What makes you squirm? A dentist's drill, a paper cut, hitting your funny bone? When it comes to pain, human beings drew the short straw. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the evolution of suffering, and a history of pain, from migraines to child birth. Also, how about a hole in your head – the ancient practice of trepanning. And a French country doctor who believes listening is powerful medicine.
Martin Winckler is a physician in the French countryside and author of the phenomenally successful novel "The Case of Doctor Sachs." He tells Steve Paulson that one of the doctor's most powerful weapons is simply listening closely to what his patients have to say, and that he can't separate physical from emotional distress. Also, Ronald McKay, a researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, briefs Jim Fleming on the potential of stem cell research. Stem cells can develop into any body part, and may be the key to curing diseases and replacing organs.SEGMENT 2:
John Verano teaches anthropology at Tulane. He tells Anne Strainchamps about the ancient medical practice of trepanation — drilling holes in the skull - and the modern school which uses trepanning for mind-expanding experiences. Also, neurosurgeon Frank Vertosick talks with Jim Fleming about how and why human beings feel pain. Vertosick is the author of "Why We Hurt: A Natural History of Pain."SEGMENT 3:
Katherine Russell Rich has survived what was originally breast cancer for over ten years. She's written a book called "The Red Devil: A Memoir about Beating the Odds." Rich shows Anne Strainchamps that she's just as gutsy and irreverent as her book.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 01-01-07-A.
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