Having spent many years as Chief of Cardiac and Thoracic surgery in Los Angeles, I became interested in understanding why some of my patients developed persisting postoperative pain and others did not. I spent time with John Sarno, MD, at New York University School of Medicine, studying the relationship between pain and the brain, a condition he named tension myositis syndrome (TMS). John began referring me most of his West Coast patients. At the same time, I pursued advanced training in medical acupuncture at the UCLA School of Medicine. In my practice, I treat many patients with chronic pain and have effected many cures non-pharmacologically. My success with patients led to my interest in learning more about why such treatment worked so well, and sparked my interest in learning more about the brain and neuroscience.
My time in Tor Wager’s laboratory has afforded me total immersion in this area of learning. I have been able to learn a great deal about the interaction of pain and the brain. My contribution is to use all of my clinical experience, and participation in the lab’s research projects, to act as a bridge between the lab and the actual treatment of patients.