In his seminal book Lateral Thinking (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1973), Dr. Edward De Bono coined the phrase “to think out of the box.”

I would like to discuss some examples in which I not just solved a problem by thinking out of the box, but by ACTING out of the box, in the hope that you, my readers, might find it helpful.

First Experience

This occurred about twenty years ago: I had a terrific pain in my right heel. I could not stand–which I need to do, sometimes for eight straight hours, when I lecture or consult. It was a serious problem.

The first doctor I went to was a specialist in sports medicine, who diagnosed the culprit as a tight ligament and treated me with cortisone injections.

The pain stopped for a few days; then it came back.

The next doctor was a foot specialist. He concluded that I was walking incorrectly and needed to visit his office twice a week in order to relearn how to walk. I in turn concluded that he probably had a child whose college tuition he needed to finance, so I went to a third doctor.

By then, almost a year had passed, during which I was in continual pain.

The third doctor took an X-ray of my heel and concluded that I had a spur––an abnormal bone growth––and needed to have surgery to remove it.

Luckily, before the surgery, I met a homeopathic doctor at a yoga center and told him about my heel pain.

He did not take X-rays. He did not even examine my heel. He asked me some apparently unrelated questions about my working and leisure habits. Then he told me to hold my heel in my hand, close my eyes, and imagine my heel as a son whom I love more than myself––and to send love to my heel. It was strange, but I did as instructed.

Then he gave me two small pills and told me to put them under my tongue and allow them to dissolve. I did.

That afternoon my pain disappeared and has never come back.

Second Experience

About a year and a half ago, I was lifting weights as exercise. Either I was too eager or I did it the wrong way, because I pulled something in my right shoulder.

Now, that is serious for me, because when I lecture or consult I often write on overhead projectors and flip charts. Now I could not lift my hand without causing excruciating pain in my shoulder.

I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who took X-rays and, as expected, recommended surgery.

I decided against it, and went to a chiropractor for weekly massages instead. The pain lessened but did not disappear. But at least I could use my arm.

A physical therapist recommended certain exercises. My shoulder improved, but the pain could still be felt constantly.

Two months ago in Moscow, a Tibetan masseur gave me a massage. When I told him about my pain, he massaged my shoulder, then treated me with “sucking cups.”

First he sucked the air out of the cups by putting using cotton on a metal stick that was on fire,  then placed the cups against my shoulder. They seemed to actually suck my muscle back into its proper position.

That is it. The pain is gone and has not come back––at least not yet––and my shoulder is fully operational.

Third Experience

Last month, I heard a whistle in my right ear. It started as a quiet hum, but after a few days it became a shrill whistle that drove me absolutely crazy. There was no way to stop it, no place to escape it. My concentration was ruined. How could I lecture? How could I write or read or even have a conversation?

I got bloody scared.

I went to an ear specialist. After doing an MRI and confirming that I did not have a tumor in my brain, he told me there was no cure for this problem and suggested that I try distracting myself by … listening to music.

I was desperate. Fortunately, I also told a friend who suggested I see an osteopath.

I’d never heard of this profession, but I took my friend’s advice and went to see one.

He held my head with two hands and with his fingers, he gently––very, very gently––pressed specific locations at the back of my head. Voila! Ear noise gone.


The three stories above are my personal experiences. If you want more “out of the box” stories, go to and watch the video about Christina, whose brain was damaged when a falling beam hit her on the head. For eighteen years, she had terrible, continuous headaches. The various doctors who examined her all agreed on the diagnosis and told her no medicine or treatment was possible.

After eighteen years of excruciating pain, she came to True North Health Center. Under medical supervision, she was put on a water fast for forty-one days. Not only did she lose fifty pounds of extra weight, she lost the headache too. Needless to say, she looks terrific.

Some people come here with what seems like incurable lupus and leave completely symptom-free.

Make a Paradigm Shift

Now, what is the moral of these stories?

When you need a second opinion for a medical problem, make sure to go ALSO to someone in an alternative therapeutic field. ACT out of the box. A second opinion by a doctor who received the same training as the first doctor is not a second opinion; it is a variation of the first opinion.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes