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Bernie Siegel, M.D.

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Therapeutic Intention In The Doctor's Office

Posted: 12/22/09 12:26 PM ET

In my recent readings I have come across many interesting concepts which have always been a part of how I cared for people but are now finally becoming scientific and accepted. For example one revealed the benefits of playing music in the operating room, or reading stories to children that were read to them at home by their parents, while they underwent surgery. The government is actually funding this research and the exploration of the benefits of music. Let me say that the music and stories allowed the anesthesiologist to use fewer drugs and at a lower dosage then in the control group. I would recommend that all of you use the proper music in your treatment regimen and environment.

I laugh now because when I brought a tape recorder and tapes of music and nursery rhymes into the operating room, almost thirty years ago, I was called an explosion hazard due to some explosive anesthetic gases being used then. However, after several days the staff stopped complaining about the risks because they all felt better at the end of the day after working with me.

Another aspect of practice I have written about is the intention of the doctor, therapist, waiter or whomever, and the affect it has upon the persons they are interacting with. The article I read used the term TI, for Therapeutic Intention. Several studies were mentioned showing the benefits of the correct and appropriate therapeutic intention on the person being cared for.

I would suggest strongly to all of you that before you enter the room to interact with a client you pause and clear your mind of any negativity or thoughts like; I'm hungry, late, tired etc. and focus your intention in a therapeutic way upon the person you are about to interact with, be it through massage, or any other modality. What I hope we will see in the future is more research supported by the NIH and others as they open their minds and begin to accept the validity of these findings.

Years ago when I started acting strange and discussing my findings people would ask if I had done any research. When I said no they scoffed at my comments. The reason I didn't do research is that no one believed in what I was doing so I could never get any support from the government or organizations.

I talked to people under anesthesia and was again called crazy. When my patients showed a response to my words, remembered what was said while they were anesthetized and shared what they heard when awake postoperatively, the anesthesia department changed their views. Remember no one is against success even when they can't accept the reasons it works. Now with brain scans we can show that peoples' brains are functioning even when they are not responding consciously to the words being spoken.

The last point I would make is to remember we are created to survive. Bacteria make genetic alterations and resist antibiotics. We recover from illnesses and heal wounds. There is an inherent inner intelligence to provide these mechanisms. In a recent article a botanist discussed a plant which has a genetic defect that leads to its buds not opening. If this happened to all the plants of this species it would become extinct. What he noticed was that some of the plants spontaneously started to open their buds again. He called it a spontaneous reversion to a healthy, normal state. He believes the RNA makes changes which repair the DNA defects and lead to a reversal of the abnormal pattern.

When I read those words I couldn't help but think of the term we use for cancer patients, spontaneous remission; in other words an unexplained disappearance of their disease. From my experience it is the same mechanism as in the plant. The will and intention to live and quality of life created lead to changes within the genetic make up of the person and their cancer cells. This has even been seen in concentration camps where people sought life and health when disease and the inability to work meant death and to the other extreme where one's mortality starts one off truly living.

So in summary remember to live as if you are going to die, enjoying the experience by living your authentic life and not what was imposed upon you by others and you will intentionally reverse the aging process. Grow young along with me; the best is yet to be.

Peace,
Bernie Siegel, MD