Dr. Steve Bierman is an ER physician and hypnotherapist who explains why compassion isn’t enough when it comes to patient communication.
[00:00:00] Alex Tsakiris: On this episode of skeptical. How to save someone’s life in the emergency room.
[00:00:08] clip: They still can’t stop the bleeding. Give me your turn, make it please. She is in and out of consciousness. You’re in the right place. Okay. Exactly. Four minutes in Dr. Gandhi reaches for the black phone. That’s the direct link to the, or
Alex Tsakiris: And how to do it with no hands.
[00:00:24] Steve Bierman: for example, to a lady in ventricular . Tachycardia, potentially lethal heart arrhythmia, where the nurses off to get the medicine I’m sitting there.
I got nothing to do, get rapport with her, breathe with her and say, and you know, your heart has been beating in a regular way for a long, long time and she’d nod and it still knows how to do it.
Alex Tsakiris: That first clip was from a news report in Fort worth. I think I just pulled it off of YouTube, but the second one was from today’s, , guests, quite amazing guest, Dr. Steve Bierman.
Who joined me to talk about hypnosis NLP and a bunch of other cool stuff. Hope you enjoy the interview.
[00:01:13] Alex Tsakiris: Welcome to skeptical where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics.
I’m your host, Alex Caris and wow. We have a good one for you today. I’m joined by Dr. Steve Biman. Steve is the author of healing beyond pills and potions. Let me read a little bit from the website, the website, by the way, you’re gonna want to check it out. Healing beyond pills.com. Here is some bio stuff.
Steve Berman MD received his undergraduate UCLA doctorate, Northwestern worked 20 years board certified emergency physician at Scripps Memorial Encinitas right up the road from where? Uh, Steve and I are both sitting right now. He’s the founder of two medical device companies and holds over 200 utility patents on various medical devices as an emergency physician.
Dr. Beman became renowned for performing painless procedures, like simple injections, laceration repairs, and even childbirth, but his studied words and gestures did far more than prevent pain. They also produced astonishing physical outcomes,
dr. Breman went further along the communication continuum. That’s a very interesting There’s gonna be some very interesting reframing of a language here that that will we. Blow your mind when you really get into what this guy has done to all autoimmune diseases, shrink deadly tumors, relieve depression and ensure bloodless surgeries.
Many of his cures seem like miracles. Yes, they really do. And yet Dr. Barman explains they are inevitable consequence of a new and expanded understanding of disease causality , and the focus power of ideas to access our healer within.
Steve. Welcome. Thanks so much for joining me.
[00:03:21] Steve Bierman: That’s a pleasure, Alex. Good to see you again.
[00:03:24] Alex Tsakiris: Well, you know, I was thinking about how to kick this off, and then I thought of this story that I heard from you that I’m sure it’s told many times, many different ways, but Steve, imagine it’s a few years ago, I unfortunately get in a car accident, wind up being wheeled into Scripps hospital Encinitas.
And I’m fortunate enough to run into Dr. Steve. I have a diff dislocated shoulder. I’ve got a big, uh, gouge in my leg and bleeding. What happens now that is like mind blowingly, radically different than what people might
[00:04:06] Steve Bierman: expect. The first thing that happens, Alex is you’re going to get all the care that you would normally get from any alopathic physician in an emergency room.
That’s going to happen. There’s nothing taken out, but there are things added. Um, the first thing that I’ll do is establish, uh, hypnotic rapport with you. That’s not rapport used in the vernacular. That means that I’ll in a studied and subtle way that I’ll begin in a sense imitating you I’ll link up with your rhythms, your breathing, rhythm, your vocal energy.
I’ll begin to establish a unique relationship with you. Um, not just for the purposes of comfort and warmth, but because I’m going to use that relationship along with carefully selected words and the authority that’s vested in me by virtue of being the one and only doc in that emergency room at the time, I’ll take all of that and use it to your advantage.
For example, uh, I published in the American journal of emergency medicine, uh, series of cases, including one where the dislocated shoulder you’re talking about was reduced by me. That means returns return to its normal anatomic position without any yanking or pulling or stretching or bending. Rather just words, just words.
And those words don’t entail necessarily a hypnotic trance. But they rather, through the relationship I’ve already developed with the rapport and careful choice of words in my authority, they persuade your body to relax the muscles that are holding that dislocation in place. Let go. And there’s a natural tendency for this shoulder to roll back in.
I may offer a metaphor or two like a bowling ball rolling into the pocket, something like that, but I assure you whatever I do, there’ll be less trauma to your shoulder and it’ll be instantly, instantly meaning within minutes, uh, return to its anatomic position. If you’re bleeding and I did this in different ways every night, I’ll offer you strong suggestions to stop your bleeding.
And they may be very direct. Uh, I had patients every evening come in with cuts on their fingers, you know, from washing or drying dishes. And they have arterial hemorrhage going on. It’s been going on for an hour before they got there, but I’d be quite busy and I wouldn’t have time to get to a finger laceration.
I would have time to go up to them and say, hi, I’m Dr. Biman. I can see you were distressed. We’re meaning it’s now past tense. Probably you bled a lot. I’m going to ask you to do something that’s really important and might seem a little, uh, funny. So now I have their attention, right? In the meantime, I’m breathing with them.
I’m locking in with their posture and various movements, but I’ve got their full attention because what is this emergency doctor gonna say? That’s funny while I’m here. Hemorrhaging watching all hell break loose around me. And then I’ll look at them and take a breath and time it with their breathing.
And I’ll say, I need you to stop your bleeding now. And I’ll exude this kind of earnestness, so they know, I know it can happen. And I expect that it will. And this thing that’s been bleeding for hours prior to, or if you come in from an auto accident within 4, 5, 6 beats will stop bleeding as it did hundreds and hundreds of times, night after night, that’s the power.
That’s the impact of ideas on health and healing.
[00:08:13] Alex Tsakiris: I, I love that. I, I wanna say that you are just capturing the magic in the last minute, and I kind of feel like you’re holding onto the reins. Cause I feel like you have to hold onto the reigns a lot. What you’ve discovered is amazing.
The wave you’ve discovered it is very, , it’s not mainstream, but it’s not like you’ve gone out and done, you know, , Bandler grinder, kind of, we got it, uh, Erickson, , the famous hypnotherapist. We got it. You’ve studied all these people. You’ve done it clinically, but the net result of all this is magic.
I mean, when you like the part that I liked when you first told me that story was, you got that kind of physician’s. In patience and urgency for just a second, and you were like, no, I could go up to people and instantly make them stop bleeding. I could go up to people and touch them on the shoulder and their, the joint would go back in their socket.
And I know now from reading the book, that that is true. And like you said, not like true once or twice, like thousands of times, thousands of patients that you treated. So there is something here that is kind of beyond what we like to kind of write input in a nice little box and oh yeah, that’s great. And he’s got some kind of, uh, Hy hypnotic suggestions that kind of boost this thing.
There’s something going on here that you’re seeing that, and you’re doing that is that we’re really gonna want to get into, but tell me, you know, tell me am I off there or not?
[00:09:49] Steve Bierman: You’re not off at all. You’re, you’re actually recognizing what many, many people, um, miss, and it’s not just one thing that’s going on, but it’s a, a complex interaction of multiple things that are going on.
And, um, let’s look at them if we can individually the first the thing that, uh, as you say, I’ve, I’ve seen these wonders happen thousands and thousands of times, I’m always surprised by them. Yeah. I still, as, you know, keep an office in Delmar, do medical hypnotherapy for patients with both physical and psychological ailments.
And I see wonders happen literally every day, just stunned. And, and here’s the one thing that, uh, continually jumps out at me. What I’m doing is I’m somehow eliciting or conjuring or evoking, uh, a healing response. That resides the capacity for which resides in the patient. They have this, we don’t know it.
We’re not taught it. In fact, our culture often dissuades us from believing it, but inside each and every one of those patients, there’s this intrinsic healing capacity. You hear people talk about it, the healer within this intrinsic healing capacity that does marvelous, wondrous things, uh, it, from, from shrinking tumors to allowing bloodless surgeries.
I’m not talking about minor surger, by the way, I’m talking about he, I ectomies or knee replacements done bloodless very hard to believe until you, until you see it. But I’ve seen it scores and scores of times now, um, from, from things like that. To the little thing, stopping a, a finger bleed, which really isn’t little to that, uh, patient, all of these, uh, wonders, reside within you.
You’ve had it all along and what I’ve learned studying from grinder and, uh, Ericsson and my own applications and, uh, innovations in the emergency room is simply how to turn that on what triggers it. Um, there’s a side note to that though, that I think is, uh, equally important. If, if I have this, uh, ability to say, uh, ignite this intrinsic healing capacity, then it turns out sadly, I often have the ability to extinguish that, uh, heal intrinsic healing capacity.
In other words, I have an, if, if you’ll allow this, uh, the power to, uh, cure or curse. And I think everyone listening, uh, at least most everyone listening knows that when they feel themselves helpless and dependent as if people are injured, people usually do. Uh, and they’re in the company of an authority, someone who has very little detectable doubt about how to deal with this, that’s how we recognize authorities.
Well, he seems certain about this. He must know what’s right. That dynamic empowers the authority, such that their words will actualize. Their ideas will become that, uh, patients, if you will, reality and not knowing that is a very dangerous thing. We see, for example, in, uh, randomized clinical, uh, trials.
Which had been going on tens of thousands, tens and tens of thousands since, uh, 1949. We don’t only see, uh, placebo effects, which we should come back to and, and, and explain. But we see the opposite. We see what our now called nocebo are negative effects, which tells you, if you think about this, just, just very briefly, it tells you that whatever that authority says will land and actualize.
So the burdens on him or her to say it, right, you know, uh, uh, less, they cast a curse and curses are being as you and I speak Alex. Somebody in some office somewhere right now is getting a curse. Oh, you have a chronic disease. Oh, at best you have two years to live. Um, oh, well, uh, there’s really nothing more we can do about it.
You’ll have to go home and tough it out. Cetera. Those are all curses that could just as easily be flipped so that they ignite the intrinsic healing capacity in that patient. And then we can watch and wait and see what wonders.
[00:14:50] Alex Tsakiris: Uh, yeah, that’s such such a great point. It’s scary at this. So scary. , one of the things that I wanna bring you to a story you tell in the book, healing beyond pills and potions, that is a wonderful story.
Cuz you’re a healer. You are very compassionate person and we can tell that you’ve dedicated your life to serving and helping other people truly in, in every sense of the word. And you tell a great story about a physician who you respect like a colleague. And how in he inadvertently curses a patient. I thought it was such a great story.
And especially cuz it doesn’t have a super tragic outcome, just a little bit of a problem. You know, the one I’m talking about, right.
[00:15:35] Steve Bierman: Well, sure. And I’ll, I’ll tell it with some sort of, uh, generic coding. Uh, this guy is one of the, he’s actually the best surgeon, uh, that I’ve, uh, ever known, uh, vascular surgeon with, uh, tremendous, uh, skills and a really good, uh, heart. Um, and I tell this story to emphasize, uh, my key starting point, namely compassion is not enough.
Uh, uh, it’s, it’s not enough to be a compassionate, uh, physician or authority of any kind and sit there holding hands with someone as you’re both swept down this drain of misery and mayhem. That’s, that’s not okay. Um, Compassion’s useful. Uh, but in my view, it should fuel this quest for, uh, wisdom and knowledge so that, you know, when and how to say the right thing at the right time.
To make your patients better. In this case, I had a, a lady who’s, uh, who had thrown from her heart, thrown a, a large clot into her right leg. And the leg was pulseless and, uh, dying and extremely painful. It’s hard to describe the level of pain she was experiencing. This is an older woman, somewhere in her, late seventies, early eighties.
And, uh, this wonderful surgeon lived only four minutes away. He, he moved his house closer to the hospital, so he could get in quickly for emergencies like this. This is how, how kindhearted this guy is. Um, the, uh, operating room refused to open another room for this lady. And they said, you know, we’re doing a hip right now.
We’ll be done in 45 minutes. You’ve gotta, you gotta wait. We don’t wanna spend in essence, the money on another. And, uh, he became incensed of course, picked up the phone next to the lady’s bedside and said, listen, if you, you don’t get this gal darn crew in, in the next five minutes, this woman’s gonna lose her leg.
And he slammed the phone down and walked out. That was in clear hearing of the patient. And so you can imagine any of us can, I think the horror that she went through and the curse that, uh, my colleague unintentionally with, you know, the best purposes in mind cast upon her, um, he could just as easily have thrown the phone down, put his hand on her breathe, got in report, breathe with her rhythm and said her name, uh, let’s say, was rose and said, you know, rose, sometimes I have to yell to get their attention.
I’m here. We’re going to save your leg. This is gonna be all right. I need you to just be comfortable, just be comfortable. And with his hand on her shoulder, he could have reassured her tremendously. And instead of waking later that day after he did, by the way, save her leg, she was beset with nightmares about losing it instead of, uh, of being ha ridden over these nightmares, she could have slept peacefully and known that it was a show to get people into the or quicker.
These types of things happen every day in hospitals and, uh, office practices, uh, not, not just in this country, but around the world. And the, the reason Alex is, uh, much more fundamental than people think it’s not simply because doctors are not taught.
How to speak. It’s true. They’re not. And we need to make what I call NOIC medicine, medicine of the mind, the centerpiece of physician education. Um, but the problem really comes from the, the causal assumptions that underpin our science. And this is what I think people miss, you know, we have people out there saying, well, this medical system is broken.
You know, it’s just, it’s, it’s a cracked egg. And it’s, it’s, it’s not, it, it has no life left. We need to change to a, some people will say to a prevention, disease reversal model or to a non fee for service capitated model or to a, this or a that model. And the problem is if that’s all you. and you make no alterations in your fundamental, uh, causal assumptions, meaning what causes disease, what causes, uh, the return of health.
If you make no change in those assumptions, what, however you alter the model, it will devolve to what we have now, which is eight minutes of patient. No time to ask the, the right and proper questions, no time to care about something other than the presenting Sy, uh, symptom doctors returning home Haggard after the day’s over only to go back and do it all over again, burn out is rife.
Patients suffer from burnout caregivers and on and on. It’s gonna be the same. And here’s why, because the science doesn’t include any of. It doesn’t include your exhaustion. It doesn’t include my fears or wishes. It doesn’t include that that patient’s, uh, dangerous identification or their wish to go outta work, no matter what or some condition response they acquired, uh, like retreating into illness when they were little boy or little girl, it doesn’t include any of these NOIC or mental, uh, uh, causes because in our science, no matter what people say, sometimes they’ll give a polite nod to the word stress.
But in reality, our science is about stuff. It’s about things, palpable, uh, you know, cells and tissues and molecules and genes. And it has no space available whatsoever for what makes us human
[00:21:46] Alex Tsakiris: Well, you’re touching on so many topics that we seem to talk a lot about here on the show. Uh, uh, you bring a different perspective on it.
And I think there’s so many angles that I want to come at this from, because it is an interesting way of exploring it. You are so much a caregiver, Steve, and I always see that as it comes through, like in the book, you are speaking to caregivers and you are passionately saying, gee, can’t we do better here.
This is better for you. You’ll feel better. This is better for your patients that you care about. Here are some little tweaks we need to make in your communication, you know? Awesome. I get it. But then at the same time, you’re really touching on some much more fundamental issues about the structure of science, the structure of medicine, the, assumptions that are being made that just blows your head off.
As soon as you get in there. I wanna interject a quote that I loved from the book. It’s actually a quote of a quote, but it’s a Thomas Coon quote that I, I hadn’t heard before discovery commences with the awareness of anomaly. The recognition that nature has somehow violated the paradigm induced expectations that govern normal science.
Uh, there is so much packed into that, but that’s what I hear you saying in, in kind of a, a polite way of kind of nudging folks and saying maybe the paradigm isn’t really working 100% here. So with that, I really wanted to launch into a little bit of a deeper dive into what we’re really talking about . And again, check out, uh, lemme just mention again, check out Steve’s website, because if you are at all, , kind of intrigued by what we’re talking about, the website really has quite a bit, you can normally read an excerpt, but you can get a bunch of other stuff. So do check out healing beyond pills.com . But I wanna get back to this idea of what’s wrong with our understanding of hypnosis, because it’s really interesting that you, the take you have on it. ,
[00:23:50] Steve Bierman: let me move to that from, uh, the authoritarian, uh, hypnotist prior to Ericsson. Uh, so we can see what the contrast is and sort of tease out what the common elements are and, uh, uh, hopefully arrive, uh, together at a really good understanding what hypnosis is, but also of what it’s not, which is somehow, uh, at this point in time, even more important.
So the, um, the hypnotist, uh, and hypnotherapist prior to Erickson relied almost exclusively on what I call authority. Now, I don’t use that term as, uh, uh, like meaning an expert, uh, and authority on archeology. When I say the term authority, I’m referring to a biologic authority, meaning, uh, in the same position as say, uh, a parent.
Of a helpless, utterly dependent newborn. That’s what I mean by authority where there’s a power gradient like that. And when that grad an exists and it always, uh, is resurrected when the human organism feels helpless, independent, it comes back. But when that exists, the not just the words, actualized, the reality of the authority becomes the real reality of the patient or the subject or the baby.
And that’s kind of a hard concept for people to really get, because if you think about it, a baby’s nonverbal and yet the download to that, uh, child, even in nearest one and two and three is extensive. You learn value systems and religious notions and, uh, what’s dangerous and safe and language and locomotion.
All these things get downloaded somehow, uh, into the psyche of a, a child. Even before the age of will and reason. Um, and this is the pattern that resurrects in the, uh, early, uh, hypnosis literature. So Bernheim, for example, uh, who was a great, uh, uh, hypnotist doctor, um, in south of France centuries ago would hold up his two fingers and command sleep, sleep, he’d command it.
This is the key thing for people to understand of a patient in a perfectly normal waking state. And they would shift from the waking state into a stone NAB, ballistic trance, not always, but often. Right. And so the trance, uh, looked like that was the magical thing because after trance, then he’d tell ’em, oh, you know, heal and they’d sometimes heal.
And so that the, everything was attributed to the trance. And what was missed is that he was commanding sleep or trance about perfectly wide awake, but helpless, independent on him patient. So bear that in mind when we get to Ericsson, uh, you fast forward 150 years or so, and there’s Ericson a post polio victim who didn’t own a hospital, didn’t have a commanding presence.
If he were to stand above a patient, he’d stand often with a, a cane crouched. Uh, he didn’t have the kind of automatic authority that could necessarily command a, some NAB, ballistic trance and thereafter, uh, induce healing. Uh, instead what he had was from his times with polio was an app, a deep, deep appreciation for language and for nonverbal communication.
And he learned that if he could link words to someone’s experience, like I’ll do it with you right now. Uh, so here we are talking about hypnosis and I imagine that some of the thoughts register and others may perhaps go somewhere else. Um, And there may be other things you’re thinking of at the same time, like perhaps more question to ask next, or where is this going?
So what I’m doing is I’m carefully structuring each sentence so that it’s, it doesn’t evoke resistance and it’s somehow or other agreeable, right. He learned that. And then he learned to link his words to certain behaviors and he created a pattern, a linkage pattern. My words equal your experience and patterns tend to persist.
So his next words would equal their next experience. And eventually as that pattern became stronger and stronger, he could use that. Plus the imitative pattern of rapport, where he’s mimicking them, breathing with them, posturing with them. He could use those patterns to induce a trance, cuz he didn’t have Bernheim authority.
[00:28:50] Alex Tsakiris: uh, share the example that you do in the book with the cigarette. Uh, cuz I thought it was just. Scary. And that’s what I want to get into next is the, the power , that exists here, you know, used for good, but maybe not all cases. Well,
[00:29:04] Steve Bierman: sure. So the, the subject in this case is a young lady. Who’s smoking a cigarette.
And in, in doing that, of course she’ll hold the cigarette. She’ll watch the smoke curl. She’ll bring it to her mouth. She’ll take a draw. She’ll put it back down. And Ericsson being very astute is observation skills would say things like as she’s bringing it up, uh, unconscious movements happen from time to turn or the unconscious is always there to lift a hand to help or.
The hand. We know when we’re listening to someone, we agree with the hand will rise automatically. And what he’s doing is he’s tying, he calls it conditioning value, he’s linking his words to their experience so that the pattern he’s creating becomes stronger and stronger until ultimately he could say he could say something like, and the next time that hand rises, who knows, perhaps it won’t taste so good, perhaps you won’t even wanna taste that.
So it, he he’s cultivating a pattern that he intends to use once it’s strong enough for some healing purpose. And that’s, uh, that that’s one really important aspect of the modern hypnotic method. But it also, if you think about it, it begs the question, you know, What’s going on there, what really is right, right.
What’s going on there.
[00:30:45] Alex Tsakiris: Right.
[00:30:45] Steve Bierman: Right. For me just quickly, I learned all this stuff and like everyone, I thought trance was hypnosis and hypnosis was, and I’d go in the emergency room. And there were shifts where I’d have six or eight or 10 people in various, uh, TRAs go into radiology or wherever. Right.
Feeling comfort and safe, which was the main thing as the emergency room became busier and busier. It was a solo one doctor, ER, and we were seeing toward the end, you know, 1800 patients a month, we were flying mock speed. I didn’t have time, even though I could do it in 12 sentences, I didn’t have time to do formal trans inductions, but I learned.
Because, you know, necessity here was the mother of invention. I could dispense with that. I could use my linguistic skills and say it in a way that did not evoke resistance, but command results. And so I’d say for example, to a lady in ventricular tachycardia, potentially lethal heart arrhythmia, where the nurses off to get the medicine I’m sitting there.
I got nothing to do, get rapport with her, breathe with her and say, and you know, your heart has been beating in a regular way for a long, long time and she’d nod and it still knows how to do it. And I’d emphasize that return to normal sinus rhythm. And of course, the first time I do something like that, Thankfully nobody’s around.
No, you know, , I have no idea how this is gonna go. And the nurse comes whisking back in the room, syringe, all loaded, ready to go. And she goes, look, and sure enough, she’s converted back to normal sinus rhythm. And so what it begins to hint at what I hope you’re you’re starting to, to savor is wow, we got this whole thing wrong for 300 years hypnosis.
Isn’t trans trance is a, is a response. It’s a consequence of hypnosis. It’s an effect that causes hypnosis, right? The cause is these, uh, tremendously powerful patterns. Linkage my words equal your experience. Uh, rapport. I equal you, my behavior, my posture, my breathing and authority. My reality equals your reality.
When you’re helpless, independent, that’s a necessary precondition, these things and conditioning. They’re so powerful that they drive ideas to actualize. And that’s what’s going on. Sometimes the idea is trance like when Bernheim commands trance, but he could have said stop bleeding or keep your own blood.
As I prefer to say, or he could have said just comfort or any, one of the, just the other things that we use to light the fire of their intrinsic healing capacity. It’s not France. It’s not trans ideas, evoking responses. Okay, so
[00:33:58] Alex Tsakiris: grinder, uh, tell folks who Bandler grinder famous for NLP, uh, down here where we live, Tony Robbins is made a huge fortune basically out of copying those guys, but he’s upfront about it.
He says, Hey, that’s what I did. People are fascinated by NLP. They don’t understand how it fits into this puzzle and they don’t understand none of us do the larger question that you blurted out that we’re gonna kind of poke around at the sides of is what the hell’s going on here. But to do it, I think it helps to deconstruct it the way that you did, you know, like what did we think we knew about hypnosis?
What do we now think we know about hypnosis? What do we think we know about neurolinguistic programming? How is that shamanism? Then we’ll talk about, you know, you walking in the jungle and what you think that means and all that, but let’s start with, uh, NLP and grinder.
[00:34:54] Steve Bierman: Well, so, uh, John grander of PhD in linguistics and, uh, Richard Bandler, uh, teamed up at, uh, UC Santa Cruz and at the behest of, uh, Gregory Bateson, uh, went out and visited for quite some time.
Milton Erickson, uh, the most renowned, and I think in many ways, most successful medical hypnotherapist of his time of all time. Um, and their purpose was to understand what the hell he was doing, uh, because it was very, uh, unclear, very, very blur. People would sit down in the room. Uh, they’d go into a trance.
Uh, sometimes inexplicably, uh, Erickson would tell some stories, uh, and they’d get up after a session or two or five, and their problem was gone. And so the, the question was, what the hell is going on here? What’s this guy doing? And it turns out, and I, I, this is my assessment from reading Erickson and talking, uh, with, uh, grander who I have to say.
I think he’s, uh, he’s the smartest guy. I know. And I feel very, uh, blessed to be a friend of his, uh, for 35 plus years now. Um,
they wanted to tease out what was making these things happen and they were uniquely qualified to do that. They were bold and daring and John had linguistic, uh, knowledge and, and categories, and they could break things out and see it. Whereas Ericsson, as I was saying, uh, was sort of operat condition. By his own patience.
I’ll try this. If it works, I’ll do it again. And, and he’s getting like, uh, you know, uh, many, many of us, I I’m subject to this too, certainly reinforcement. He’s not quite aware of at a conscious level and the behaviors begin to repeat. And so he’s got a repertoire of behaviors that are very difficult to explain consciously, and that’s kind of where they were in, in my estimation and what grinder and Bandler did was, they said, now we can tease a lot of this apart and we can, methodized what it is.
Uh, this guy Erickson is doing and, uh, create patterns that people can, uh, utilize, uh, for patient care. And, uh, that. That was NLP, not new code, which is what John’s teaching now, which has more to do with creative states and, and things of that nature. But these early patterns were, um, NLP patterns that you could teach almost anyone if they had some level of, of linguistic skill to use for the betterment of their, uh, patients.
And so they could induce a trance, but in the, but because I had, I had the, the perfect laboratory, right? I mean, I’m seeing 30 to 60 patients a day and nobody’s watching me. And so I was able to go learn a pattern, uh, learn an approach, uh, go in and try it out, make whatever mistakes correct. And eventually hone my, my skills so that I could apply it to not only, uh, psychiatric problems, but also to real physical problems and witness it working there every bit, as well as it does for psychological issues.
[00:38:34] Alex Tsakiris: , Hey Steve, can I, can I interject with a question there, how do you understand this, , method? This is not like an egotistical, you know, like here’s the Bearman method that everyone it’s nothing like that in this book.
It’s more like, just, Hey, can’t we wisen up a little bit about this, but I do get the sense that you have some specific ideas about what you’ve been able to figure out and what you’ve been able to do in that setting and in your clinical work as a hypnotherapist. What’s your secret
[00:39:06] Steve Bierman: sauce?
Well, I, so there’s two sides to this table. Okay. Uh, the one side is the ideas of the doctor. Uh, or the authority and the other, which I think will come to are the ideas of the patient and how to deal with those. Uh, in the first part of the book, I talk about how to convey our ideas to patients.
And I use a lot of, linguistic fine point that, , Bandler and grinder actually pointed out that they extracted from Erickson’s, uh, work, uh, simple things like, uh, stated in the positive. Right. , understand the word, try implies an obstruction. So use it selectively, like, I’ll say if I want someone to go into a trance, uh, try to stay out of a trance for just one more.
Because that implies an obstruction to that effort and they will go into trance. They inevitably, uh, do one sentence induction or, words like really are, are, do you really wanna get well, and then watch ’em closely and see if they say yes, I really do. Or yes, I really want to quit smoking. No, they don’t.
They’ve told you, they don’t. Now you have something to talk about these subtle linguistic things. And there are many of them in the, in the book teach doctors that you, the, the time of haphazard speeches done and, and pass you, don’t get a pass on a single word, make every word count. And that seems like a really, , heavy burden to carry.
Just like everything you develop linguistic habits and it becomes really easy to speak, right?
[00:40:51] Alex Tsakiris: No, I, I think it’s a really heavy burden to carry. I love your attempt to teach healthcare workers doing this. I, I I’d love to know from your experience how successful you are in helping people move along this, this path.
[00:41:06] Steve Bierman: Well, I have a lot of experience with that and I’m, I’m happy, uh, to report that, , if. You take a extensive three day course with, with me say now the course I teach in Europe every year, it’s 10 hour days for three days with breakouts every hour or so practicing various techniques.
Let me tell you what you learn in, in, uh, so what’s that 30 hours, uh, you learn first that every word counts, you learn how to give painless injections. So, so that kids aren’t scared for the rest of their lives to go to the, the doctor. In fact, they’re fascinated by it. How does it work? You learn that greetings are your first opportunity to establish rapport.
That good buys are your last opportunity in that visit to implant a therapeutic suggest. You learn to deliver dire diagnoses properly. So you don’t Rob your patients of hope.
[00:42:05] Alex Tsakiris: Give us an example. There’s some great ones in the book. Give us that’s that’s gonna be life changing for a lot of people, ?
[00:42:11] Steve Bierman: Well, here’s the simple example. Let’s say it’s cancer. Okay. And let’s say that the survival rate is 20%. Okay. And this goes to, uh, uh, I’ll do the informed consent on this. So this is the other thing. People are go, going to learn again in the first 30 hours of training. Let me do it wrong first.
Okay. Because this is what’s happening right now while you and I are talking, some doctor is saying, all right, look, uh, I’ve got some bad news for you. Um, you have cancer and, uh, it’s actually, uh, begun to spread, which that’s not good news either. I’m sorry to say. um, but, uh, there’s a sliver of hope. Um, you know, 80% of people die from this.
Um, but there’s a 20% possibility and we’ll do everything we can, we’re going to try to make that happen. Okay. And you know, the meaning of the word try there’s it implies an obstruction. That’s a disaster. And I’ll, I’ll tell you right now. I don’t have any doubt at all that in that moment of utter helplessness and dependency and of near absolute authority of the physician, that those are voodoo type deadly curses and they’re happening every day.
Okay. Now here’s all you need to know to do it, right. This is how simple it’s. Okay. Um, we’re gonna do this. We’re going to, uh, understand there’s a difference between you, which linguists call a specific referential index and some people, others, some patients them. Okay. And we’re going to put risks over there.
So my hand is gonna go over there. It’s gonna be some people, others, them, uh, patients. Right. And then we’re gonna put benefits right here with you, but unlike the doctor who I just, uh, uh, pretended to be, I’m gonna actually deliver the statistical information truthfully. That was a dishonest delivery.
Statistics never tell anyone about any individual. They tell you about the behavior within groups, groups, you may or may not even resemble. Right? Um, so here’s how that informed consent goes. Uh, be before I tell you anything, I want to tell you the most important thing we need to know and share, and that is that miracles wonders, positive outcomes, whatever you want to call it.
They happen every day and I see them every day. And for all I know you could be the next miracle I’m I’m looking at now, the news that we got, and I’m saying that we got, I’m creating an Alliance. The news that we got is unfortunately not what we had hoped for. It is not, you have, it is cancer and it, it has begun to spread.
And so together, we need to take measures to stop the spread, kill the cancer and get you well again, here’s what I suggest we do. Okay. Let’s say it’s chemotherapy. I’m gonna talk about that. Now. The risks are, some people may have lower, uh, blood counts. Some people have nausea and vomiting. Others are at risk of infection.
Some patients even have more, uh, uh, dire adverse reactions. And if they do not, when, but if, if they do, we have the medicines and, uh, facilities to treat them on the other hand, there are many patients, perhaps I’m saying perhaps to be honest, perhaps just like you, who do quite well through this whole thing, have a comfortable course and you go on to survive.
And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if when this is all over you and I sit here and realize that your chances of survival in retrospect were a hundred percent, then the patient will inevitably say, well, what are my chances? And this is the big moment. This is the sort of, uh, truth. Tell because if any doctors are listening, you don’t know the answer to that.
And you can’t know the answer to that, and I can prove it to everyone. Who’s listening. Just tell me what your tomorrow is gonna be like, how’s your health tomorrow? What are you gonna be doing tomorrow at the end of tomorrow? What will have happened to you? Of course, nobody can answer that. So this as David dot, who I, uh, uh, love, uh, in his book, the beginning of, uh, infinity says, uh, this is the fallacy of prophecy.
So when they ask you. What are my chances. There’s only one answer to that. And that is, we won’t know until we’re through this whole thing and hopefully you’re, well, what I, and then, then they have to give the honest information. What I can tell you and watch my hands now is that in a, in a group of a hundred people, there are, uh, with this particular diagnosis, 80, uh, out of those hundred people will not make it.
And on the other hand, for reasons, we don’t fully understand 20 out of those hundred, perhaps as I say very much like you will survive. I just said, you will survive. And I underscore it with my eyes and my vocal energy. That’s a simple technique. It’s on the one hand and the other technique, it’s them. And you technique and, and you get this in the first 30 hours you even learn in 30 hours, how to do presurgical hypnosis, believe it or not.
And induce bloodless, painless, rapid healing, uh, from, uh, surgery in, in your patient. You can learn that in three days you spend three or four more days and you can learn the advanced techniques.
[00:48:34] Alex Tsakiris: Fantastic. 1000% behind you in doing that, I gotta ask , do you run into resistance and what is that resistance?
Like, I don’t know why anyone would resist, but I’m sure you do. What is that all about?
[00:48:47] Steve Bierman: Well, yeah, of course I do. , so , in the classes, no, because it’s pre-selected group and it’s skewed, uh, toward, uh, caregivers who care and who wanna make a difference and who know they’re not quite doing it. Right.
And they’re willing to learn, um, I would say generally speaking amongst, uh, uh, primary care doctors, there’s less resistance. And the reason I believe is because, uh, in order to be a primary care doctor, you, you have to make peace with uncertainty, right? You have to get comfortable with saying, I don’t know.
Right. And to really understand the limits of your, of your knowledge. I think that people, uh, broadly speaking, uh, and medicine go into specialties so that they can get on top of their little hill and, um, not have to experience the discomfort of uncertainty. And so once they’re there, once they’re on the top of the hill, looking out, surveying their vast, uh, uh, domain, uh, they’re gonna resist, uh, because remember the science that they’re follow.
Is the science of, if, if I can use this analogy, it’s the science of billiard balls, right. Without realizing that that billiard ball is moving because someone had the idea to put it in the corner pocket. Right. And so those people quite naturally resist. And you read Thomas K and he’s devoted an entire book to this sort of, , reluctance to shift paradigms, even in the face of glaring anomalies.
[00:50:27] Alex Tsakiris: Steve. Tell us about. The trip to the shaman amazing story in the introduction to the book.
And it’s gonna kind of take us in some different directions as well, in terms of trying to understand what is this thing that we’re kind of trying to zero in on? Right.
[00:50:48] Steve Bierman: Well, so when I was in my, I think it was early forties, um, I had a ruptured, uh, disc, uh, C five on my left side. It was tremendously painful and, uh, made work almost impossible.
And my, uh, arm, uh, left arm was getting weaker and weaker. I couldn’t do a push up. I could do a push up. One side would get me up and the other side was down. And so I did, uh, what you might expect. I went and talked to my, uh, surgical neuro neurological colleagues and they said, well, yeah, we can fix this.
This is really simple. Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll cut into your neck. Uh, avoiding the carotid artery, we’ll spread things open. We’ll take a chunk outta your neck hammer pound a chunk of cadaver bone in there to spread it open. So you get more space for that nerve and you’ll be fine. And that was a very unattractive, uh, option for me at that time.
And of course, , it’s even more unattractive now as I think about it, what a nightmare. Um, so I, it was a wonderful journey for a, a physician. I, I learned so much through that. Uh, so I went to every imaginable, uh, alternative modality that you could think of. And I, I learned a lot from some really good people, some felting Christ people and, and others about, uh, various techniques, but regrettably, um, those techniques were that, uh, severity of what I was dealing with were, uh, less than perfect.
And, uh, I kept reading, you know, I was reading Andrew Wilde. Uh, I was reading, uh, I, I read a book entitled the way of the shaman. And, uh, it talked about a little town in, uh, in Southern Ecuador, ma outside of which, uh, some tremendously powerful BHOs exist, Iowa Gatos, and they have, uh, amazing healing capacity.
So I called up one of my doc buddies who spoke fluent, uh, Spanish. And I said, uh, Hey Ron, we’re not, uh, going on a surf trip this month. He says, well, what are we doing? I said, we’re going on a drug trip. I had to disguise it somewhat what drug ICA. And so we went, we went to Maas and we got, uh, we paired up with a BHO in training, Jose.
Drove to the end of the road on the Pastaza province and mud walked our way, uh, hours and hours into the jungle and ultimately arrived at an encampment where supposedly the most powerful BHO of the area, um, was, uh, holding court. And when we got there, uh, uh, it, it was, it was what we had read about and what we were in our minds requiring as a test, but it was still stunning.
We got there, it was dark. And the patients, uh, 13 patients were in the room that day and they were all saying, what took you? What took you? We’ve been waiting for you. And it turned out two hours before we arrived. The shaman was lifting the iowaska to his, uh, lips. And he said, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on. Two white men are coming.
I don’t know. Maybe they wanna buy a cow or something and, uh, we’re gonna wait for them. Uh, so. Long story short, we stayed there. Uh, for several days I went through a healing ritual with him, a typical shamanic ritual, which I call the, uh, suck and blow. Right? So he’s on the, I Waka he identified, I didn’t tell him anything at all.
He had a little crystal, he identified this part of my neck as where the problem lie. And then he applied his lips. Uh, wait, he, he blew on that close up and the, the air, instead of being the hot moist, uh, tropical air of the Amazon was this frigid art Arctic, almost like a ICLE going through you. And I could feel that he looked again, he wasn’t quite satisfied.
He did it one more time, once again, the chill. And then he looked me in the eyes and he said, and I’ll never forget it. He said, Corado. You’re cured. And within days, uh, the pain of course diminished almost immediately took, took about a day and a half. The strength, uh, uh, returned. Ultimately I was cured. I was back to doctoring and surfing and, uh, left with the mystery of how the hell did that happen,
[00:55:38] Alex Tsakiris: which is the question. How do you understand that
[00:55:41] Steve Bierman: experience? Yeah, well, so as, as you know, that happened to me at the same time. I was, uh, dear and deep friends with, uh, uh, a Dallas, uh, priest, uh, who was a, uh, energy healer. And so I shared cases with him work with him, and I saw things. I saw healing that he was able to do, like on a non-union of the scaffold bone that had been.
Broken and not healed for two years. I followed it with x-ray. He worked on it three or four times and it healed just by virtue. It seemed of his quote energy. Um, and then I had all the mysteries that were manifesting in front of me in the emergency department without trance. I was going out of fast pace and commanding effects and they were actually happening commanding them using subtle hypnotic language.
But nonetheless, and so I had, uh, these, all these mysteries in addition, I was reading the hypnosis literature and there was this curious thing. Some groups had decided they were going to treat migraines by having people turn their hands hot. Uh, often the, these guys would induce a trance, so to speak and say, okay, your hand will heat up.
And they measure with the thermostat to go up a few degrees and the migraine would disappear. But there were other groups that were saying, no, keep your hand cold. And the temperature of the hand would go down and the migraine would disappear. So I was left with this, this broad pallet of confusion, where it appeared as if everything was working, but what the hell is the common element?
And that became clear to me when I disentangled, uh, trance from hypnosis and realized that trance is just an effect, just like stopping bleeding, normalizing heart, rhythm, relaxing, a birth canal. Those are effects that you command when you have HTIC influence the hypnotic influence comes from the authority.
But remember, there’s a precondition. What was I in that jungle? In the middle of a place? I couldn’t walk out of alone, right. With a disease. I, I couldn’t fix by myself. I was the perfect, helpless and dependent prototype. And that BHO swirling in his Ika Hayes. That guy was my authority. Right. And same when the hypnosis and same with you, you name it.
Any of the therapeutic rituals conducted around the world. And I realized that they’re all offering either implicitly Orly, the same suggestion. It’s the exact same idea as being conveyed and actualized in all of our, he healing rituals since time and Memorial. And here’s what it is. It’s the simplest idea.
If you do the intervention, whatever it is, let me blow on you ICS in the neck, right? Let me manipulate your spine. Crack, crack, crack. Let me, uh, have you sit on a couch and agree on the meaning of your past. Let me do this surgery. Let me give you this pill. Let me subject you to the, it doesn’t matter if you submit to the intervention X, which has to be credible.
That’s, that’s the one thing it’s gotta be credible. If you submit to that, then the prescribed outcome will occur. And I call that the generic placebo suggestion, that suggestion, whether you say it or not is implied. When the patient walks through the door and your authority, your rapport, and your linkage will drive that to actualization.
So be careful what you prescribe, prescribe a cure, not a curse.
[00:59:54] Alex Tsakiris: That was absolutely awesome. And you just laid out the secret sauce. Here’s the big question. It’s the question of agency, right? It’s like with you 1000%, we’re all connected from this consciousness global connection. And somehow you are able to get in there and do that, but did that shaman was there agency there.
And the other thing that we have is evidence that you’re bringing, you brought through in the story. So it’s not like you’re afraid to face any of this stuff. You’re the opposite of that. But he did know you were coming two hours before he was outside of space time. Yeah.
And we hear over and over again from all these different sources, who’ve people who’ve looked at this extended consciousness realm that maybe there’s some other shit going on so how are you processing that? Like, I get that you got the secret sauce and it works so freaking effectively and we should change the whole world and the whole medical system.
There is no doubt. I don’t say that cynically or facetious. Absolutely. But what about back to our thing? What’s really going on there. This guy is able to do some stuff and it does have to do with this extended consciousness realm that we don’t understand.
[01:01:10] Steve Bierman: Well, first I’d say that, , people who read about, uh, iowaska effects, uh, and write about them, uh, talk about this all the time.
right. These BHAs know you’re coming. They understand within the, the, the bounds, usually of their, uh, territory, which can be extensive. They know what’s going on. They know where the Jaguars are. Let’s say, ,
[01:01:34] Alex Tsakiris: Steve, they know how to make IASA. They have access to 15,000 herbs medicines compounds in their jungle, and they know how to select one that is this DMT.
If I cook it this way and this other, which is this DMT inhibitor. And then if I cook it just, I mean, and then you ask them, how do you know that? And they say, oh, well, the spirit guides came and told us, go over here. Find this point. Now do this. Yeah, you’re doing it. Right. Right.
[01:02:04] Steve Bierman: I mean, no, I, I it’s, this is commonly reported throughout the entire Amazon basin and elsewhere where shaman’s work in other places with other medications.
Let’s say to go back to what you quoted. , this is one of the, uh, paradigm induced, , anomalies that break with the paradigm induced expectations of our current model. And so we have to, I think at the very least acknowledge that it exists and realize that because it exists, it calls either for the abandonment of our current paradigm, which I don’t think anyone is seriously advocating or for the expansion of that paradigm so that we can, uh, embrace subsume these various, uh, anecdotes facts, um, and make sense of them now how the shaman himself does that.
I can’t, uh, pretend to, to know, , because I haven’t had a, a. Direct experience like that with respect to strangers, right? Strangers coming into my territory and sensing them. I actually may have had that and not known it. I don’t know, you know, whatever’s unconscious is unconscious. , but what I can tell you and what I think, uh, bears in some way on, on this perhaps heavily, is that all the way back to Mesmer himself, people doing hypnosis have realized that there’s a connection far beyond words that goes on between the operator and the subject.
, for me, I’ll tell you the first time that happened, um, because it was a little stunning, but it happens now in the office every day. And it’s just a business as usual thing. I was, uh, early in my career and I was using a metaphor to deepen a trance and I had a leaf, uh, break off. And gently flowed down.
It was rocking deeper and deeper down. And as it went down, it was slowing until it rested deeply, safely on the surface of the sea, something like that. Right. Some metaphorical suggestion for trance deeply. And, uh, things went well in the session. Patient woke up and he said, uh, after some talk, Hey doc, you know that leaf you were talking about.
Yeah. He says, uh, I saw that way before you even mentioned it. Right. That’s characteristic. Right. If you’re doing hypnosis and you’re not familiar with experiences like that, probably you’re not listening. Cause it, that happens all the time. Um, I could give you I’m sure. At least a thousand similar anecdotes and I, what happens in hypnosis is you have these two patterns, no matter what, going on, you have the authority pattern.
Trance enhances your authority. So people in trance are more likely to identify with you, meaning your reality becomes their reality, but also rapport and rapport is this pattern of sameness equals you where, you know, my breathing, my, uh, words, my posture, they all, they, they all begin to line up and as people align with each other, uh, let’s say externally, it’s clear to me that internal alignments occur as well.
And that makes sense, because think about it, your external, let’s say I’m imitating your posture right now. Okay. Well that tells you that there are brain configurations that are in some way or other identical. And we know that those brain configurations give off a certain electromagnetic pattern, which we can pick up to some limited degree with EEG.
Right. So this alignment that you and I are sharing is also manifest at, I don’t think anyone can really doubt this it’s manifest and whatever the electromagnetic, uh, signals are coming off are aligned brains in that moment of sameness. Somehow that must bear on this, the, these facts exactly how I don’t think we we’ve gotten to a point, certainly not with, uh, paranormal experimentation.
I don’t think we’ve gotten to a point where we can satisfy ourselves that we have a scientific explanation for it, but it, it begins with acknowledgement of the anomalies and therefore the need to expand our paradigm. Yeah, definitely.
[01:06:51] Alex Tsakiris: I would definitely agree. And I think that, you know, this whole consciousness thing, what I.
The, my mantra is that what science has done in its exploration of consciousness is really obsoleted itself because it’s come to the point of saying, Hey, look what we discovered. We discovered we can’t really measure anything. anything we measure has a big asterisk by it, which is consciousness was at play here.
We’re not sure how, we’re not sure why. And I love your expanded kind of understanding of that. Like our knowledge is not wrong. Always. It just is incomplete. Let me add to kind of the story, the leaf story I love. Have you ever heard of the story of Dr. Michael Newton? You know, the guy who’s famous for the past life in between life regressions, do you, do you know that the first time he encountered that?
No. Oh, you’re gonna love this. I love being able to share this with you. He’s a hypnotherapist. This is probably back in the seventies. I wanna say that he’s doing this. So he’s doing, you know, the lady comes in. I’m afraid of spiders. Okay. Let me take you back. Oh, I was two years old. Your mom freaked out.
Cuz there was a spider calling. We fix it. You walk out. You’re not afraid of spiders. Okay. Next, next, next gets a tough case, man. This guy, he’s got a problem with his shoulder, his arm and he just can’t. He’s going to the doctors, the doctors give up on him. Say, we don’t know what’s wrong with some in your head.
Go see this guy. Michael Newton. Same thing. Okay. Let’s take him. Okay. You go back, go back, go back. It’s stubborn. It won’t work. Okay. Back further. He goes, oh wait a minute. I’m on a battlefield. As a matter of fact, I see now, oh my God, he come, he’s going to hit me with that bay. Annette, the bay Annette goes right into my shoulder.
Well, Michael Newton is fascinated. He happens to be like an amateur. Historian, particularly interested in war. So he kind of breaks protocol a little bit and says, Hey, uh, what insignia are you wearing? You know, once it gets some details about it goes and researches it later, cuz he’s just so fascinated cuz like you, I, I mean like a really trained hypnotherapist, who’s done thousands and thousands of these.
He recognizes that something different has happened here, but it’s within the realm of, you know, legitimate in all the other ways. This begins his whole experimentation exploration of past life regressions and hypnotherapy and adding to this is the guy comes back in his shoulder is resolved in some way.
They work through it and, and he does the research on the guy and finds all. Evidence to back up that kind of supports it. So you don’t have to, uh, buy into all that. Uh, especially since I’m telling you the story for the first time, but I do think it speaks to the leaf thing. It’s like we’re entering into this realm here of extended consciousness that you’re entering into and there’s all sorts of stuff that can happen.
Do you have any, any thoughts on that? Well, I do. So
[01:10:11] Steve Bierman: I, I first let me say, I don’t have any expertise and past life, uh, regression. Um, so I’m seeing this through, through my lens and I’m, uh, I’m, I’m open to that, but look at what, what I’ve laid out already and, and what we know, if you think of the generic placebo suggestion, let me say it again in a sort of abstract structure.
, if you submit to X the intervention, then Y the prescribed outcome will. Okay. X has to be credible at the outset, somewhat difficult to achieve, but achievable and then credible upon completion. In other words, before, during, and after it, can’t the intervention, can’t be something that diminishes the authority.
It’s gotta be something fully credible all the way through. And when that is true, then why the prescribed outcome will occur. Okay. So now I deal with this all, all the time in a slightly different connection. Um, let me give you the illustration with phobias, cuz that’s where, uh, you sort of trailed into it.
So I don’t treat phobias with regression. I’ve never, I have to seriously knock wood here. I’ve I’ve I’ve never, to my knowledge failed at treating a, a phobia, usually in a single session. I use the technique that, uh, with some modification that John Grender taught me in 1985, it’s it works. I have a wonderful friend in Europe.
Norberg pre’s great. Hypnotherapist who only does regression therapy for the treatment of phobias. And he’s been on national TV, 14 times doing spiders and snakes and Hornets. And you name it. Um, my IFX okay. My intervention is, you know, a dissociation look at a screen, play it backwards for black and white color, uh, reunite and blah, blah, blah.
So that X is credible, credible, credible, and I’m the authority haven’t failed feeling good about it. So why your phobia will be gone? Happens. The same thing is true of Norbert. He exudes confidence. He’s never failed. He does. If acts his acts is this regression to something that may or may not be real, but it’s certainly the experience is real, no matter what.
And so, because it doesn’t in any way, diminishes authority in the doing why also happens right? This global generic placebo effect is present in all of these things. So to me, when I hear that the question is outside of the placebo effect, which would’ve gotten this guy’s shoulder. Well, no matter what, what’s the intrinsic value of the discovery, is it real?
What’s the science, what do we have to enlarge conceptually in order to grasp this? So that’s kind of how I approach those things. I would say, let me add one thing. The, uh, this is, again, this is, uh, I, I think wherever you go with this, this is one element that’s so essential and so important in caregiving.
It can’t, it can’t be omitted because there is clearly this connection, right? Once you’re an authority, once your patient is identifying with you, once the rapport is established, you not only, uh, don’t get a pass on haphazard speech, you don’t get a pass on haphazard. Think you have to be very careful what you think before you go in the room.
And this is what I teach in my advanced course. If you can’t go in that room with curative intent, you’re not the guy. Take a pass, get let, let someone else go in that room because we know through the science of nonverbal communication, these microexpressions are gonna tip your hat anyway, but what you and I Alex are talking about is something deeper and more, uh, I think.
Uh, complete, uh, then simple micro expressions and those two in my, uh, view get picked up. And if you’re walking in that room saying, man, this guy is dead. I can, I just hope I can keep him somewhat comfortable. You’re the wrong person. It is the
[01:14:42] Alex Tsakiris: wrong, Hey, Hey, I, I love it. I love the compassion is not enough toughness.
And especially when it’s coming from this total caregiver kind of thing that you’re all about. My thing is really who are we? Why are we here? So I’m interested in all of that. I’m interested in operationalizing and implementing what you’re doing, but shit, man. I wanna know, uh, Newton, I wanna know past lives.
I wanna know between lives. I wanna know what part of that reality I need to incorporate into my Thomas Coon paradigm collapsing kind of thing. And I, I, I think you do too. You’re just kind of picking your, your lane and you got a huge to mix metaphors. You got a huge field to plow there and you just gotta get on it.
So no difference in that, I, I tell you where I wanna go in the little bit of time that we have left In the book, healing beyond pills and potions. You tell stories about some of your failures, some of what we can learn from some of that. I love the story about Scott, who you’re just a little bit too upfront with, because I think it leads us into naturally maybe an interesting discussion about some of the nefarious uses
[01:15:59] Steve Bierman: for this, whether we want to,
[01:16:01] Alex Tsakiris: uh, whether we wanna go there or not, somebody else will, but tell us about Scott.
[01:16:06] Steve Bierman: , , , , he’s a guy who I, I, I know somewhat, he’s a physician in the community actually. And, uh, he came into the office, um, and said, uh, life sucks. I hate my practice. I hate my patience. I hate myself. I hate my wife. I hate this, hate that. And I remember feeling like, because I don’t use that word very often.
I that’s, that’s a word I like to reserve. And I, I remember feeling somewhat assaulted and almost, uh, dirty by this onslaught of hate speech, which I, you know, I rare, rarely experience in an often office setting. Um, and so the, the question that I had was, okay, well, what’s the, the source of this. And as you know, in the last part of the book, I talk about common causes of, uh, common NOIC, meaning mental causes of, of human illness.
And one of the very common causes is a sort of retained past its time identification with, uh, a primary. Uh, mother or, or father, and, uh, the identification teaches us how to relate to the world, how to find and relate dynamically to a spouse. And also in the most neglected aspect is how to relate to ourselves.
And so, you know, if you have a father saying who you identified with as a child, and he is a cheerful, optimistic, loving guy, you pick that up and that’s, that’s in you until you disidentify. And you, you may still having cut the cord may still wanna retain certain aspects of, of that identification that serve you well.
So I was exploring this with him and when I got to. Okay, well, so, uh, tell me about your dad. Um, how was he with the world? Oh, everybody loved him. He was pillar of the community wherever we went, we didn’t have to pay. Well, I knew that this guy was the same kind of guy. He, he, he operated in the world the same.
How was your dad with his wife? Oh, he despicable, you know, he won every argument. He put her down, he had an open affair. Well, I knew that this guy was behaving. Similarly. Now we get to part three. How is your dad toward himself? What was his, how did he view himself? You know, what do you think he found? He hated himself.
He hated his office. He hated his patients. He hated what he did, hat his what? Da, da, da, da. There it was right. So now I see the ideology of his unhappiness. His discontent is this persisting identification with father and I made the mistake, you know? Okay. Now I know that, but as I, as I say in the book, catharsis is not cure.
And anyone who thinks it is I’m sorry, you’re wrong. It may be for one or 2%, but it’s not for the human heard, generally speaking. And yet it was so blatant, so apparent. So right in front of us that I just blurted it out there and he, and he responded perfectly. Everything you’d want, oh, I get it. Yeah. Okay.
BA blah, a week later, he wasn’t better in any way. And he said something, uh, this was out in town, some casual bump in and he said, oh, I remember everything we said, it was about honesty. Hadn’t even mentioned the word honesty, but the wall of denial had come down. The rationalization had come up and I was a total failure.
Um, fortunately he came back and I got to redo it and address it, uh, in a more subtle and unconscious way.
[01:19:56] Alex Tsakiris: Tell us a little bit from what you remember, , how you did it differently.
[01:20:00] Steve Bierman: Well differently is, assume at the outside. That if he could have fixed it consciously, he would have.
And of course we have evidence of that. So this isn’t gonna be a conscious cure. Right? So I often in, in the office setting, I’ll use trance. I’m not in a ER with a white coat and stethoscope, I’ll induce a trance to augment my authority. And then I’ll often tell stories. That’s kind, I’ve kind of devolved into an Ericsonian type guy.
And so I’ll tell a story about, um, you know, a kid who’s on a raft and the raft is on a slow moving river. And the current takes him long and he is happy and I’m coming this way short, when he wants swim, he, he jumps off the raft, swims around. It’s not moving so fast, he can’t catch up with it. But just for safety sake, he’s got a cord wrapped around his ways later, as time goes on years past, he finds himself in a deep ravine.
The river is narrow. The current is. Pulling him, there’s a roar and a rush and there’s danger ahead. And he realizes that time on the raft is over and he’s gotta jump. And he jumps and swims and he is making for a beach when suddenly there’s tug. And he realizes I’m in trouble. I have not cut this cord.
And he reaches in his pocket and finds the implement. He needs and cuts, not one, not two, but all three fibers of the cord. And the RAF goes, taken, taken where it goes and he swims and finally makes the beach. But that’s not the end of it. He’s gotta climb the cliff. He’s gotta make some choices. He’s out there on this past plane of options and opportunities where there’s no.
Where each choice is a simple, independent choice for health and happiness. So a metaphor like that is introduced, and I expect that to work gradually over two or three weeks and see changes. And I’ll give other suggestions as well for, you know, uh, what a healthy choice might be and what an unhealthy choice might be and so forth.
But at the end of the day, three or four, five sessions later, this is a very different person. And here’s the sad thing to note. So many of us have failed to disidentify in our, in our late years. And that current is still pulling us over a cascade that leads to sadness and unhappiness. And when that cord gets cut and healthy choices are, are made, everything changes, the body changes, the mind changes, and you become who you’re meant to be your, your best youth.
[01:22:43] Alex Tsakiris: It’s an awesome story. The tough part for me is the implication for those who would choose to use the science, this art, this, whatever, we’re gonna call it for nefarious purposes, and just like the, treatments or interventions as you’re doing are multifaceted. And I love before, you know, there’s so many subtleties to what you’re saying here, and there’s so many lessons to pull out of this and people really have to pick up the book and go to the website and, and study it more to get all this.
But like, you’re talking about your one friend who uses regression for handling the same kind of issues and you handle ’em in a very different way. And they’re both successful, cuz they’re both getting at something that words still trying to understand. And you’re open about trying to understand that.
But in trying to understand that we have to understand that there are people who are using this for. Evil intent, you know, to be direct. There is a guy sitting in a cell, 30 miles from us south. His name is Sirhan Shan, and he was mind controlled man candidate. And the guy who they say killed Robert F.
Kennedy. He didn’t kill Robert F. Kennedy. He had a gun, his hand, he shot one bullet. But there, like I told the story many times they found more bullets in the kitchen where the shot there was in his gun. So it’s obviously not that. And it’s all this other stuff, but that was the technology circa 1960.
They had a guy who that guy was, who could massage that consciousness. I don’t wanna say cuz whatever I say it, it has is out of ignorance. Put him at a T wall. We don’t know if that was it program. And we don’t know if that was it induc, you know, whatever, but something happened that, you know, and the, if that’s the technology, if that’s the state of the art.
60 years ago, what’s the state of the art now
[01:24:38] Steve Bierman: Well, it is. Let me, let me March into that from sort of what’s going on every day, inadvertently to what you’re talking about, which is the real malevolence and misuse of this technology.
Remember, um, what I’m saying is, is basically that hypnosis is ideas driven by these patterns, authority being chief, among them ideas, evoking responses, right. And, um, doctors and other authorities, police officers, uh, teachers, they’re not. The power of their authority and the influence they have. And so that they inevitably misspeak and the harm we see and denote as nocebo effects is going on all the time, every day, inadvertently.
, so, you know, my mission, , is to do as much as possible to rectify that particular situation, but listen, , so that’s the precondition, the condition is the authority must be the one is recognized by the helpless subject.
Must be the one who’s least uncertain. They cannot show doubt and bear that in mind because we just had an extraordinary, uh, ex exhibition of this thing gone completely wrong. , you can, you can look to any demagogue anywhere in the world. Uh, for example, I’m just gonna take this briefly, cuz I’d rather move to the health sphere.
And what you’ll see is the first thing they do instinctively is they create conditions of helplessness and dependency on the part of the populace it’s American carnage. It. Disaster and ruin it’s drug Lords over. It doesn’t matter what it is. You have to create this sense of helplessness and dependency.
And then you rise to the authority by never eventing an ounce, an Iotta of doubt. You’re the one least uncertain. And so you become the authority. And what happens is the ideas of the authority autonomously enter the psyche of the subject without the influence of will or reason this is what happens and you, so I have my wife watching TV saying, how can they believe that don’t they see all the evidence?
And I keep saying, this has nothing to do with will or reason this went in below and it sustains, you know, so think of the medical application, we all witness this suddenly. There’s a Scorge. And it can take you down no matter how healthy you are. This is the original and, and we have no cure for it. And we’ve gotta lock down the economy and isolate ourselves on houses and people are dying in droves.
What that does true false. What that does is that creates the precondition for an authority. The one least uncertain, leased out to emerge and who emerges. But somebody who says I am science, I speak for science. What I say is a scientific fact. And whether you agree with him or not, what I’m saying is, uh, that Condit.
Is just taking my office micro microcosm and turning it into a macrocosmic example of the authority pattern of ideas, evoking responses. And this is the malevolent application of this technology.
[01:28:24] Alex Tsakiris: Yeah. Awesome. You know, CVE final point. And I thought this was just amazing. And you could, you could dedicate your life’s work to this as well.
And it’d be very, very fruitful. It’s in the appendix of the book, but you talk about kind of, I don’t wanna say reimagine isn’t the right word, but you talk about rethinking. Scientific experiments. And what we think about in terms of the controls and the protocols that we’re using and how we might be just invalidating our results from the outset.
Again, when we get down to the language that we communicate and the language that we internalize, and I thought that was just stunning in terms of when you really think about the implications of that, for honest, quote, unquote honest scientists who are trying to make discoveries, do you wanna speak to explain to people what I’m talking about and speak to that?
[01:29:17] Steve Bierman: Well, so, uh, first I, I wanna thank you for reading the appendix. I don’t know how many people do. I’m very, uh, impressed. And, uh, it, it means a lot, and I hope the listeners out there, uh, spend some time on that because, uh, I do put a lot of thought. What experiments, uh, can be done in the future to solidify the evidentiary base of what I’m talking about.
And also what kind of training, uh, we can introduce into, uh, to caregiver training so that people learn the power of their words on how to use them, uh, properly. What, what I’d say to that, um, is that we, we need to understand that the generic placebo suggestion is present and operative in everything we do.
And so if we, if we do, uh, a study and there are words delivered to patients and you get certain outcomes, Um, I, as a reader, uh, you as a reader have every right to ask. Well, before I make any judgements about what happened here, please tell me exactly what you told these patients, because you have a hypnotic influence on the outcome, right.
And, um, they’ll say, oh, well, it’s double blinded. Well, that doesn’t matter. What matters is. Remember in the expression FX, then why the, why? What did you promise? What was the prescribed outcome? Because you’re the authority that’s, what’s gonna happen, whether it’s blinded or not.
[01:30:54] Alex Tsakiris: Yeah, that’s Dunning and, and I think the implications go even further. And I know you do too. It’s not just in experiments where we’re communicating to patients and let me see exactly it’s our internal communication. It’s our, you know, deciding on the protocols and how we set up and the questions we ask drive the answers we get and all that is.
Needs to take into account healing beyond pills and potions core principles for helpers and healers, as we’ve talked about with today’s amazing guest, , Dr. Steve Biman, you will get a book that is very, very much written for healers and helpers for healthcare professionals. And they definitely need to read this, but so many of you, me kind of people will really get a lot out of this.
A lot of just amazing stories. And then you can check out the website too, healing beyond pills.com and a lot of great stuff there. Steve, how is this, how is this going for you? And. Other stuff. Are you up to, uh,
[01:31:58] Steve Bierman: well, so thanks so much for asking Alex. Uh, the book actually is, is doing, uh, quite well. I’ve won, I think three. Literary awards and, uh, it’s getting in the right hands. I’m happy to say that many of the key opinion leaders in the family practice movement, family medicine movement in the United States, uh, are reading it, responding to it.
I’m, uh, speaking at a plenary session of, uh, 1200 family doctors, uh, later in, uh, September. And so, uh, programs are beginning to incorporate it still in the early stage, but it’s, it’s having an impact and I hope it’ll have, uh, much deeper, uh, impact as days go on. I’m teaching around the world. I teach, uh, multiple courses, uh, here in San Diego and elsewhere in the us.
Uh, and then I teach in Europe and may and, and, uh, June and plan on continuing that for, uh, well into well into the future. I’m also working on, uh, we didn’t get to it, but. The next book, which is the next obvious book it’s entitled cures. And it talks about how the ideas of patience, which you can excavate with a single question, how the ideas of patients contribute to their illness.
And once you know what those contributory ideas are, they tend to fall out in certain categories, how to treat those categories. So I’m very excited about that. I’m probably two years away from, uh, finishing, but what I hope to do is create modules where one by one caregivers of all stripes can learn how to ask that single question mind for causes and then, uh, treat with curative intent so that people don’t have, you know, what I call blunt beginnings and endless endings.
Instead they have a single solitary cure and get on with their life.
[01:33:59] Alex Tsakiris: Awesome. Fantastic stuff. Again. Thanks so much for coming on.
[01:34:03] Steve Bierman: Well, thank you. I really enjoyed it. You’re great.
[01:34:05] Alex Tsakiris: Thanks again to Steve Bierman for joining me today on The one question I’d have to tee up from this interview. And it’s really the only question. It’s the level one entry point question is, do you believe
Do you believe he did what he said he did. In the ER.
because if you do. My guy do. No, we got something to talk about.
Let me know your thoughts on that. Always love to hear from you, even if it gets a little bit contentious. We always learn something from each other. So let me know what you think.
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