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Bill D. Moyers discusses his book "Healing and the Mind"

BROADCAST: Feb. 16, 1993 | DURATION: 00:54:13

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Television journalist Bill D. Moyers discusses his book "Healing and the Mind."


Bill Moyers "I suppose I've always been interested in the relation of mind and body, growing up as I did in a culture that separated them, and separated them distinctly. Yet every day in this divided world of mind and body, our language betrayed the limitations of our categories. Widow Brown must have died of a broken heart. She never got sick until her husband was gone. My parents talked about our friend the grocer, who worried himself sick, and my Uncle Karl believed that laughter could ease what ails you, long before Norman Cousins published his story about how he coped with serious illness by watching Marx Brothers movies and videos of 'Candid Camera.'"

Studs Terkel The opening passage of quite a remarkable book, one that I'm surprised was not written centuries ago, maybe it was, but one that is written now about, it's simply called "Healing and the Mind." And of course it's in the thoughts of every person who's been ill or a member of the family been ill, or who's worried about being ill. The mind and the body, and we know there are so many millions of people go to see people who are not MD's, not because they're quacks, but because there's something else in the air that is old and yet new, and it's a voice of Bill Moyers, of course, a recognizable voice who always seems to have his pulse on not simply what is, but what may be forthcoming. And this book is called "Healing and the Mind" and that very opening passage, Bill. By the way, this is part of, this will be a series, too, on PBS.

Bill Moyers PBS series, three nights. It's good to see you, Studs.

Studs Terkel You, to, sir. And, this brings back all sorts of thoughts. The first time was 15, 20 years ago, and your travels through the country.

Bill Moyers Twenty-two years ago, I was here with you for "Listening to America," the first

Studs Terkel "Listening to America" was the book.

Bill Moyers -trying to imitate the master.

Studs Terkel Yeah, then we have the very opening passage you read, that almost sets the key to this book and to this idea of health. We know that health news, don't we, is about as ubiquitous as far as being on TV and radio as sports news is. Health news in the minds of people. And mind is healing and the mind and the operative word is the mind in healing, isn't it?

Bill Moyers This is an old story, it's not, this is not a new rocket science we're talking about, we're talking about how emotions affect health, and Socrates, your old buddy, came back from the wars and said to the Athenians, that flourishing Greek civilization, "Hey, you know what? Those barbarians over there in Thrace are much more advanced than we are because they understand that to heal the body you have to treat the mind." And I came across in my research 10th-century Islamic doctors, Moorish doctors, who were far ahead of their Christian contemporaries in healing the sick because they dealt with such basic simplicities as a good diet, exercise, and fresh air. Proverbs, which I sometimes suspected you helped to write, Studs, Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart doeth good like medicine, but a broken bone dampens the spirit [sic]." It's all through [unintelligible]. We just have overlooked it in the last 50 years because modern American medicine has been on a technological fix and has grown a very big brain without a corresponding increase in its heart.

Studs Terkel Just as a caveat, we're pointing out that Bill Moyers is not attacking the use of technology and the advances made where it has, but it is this matter of distance, the human from the other, patient from doctor.

Bill Moyers To the contrary, I just came from Atlanta, visiting my four-month-old grandchild, my first grandchild, a grandson, who would not be here today, at the age of four months if it hadn't been for the skill of a marvelous surgeon and these wonderful technological machines. When he was born in October they attached him, he he had a, the doctors said he only had a 30-percent chance of survival. Three minutes after he was born, they whisked him by an angel van it's called in Atlanta, across town to a children's hospital. He was hooked up to these machines, his life was saved. A few days later, he was operated on with the precision of a masterful artist at medicine and he's around today because of this. No, this is no attack on modern American

Studs Terkel However, we are talking about something else. Machines plus, and the plus we're talking about, the human touch, something called feeling. Just as you were talking about Proverbs, how ancient it is, and Socrates and the Thracians, your family doctor in Marshall, Texas, Dr. Tenney, the general practitioner, a family doctor, practiced that.

Bill Moyers You bet. I had the mumps. I remember having the mumps, and and there was nothing any doctor could do that that my mother hadn't already done and no doctor could make ice cream like she did. That was my, that was my road to recovery. But Dr. Tenney came over when he heard I had the mumps, because he knew just when he walked into the room, set on the bed and took my hand to take my temperature, that I felt better immediately. His presence, we call it a 'bedside manner,' but we now know there are scientifics, we now have scientific studies that say babies, for example, need touching when they are born. They grow healthier. They wither if they're not touched. We all know that we we need touching, too, and there is in touch the old 'laying on the hands,' there is

Studs Terkel As you say that, by the way, the book consists primarily of conversations with specialists in fields. By the way, these are MDs, a great many and others in the world of biology and neurology. But they're talking about something outside their immediate field that concerns health. But in addition, this is the part your family doctor, Tenney, in addition there are illustrations here that are very fascinating, not simply Akins and the gross clinic, but all sorts of dealing with the human mind and body, the human condition and through the centuries you have these works that connect with it.

Bill Moyers There is a stunning piece of art in there that I had never seen until I did this, and I will never again think of a woman and a mastectomy in the same way. There's a, there's a piece of art in there by an artist from New York. She has her breast, which has been removed, in her arms and she is as the title says, 'cradling her sorrow.' And suddenly you you can feel that separation and that grief that a woman has to experience when her breast is removed. A piece of art empathized more than any kind of gesture.

Studs Terkel Just as you say that, your first interviews with a brilliant doctor, Thomas Delbanco, of the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and it's about the patient-doctor relationship, closeness. He loves music, music and medicine, aren't we talking about here?

Bill Moyers And he makes a wonderful, he tells me a wonderful story about the difference between the the mechanics of music and the spirit, the art of music. He said, "You know, when you play the violin," and he is a violinist as well as an internist, "You have to know where to put your fingers on that on that strings, you have to know how hard to pull, how hard to push, you have to know where to put your your chin." Those are the techniques of music, but the art of music is when the violinist, not the violin, but the violinist touches the spirit of the audience. And he says there is an art of medicine. The science of medicine is knowing what's wrong with your organ, your tissues, and being able to fix your bones. But the art of music is knowing how to touch the patients.

Studs Terkel See, that's, you said the art of medicine and that's where the leap occurs, the artist, the poet, takes the leap. The other is the technician. Now it's an old custom to think of the technician in medicine, the technique, here about the art which involves the heart, the feeling as well. As you're talking about.

Bill Moyers Exactly, this is true in politics as well, and we have great legislators. Lyndon Johnson was a a terrific legislator, as you know. But when it came to the art of politics, when it came to touching the heart of the public body, the body politic, he was lacking. I mean, this is true. There is something in every human relationship and every human endeavor that goes to that four-letter word 'soul.'

Studs Terkel Yeah if I may just digress for a moment, I'm talking to Bill Moyers whose life is 'lives,' it's plural. Because you were also press secretary to LBJ out of Texas and so your you connect all these as your programs have through the years, your public TV programs. One form where that's the poet, whether it's the student of myths, Joseph Campbell, whoever it might be or or Myles Horton, one of the great teachers of our time, the only guy to defy John Edgar Hoover in his prime, by the way. [laughter] Now we discu-- But back to

Bill Moyers Everybody's doing it now, but only Myles did it

Studs Terkel Now it's easy. Now it's easy. But coming back to the young Dr. Delbanco and music, suddenly I connect because toward the end of the book you visit China, and East and West meet, and there is Master Wang, who masters calligraphy but is also a man of medicine.

Bill Moyers Because he's also first and foremost a philosopher. And the Chinese have a philosophic attitude toward the human body that is different from ours. In the West, and there's been a lot of good from this, doctors tend to look upon the human body as a machine. If something is wrong, you call Dr. Ross Perot, he comes, he lifts up the hood of the car, he finds the part that's broken, he replaces it, and he sends you on his way. The Chinese doctors think of the body as a convergence of forces of energy, that it's a garden, every part of the ecology is related to the next, that there's something wrong -- If you're feeling a pain in your ankle it could probably be traced to your liver, and the role of the doctor is the role of a gardener. Now just imagine, Studs, when you change the metaphor, how you change the approach. Instead of a mechanic, a doctor is a gardener and it makes a wholly different change.

Studs Terkel The machine as against the flower.

Bill Moyers Exactly. And a doctor in China, in traditional Chinese medicine the doctor's paid only if the patient remains healthy. If the patient becomes ill, the doctor loses his fee.

Studs Terkel You point out as you and this young American doctor who is a student of Chinese medicine, what's his name?

Bill Moyers David Eisenberg.

Studs Terkel David Eisenberg. With him as your guide, and you found, as I did 'way back,but you found you found the Western and the Eastern doctor, the folk doctor and a fusion of the two, but you point something else. So were talking about feeling and touch. The Chinese doctor taking his time.

Bill Moyers I was, I literally stayed in one doctor's office all day watching him take the pulse and that's all he did. When a patient comes in, he takes their pulse. He saw maybe 100 patients in the course of that day, but he spent, he spent 45 minutes with one woman just with his fingers on her pulse. I say singular, but they believe there are many pulses, and that each pulse carries with it an identifying signal of where in the body something is going wrong, and Studs, so help me, as I sit here with you, he could tell, he would listen to her pulse, feel her pulse, and then he would say, "Well, you've got a problem in your pancreas or something in your joint on the right side in here," and then he'd write out a prescription of herbs that she would take to the pharmacy, the Chinese pharmacy, and get filled. It's the most incredible sensitivity, it's like as if his hand was an antenna receiving signals from her body through her pulse, in the same way that a television signal satellite dish receives signals from some distant place.

Studs Terkel So it's nn contrast to Western, and to a great extent the lack of touch, that is touching is something very intimate and also, I suppose, there's a puritanical background to the non-touching, too.

Bill Moyers My father, who was a Baptist who grew up in East Texas. He was a wonderful man, didn't die until he was 86 but it was only in the last two or three years of his life that he'd let me massage his neck, because there was just some scruple against the touch. Men didn't touch, even sons and and and fathers in that in that in that culture.

Studs Terkel That's it. Yeah. That's it. But what else? That doctor you're talking about, that Chinese doctor, this is toward the latter part of the book, "Healing and the Mind," my guest Bill Moyers, is that seeking of that something called 'chi'; energy. So you watch a scene, there's an incredible scene of thousands of people for centuries going to public parks: Old, young, of all strata of society, doing their exercise called 'Tai Chi,' and that's what, that's keeping that movement going? [unintelligible].

Bill Moyers They believe the body is a is a field of energy and that energy gets stuck, and health depends upon unsticking it. But they also think that in order to prevent energy from sticking they've got to keep the body fluid and fluent, so every morning in China is electric, because every morning at six, the park swings open and hundreds, tens of thousands of people come in there to practice for an hour or two their 'tai chi,' which is a slow farm- form of almost martial art, but it's an exercise that that particularly the elderly practice for preventive care. My favorite scene in the series which runs on PBS and the China show is the China sub-- China is the last subject in the book, but it's the first subject in the series. Now my favorite scene, Studs, is I'm up on a, with the cameraman, and we're looking down on about 100 elderly Chinese who were practicing tai chi. They're all above 75. Half of them are in their 80s and 15 or 20 are in their 90s and their teacher in China. In China, Studs, you'd be Grandmaster Studs, well his name is Grandmaster Ma and he's teaching them with this slow, eloquent, elegant movement and standing up there watching them, I suddenly remembered, talk about incongruity, I suddenly remembered an interview David Schoenbrume, whom you remember as as an early and great CBS correspondent, did with with Gen. Charles de Gaulle, the late leader of France, and he said, "General de Gaulle, is there nothing you fear?" and de Gaulle thought a moment and he said, "I fear one thing. I fear the shipwreck of old age." I thought of that up there; to these Chinese, old age was not a shipwreck, it was a voyage, it was a discovery, it was an adventure.

Studs Terkel But keeping that body moving, the blood coursing, you know who practiced this form of tai chi? Satchel Paige! Satchel Paige.

Bill Moyers No, I didn't know that.

Studs Terkel No, what he did! Do you remember? He'd always say, "Keep jigglin'."

Bill Moyers Yeah.

Studs Terkel "[unintelligible] just keep jigglin'." And so the coins in your pocket, and keeps the blood going-

Bill Moyers [unintelligible]

Studs Terkel and Satchel Paige is one of these Chinese masters.

Bill Moyers Well, listen, have you ever seen an eagle wheel in the sky in that kind of arc of light and movement that is almost not detectable until you fasten on it? That's the way they move their muscles, that's the way they move their tissue.

Studs Terkel But now we come to mind and body, there is something, there's an energy an indefinable something and yet definable between the doctors and the others and patients and that's that something energy called 'chi.'

Bill Moyers Right. And they do believe it is the essential source of life, what we would call the breath of life, they would call chi. And by the way, this seems magical and it seems mystical and it seems, well, flaky. But but as you'll find in the book with the a long the interview I did with Dr. Candace Pert, who's a neuroscientist

Studs Terkel -- I was just about to raise Candace Pert's point. She's a doctor with several others who are talking about that something.

Bill Moyers Yeah. She's now, she's the one who is mapping the the the the neuro- peptides, they're called. I thought about calling this chapter in the book "I never knew a neuropeptide could be interesting," but they are now discovering that the body, that the mind, Studs, is not above the neck. The mind is dispersed throughout the body and every cell has tens of thousands of little receivers that are wiggling all the time. And these are the way the brain and the body talk to each other, and that emotions may well be the link, the bridge between mind and body. And she, I asked her, what is, where is the mind? And she says well it's all throughout the body, it's the wisdom of the body. Well, what is the mind? I then asked her. And she says, almost as if she were Chinese, "Well, the mind is an enlivening energy that is dispersed throughout the body that enables the cells to talk to each other, and the outside world to talk to us." And I thought when I was doing that interview, my Lord, she's talking the way the Chinese do. The body is energized.

Studs Terkel Information molecules. These molecules carrying the mind in every cell of the body and she could be, a Western doctor, highly respected, could be Chinese.

Bill Moyers She's the one who made the amazing breakthrough in discovering the the the aminos in the brain that have to do with the opiate receptors in the brain. This is no Marin County guru. This is a scientist right in the in the breast of American research.

Studs Terkel So we're talking to Bill Moyers, "Healing and the Mind," Doubleday the publishers. Bill Moyers and the book, "Healing and the Mind." And just as my memory goes back 72 years, I'm eight years old, the corner drugstore, the corner pharmacy, and you peer through the window and your nose pressed against the pane of glass at the corner, and that window has those big vessels of dyes different colors and there's a hammer and pestle and then there's a picture, a reproduction of it in this book by Luke Fildes, "The Doctor," the doctor and the young patient and somewhere in the background, you don't sense it, and there's a worried mother and father and that doctor is is solemn and bearded and looks at his watch and he's touching that child. And that's your Dr.

Bill Moyers Mmm-hmm. Of whom there are not too many left in our world. In fact, today there's one chapter in the book which deals with a doctor who's trying to help a family understand what the mother is going through when she's having surgery. And as he points out to me in the interview, she will not even know or meet the surgeon who's going to perform this critical operation on her until after the surgery is over. We have just moved so far from that that healing presence of the doctor. Not all doctors, I know good doctors who still combine the best of Western technological medicine and the best of psychology or Chinese medicine, but not many.

Studs Terkel But as you're saying that, we -- Throughout -- You talk to these various men and women of medicine and of of illness and of disease. And that's the doctor and the patient. The first one, that's Delbanco and he speaks of each patient being unique and different, not the same. And one of your doctors speaks of the the truck driver having a heart attack, and the banker having a heart attack. Yet there are two different aspects involved: the guy may lose his job, the banker may have his pension or a parachute, well he said the other guy, he may not have any health insurance either. So you have two different ways of handling

Bill Moyers And the purpose of that story is to illustrate how important it is to know the source of illness and the circumstances of illness so that you can deal with the anxiety that illness creates. There's a doctor in the book who says to me, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, he teaches at Mas- University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and he says to me, "The fear of illness is often worse than the illness itself." And particularly for a truck driver whose illness may be so debilitating that he's not able to drive the truck, his livelihood is gone. Whereas the banker gets four months off, he may go back a little frail, a little feeble, a little white of face because he hasn't been outside for a while, but he goes back to his job. One of the other doctors in there, wonderful man, Studs, named Ron Anderson, who is the administrator of the hospital in Dallas, the Parkland Hospital, where John Kennedy was taken after he he was shot, tells about being in medical school and a friend of his, another medical student's wife had dysfunctional symptoms, she was just not performing very well. But they couldn't figure out what it was, so he they said, "Let's take her down to see Professor [Turkle?]. He's a he's a doctor but he's also a good listener, and maybe he can find something." So she goes in, 30 minutes later she comes out, and they say, "What did he say?" And she answered, "He said I need a new washing machine."

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers And they said, "What? A new washing machine?" "Yes, he understands, came to the conclusion that I'm working too hard at home-

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -and I need a new washing machine."

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers They said, "That was the diagnosis?" She said, "Yes, that's the diagnosis and the prescription."

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers And she bought the washing machine and she got better. Why? Because he listened.

Studs Terkel He listened and he knew something over and beyond her immediate illness. Just as you have Dr. David Felten, a remarkable guy. He talking about the Industrial Revolution and these kids and the illnesses of the kids, he says, "Well, gotta be child labor laws, you got to get back at the owne- and you were saying, "But that's politics rather than medicine." He says, "It's

Bill Moyers It's both. That's right. You cannot, you can heal the individual only to a point in a society whose culture is sick. Which is poi- a society that is poisoning the environment or the ozone, or a society that allows kids in the ghetto to to become killers stalking each other because that's the only form of expression they have, a society that doesn't take care to build parks and public places and preserve its riverfronts so that people have a healthy environment in which to live, and and beyond healing in the mind with the individual is healing in the public mind within society.

Studs Terkel The public mind. So there we have something. I think, was it Anderson or who else, David Smith, who spoke of the community clinics; the community clinics.

Bill Moyers Because a lot of people in Dallas, that's where Parkland is, and he was then the assistant administrator, he's now the commissioner of health for the state of Texas.

Studs Terkel Who is?

Bill Moyers Dr. David

Studs Terkel Smith is.

Bill Moyers Smith says that that you have to go out to where people are, because a lot of these people, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians who come to this country are intimidated by a hospital. First, they can't afford it. Second, they never been exposed to this kind of total institution before. And that's what hospitals have become: total institutions, like like jail, so they don't come to the doctors and to the hospital, so if you want to reach them with preventive medicine, and that's what we're talking to, you have to go out to the neighborhoods, and in fact you have to deal with those Hispanics who are still listening to what we would call 'witch doctors,' "curanderos," because those are the sources of healing in their culture. And unless you can take them where they are, with the curanderos, you can't get them to believe in Western medicine. It's a, it's- you gotta- in fact, David Smith says, "You can't just see a patient when someone walks into the hospital. You have to see a person. A patient brings a diseased body, but a person comes with a web of connections to family, faith and community. And you've got to heal them in the context."

Studs Terkel Where just as you say that, just comes to my mind, Dr. Sam [Baruschnik], I haven't seen in years here, he's Argentinean exile, refugee, here now, and he says, he [member?] among some of the Indian indigenous peoples of Argentina. And he says the family; they take him home, and suddenly things happen that didn't happen in the cold recesses of this institution called a hospital there. That was alien to a great many.

Bill Moyers There's a scene in the in the book and in the series where I'm on rounds with Dr. Anderson, the administrator of the Parkland Hospital, and he has three medical students with him and he stops and he talks to an elderly woman and he's asking her, how did you sleep last night, how do you feel. Then suddenly he says, she she's there because of asthma attacks. Suddenly he says "Is your son still drinking? Where is your son?" And the interns the following him around look a little startled by that.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers So out in the hall later, one of them says, "Why did you ask her about about her son?" And he said, "Look, this woman has asthma attacks. I happen to know her son is her sole source of support. And if he's drinking again, I know he he drinks a lot, and he's lost his job, it's likely that her asthma attack was brought on by the anxiety over her own financial situation."

Studs Terkel Well, there it is, it's like that doctor suggesting the washing machine for-

Bill Moyers Yeah.

Studs Terkel -the woman. See, this is- we're talking also about social needs or or needs over and beyond the body. And here we come to the public mind, the public ne-, but also the psyche, don't we? Throughout it's healing and the mind.

Bill Moyers Every illness is psychosomatic in the sense that it is concerned with both the spirit and the body.

Studs Terkel Just so we come to facing pain. You mentioned the guy with the hyphenated name.

Bill Moyers [page turning] Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Studs Terkel Jon Kabat-Zinn. And there's an experiment he has with raisins. A raisin, I should say.

Bill Moyers It's not even now an experiment. It's a, it's a form of meditation that he uses. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is is an incredible man. He's a microbiologist and a Ph.D., and he for ten years has been teaching meditation right in the center of Massachusetts Medical Center to over 6,000 men and women who are referred to him by other doctors who've given up on their pain. They come with the severe pain of migraine headaches or cardiovascular disease or of accidents with that had broken backs, and no doctor can cure them. He teaches them meditation, because meditation is a form of coming to terms with your pain, of of of concentrating on your breathing in a way that you're able to, as he calls it 'relax into discomfort.' They don't call it meditation because, as he says, "That's un-American." They

Studs Terkel Stress reduction.

Bill Moyers Because then people will come. But he takes a raisin, and he asks you to eat that raisin slowly. And then, as you eat it, to notice your lips and how they're feeling, to notice the feel of the raisin on your tongue, to notice saliva as the raisin moves back beginning its descent on the down escalator. In other words, he's trying to get you to pay attention to the eating. He says, "Eating is in the moment, just as lovemaking should be in the moment, driving a car should be in the moment, and the more you concentrate on the moment, the more you escape the the tether of your pain."

Studs Terkel And just as you do that, and if the pain is there, and the moment pain concentrate on that, and it's the mind again playing a role.

Bill Moyers Mindfulness involved here.

Studs Terkel And healer. The opposite of distraction. Exactly the opposite. Will take your mind away from it is the traditional approach,

Bill Moyers You've got it, you've got it, Studs, because he says we're not trying to distract you from the pain, we're trying to get you to be in harmony with your body, which includes moving with the pain. And there's a - To me, one of the more moving sequences in this series is of a 36-year-old carpenter, Dan, who's had three serious accidents and is in such misery from fused cartilage and spinal tissue, he's he can hardly move. He can't play with his 6-year-old son. He was a hockey star who had a car accident who then became a carpenter, the deck collapsed on him and he's in foul shape. He could hardly move. The first time I see him on the first day of this eight-week course that Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches, Dan's face is so wreathed in pain that his brow looks as if it were a plowed field back in the cotton lands of Texas where I come from. And when I look at him, his eyes are so sad that I wince. My - I feel sadness, too. At the end of the eight weeks, Dan is smiling, Dan is joking-

Bill Moyers Yeah.

Bill Moyers -Dan is saying, "I still have my pain, but I can deal with it

Studs Terkel He deals with it. That's -- What's the word that Doctor Zinn, Kabat-Zinn, Jon Kabat-Zinn. What is it, that word, 'mind-fullness'?

Bill Moyers Mindfulness. He says being mindful enables us to concentrate on what is at hand in a way that puts us into the moment in a healing way. By the way, over -- In ten years, over 6,000 men and women-

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -have come through this clinic, which is right in the middle of the hospital, and they can only come if they are referred by a regular doctor.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers And out of the 6,000, studies done a year after they were there show that

Studs Terkel 75 I'm

Bill Moyers No, that's all right. Seventy-five percent of them were still helped.

Studs Terkel Yeah. See, we're talking, aren't we, talking about something that in the past, until recently, and I think it's a bottom-up feeling on the part of a great many patients on their own feeling their oats and their need until we thought of that meditation or yoga come to yoga meaning yoking together-

Bill Moyers Yes.

Studs Terkel -[unintelligible] thought of that as, well, not flaky, but rather patronizing, something California, you know, something not quite, now we know there's far more to it than that.

Bill Moyers As you and I talk here, the New England Journal of Medicine is out with the first national survey ever done of the use of alternative therapies. Alternative therapies are those-

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -medical practices not routinely taught in in medical school: acupuncture, meditation, chiropractory, massage, herbs, biofeedback. And this survey shows that in 1990, the year of the survey in the New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious Journal of Medicine in America, one out of every three adult Americans-

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -use some form of alternative therapies for serious illness.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers This is a grassroots revolution, as

Studs Terkel Or course, yeah. Well, it's quite obvious that even wha- hearing radio programs, not simply public radio or or TV, health, the health news and we know sports news is a big aspect of it, business news, now health news.

Bill Moyers The CBS Evening News just added Dr. Bob Arnott to its cast of evening news correspondents

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -because health news is in the -- Well, look, Studs, there is such widespread dissatisfaction in this country with our health care, even though we all know we have the best health care in the world if we can afford it. But modern American medicine prescribes too many drugs. Somebody in the book says to me, "You know, Moyers, the only difference between a drug and a poison is a dose. And modern medicine give too many doses of drugs." Modern medicine performs too many operations. Twent- by by official estimates, 25 percent of all the surgeries in this country are unnecessary. And third, modern medicine costs too darn much money.

Studs Terkel Costs what?

Bill Moyers Too darned much money.

Studs Terkel Yeah, well, of course, this leads to my political point. My platform, quite obviously, we are the only, aside from South Africa, we know this, you know, of course, the only in- industrial country that does not have national health insurance, which is ridic-- which of course is farcical. Seven years away from the new millennium. This is ridiculous.

Bill Moyers It it is not a healthy healthcare system, and unless President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton grasp what we're talking about here in "Healing and the Mind," there can be no fundamental health reform.

Studs Terkel Of course, you and I know, in fact, it's implied in the book throughout the awareness of patients more and more, and the doctors who are hip in the best sense, that the patient must know more is that a majority of America, the majority of Americans all polls indicate, want national health. They don't worry about words like socialized and that's that's old hat.

Bill Moyers No. But right now, even as as as as Clinton is trying to move on this, just imagine those old scenes of the war when we see parachuters toppling, topp-falling out of the gliders descending onto the onto Europe, right now Washington is, the sky above Washington is full of parachutists, lobbyists from the health insurance industry, from the from the insurance companies, from the AMA, lobbyists descending on Washington to prevent anything-

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -really substantial from happening.

Studs Terkel We're talking to Bill Moyers. The book, you gather, is a pretty exciting one, and I I like to say, a necessary one. Bill has a way of doing what I call 'necessary programs' and 'necessary books,' "Healing and the Mind" is the book and Doubleday the publishers. Bill Moyers and this is alternative medicine we're talking about, alternative healthcare. The mind - I know that Norman Cousins played a big role, and during the last years of his life, the discoveries he made about himself and the mind and humor and laughter and the therapeutic aspects of it, and through as he was falling apart physically.

Bill Moyers Yeah. Some of your listeners are young enough not to remember Norman Cousins, but you and I knew him very well. He was an- the editor of "The Saturday Review" who loved to talk disarmament politics, international affairs, Cold War, until he came down with a rare disease that was life-threatening. In fact, the doctors gave up on him and he retired to a hospital in Man-- To a hotel room in Manhattan and watched old Groucho Marx movies and reruns of "Candid Camera" and literally, by his own admission, laughed himself back to health. He wrote a best-selling book called "The Anatomy of an Illness" and I got to know, that after that I'd see Norman and he would never talk about international affairs, politics, the Cold War, the Soviet Union again. He wanted to talk about this field of mind-body medicine. He became, well he really became sort of the Studs Terkel of of of alternative medicine, the the leading layman who understood what was happening in this field. Now I went out to do a prof- a profile for of him for CBS when I was working there 10 years ago, 1984. And as I left he said, "Moyers, you've really got to do a television series on this subject. Too many people are waiting to be encouraged to understand the healing powers of their own body."

Studs Terkel Yeah, so that was, that, that, that's one of the things that set you off.

Bill Moyers Yeah.

Studs Terkel Cousins' story, his life and his metaphor, both, his life as metaphor.

Bill Moyers And the other was the death of my father three years ago, at the age of 86. My father was a wonderful man who loved life. But for the last 25 years of his life, he suffered from chronic debilitating headaches. They would come, Studs, like like thunderbolts from nowhere. He might be having breakfast, reading the paper, watching television, holding a conversation like this, and they would literally drive him out of the chair onto his knees in pain. I took him everywhere: Mayo, Scott & White, the Methodist Center in Houston, New York. Nobody could fix it. Nobody could cure him. Finally, a doctor who took his life history said to me, "You know, his headaches started, didn't they, about the time of your brother's death." I said, "That's right, my brother, who was 39, died in 1966, and my father's headaches began somewhere around then." The doctor said, "He needs some help for that. Get him to go to somebody who can listen and deal with the emotional pent-up grief that he has never released from his son's death. Your brother's death." But my father, Studs, was of the old school. He didn't think men expressed their emotions. He thought men contained their grief heroically and stoically, and he wouldn't go. It didn't seem the manly thing to do. And he died, not of, but with these headaches as his constant companion, and he died within three months of Norman Cousins' death, and with those two deaths I realized there was a message there I couldn't ignore.

Studs Terkel Yeah, yeah. And so in both cases, both instances, the common denominator, the feeling of the grief and the other, the laughter. The two opposite effects, the mind and the body.

Bill Moyers The emotions and our response.

Studs Terkel So going back to Socrates, to Hippocrates, to Thracians and to Scripture, to the Chinese and to your family doctor,there's always a wonderful part of a continuity. It's it's all connected. The ancient folk, as we call it, 'folk wisdom' or folk art of medicine. And this leads, of course, to Native American, naturally, though use of the word 'spirit' then; now, spirit again is not mystical because these same guys use the word, and women use the word, 'spirit.'

Bill Moyers Spirit is of the body. Spirit is this response that our organism makes to certain chemical messages that that Candace Pert describes, I mean, spirit is not out there.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers It is in here and it's just as real. Dr. Anderson tells about his own grandfather; Dr. Anderson, the administrator of Parkland Hospital. He says his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and given only six months to live. That the grandfather said, "Oh, no. Oh, no, Doc. I've just got a new grandson. I wanna teach that boy to hunt, fish, swim, I wanna to swing him, I'm gonna to be around for him to go to the first grade." And he was. He lived not another six months, but another seven years. Now, Dr. Anderson said to me, "You can't take the will to live and put it under a microscope and dissect it. But it is just as real as a red pill I'd give you for your hemoglobin." And there we're talking about spirit.

Studs Terkel And just as you say that, I just noticed that I marked something here about a pediatrician you saw, Karen Olness, healing from within, and she's talking about children.

Bill Moyers She works with children. She's at the Rainbow Children's Hospital in Cleveland. She is a pediatrician who works with children using hypnotherapy, which is just a form of imagination to cope with terribly painful migraine headaches. And she is able to use hypnotherapy to encourage children to imagine an alternative to what they're experiencing at the moment. And she has a marvelous track record with children who were brought to her with migraine headaches. She gives them no pills, and she prescribes no surgery. She deals with them in their own mind.

Studs Terkel I notice that she she's quoting Jacob Bronowski, the British physicist and and William Blake scholar about children. One of the tragedies is how later on life stunts their imagination. She's talking about the imagination of these young patients. Their imagination becomes part of their healing, too.

Bill Moyers Yes, she treats one girl who had, one little girl, 10 years old whose

Studs Terkel Marette.

Bill Moyers Marette. Well, Marette's the one who had lupus. And this is a very interesting case of conditional response. Lu-Marette was taking a heavy dose of a serious medication for her lupus and it was helping the lupus, but the side effects of the drugs were really debilitating to Marette. So Dr. Olness heard about Robert Ader at the University of Rochester who had worked with the conditioned response of rats, he had given rats a a dosage of medicine.

Studs Terkel Whom you've also visited.

Bill Moyers Who I also visit, with sweetened water. Then he withdrew the drugs and continued to give the sweetened water, and the rats reacted as if they were getting the drug.

Studs Terkel Well, that's Pavlov again.

Bill Moyers Yes, there's a form of Pavlov there. So she began to substitute for the drug, she began to give Marette a combination of the drugs but also a, she would wave a rose perfume underneath her nose and then give her a spoon of castor oil at the same time, so that at the same time Marette was getting the drug, she was smelling the rose and tasting the castor oil. Then, she withdrew the drug and Marette smelled only the perfume and tasted the castor oil and her body reacted as if she were getting the drug.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers And today I saw Marette the other night in Minneapolis. She's now 20 years old, she came up to see me. Dr. Olness proved that her body could be conditioned to take the smell of the rose and the taste of the castor oil as if it were, as if they were, the medicine. So if she she no longer had those side effects of the drugs. In fact, back to your favorite passage, the China, the China, the chapter on China. Stunning scene. I'm in this operating room-

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -with this doctor who's removing a tumor in Beijing from the brain of a 32-year-old schoolteacher. And during the four-and-a-half-hour operation, I'm talking to this patient whose skull is cut open, from whose brain this tumor is being removed.

Studs Terkel And a local anesthetic.

Bill Moyers What they did is, they gave her only half of the sedatives that you or I would have had in this country if we were having the same operation, and the rest of the anesthesia came from acupuncture needles in her eyelids, her wrists, and her ankles. Now why? Because the sedative has a threatening potential side effect that makes the recovery from the surgery more difficult and and and prolongs it. Well, by using acupuncture, they are still able to kill the pain, give her only half the sedative, and she has no side effects. I went by the next morning after this four-and-a-half-hour surgery, and she was sitting in her room recovering. She was out of there in two days.

Studs Terkel Amazing. She was aware, of course, during the operation.

Bill Moyers Oh, yeah, I'm talking to her. "Where are you?" She says, "I'm in the operating room." "What are they doing?" "They're taking a cancer out of me."

Studs Terkel Again, we're talking, aren't we, of East, West, ancient, folk. Call it what you will. Science, contemporary medicine, a fusion of the two. One can learn from the other.

Bill Moyers This is not -- We do not have to reject the best of the West in order to incorporate what another culture has to offers. In fact, I'm sure you did, when I was growing up I had to memorize Kipling's couplet: "East is east and west is west, and never the twain will meet." They are meeting in this field of health.

Studs Terkel Well, as, and now we come to the patient. Remember we begin at the beginning, the first long interview you had was with Dr. Tom Delbanco, and it's the patient-doctor relationship. Now, Dean Ornish is talking about the patient. More he knows, the better things are. He's got to know, and it's a choice is his, really, right down to it. And whether it's a changing lifestyle or habit, he he's got the choice.

Bill Moyers And that's hard for Americans, because we, when it come, we may not like political authority, but when it comes to medicine- Yeah.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Bill Moyers -we risk, we want the venerable doctor who is the source of authority to tell us what to do. And Dean Ornish has shown that you can reverse heart disease. You can unclog the plumbing of our hearts, by diet, exercise, meditation: techniques that have nothing to do with drugs or surgery.

Studs Terkel So it it it is[n't?] the patient's decision, to a great extent. Oh, the guide is of course, the guide

Bill Moyers But that's what we're talking about here, we're essentially talking about how can I take better care of myself? Preventive medicine. It's so much cheaper, Studs, than waiting until the end of life to have resurrection medicine practiced on us. You know, that medicine that tries to snatch us back from the jaws of death, from the grave

Studs Terkel Called resurrection medicine.

Bill Moyers Yeah, that's resurrection

Studs Terkel Whereas, the other, the phrase used, to use it, the word we hear used in so many aspects of ours, 'empowerment.'

Bill Moyers And that's what knowledge does. Tell me how exercise helps me. By the way, this is what science is telling us. They now tot-- They can now show us what exercise does to the muscles of the body, so that when we know, indeed this is Dean Ornish's point, when you know how the body reacts to certain endeavors, then you

Studs Terkel Just as you say that, there's another aspect of, I'm looking at this interview you had with Dean Ornish. It's "Hard work does not kill." I have, it does not cause heart attack. Stress, other values, other kind of orientation is, now we come to something important. It's not the work itself if the person enjoys that work, is part of it. It's what he wants. How much dough is he going to make? Or is he going to make, or is he going to keep up with the Joneses? Those other aspects have nothing to do with his, with his work, his trade.

Bill Moyers That's right. And and it can also be again back to your favorite subject of social conditions. There are a lot of heart attacks occur to men and now and less, but to men, lesser to women, who have to commute long hours, you know, who get up at six o'clock in the morning and drive two and a half hours, then do reverse the same at the end of the day and come back. Social conditions can create the kind of stress and anxiety that work on the body in harmful ways.

Studs Terkel We've just touched on a half a dozen or so of the various people you've met, as well as your adventures in China and I was thinking about, so the question -- Oh, group! Of course, we haven't -- We talk about community, community clinics, the group, people helping one another. So we come to that throughout. David Spiegel speaks of that. In a way not too removed from AA, is it? I mean, the principle is pretty much the same.

Bill Moyers Well, AA is all about community. There's a saying among Alcoholics Anonymous that "Our journey of recovery is through community." It's it it's what we do when we live and help live, instead of live and let live. And Dr. Spiegel's study is an extraordinary story. Twenty years ago, he took two groups of women who had advanced breast cancer. He divided them into two groups. One went to get chemotherapy, radiation and drugs, surgery, the other got chemotherapy, radiation, drugs and surgery, plus he had them come every week to a group therapy session with him, the 10 or 12 of them together, and they talked. They talked. They talked. Many years later, he ran the results of this whole study through his computer, found that 83 of the 86 women had died, but of the women who had died, those who went through the extra treatment, they got the chemotherapy, the surgery, and the drugs, but they also went to this weekly therapy session. every one of them had lived on the average of 18 months longer than the ones who did not have that therapy session. Now, he didn't know what to make of this. And he's right now replicating the study hoping to see if he gets the same results. And we filmed him doing this study with these women, but his tentative suggestion is that that in the sharing, in the experience of sharing, sharing their grief, their anger, their pain, learning from others how they cope. For example, there was one mother in in the group, Studs, who was grieving and angry over the fact that she was not going to be around as her son grew up. So it was suggested that she write a letter before her death, write 18 letters for every one of her son's birthdays to come. And she did that. And that sense of purpose, that sense of sharing, made a real difference in her remaining months. And he de-- He concludes that intimacy heals and isolation weakens, and that this sharing experience is in itself a healing process.

Studs Terkel So there, of course, loneliness, loneliness becomes dangerous, of course. Not aloneness, not solitude, but loneliness.

Bill Moyers Yeah. We now know that married cancer patients do better than single cancer patients. We know that being lonely, not being alone, but being loneliness, is, can be harmful to one's health.

Studs Terkel [unintelligible] I suppose, due, we can't avoid the removing of the last two profiles in the book dealing with Commonweal and terminal illness, and coming to terms with death and with whatever else goes along with it.

Bill Moyers There is no medicine, East or West, conventional art or alternative, that can immunize us against suffering and death. So in the last chapter of the book and the last broadcast of the series, I visit this this extraordinary place on the West Coast called Commonweal. It is for cancer patients. You can only come there if you're under the treatment of an oncologist or another physician, and you come there, not to be cured, because there is no cure for the cancer these people have. But you've come in the search of the healing that can happen even when a cure is impossible. And I give you my word and testament, Studs Terkel, I watched people who come there strangers, bearing their terminal cancer, leave as intimate friends, healed, even though they knew they were about to leave this life. What happens? Again, it's sharing, it's poetry, it's the discovery that that that that death is part and parcel of the experience of life. It's accepting, not stoically, but but but warmly and tenderly and lovingly, the fate that you face.

Studs Terkel Just as you say that, you mentioned poetry. So again we think of the music of Delbanco, Dr. Delbanco, the violin, we think of the calligraphy of Master Wang in China and the discovery of poetry by the people. And there's a poem there, perhaps you should read that, "Mother Knows Best," it's ironic but it's about, not to remove from that facing pain, facing of it, why don't you set the scene for that, just to remind the audience of this book "Healing and the Mind" of Bill Moyers, that deals with that twilight zone, that's more and more light coming into it, of the mind and the body together and alternative medicine.

Bill Moyers You know, C.G. Jung, the great psychiatrist, said, "Sharing sorrow makes us wounded healers," and he used that term to describe people whose knowledge of inner healing came from experience with their own wounds. Professionals like doctors and psychologists give advice, but pilgrims share wisdom, and this group that comes together at Commonweal bond during the week, they bond profoundly. They listen to each other. They share their sorrows, and one of the patients writes a poem about this and calls it "Mother Knows Best": "Don't talk about your troubles. No one loves a sad face. Oh, mom, the truth is, cheer isolates, humor defends. Competence intimidates; control separates; and sadness, sadness opens us each to the other. When we go through that lonesome valley with either the presence or the memory of someone who cares, we find the journey even into the darkness of the forest ahead is a healing journey."

Studs Terkel Bill Moyers. Thank you very much.

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