Romanticizing Pirates – Normalizing Suffering and Abuse

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

Processing Anxiety/ Frustration – They are not Going Away

  Objectives Providing yourself with cues of safety is essential to healing. However, your body instinctively gravitates towards being aware of threats. Even when life is good, your brain is constantly scanning your surroundings (including your consciousness) for danger. It is your “personal brain scanner.” As disruptive as anxiety is, … Read More

Heal by Connecting with Others

Objectives Social isolation is both a contributing factor to anxiety and also a result of it. When you are suffering, it is challenging to reach out to others in a meaningful way. The physiological effects are devastating, with significant mental and physical consequences. It even affects the expression of your … Read More

The Golden State Warriors and the “Ironic Effect”

We all know that when you try not to think about something, you’ll think about it more. Most of us don’t pay much attention to the implications of it, but it is at the core of human suffering. The underlying neurological process reflects the “ironic effect,” a term coined by … Read More

“My Way Out” (of “The Abyss”) – One Patient’s Story

posted in: Recent, Stories of Hope | 0

This is one of many stories of hope that I hear frequently. Her story is a classic illustration of how the body can heal itself if we can get out of the way. There are several principles to consider regarding the healing journey. One is that she took control. The … Read More

Tulsa Shooting – “The Pit of Despair”

Preston Phillips, the spine surgeon shot this week in Tulsa, was a colleague of mine in Seattle. I did not know him well but interacted with him in conferences and some patient care. He was as well-intentioned a surgeon and nice person as I have worked with. It is easy … Read More

Permanent Disability – Needless??

Please do not let this happen to you, your family, or friends. The downside of failed spine surgery can be catastrophic, and it is impossible for you, as a patient, to comprehend how bad it can be. Complications happen with every surgeon, including me. That is not the issue. The … Read More

Exercise Improves Your Health, Quality of Life, and Lifespan

Objectives: Regular exercise is a defined and to measurably lower inflammation, which will decrease your pain. It is basic to healing from any chronic disease, including chronic pain. It won’t solve your pain by itself, but other interventions will have limited impact without it. There are well-documented weekly recommendations regarding … Read More

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