More

My Hoffman Experience
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Hoffman is a seven-day residential personal growth experience where you are able to become aware of your family patterns of behavior that are playing out in your own life. You’ll learn techniques to calm down and reprogram your nervous system. You are also not allowed to discuss your past but … Read More

Hoffman Process
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Hoffman Institute The headquarters of the Hoffman Process is located in Rafael, CA. They offer the process in the US in two locations–one in California and the other in Massachusetts. There are thirteen centers around the world, and over 80,000 people have gone through the process. Bob Hoffman conceived the … Read More