Joseph is a MindBody Coach, and clinical hypnotist, certified by the American Counsel of Hypnotist Examiners in 1990, and a biomedical engineer. He has inspired thousands of people to thrive… to live fuller, healthier and happier lives.
Joseph has developed a unique approach to mind-body wellness and performance optimization. For over 30 years he has been helping people in all areas of health and fitness including weight loss, exercise physiology, addiction, stress and anxiety, insomnia, depression, diabetes, nutrition, chronic pain, and more. He offers a unique understanding of the mind and body to help you renew, recover from illness, and live optimally with vitality and vigor.
Joseph is former president and CEO of a biomedical research firm, and has held engineering and management positions for Aerospace and NASA projects. He masterfully blends the hard sciences with extensive research and training in interpersonal neurobiology, psychoneuroimmunology, neurolinguistic programming, biofeedback and clinical hypnosis.
Early in my career as a biomedical engineer – designing and building medical instruments and clinical trials for such – I came across this amazing thing called the placebo effect.
I was astounded to find out how strong this effect was, often as high as 50% of the efficacy of many drug and device therapies. The power of suggestion, otherwise known as the placebo effect, has been studied copiously over the last hundred years: scientists measure it, document it, compare it to “real” therapies and no therapy, and unequivocally acknowledge its effectiveness.
In fact every drug and device on the market today has been tested against the power of suggestion. Far from being, “just in the mind,” placebo research has documented that the power of suggestion can reverse nearly every illness known to man.
What is almost as astonishing, however, is that this great power to influence disease recovery is then fully discarded when it comes to helping the patient in clinical practice. And even worse, a doctor’s well-intentioned prognosis can easily form an extremely effective negative suggestion – a nocebo – that can make matters worse, possibly substantially worse.
Of course you cannot patent or license someone’s own healing capacity, so there is no economic incentive for the medical system to promote the power of suggestion and self-healing.
Nevertheless, I became enamored with understanding the mechanism of the placebo effect and how this might actually be used intentionally to empower the patient with his or her own healing.
After all, the clinician may have fooled the patient with his sham treatment, but it was the patient herself that actually, unconsciously performed the healing, whether it was from ulcers, asthma, cancer or depression. To be sure, the success was not merely “in the head” either: physical and measurable effects are always documented.
I found that the secret to using this powerful mechanism laid in the poorly understood realms of consciousness, as it applies to human wellness and performance. I became a Clinical Hypnotist in the late 1980s as this seemed to be the most practical and direct application of this self-healing modality.
In studying and applying various mind-body techniques that initiate the body’s own creative energies, which often lie dormant in the subconscious, I found I could guide a person to activate this powerful mechanism. This forms the basis of much of my work, whether it is helping individuals master stress, recover from addiction or illness, sleep better, lose weight, enhance performance, succeed in a venture or discover their life meaning. I offer these practical insights through the pages of the MindBody Optimizer premium e-Newsletter, or through my private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.