Archive for December 2010

The true story of “Rudolph”

December 29, 2010

I received this email from Bill Harris over at The Centerpointe Institute. Bill and his team are the folks responsible for the terrific Holosync program that I’ve recommended to a few clients. It’s a great way to get the benefits of deep, powerful meditation without being an accomplished meditator.

Anyway, he sent out this story and I thought it was both touching and encouraging. I’m glad he shared it with me, and now I’m sharing it with you. And remember, from even our seemingly darkest moments can come true beauty and blessing.


** True Story of Rudolph**

A man named Robert L. May, depressed and brokenhearted,
stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling
December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly

Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy
could never come home. Barbara looked up into her
dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like
everybody else’s Mommy?”

Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.

Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger.
It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to
be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by
other boys.

He was too little at the time to compete in sports.
He was often called names he’d rather not remember.
From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed
to fit in.

Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and
was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery
Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed
with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout
with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob
and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room
apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days
before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he
couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he
couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined a make one – a

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind
and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her
comfort and hope.

Again and again, Bob told the story, embellishing it
more with each telling.

Who was the character? What was the story all about?

The story Bob May created was his own autobiography
in fable form. The character he created was a misfit
outcast like he was.

The name of the character? A little reindeer named
Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little
girl on Christmas Day.

But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught
wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a
nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book.
Wards went on to print, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer” and distribute it to children visiting Santa
Claus in their stores.

By 1946, Wards had printed and distributed more than
six million copies of Rudolph.

That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase
the rights from Wards to print an updated version of
the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of
Wards returned all rights back to Bob May.

The book became a best seller.

Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May,
now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy
from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.

But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song
adaptation to Rudolph.

Though the song was turned down by such popular
vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was
recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in
1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more
records than any other Christmas song, with the
exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter
so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again
and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like
his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so
bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.


I wish the very best for you and your family.

Be well,


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Train Your Mind to Heal Your Body

December 26, 2010

From our friends at Learning Strategies Corporation, their latest Healthsparks newsletter:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Welcome to Health Sparks
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It’s no secret that many elite athletes gained their edge with a well-trained mind.

Golf’s Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods and Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton used self-hypnosis to propel them to the top of their sports. Coach Phil Jackson credits daily self-hypnosis to bringing Michael Jordon and the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships.

Medical research shows the power of self-hypnosis and visualization to aid in weight loss, reduce pain in cancer patients, and even alleviate the discomfort of hot flashes.

In a Baylor University study, women who specifically pictured images associated with coolness during hypnotherapy had a dramatic decrease in hot flashes—cool relief for the estimated 85 percent of women who experience them.

“Areas of the brain activated by imagery may be identical to those activated by actual perceived events,” said Dr. Gary Elkins, professor of psychology and neuroscience. “Consequently, it may be that while a woman suffering hot flashes imagines a cool place, she also feels cool rather than the heat of a hot flash,”

A study of children and adolescents with Tourette Syndrome found that 79 percent of participants using self-hypnosis reduced their symptoms of motor or verbal tics, the Journal of Development and Behavioral Pediatrics reported.

“Once the patient is in his or her highly focused ‘special place,’ work is then done on controlling the tic,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lazarus. “We ask the patient to imagine the feeling right before that tic occurs and to put up a stop sign in front of it, or to imagine a tic switch that can be turned on and off like a light switch. Further suggestions are made, including encouraging the patient to invent his or her own images.”

So how can you gain the benefits of self-hypnosis for your health?
First, tap into that “highly focused” state dominated by alpha and theta brain waves, the lower frequencies associated with a relaxed but alert mind. Use this easy yet effective technique recommended by hypnotherapist Nikki Goldman, Ph.D., in our Euphoria! personal learning course:
While sitting or lying in a relaxed position, begin with a fixed stare at one spot on the wall or ceiling.
Notice and name three things you see with your peripheral vision. Then name three things you hear. Then name three things you feel. You may do this aloud or silently.
It may sound like this: “I see the light fixture, I see the window, I see the bookshelf. I hear the sound of the fan, I hear my breathing, I hear a dog barking outside. I feel my feet in my shoes, I feel my hands touching my thighs, I feel my body relaxing.”
Repeat the entire process. If you recite a particular sight, sound, or feeling over again, that’s okay. Just do this process over and over until you feel your eyes want to close.
With your eyes closed, now imagine your desired outcome. For example:
To alleviate pain or discomfort in your back, vividly imagine the way you want your body to feel. Sense how every muscle feels the way it did when you were more vibrant and in peak health at a younger age. Picture yourself going about your day with ease and joy.
To eliminate the stress or anxiety that builds in your busy day, imagine yourself in the most peaceful setting you can create in your mind such as a favorite getaway by the beach. Use your senses to capture the environment—the sound of waves lapping on the shore, the scent of wet sand, the feeling of the breeze on your skin. See yourself smiling and contentedly basking in the sun. Feel your breath slowing and your body relaxing.
When you practice such techniques on a regular basis, Goldman says, your brain becomes accustomed to functioning at the lower alpha and theta frequencies. At first, this natural relaxed state of euphoria will last for an hour or two after you complete the technique. However, once you do this routinely, you will discover you maintain this enjoyable state throughout the day.

Happy Holidays!

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A military tribute to our service men and women

December 21, 2010

this is pretty cool. No matter your feelings about the way in which our government has chosen to deploy our precious troops, I encourage you to honor and respect the men and women who sacrifice and serve.


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Egoscue is not for everybody

December 19, 2010

Egoscue isn’t for everybody? Pretty surprising statement from an Egoscue clinic director, isn’t it?

But it’s true, and not for the reasons you’d initially think.

I had a new client in our clinic a few weeks ago and I think her story is illustrative of the fact that what we do is not for everyone. Now, let me say clearly that I think EVERYONE can benefit from “doing Egoscue”. No question. But there are a few people who should honestly look at doing something else.

First and foremost are the lazy, the folks who have spent the last number of years sitting on the couch not moving, are hurting, and truly have no desire to get off the couch and move. They don’t want to exercise, they don’t want to move, they want to keep doing what they’re doing and find someone who has some magic solution that will help them achieve their goals instantly and without effort. These are the folks who go to their doctor and ask “isn’t there a pill I can take”? These are the folks who are diabetic or pre-diabetic and rather than modify their diet they’re more interested in fine tuning their insulin protocol or researching the coolest new blood sugar monitors. For these people, symptomatic treatment is perfectly acceptable, and the less effort involved the better. They have no interest in hearing that they’re only treating symptom and that the root problem is continuing to fester and damage. They just want to feel better ‘right now’, the future be damned.

If that’s you, Egoscue ain’t for ya. We have very little interest in treating the symptom and a VERY keen interest in helping you figure out what the core problem is, then creating an action plan to effectively address that core problem. And then, it’s time for YOU to get to work implementing that action plan. People get better with Egoscue not because they come to a clinic, but because they take what they learned at that clinic and implement it. They ACT!

Now, on to the second type of person for whom Egoscue is probably not the right call. And this goes back to the new client I mentioned above. Sally (not her real name) came to see me after being referred by a friend. She was experiencing chronic and severe low back pain for years. She’d had a number of accidents in years past and was convinced that these accidents were the cause of her pain. She’s already had spine surgery and was a candidate for another surgical procedure which she professed she wanted to avoid.

We sat down and I explained a bit about my story. Through my own experience I learned something interesting as an Egoscue client. When I showed up for my first appointment, Pete Egoscue was there and sat down with me and asked me why I was there. I said I was there because I had chronic and severe back pain that was dramatically impacting the quality of my life, and that if I didn’t turn things around soon I was going to be disabled. He asked me why I thought I had back pain and I explained I had been in a near fatal car accident 6 years prior and had this pain ever since. His response was very interesting. He asked “Ok, so your back hurts because you had an accident 6 years ago, is that the reality of this situation?”

I answered “yes, exactly so.”

His response stunned me: “well then, you’re screwed.”

I’m now thinking “I just drove 3.5 hours one way and wrote these people a check with a comma in it to hear THIS?”

Pete could see the befuddled look on my face and then laughed a gentle laugh and said “let me explain. Do you think I have a time machine laying around the clinic here?”

No, I didn’t think that.

“Well”, he said, “then if we don’t have a time machine, there’s not much we can do about your accident, is there? That’s a bell we can’t unring. So if that is REALLY why you hurt, then you’re screwed. However, maybe that’s NOT why you hurt and maybe your story of why you hurt is just that, a story. Are you open to the possibility that you hurt for a different reason?”


“Are you willing to lay your story down and, today, begin to create a new story, a more empowering one, that could lead you to achieve your goals for your health?”

My eyes began to water a bit and I felt something stir deep within me as I responded “Yes! I’ve been searching for over 6 years for a way to lay this story down and create a new one, to find a way out of this hole.”

At that point Pete smiled and said “Terrific. Because I don’t think you hurt because of your accident. I think you hurt because your posture was compromised going into it, and it’s still compromised. I think if we change your posture, we’ll change the way your body feels and functions. Let’s get started.”

And so began my Egoscue journey. That story above has some 2 key aspects to it I don’t want you to miss:

1. it’s easy to think we hurt because of some event that’s happened in our past, but that is rarely the case. Our pain is usually not generated by an event, but by a process that happens over time. I had allowed myself to believe otherwise, to my detriment.

2. the answer doesn’t lie outside of ourselves. It is ALWAYS within us. It begins with a change in the way you think about the issue, and then action is required. I was willing to change the way I thought about my body and why it was the way it was, and then I was willing to take responsibility and act.

So now, back to Sally.

I shared with her some of my story above and she politely nodded and said she understood. I assessed her posture and function and it was clear to me why she hurt. It wasn’t because of an accident 10 years prior. Her hips and her upper back were so out of position that they were putting tremendous torque on her low back. Imagine taking a dishrag with both hands and wringing it out, twisting it. That space in the middle was her low back.

So I explained all of this, we took her posture photos and I showed her what I was seeing, and then we got to work. I wrote a ‘menu’ of our exercises for her and we went through them one by one. At the end of the routine she stood up and walked around a bit and looked at me with a very confused look on her face and said “my back pain is better. I mean, it’s a LOT better. I barely hurt right now.” And this is a woman who walks around with back pain averaging 7-8 on a scale of 1-10.

We wrapped up the appointment and scheduled another one to see her the following week. But as she left she said something very revealing: “We’ll see what my doctor has to say.”

Say wha?!?

She wanted to know what her surgeon thought about the experience she just had. I asked her “well, what does your body have to say”? She responded “I feel better but I want to talk with the surgeon.”

And right then and there, I knew Sally had a problem. The problem isn’t that she wanted to consult with a surgeon, the problem is she does not trust her own instincts, she does not believe the solution to her pain lies within her, and she believes she is broken and needs someone else to “fix” her. In fact, I’d go so far as to say she doesn’t want the responsibility of participating in her own healing journey. That is a scary place for her to be. What she wants is for something outside of herself to assume that responsibility so she doesn’t have to.

She called our clinic early the following week and told the person who answered the phone that she saw the surgeon, he gave her some exercises to do and she was going to do those for awhile and she canceled her next appointment with me. No surprise. I emailed her and told her I’d support her in whatever path she chose to take, and if she’d like me to review the exercises the doctor gave her or if she had any questions about them, I was happy to help. And I encouraged her to continue doing her Egoscue exercises.

I haven’t heard back from her, and I won’t. At least, I won’t unless and until she makes a mental shift and decides that SHE needs to take responsibility for her health. That it doesn’t belong to a doctor or a physical therapist or an Egoscue therapist or anyone else, that it is hers and hers alone.

Folks, if you’re out there with pain, I cannot stress this enough: YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!!! You don’t need someone to “fix” you. Your body is telling you what it needs. It’s ALWAYS telling us what it needs. But most of us are so stressed out and fearful that we have too much mental static to tune into the station and hear the message.

Here’s my advice if you’re hurting: first, just relax, take a deep breath, and accept where you are currently at. Allow yourself to be ok with it, just for now. You can go back to being not ok with it in 5 minutes, but just for now, accept your body just the way it is. Then ask your body what it thinks it wants to best support you. Then be at peace, be quiet, and listen. If you do this, if you truly do this, it will speak to you. And then, trust yourself. Believe that you are enough! Whatever your goals are for your body, their accomplishment is possible if you first look within yourself for the power and the tools and the answers to make those goals a reality.

How did my mental approach differ from Sally’s? Yes, I utilized outside help and expertise, but I NEVER gave away the responsibility for my healing. I viewed everyone I consulted as just that, a consultant. They were working for me and the ultimate authority was mine and mine alone. I, too, had a surgeon and he was ready and willing to operate. all I needed to do was make the phone call and I would’ve been on his table within a week or two. But it was MY choice to go a different direction, and I’m so glad I did. That was almost 12 years ago and I’ve never looked back. 12 years ago I had MRI films that showed herniated discs. I didn’t care, and instead I chose to believe those who told me that what the MRI showed was not the problem but was the result of the problem. “Fix your posture and what the MRI shows won’t matter.” That made sense to me and I got to work. 12 years later, do I still have herniated discs? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I’m sitting here writing this without any back pain. I do what I want to do without my body stopping me from doing it.

Don’t give your authority away folks. Take responsibility for your health, the job is not too big for you! If you’d like some help and direction along the way, call the Egoscue clinic nearest you and I promise you the folks there will do their best not to sell you something, not to convince you to do something, but to genuinely partner with you. Are you ready to lay down your old story and create a new one? Are you ready to get to work and start making this better? Then call our clinic at 512.527.0030 or go to and find the clinic nearest you and call them. Tell them what’s going on and allow us to walk alongside you for awhile on your journey. It will be our privilege.

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How do you repair a damaged immune system?

December 18, 2010

Here’s a great article on how to repair a damaged immune system. I wholeheartedly agree with the post and recommend you read it, especially going into the holiday season where most people’s dietary habits begin to really struggle.


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But don’t we need to be safe?

December 3, 2010

if the new full body scanners are what’s needed to keep us
all safe, then surely the military and the FBI are using
them to protect their own people, right?

Wrong. They know what works the best and the most
efficiently, and it isn’t these scanners.

Get the real story from our friends at Brasscheck.

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The new food safety bill

December 2, 2010

It’s passage is not a good thing.

Here is a great post from our Portland clinic director’s blog. If you want to learn more about this subject, here’s a great place to go:

I firmly believe this bill has NOTHING to do with protecting the public. We’re actually supposed to believe that spinach is this dirty food from which we need to be protected while virtually every piece of factory-farmed chicken meat in this country will test positive for salmonella?

Or while thousands of people die each year from adverse drug reactions to pharmaceuticals that were found to have been passed in part due to fraudulent or faked studies?

Give me a break. This is NOT about protecting your health, it’s about protecting the profits of factory farms.

Read and learn.

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