Survey Response: Roger Gietzen, MD
This survey was last updated in September 2014.
Degrees/Licenses Held: Board Certified Neurologist/ M.D.
Contact Information: MI State: 4301078507
Number of years in practice helping people with TMS: 5
Number of clients you have seen who have had TMS:
Too many to count. Mainly during my 4 years of working as a conventional neurologist and specializing in pain management. Most of those patients were not willing or interested in pursuing a mind body medicine approach for their symptoms. My approach to mind body medicine requires a high level of commitment from my patients. The number of patients who've done this work with me is small, less than 100.
What is your association to the TMS community?
I have been a strong supporter of mind body medicine ever since reading my first Dr. Sarno book. I attended the national TMS conference in Los Angeles in 2010 and have shadowed with Dr. Howard Schubiner in his clinic at Providence hospital. I have also lectured to doctors, college students and the general public about the mind body connection.
Have you ever suffered from TMS? If so, how did you recover? I have had bouts of migraines and low back pain. They have resolved after 5 years of applying the same principles and practices I prescribe to my patients.
What insurance plans do you currently accept? None. I work by honest donation. This means I ask my patients/clients to use their hearts to decide how much to pay me. It's not about the money, but about sharing from the heart.
Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? Yes. I even offer my services for free in certain situations, such as for a hard working person with minimal income.
Are you able to conduct sessions over the phone and/or via internet video services (i.e. Skype or FaceTime)? YES!
What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
I have read 3 of Dr. Sarno's books. I've studied Dr. Schechter's website and documents and read Dr. Schubiner's book "Unlearn Your Pain" and engaged in one of his early online treatment programs. I've attended the national conference in 2010. I also have extensive self study and self application of various mind body spirit principles and practices that are not necessarily considered TMS, but that share perspectives.
What mindbody books do you recommend to your patients? In particular do you recommend Dr. Sarno's books?
I recommend many resources and they vary widely depending on the needs of my patients. A list of some of those resources can be found here: Mind Body Resources. I have authored my own brief guide which can be found here: Mind Body Spirit Principles and Practices. My favorite Dr. Sarno book to recommend is "The Mindbody Prescription".
I am fascinated with understanding the mind body connection and will continue to study it until the day I die. After reading countless books and applying virtually every promising practice I could get my hands on, I finally started having success in getting glimpsing into my unconscious mind and how to resolve what I was finding. I now have a set of practices that I perform daily (meditation, yoga, walks in nature, etc.) and I am learning my most intense lessons directly from my life experiences. I am continually interested in improving how I handle life problems, improving the quality of my services and the quality of all my relationships. This has become a full time job and has superseded the need for regular "book" type study.
As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself.
I am a father of two children and a neurologist. After an intense and spontaneous spiritual experience on Christmas Eve 2008, I recognized the shortcomings of modern medicine. That experience inspired me to devote my life to God Union. A foundational part of my spiritual path is to be of service to others. My clinic, both the website (Healthy Mind Body TMS Inspired) and office, help to fulfill that purpose.
Early in my mission to integrate mind body principles into my conventional medical practice, I discovered the work of Dr. Sarno. Because of my frustration trying to treat pain disorders using Xray guided steroid injections and other conventional treatments, I immediately resonated with Dr. Sarno. I also could see how suppressed emotions and the unconscious mind played a role in my patient's physical health. Dr. Sarno was an early inspiration for me and I continue to delve deeper into understanding the mind body connection. In addition to my purely holistic clinic which is founded on using mind body medicine, I also continue to practice as a neurologist, primarily in a hospital setting.
For more information see: About Roger
Questions Specific to Physicians
What services do you provide your patients after diagnosis?
I offer a holistic mind body approach and I am the sole provider of all services. My work is similar to Dr. Sarno's in that it utilizes self analysis, especially neutral self observation. However I have found to be successful my work must also include making life changes, or taking real action in life.
The foundation of my work is recognizing that life is full of hidden lessons and that success in mind body work comes from discovering those lessons and making whatever life changes are needed to once and for all, prove that you have learned them to yourself. Almost every patient is taught a meditation and encouraged to practice this daily. After a counseling session with me, one may expect to get several homework assignments that require them to push the limits of their comfort zone. After successful completion of those assignments they will then be ready for another one on one session. Those who are serious about this work, may anticipate having 3-4 sessions over multiple weeks before gaining clarity of the root cause of their TMS problem and what needs to be done to fix it.
Homework assignments may be simple things such adjustments in one's diet or daily routine. They may be asked to study their behavioral patterns and mindset throughout the day, especially in certain circumstances. They also may be given major homework assignments such as reconsidering the type of work they've chosen, reassessing their closest relationships or changing the way they handle life problems. Each assignment is individually tailored depending on the unconscious mind and inner needs of the client.
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