Attitude Adjustment Available …

At Castle Medical Center’s Center for Attitudinal Healing

July, 2003

Windward YMCA Executive Director Bill Stone had not been able to sleep through the night without the aid of medication for a couple of years. The stress of managing 75 employees and an operating budget of nearly $1 million and being responsible for EVERYTHING — down to fixing the toilets when janitorial coverage was spotty — was taking its toll.

The last thing Stone felt he needed was to give up precious weekend time for what sounded like a “touchy feely” workshop on attitudinal healing, but he went, because the offer was made as part of a new partnership between his YMCA and Castle Medical Center’s new multimillion-dollar Wellness & Lifestyle Medicine Center. He calls the April 2003 workshop by Castle’s Center for Attitudinal Healing the best he’s ever been to, and Stone’s been to a few.

“As a result of going to that workshop, ever since I’ve slept through the night with no pills, having wonderful dreams. It’s really been transformational for me,” says Stone.

The Center for Attitudinal Healing opened in September 2002, the newest of more than 150 such independent centers located in 30 countries. Psychiatrist and part-time Kailua resident Gerald Jampolsky developed the attitudinal healing program and founded the first center in Sausalito, Calif. Attitudinal healing is based on 12 key principles, the first of which is: The essence of our being is love.

A discussion group on attitudinal healing meets at Castle Medical Center once a week and averages around 15 participants. The weekly sessions are free and facilitators donate their time. (Attitudinal healing principle No. 3: Giving and receiving are the same.)

David Earles, Castle Medical Center’s director of marketing and business development, says, “It’s not necessarily a good business decision based on how much money do we make off of it, but from a mission standpoint, which is why the hospital is here in the first place, it’s exactly why we’re here, to make sure people are living the right kind of lifestyle so they can stay healthy as much as possible.”

Castle Medical Center ranked No. 56 on Hawaii Business’ list of the Top 250 Hawaii businesses, with $121.8 million in gross sales for 2001. Last year it opened the $10 million Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Medical Plaza & Wellness Center, which is outfitted with a state-of-the-art kitchen for healthy cuisine demonstrations and offers a variety of classes and services that focus on the combination of mind, body and spirit.

Center director John Westerdahl says 70 percent of hospital admissions at Castle and throughout the United States stem from diet and lifestyle problems. “Attitude is also part of lifestyle, and having a positive attitude toward life, toward yourself, is key to wellness,” he says. (Attitudinal healing principle No. 2: Health is inner peace. Healing is letting go of fear.)

Westerdahl says attitudinal healing is a tiny but critical piece of the center. While the subject may seem esoteric at first, it has far-reaching consequences. “If businesses took these 12 principles and incorporated them into their business, they’d have better employees. … It would be one of the greatest things that could happen,” he enthuses.

One of the keys to attitudinal healing and Bill Stone’s personal experience is the ability to forgive. In the workshop he attended, Stone’s anger toward someone else was likened to his taking poison and expecting the other person to die. That made an awful lot of sense to Stone, who says he’s been able to apply the concept at work. He says, “It was wonderful for me, a great burden released. To be able to sleep through the night is a great gift.”

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Kelli Abe Trifonovitch