MY FATHER NEVER LIKED TO TALK ABOUT IT, but he and his family were victims of the 1919 pogrom which took place in the Ukrainian village of Felshtin (now Hvardiske). I grew up curious about this "mythical" town in which my grandfather had owned the general store before all was destroyed; a town I could see in drawings in the yisgor book later published by the survivors, but a town whose secrets were hidden from me as the book was written in Yiddish.
My childhood curiosity evolved into a fascination with exploring my family tree in depth, a hobby which I started to purse following my retirement over a decade ago.
In the intervening years, I became a physician and then a psychiatrist. My professional focus changed over time. I became involved with biofeedback training when the technique was just crossing over from a research tool to a clinical one. While I initially focused on its application to the treatment of anxiety (working under Barbara Brown, the creator of the term "biofeedback"), I later agreed to refocus on its application to the treatment of pain, working first as a researcher at the City of Hope and then as a patient manager at the UCLA Pain Control Unit. While at UCLA, I became interested in collecting data showing the many applications of nutritional medicine. This led to a series of books. All the while, I maintained a private practice which, like my interests, evolved over time.
Since retirement, my genealogical research has been extensive. Perhaps my biggest discovery was a year ago when I was finally able to reconstruct a rabbinical family line on my father's side that appears
traceable back to biblical times.