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Recent Posts

Our Need to Feel Safe

Our Need to Feel Safe

The deep need to feel and be safe is the driving force of all life, including humans. In this physiological state the body refuels, regenerates, builds muscle and bone, empties waste products, better fights off foreign invaders, and the organism ... Read More
Downhill Skiing is Dangerous – So is Life

Downhill Skiing is Dangerous – So is Life

Looking down a hill well beyond your skill level is terrifying. Downhill skis are designed to be fast, are long, hard to turn without knowing what to do. Conversely, understanding how to use the edges, distribute your weight, time weight ... Read More
Make the Right Decision About Spine Surgery – The Grid

Make the Right Decision About Spine Surgery – The Grid

Objectives Chronic mental and physical pain are complex. Isolated interventions cannot and don’t work. Surgery is often considered a “definitive solution.” For chronic symptoms, it is not. It is simply one tool. Only two factors must be considered to make ... Read More
Bullying is Good for Your Health

Bullying is Good for Your Health

Bullying is maybe one of the most irrational and unacceptable aspects of the human experience. Everyone at every age, including the bullies, knows it’s wrong. Yet there doesn’t seem to be an effective way to solve it that I’ve seen ... Read More
Calming and Stabilizing Your Nervous System

Calming and Stabilizing Your Nervous System

Objectives When your nervous system is inflamed and hyper-reactive, lesser levels of stress cause your body to go into flight or fight. In contrast, you are able to more easily deal with challenges if you feel safe and calm. Four ... Read More
Navigating Life is Similar to Playing Major League Baseball

Navigating Life is Similar to Playing Major League Baseball

Feeling safe is the essence of enjoying life, healing, and thriving Healing chronic illness happens by moving towards health not by “fixing” yourself. An analogy can be made to becoming a professional baseball player. The goal is to be “safe” ... Read More
The “C”quence of Healing Chronic Illness

The “C”quence of Healing Chronic Illness

Objectives Connecting to every aspect of your life is difficult but is at the core of allowing your body to heal. “Being” with your past may be challenging but is necessary in order to learn and grow.  It is the ... Read More
Active Meditation - a simple starting point

Active Meditation – a simple starting point

Objectives: When you are suffering for any reason, you mind races, which makes it harder to think clearly. Doing battle with your thoughts or suppressing them makes it all worse. Simply placing your attention on a specific sensation for a ... Read More

Important Posts

Do You Really Need Spine Surgery?

Do You Really Need Spine Surgery?

Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? Take Control with Advice from a Surgeon considers all factors affecting your perception of pain and organizes them into a treatment grid that allows you to make a good decision regarding having spine surgery ... Read More
David Hanscom’s Mission and Resources

David Hanscom’s Mission and Resources

My mission falls into two broad categories. Connect mainstream medicine with existing science – most symptoms, illness and disease  are created by the body’s physiology (how it functions), and not structures. Establish the necessity of a trusting dynamic relationship with ... Read More
Anger Academy

Anger Academy

Objectives Processing anger is more doable if it is broken down into its components. Anger is a powerful, necessary, and hard wired survival reflex. You cannot tame it with the conscious brain. It is an acquired skill that requires ongoing ... Read More
Dynamic Healing

Dynamic Healing

A new, data-based dynamic approach is needed for medicine to successfully deal with our epidemic of chronic disease. It must acknowledge the interaction between circumstances and your body’s capacity to process them, which determines the makeup of your body’s neurochemistry ... Read More
Plan A–Lowering Inflammation Lengthens Life

Plan A–Lowering Inflammation Lengthens Life

The COVID-19 virus is a member of the Corona virus family that usually just causes the common cold. The problem is that we now have a strain that is potentially fatal. However, there are some strong hints of how to ... Read More
Essence of Illness

Essence of Illness

The burden of chronic disease is crushing us while we have the answers right in front of us. A recent summary reported that the total cost of chronic disease in the US is 3.7 trillion dollars a year, which is ... Read More
Navigating the Entire Circle of Your Life

Navigating the Entire Circle of Your Life

The DOC (Direct your Own Care) Journey is a collection of resources that reflect the ones many people have used to escape from the grip of chronic mental and physical pain, It includes: A guided course of seven legs and ... Read More
Clarifying the New IASP Definition of Chronic Pain

Clarifying the New IASP Definition of Chronic Pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is highly regarded international society committed to research and education about pain. It was founded by one of the most prominent pioneers in pain, Dr. John Bonica. Conceptualizing pain What is ... Read More

Expressive Arts Gallery

Hope

Hope

This is a river rock that I painted with the ocean scene to express “The healing journey is not linear!” There are highs and lows like the waves and the tides, progress and struggle but it’s all part of the ... Read More
The Walk Home

The Walk Home

Poem by Susan Angelis Photo by Susan Angelis October 29, 2023 The Walk Home The walk home from Sunday church. Walking the same path. Slightly different views each Sunday. Observing, appreciating the wondrous creations of nature. Looking beyond the iron ... Read More
Fierce Pain - Medically Explainable Symptoms (MES)

Fierce Pain – Medically Explainable Symptoms (MES)

This is a piece sent to me through the expressive arts gallery. My arms reach upward as the mind and hair are disintegrating, reaching through burning into the light. Grounded in the earth, I dance. My heart lifts up, surrendering ... Read More
"MdDS: She is a Beautiful Flower" (acrylic on black watercolor paper, Feb 2017)

“MdDS: She is a Beautiful Flower” (acrylic on black watercolor paper, Feb 2017)

Julie Graber, 2017: July 2016, a Mal de Debarquement. Rocking, Bobbing, Swaying … 24×7 … circling in a counter-clockwise direction. Painted in the middle of one night when something under my rib cage felt like it was trying to flip ... Read More
"Mystic Fragmentation ... a medicine painting" (acrylic paint and collaged feet on 48x60" canvas, 2021)

“Mystic Fragmentation … a medicine painting” (acrylic paint and collaged feet on 48×60″ canvas, 2021)

Julie Graber, 2016: a chronic neurological disorder after 8-day river cruise Prague to Budapest, Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS), for which “there is no cure”; rocking, bobbing, swaying like on a paddle board in the middle of Lake Michigan on ... Read More
Anger

Anger

A deep and overwhelming feeling of helplessness became anger (which usually comes out to somehow rescue me..)..So that’s what I tried to express in this painting. My commentary This is an interesting piece in that anger does rescue us from ... Read More
Shadows Dancing in the Fire

Shadows Dancing in the Fire

Painted in 1971 by Gabrielle Schang and Babs Yohai. Dancing through the ring of fire. Dancing through the ring of fire. Related posts: “The Cup Song” Spastic Bladder Resolved – Being with Anger Six Feet Apart Navigating the Entire Circle ... Read More
Emotional Turmoil

Emotional Turmoil

A great life isn’t just about waiting for the storm to pass, It’s about learning to dance in the rain. Related posts: When I Dance – Omega 2019 Anger and Anxiety–Highway to Hell Staying in the Storm Physical versus Emotional ... Read More

Stories of Hope

"Love Heals" - Moving into a New Life

“Love Heals” – Moving into a New Life

I met Dana a few years ago after she had undergone two low back surgeries and was still experiencing a lot of pain. She engaged in the healing journey, and it was not an easy road. However, she was persistent, ... Read More
Solving Tinnitus - The Ringing in My Ears

Solving Tinnitus – The Ringing in My Ears

Ringing in your ears, regardless of its intensity, is annoying. Actually, it is more than annoying; it is relentless and wears you down. It is a relatively common problem(1), numerous resources have been directed towards trying to definitively solve it, ... Read More
Spastic Bladder Resolved – Being with Anger

Spastic Bladder Resolved – Being with Anger

This is a letter I recently received from a young woman with interstitial cystitis or spastic bladder. It is a common condition that creates a lot of misery. I don’t have much experience treating patients with this problem, but it’s ... Read More
Optimizing (Avoiding) Spine Surgery

Optimizing (Avoiding) Spine Surgery

About three years ago, my staff noticed that our surgical patients who participated in The DOC Journey principles were doing much better. The outcomes were more consistent, and we were seeing fewer failures. The postoperative pain was more easily controlled ... Read More
How to Heal - A Patient's Story

How to Heal – A Patient’s Story

Essentially every person that has experienced deep healing has learned to process anger and nurture joy. It is much more than an intellectual exercise and deeper than “acceptance.” You don’t have to like the person or situation that harmed you ... Read More
No More Back Pain - A Story of Healing

No More Back Pain – A Story of Healing

When I discuss the idea that you can reprogram or shift your brain circuits around away from pain, there is always a certain sense of disbelief. However, this story is a typical one with the only aspect that is a ... Read More
Positive Thinking vs. Real-time Reprogramming

Positive Thinking vs. Real-time Reprogramming

You can heal by connecting to your own body’s capacity to heal. But that means connecting with every aspect of your being – including your “dark” side. It is the reason why The DOC Journey begins by acknowledging your skepticism ... Read More
The Pain of Social Isolation

The Pain of Social Isolation

Many people suffering from chronic pain are socially isolated. When you are trapped in pain you have a difficult time reaching out. Others do not necessarily want to interact with angry people. The problem becomes greatly magnified in that it ... Read More