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I was thinking today about the most amazing lung exam I have ever done. I know that sounds a little odd but to some one who has done literally over 10,000 lung exams there are always a few standouts.

A patient of mine was playing host to some Buddhist monks here from England. One of the monks apparently was having some respiratory problems, which were chronic for him. Having studied in England, I know the damage that the cold and damp weather can do to your lungs. I assumed that a Buddhist monastery in England had as much cold and damp as my little flat in Leamington Spa.

Into my office walks these two middle aged monks of Western descent, dressed in red robes with orange sashes and shaved heads. With them they brought an incredible amount of joy that I did not expect. Just filling out my questionnaire was an opportunity for laughter that was contagious, especially when they got to the question about whether he was satisfied with his sexual life. They literally rolled on the floor with laughter and joy.

When I spoke to the monk in my exam room, he told me his symptoms and I told him that I needed to listen to his chest and that it sounded like he had bronchitis. I put my stethoscope on the back of his chest as I have to thousands of other people. And, I asked him to take a deep breath and let it out through his mouth. As he began to exhale, I went into a trance. I got transported to some place in the woods, where a gentle breeze whispers through the trees with a light, constant whistling sound. It went on and on and I could have stood there for minutes listening. As it was, I believe that his exhalation was well more than a minute, perhaps closer to two minutes. After, I wrote out his antibiotic, gave him some herbs and wished him well.

Now, 10 years later, I am remembering the time that the joyous monk hypnotized me with his breath

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