Medicine: A Refuge from the World

Someone lowers the lights, and the dozen people around the table close their eyes and breathe deeply.

After a moment of silence, Dr. Margaret Caudill says quietly, "With each breath, you become more and more relaxed."

More moments of silence.

"With each breath," murmurs Caudill, "you go deeper and deeper into your own world." All is stillness in the room.

Finally, Caudill says: "At the count of three, I want you to open your eyes and sit quietly before you come back into the world."

The ten-minute voyage away from the world is part of a weekly program at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital that uses techniques...

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