Break­ing a car­di­nal rule of din­ner

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Local/nation - DEAR AN­NIE Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ AN­NIE LANE

Dear An­nie: We have all been told to avoid dis­cus­sions of pol­i­tics and re­li­gion when din­ing out with friends, and for many years I found this easy to prac­tice. But lately, it seems that many of my friends in­sist on talk­ing about pol­i­tics. Some are in fa­vor of our cur­rent pres­i­dent, and some are op­posed. The one thing they both have in com­mon is that they are adamant that they are right and the other side is wrong!

When­ever I sug­gest we talk about some­thing else, they want to know where I stand and in­sist that I agree with them. Frankly, I don’t have strong po­lit­i­cal opin­ions and just want to change the sub­ject. But when I have said that, they al­ways jump on me, say­ing that the is­sues are so im­por­tant to­day and I must ex­press agree­ment with their side. It is al­most as if our friend­ship is at stake. Do you have any sug­ges­tions for how I should han­dle these po­lit­i­cal zealots from both sides of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum? — Peace­maker in Pitts­burgh

Dear Peace­maker: Your intuition is so good — that tak­ing sides in a po­lit­i­cal ar­gu­ment dur­ing din­ner is fraught with dan­ger. In his clas­sic book “How to Win Friends and In­flu­ence Peo­ple,” Dale Carnegie pointed out that ar­gu­ing dur­ing din­ner is a lose-lose propo­si­tion. If you lose the ar­gu­ment, you lose; and if win the ar­gu­ment, your guest feels in­fe­rior and you lose again.

There is a rea­son that we have been ad­vised for many years — long be­fore the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal con­tro­ver­sies — to avoid dis­cus­sions of pol­i­tics and re­li­gion

at din­ner with friends.

Dear An­nie: Sev­eral years ago, I suf­fered from se­vere back pain. I had sci­at­ica that went from my lower back to my foot. I re­mem­ber try­ing a hun­dred dif­fer­ent treat­ments, in­clud­ing shots, and any re­lief was only tem­po­rary. Then a friend told me about Dr. John Sarno, a pain treat­ment spe­cial­ist at New York Univer­sity. I read his book “Heal­ing Back Pain: The MindBody Con­nec­tion,” and it changed my life!

Af­ter read­ing that book, I found more books by Dr. Sarno, as well as some lec­tures on DVD. I was never his pa­tient; I never even met the man, but grad­u­ally — as I fol­lowed his treat­ment ad­vice — my sci­at­ica dis­ap­peared, and I have not had back pain since.

I am writ­ing this let­ter now be­cause I read that John Sarno died June 22 at the age of 93, and I hope you will print my let­ter as a mes­sage for any of your read­ers who are suf­fer­ing from chronic pain. That in­cludes headaches, back pain, sci­at­ica, fi­bromyal­gia and gas­troin­testi­nal


The ra­dio “shock jock” Howard Stern had ter­ri­ble back pain un­til he saw Dr. Sarno. Af­ter Sarno’s death was an­nounced, Stern said, “I suf­fered hor­ri­bly from back pain for many years ... and he re­ally saved my life.”

Plenty of other celebri­ties — in­clud­ing Anne Ban­croft, Larry David and John Stos­sel — have said sim­i­lar things about this great man. I am writ­ing this to alert any of your read­ers who are in chronic pain to check out the works of Dr. John Sarno. His ad­vice could change your life, too. — Grate­ful in Green Bay

Dear Grate­ful: Thank you for your in­spir­ing let­ter. Dr. Sarno has many de­voted fans like you, yet his treat­ment is still con­sid­ered con­tro­ver­sial by some in the med­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment. He died one day be­fore his 94th birth­day and the re­lease of a new doc­u­men­tary about him, called “All the Rage (Saved by Sarno).”

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