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Dr. Zvi Pearlstein of Missing Links Health: “Mindfulness is optimized and further empowered by three vehicles”

First, focus not on the uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. Instead shift your focus to certainties. Second, recognize that despite the pandemic, most people continue to be healthy, and know what you must do to stay healthy. A healthy lifestyle is always important and even more so at times like this. Most importantly, avoid bad habits […]

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First, focus not on the uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. Instead shift your focus to certainties. Second, recognize that despite the pandemic, most people continue to be healthy, and know what you must do to stay healthy. A healthy lifestyle is always important and even more so at times like this. Most importantly, avoid bad habits like smoking, excessive drinking, drugs, excessive and poor eating behaviors, and excessive sitting and not moving. Third, know that despite the pandemic and concomitant changes, much remains the same. Fourth, continued happiness and thankfulness are vital. Fifth, watch less news or turn it off altogether. Sixth, a healthy mental outlook, being safe and taking all practical precautions, maintaining healthy relationships, continuing work where possible with safe work habits, healthy aerobic, stretching, and strengthening fitness programs, safe sporting activities, and creative activities including music, art, sewing, and dance will all help promote mindfulness and good health.


As a part of my series about “How to Develop Mindfulness and Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Zvi Pearlstein.

Dr. Zvi Pearlstein is a Doctor, Father, Speaker, Author, Inventor… And Trumpeter. From a young age, Dr. Zvi had a deep-seated need and calling to find life’s meaning and purpose to understand and solve pain. Dr. Zvi received his BA in Biochemistry from Princeton University, MD from New York University School of Medicine, and as a Major in the United States Air Force, spent three years practicing orthopedic surgery at Clark Air Base in the Philippines and one year at Andrews Air Force Base in Wash. DC. Throughout his career he was looking for truth and often felt that certain problems needed better wellness and lifestyle answers and solutions. As a result, over the past 30 years he developed a series of products, inventions, books, and services, which he now sets in motion with his company Missing Links Health, Inc.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I believe my career path began in the womb when I sensed, absorbed, and took on my sweet mother’s pain acquired by her as a teenager during the Holocaust. The mission assigned to me by birthright was to “solve pain.” Fathoming the deepest pain and its many sources and searching for its truthful solution has been the story of my life. The further along the journey I get, the more excited and passionate I become about my findings and my work.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I graduated Princeton University, then New York University School of Medicine, and then completed a 5-year residency in orthopedic surgery. Then I practiced 4 active-duty years of orthopedic surgery in the United States Air Force as a Major. During all of these 17 years, I knew the great importance of developing one’s intellect and maintaining a healthy body. As an orthopedic surgeon I was trained exclusively to treat physical problems and I lived my life and also treated my patients with a “Mind and Body” approach to the human being.

This all changed when I left the Air Force and joined a civilian orthopedic surgery practice. Until then the great preponderance of my patients not only had complaints of pain but also had consistent physical manifestations of their pain. In community practice I was introduced to a large number of patients who had complaints of pain but who did not have matching physical manifestations. At the same time, I was struggling with my own life challenges and pain. Facing my own challenges and those of my patients head on, I came face to face with a concept of pain that I had not been taught in training and with which I was unfamiliar.

The pain of many of my patients was manifesting with a bodily complaint but on detailed history taking and delving into all areas of life, and with an inconsistent physical exam not matching the complaint, I found the source of the pain to be nonphysical. Suddenly I found myself running into a seeming “no man’s land” that involved a new entity — the Soul residing in the body. Now my former “Mind and Body” model failed me, both in my personal life as well as while evaluating and treating my patients. The mind or intellect is the function of a physical organ, the brain, and certainly is part of the body. The Soul, however, I had never truly confronted, but it became clear to me that the proper model for the human being is “Soul, Mind, and Body” or perhaps even clearer, “Soul and Body.”

The most fascinating story, of many I could share, was of a female patient who was being seen by an orthopedic surgeon for low back pain. Based on his evaluation coupled with MRI results he advised low back surgery. But since I was the “holistic” orthopedic surgeon, she was referred to me for consultation and another opinion. She was an older, very attractive, well-groomed, slim women with blond hair and high heels. On history taking I found that she was the CFO of a company with lots of stress from her job. She was also divorced with two sons. She lived in California and her ex lived in Florida. She told me that her teenage son was in juvenile hall, and she then remarked that that wasn’t too bad. When I asked her how that wasn’t too bad, she told me that her older son, who had lived most of his life after divorce with his father, had come to live with her that year. One day while she was cleaning his bedroom, she smelled something unusual. On searching for the source of the smell she found a decomposing female body behind the headboard of his bed.

Yes, this is a gruesome and extremely unusual story. But this story is typical of what I found to be true for myself and my patients. The Soul essence residing in the body is who we really are. Our choices in life coupled with stuff that happens to us creates either a sense of balance or piles on nonphysical stresses. For this patient, these stresses included being a corporate CFO, divorce, two problematic sons, and more. While history taking with many patients, I often sensed that they were experiencing so much life pain that it was amazing they didn’t implode or explode. It became easy to explain how they might experience low back pain or some other physical complaint with all their internal pain.

The body can act like a pressure cooker and the Soul inside can build up pressure from cumulative stress and the result can be physical pain. Thorough history taking going beyond medical history to include family, social, relationship, work, financial, sexual, and any other relevant history is not generally implemented, and yet it became a crucial component of patient evaluation for me. It is important to not jump to “knee-jerk” surgical solutions based on MRI results which often are totally normal for the age of the patient. This is especially true when a careful complete patient history to unravel all potential sources of their pain has not been performed.

For so many of us, nonphysical stress energies coming from all the functions of our cellphones, stresses from driving one’s car, work stresses, relationship stresses, financial stresses, and more, readily translate from nonphysical Soul Pain to physical Bodily Pain as well as emotional pain, stress, anxiety, and depression. Unlike pain from bodily injury or aging, this is a process of the body manifesting pain as a reflection of what is happening in the Soul — Soul Pain.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Exhibiting and spreading lovingkindness toward others including coworkers and clients goes a long way. As human beings we are categorized as the verb “being.” What should we be? Actions of lovingkindness. This should be done with an inward and outward spirit and expression of happiness and thankfulness. A generous will to be helpful with sincere concern for others is the goal, while happiness and thankfulness are vehicles for success. Enjoying our jobs, concern for others, and an attitude of happiness and thankfulness all tend to foster mindfulness for a win-win-win situation.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

“Love, Medicine, & Miracles” is a wonderful book by Dr. Bernie Siegel. He and his book made a significant impact on me. One of the special things he is known for is grouping breast cancer patients together in therapy and finding that bringing them together in a group rather than individually results in a significant decrease in individual morbidity and mortality. He found that the stress experienced by each patient is diminished by others in the group.

This concept is not only evident when we are ill, but also when we are healthy. Loneliness is a major cause of illness. Hence the phrase, “I is ill and we is well.” Choosing our relationships wisely whether in marriage, work, or play, and prioritizing them well can have great impact on our health and success in life.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?

Mindfulness can truly only be understood after first gaining an appreciation of an understanding of our makeup — Soul, Mind, and Body. An analogy for the interworkings of Soul, Mind, and Body involves a carriage with a passenger, driver, and horse. The passenger commissions the carriage, driver, and horse for a journey. The Soul is represented by the passenger who makes the decisions and determines the nature of the journey. The Mind is represented by the driver who is working for the passenger to make sure his desires are fulfilled. The Heart (Emotions) and Body are represented by the horse and carriage which are under the control of the Mind or driver, which in turn is under the control of the Soul or passenger.

From this analogy we see that our true essence is the Soul. The Soul has the power to control the mind and this ability can be strengthened with persistent training. Mindfulness means the ability to live one’s identity as the Soul which then empowers the Mind to oversee and control the drive, desire, and action of the Heart and Body. Lack of mindfulness would mean a lack of awareness of one’s identity as Soul, inability of Soul to empower the Mind, and instead of Mind directing Heart and Body, the Heart and Body drive the Mind.

Mindfulness not only means giving one’s mind the ability to control the Heart and Body, but also the ability to truly focus on the task at hand. The Soul actualizes its mission and purpose through the body via three processes. These are thought, speech, and action. Mindfulness is not just the empowerment of one’s mind, but also the learned, trained, and practiced ability to focus during thought, speech, and action. When ultimate mindfulness is achieved, there is a sense of flow — that everything is going right and seamless. This experience is often described as like an out-of-body experience.

Mindfulness is optimized and further empowered by three vehicles. First is living in the moment. All we ever have in life is one moment — the present moment. And the moment you think about the moment, it’s gone. There is no past or future existing in the present. The moment you think “could have, would have, or should have” in the past, or “could, would, should” in the future, you are breaking from mindfulness. Every moment is our most precious gift, only second to our gift of life, and this realization and recognition is important for mindfulness. Second is happiness. Third is thankfulness. Mindfulness is the learned skill of the Soul empowering the Mind to oversee the Heart and Body with focus. The power of mindfulness is further enhanced by an attitude of living in the moment, happiness, and thankfulness.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?

Mindfulness creates a sense of alignment in the nonphysical and physical worlds achieving balance and peace despite any surrounding world turmoil. With mindfulness, Soul, Mind, Heart and Body achieve unity of purpose and harmony, kind of like all the pieces of a puzzle fitting perfectly together, or like iron filings all lining up in the presence of a magnet. Mindfulness allows focus in thought, speech, and action, thereby helping to promote optimal performance so that there is a great sense of accomplishment mentally, emotionally, and physically. The rewards of mindfulness are experienced by the practitioner of mindfulness as well as by those in his presence. Mindfulness creates a state of elevated mental acuity, emotional relaxation with relief of anxiety and worry, and optimal physical health and function. It allows for a state of “Flow” in which everything in the world temporarily seems right.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each?

First, focus not on the uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. Instead shift your focus to certainties. Second, recognize that despite the pandemic, most people continue to be healthy, and know what you must do to stay healthy. A healthy lifestyle is always important and even more so at times like this. Most importantly, avoid bad habits like smoking, excessive drinking, drugs, excessive and poor eating behaviors, and excessive sitting and not moving. Third, know that despite the pandemic and concomitant changes, much remains the same. Fourth, continued happiness and thankfulness are vital. Fifth, watch less news or turn it off altogether. Sixth, a healthy mental outlook, being safe and taking all practical precautions, maintaining healthy relationships, continuing work where possible with safe work habits, healthy aerobic, stretching, and strengthening fitness programs, safe sporting activities, and creative activities including music, art, sewing, and dance will all help promote mindfulness and good health.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

1) Let people know that you love them, and you are there for them whenever they need your help. 2) Let them know that they can call you anytime or you can schedule a get-together when they need you. 3) You promise to be a good listener and only offer advice when it is asked for. 4) Do not be critical, judgmental, or angry. 5) Seek out and share in healthy activities like prayer, meditation, music, exercise, art, etc.

What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?

Key resources would be those that help one get in touch with themselves, with other people and relationships they are involved in, as well as with their work and hobby interests. Elimination of bad or unhealthy habits and developing and strengthening healthy ones is crucial. Working on self-discipline and self-control is beneficial. Today there is an abundance of books, literature, and classes both off- and on-line to help learn, practice, and develop mindfulness and serenity. This is not an overnight project. It is a growth process over time, so patience is another important quality to work on for success.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“If you are kind to the cruel, you will be cruel to the kind.” It is easy to readily forgive for selfish reasons to abandon feelings of anger and animosity and allow personal healing. But we must never forget that we are not an island and others depend on us. We are all interdependent. If someone does something wrong or behaves in an abusive or cruel manner, they must be held accountable. If they are not, then we are putting other innocent people at risk. Forgiveness without accountability is potentially very dangerous for society.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have developed the idea to create a social media network in which anyone can create their own page, but only acts of kindness can be posted. Competitions can be done for the type of act, for the number of actions, and for the most people impacted. The goal of this movement would be to promote and spread acts of lovingkindness by everyone everywhere.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

See websites http://drzvi.com/ and https://sitfitchair.com/

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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