On the morning of Saturday, March 15, I woke up to shooting and stabbing pain down the right side of my neck, upper back and right arm. The pain encircled my ribs and was literally breathtaking.
I figured I must have slept with my neck in a funny position and a little massage would relieve it. But there was no part of my neck and back that my visiting friend could touch without eliciting a howl from yours truly. So I called my acupuncturist and bodywork specialist Steve, who was kind enough to accommodate me on short notice. Although the session gave me some relief, I realized that this was a different beast than a simple stiff neck.
Eventually, I found an experienced physical therapist/bodyworker based in San Rafael named Al Chan, whose deep knowledge of anatomy combined with his iron paws (I call his technique “Ow now, wow later”) helped put me on the mend.
This article is not about the clinical course of my ailment, though. This is aboutpain – where it Continue reading “On pain and how to handle it”
I want you to stop what you’re doing right now and really pay attention to… your breath. Slow down your breath, and make an effort to feel the air as it enters your nose.
Maybe even pinpoint a particular molecule of air, and follow its path as you feel it move along your airways, as you become conscious of every part of your body it touches.
First, feel it slide into your nostril. Then, slowly, it caresses the inside of your nasal passages, up and over into the back of your throat, down into your trachea. Slowly now – become aware of and really feel every little bit of Continue reading “Partial Continuous Ecstasy: Can You Reside in Bliss Around the Clock?”
I just came out of a four-day conference (which shall remain nameless), and it was such a life-affirming, mind-expanding, invigorating experience that I thought I would share my notes. I got doused by a downpour of novel ideas from disparate fields in the many talks I attended. Here’s a sampling, in no particular order: Continue reading “Notes from a great conference”
I have a mini-confession to make: I wrote the Tao of Dating books specifically for really smart people (both women and men). The writing of the books was precipitated by the endemic dating woes on the Harvard campus, as I observed them as an advisor and, earlier, wallowed in them as a student.
Those kids graduate and pretty much continue to have the same dating woes — only now with fewer single people around living in the same building and sharing meals with them every day. So if they had challenges then, it gets about 1000 times worse once they’re expelled from the warm womb of alma mater.
From my observations, the following dating challenges are common to most smart people. In fact, the smarter you are, the more Continue reading “Why really smart people have a tough time dating”
In the few years since I’ve graduated from medical school, there has been enough time to go back to medical practice in some form, but I haven’t and don’t intend to, so quit yer askin’ already. But of course, people keep on asking. Their comments range from the curious — “Why don’t you practice?” — to the idealistic — “But medicine is such a wonderful profession!” — to the almost hostile — “Don’t you like helping people, you heartless ogre you?”
Since it’s certain that folks will continue to pose me this question for the rest of my natural existence, I figured that instead of launching into my 15-minute polemic on the State of Medicine each time and interrupting the flow of my Hefeweizen on a fine Friday eve, I could just write it up and give them the URL. So that’s what I did.
Now, unfettered by my prior obligations as an unbiased pre-med advisor, here are the myriad reasons why you should not enter the medical profession and the one (count ’em — one) reason you should. I have assiduously gone through these arguments and expunged any hint of evenhandedness, saving time for all of you who are hunting for balance. And here are the reasons:
1) You will lose all the friends you had before medicine.
You think I’m kidding here. No, I’m not: I mean it in the most literal sense possible. I had a friend in UCLA Med School who lived 12min away, and I saw her once — in three years (UPDATE: twice in 4 years). I saw her more often when she lived in Boston and I was in LA, no foolin’.
Here’s the deal: you’ll be so caught up with taking classes, studying for exams, doing ward rotations, taking care of Continue reading “Why you should not go to medical school — a gleefully biased rant”