Hope For Healing

John Stracks, MD interviews chronic pain experts about the amazing power of the mindbody connection.

Meet the Host

John Stracks, MD

John Stracks, MD

John Stracks, MD is the founder and lead physician of John Stracks, MD, PLLC, as well as Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed both a residency in family medicine and a fellowship in integrative medicine. He is board certified in both fields.

Dr. Stracks has spent his entire medical career focusing on integrative strategies for healing and is especially interested in the effect of emotions on physical symptoms. He has been treating chronic pain for decades and began his own practice to allow more time to listen to his clients and help them find the true source of their pain.

Learn more about Dr. Stracks and his practice

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Watch the Latest Episode

How to Create a Safe Healing Space

John Stracks, MD, is joined by renowned physical therapist, Charlie Merrill to discuss the best ways to use a brain-centric approach at the doctor's office and at home. Watch to learn how to create a safe, healing space with your medical professionals and why treating both the body and mind leads to improved outcomes.

Special Guest: Charlie Merrill, MSPT
Charlie Merrill is a Physical Therapist and the founder of Merrill Performance in Boulder, CO. In his practice, Charlie combines traditional hands on manual therapy care with a novel mind-body approach to treat a wide range of clients including some of the best runners, cyclists, rock climbers, and CrossFitters in the world.

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Self-Compassion is Key for Real Recovery

John Stracks, MD is joined by Curable Groups Facilitator Anna Holtzman, MHC-LP. Watch to learn what self-compassion looks like and how you can practice it at home and how to unravel internal dialogues that may be contributing to your pain.

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Special Guest: Anna Holtzman, MHC-LP
Anna Holtzman is a chronic pain recovery therapist and coach based in New York City who used the Curable app to find relief from her own struggles with chronic migraine.
CBT for Chronic Pain

John Stracks, MD welcomes special guest Jennifer Huggins, PsyD to discuss Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for chronic pain. Learn how to harness the power of emotions using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

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Special Guest: Jennifer Huggins, PsyD
Dr. Jennifer Huggins woke up at age 23 with horrible pain and was told she would only be able to manage, not cure, the pain. She healed herself with the mindbody approach and is now helping others as a clinical psychologist.
Which Healing Path is Right For You?

John Stracks, MD welcomes former Curable Groups member and current Curable Groups facilitator, Lara Birk, PhD. Watch to learn how to overcome certain healing barriers and how to get the most out of doing both self-healing and group healing.

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Special Guest: Lara Birk, PhD
Lara Birk, PhD, lived with debilitating and progressive chronic pain for almost 30 years before she found mindbody methods of healing. Lara now works as a mindbody coach and Curable Groups facilitator.
Journaling to Heal Chronic Pain

John Stracks, MD, and renowned psychotherapist Nicole Sachs, LCSW discuss the role of writing in mindbody healing. Watch to learn the science behind how journaling can help reduce physical pain and get an exclusive writing exercise to do at home.

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Special Guest: Nicole Sachs, LCSW
Nicole is a speaker, writer, and psychotherapist who has dedicated her work and her practice to the treatment of chronic pain and conditions. Her programs involve using a unique personal narrative called JournalSpeak to rewire neural pathways that cause chronic symptoms.
Body Awareness for Beginners

Michelle Grim PA-C and John Stracks, MD, discuss the role of Body Awareness Techniques in mindbody healing. Watch to learn how to tell whether your nervous system is in a heightened state and participate in a short guided exercise.

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Special Guest: Michelle Grim, PA-C & Yoga Therapist
Michelle is a Physician's Assistant and yoga therapist specializing in mindful movement and the use of breath and meditation to approach complex issues such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression, or recovery from surgery.
John Stracks, MD & Patricia Olson, MD, PhD Discuss Redefining Your Identity

Dr. John Stracks is joined by Patricia Olson, MD, PhD. Watch for advice on how mindbody medicine can provide a common language for chronic pain sufferers and how learning more about yourself can help you move forward.

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Special Guest: Patricia Olson, MD, PhD
For more than 15 years, Dr. Olson suffered from intractable & chronic migraine, vertigo, anxiety & more. Using mindbody medicine and neuroscience, she was able to heal & stop taking all of her medications.
John Stracks, MD & Patient Michael Murray Talk About Finding the Path of Healing

Dr. John Stracks is joined by one of his patients, Michael Murray for an conversation about how to handle the ups and downs of healing and moving past the fear of pain and catastrophic thinking.

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Special Guest: Michael Murray
After he retired to pursue his passion for family life and the outdoors, Michael suddenly fell into an unrelenting cycle of pain for years. When Western therapies failed him, Mike found mindbody medicine and discovered his path to healing.
John Stracks, MD & Les Aria, PhD Provide Tips on Having "The Mindbody Talk"

Dr. Stracks is joined by Les Aria, PhD, a pain psychologist, to discuss how and when to bring up your interest in the mindbody component of pain and tips for finding clinicians aligned with your path.

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Special Guest: Les Aria, PhD
Dr. Aria is a pain psychologist who has been practicing for 18 years with Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and served as Lead Pain Psychologist for Kaiser Northern CA.
John Stracks, MD and Former Patient, Marian Froelich

Dr. John Stracks is joined by one of his patients, Marian Froelich. They have an open conversation about the complexities of leaving physical diagnoses behind and how to recover from multiple symptoms.

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Special Guest: Marian Froelich
Marian is the Head of Design at an advertising agency in Chicago. In 2015, Marian reached a tipping point with pain that threatened her livelihood and health. Through mindbody healing, she was able to overcome various symptoms.
EPISODE 16      
Hope for Healing: John Stracks, MD and Former Patient, Paul Szalko

Dr. John Stracks is joined by patient Paul Szalko for an open conversation about healing from complex issues, the power of the Curable Groups program and how to sustain healing over time.

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Special Guest: Paul Szalko
Paul Szalko suffered from various symptoms for more than 40 years. Through his work with Dr. Stracks and the Curable Groups program, he applied various mindbody teachings to better understand and heal his pain.
EPISODE 15      
John Stracks, MD & Evelyn Hecht, PT, ATC Discuss Healing Pelvic Pain

Dr. John Stracks is joined by Evelyn Hecht for an open, honest discussion of pelvic pain, including the ways in which pelvic floor health reflects our emotional state of mind and how to take a mindbody approach to healing pelvic pain.

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Special Guest: Evelyn Hecht, PT, ATC
Evelyn is a Master Clinician of Pelvic Physical Therapy and a Certified Biopsychosocial Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Practitioner. For over 25 years, Evelyn has been guiding thousands of men and women toward optimum pelvic health.
EPISODE 14      
John Stracks, MD Guides Real Pain Patients

Dr. John Stracks is joined by three of his chronic pain patients: Leah Samaha, Brendan Bush, and Matt Katz. They discuss their symptoms, how they managed to get on the right track to healing, and Dr. Stracks' guidance as they continue their journeys.

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The host: Dr. John Stracks, MD
Dr. Stracks is an Integrative Family Physician and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Northwestern University. He has started his own practice just a couple of years ago, where he can spend more time listening to his patients.
EPISODE 13      
John Stracks, MD Special Q&A Session

The holidays can be stressful (particularly this year!), but Dr. Stracks is here to help you navigate them without flare-ups and fears.

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The host: Dr. John Stracks, MD
Dr. Stracks is an Integrative Family Physician and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Northwestern University. He started his practice just a couple of years ago, where he can spend more time listening to his patients.
EPISODE 12      
John Stracks, MD & Former Patient Jodie Prado Discuss Life with Chronic Pain, Finding Solutions and More.  

John Stracks, MD is joined by Jodie Prado. After years of dealing with chronic pain and not finding a solution, Jodie stumbled upon Dr. Stracks and overcame her pain using mind-body techniques. 

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Special Guest: Jodie Prado
Jodie Prado is a former patient of Dr. Stracks and an amazing mind-body healing success story. Currently, Jodie volunteers as a CASA (court-appointed special advocate) for abused and neglected children.
EPISODE 11      
John Stracks, MD & Eric Sherman, PSyD Discuss Mind-Body Medicine, Psychological Issues Patients Experience and More  

John Stracks, MD is joined by Eric Sherman PSyD, a licensed psychologist based in NYC and one of the most experienced mind-body medicine psychotherapists in the world. 

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Special Guest: Eric Sherman, PSyD
Naturally drawn to mind-body healing at an early age, Dr. Sherman had taken on multiple facets of healing. Today, Dr. Sherman treats patients through his private practice.
EPISODE 10      
John Stracks, MD & Former Patient Graham McLachlan Discuss Alternative Approaches to Healing, and Recovery 

John Stracks, MD is joined by Graham McLachlan, a former patient of Dr. Stracks that has rallied himself on his healing journey to overcome various stages of chronic pain, and has saved his music career. 

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Special Guest: Graham McLachlan
Graham discovered mindbody medicine when his provider referred him to Dr. Stracks. Under Dr. Stracks' guidance and a fair amount of hard work, he is now pain free.
John Stracks, MD & Alicia Batson, MD Discuss Healing Journeys, Curable Groups and More

John Stracks, MD is joined by Alicia Batson, MD, a dually trained mindbody expert. The two discuss Dr. Batson's practice and her personal healing journey.

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Special Guest: Alicia Batson, MD
Dr. Batson is a member of Curable's scientific advisory board and a leading voice in mindbody medicine. She's a dually trained physician in both internal medicine and psychiatry.
John Stracks, MD & Jill Riddell Discuss the Importance of Accepting Twists and Turns in a Healing Journey

Dr. Stracks talks with one of his former patients, Jill Riddell, about her inspiring healing journey from 40 years of migraines.

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Special Guest: Jill Riddell
Jill is a writer, writing professor at the Art Institute of Chicago and the host of "Shape of the World," a new podcast about cities, nature and people.
John Stracks, MD & Dan Ratner, PsyD Discuss Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Chronic Pain

Dr. Stracks welcomes Dr. Ratner to discuss how he uses his own model of therapy to help patients heal from a variety of mindbody issues.

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Special Guest: Dan Ratner, PsyD
Dr. Ratner has a mindbody-focused therapy practice in Cleveland.  After experiencing his own 8-year journey of healing from back pain, he has become a leading expert in the mindbody field.
Dr. Stracks & Dr. Schechter Discuss Learnings from Years of Practicing Mindbody Medicine

Dr. Stracks is joined by the renowned Dr. Schechter to discuss how they first learned about mindbody medicine as well as tips for how to get unstuck on your healing journey.

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Special Guest: David Schechter, MD
Dr. Schecter is a board-certified family medicine & sports medicine physician whose personal experience with mindbody healing led him to believe in treating the whole patient.
Dr. Stracks & Former Patient Dave Holmes Talk Honestly About Recovery

Hear Dave's inspiring story of how he was able to completely heal from back pain (and stay that way for the past 16 years) and find out what he has learned about the mindbody connection over time.

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Special Guest: Dave Holmes
Dave was told his back pain was due to degenerative discs and that he would have to manage the pain for the rest of his life. Then he came across the idea of the mindbody connection.
John Stracks, MD & David Clarke, MD Talk Mindbody Medicine

Dr. Stracks is joined by David Clarke, MD to discuss the importance of incorporating a mindbody approach with traditional medicine and how you can use tools like Curable alongside seeing a physician.

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Special Guest: David Clarke, MD
Dr. Clarke is a board-certified physician in gastroenterology and internal medicine and the President of the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association.
John Stracks, MD & Michelle Grim, PA-C Discuss The Body-Mind Connection

Dr. Stracks is joined by yoga therapist Michelle Grim, to discuss body-based treatment methods that can complement a brain-centric healing journey. Plus Michelle leads a guided meditation.

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Special Guest: Michelle Grim, PA-C
Michelle is a Physician's Assistant and yoga therapist specializing in mindful movement and the use of breath and meditation to approach complex issues such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression, or recovery from surgery.
John Stracks, MD & Howard Schubiner, MD Answer Burning Questions

John Stracks, MD and Howard Schubiner, MD provide some tips to help everyone get through Covid-19. They discuss the difficulties (and benefits) of our new life changes, lead us in a guided meditation and answer your toughest questions about mindbody medicine.

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Special Guest: Howard Schubiner, MD
Dr. Howard Schubiner is board-certified in pediatrics and internal medicine, and is the founder and director of the Mind Body Medicine Program at Providence Hospital.
Chronic Pain Recovery & Guided Meditation with John Stracks, MD, and Jessica Dixon

John Stracks, MD is joined by mindfulness meditation expert Jessica Dixon to discuss Jessica's recovery journey from chronic migraine, the role of self compassion in chronic pain recovery, and lead a guided mediation.

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Special Guest: Jessica Dixon
Jessica used to struggle with migraines almost everyday, until mindbody medicine and the practice of meditation helped her understand the emotional roots of her migraines.
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