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Are We There Yet? vol. 221 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 221

The other day, I had a meeting with a prospective client. As we always do, we started by asking her to tell us her story. She is a retired doctor and, on a personal level, shared that for decades, she has suffered from headaches, sometimes debilitating, but quite regular. She noted that she had seen neurosurgeons, orthopedists, allergy specialists, among others and had tried any number of medications to no avail.

At some point, she came across Dr. John Sarno who was a professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Sarno died in 2017, but in 1991, he published a book called Healing Back Pain and his thesis was that much chronic pain “is caused not by structural abnormalities but by the mind’s effort to repress emotions.” He noted that “the mind tricks you into not facing repressed emotion by making you focus on pain in the body.”

One of the methods suggested to release the repressed emotion is journaling. She has started a daily journaling practice and found that the frequency and severity of her headaches and pain have lessened. For those of you interested in exploring more about this idea, she also pointed me to a podcast by Nicole Sachs called The Cure for Chronic Pain. Ms. Sachs was a patient of Dr. Sarno and now is a psychotherapist who has dedicated her work to the treatment of chronic pain.

As I reflected on our conversation, I was reminded that important moments of discovery, knowledge, and learning often result not from pre-meeting outlines and clever questions but during off-script, unplanned, diversions. Some necessary components to fostering an environment for those moments include allowing time for those unplanned detours, curiosity, listening, and often vulnerability by at least one of the participants in the conversation. It’s interesting how much you can learn when you make that kind of connection.

Take care and stay safe.


Tokyo Vice (Max)

Based on the 2009 memoir by the same name, Tokyo Vice is the story of an American journalist investigating the yakuza in Tokyo. In 1999, American investigative journalist Jake Adelstein relocates to Tokyo and secures a job at a major Japanese newspaper, becoming their first foreign journalist. Taken under the wing of a veteran detective in the organized crime squad, Adelstein delves into the dark and dangerous world of the yakuza whilst living under the city's (and the newspaper's) official line that "murder does not happen in Tokyo".