Diane Bell

S.D. Olympian put mind over matter with local help

When La Jollan J.J. lsler and her teammate came from behind to win an Olympic silver medal in sailing last week, her family and friends were ecstatic. As were George Pratt and Peter Lambrou, two S.D. psychologists. Why? Because Isler had sought Pratt’s help to conquer self-doubt and get mentally prepped for Sydney.

Pratt and Lambrou are promoting a technique to help people handle emotional stress and think positively. They say it combines the latest brain research with age-old acupressure practices.  To spread the word – no office visit necessary – the psychologists have written a self-help book, “Intstant Emotional Healing.”

lsler’s husband, Peter, a navigator for sailing’s Team Dennis Conner, drew upon the techniques during last winter’s America’s Cup races in New Zealand.

The six-step method of “tapping” on body pressure points also has been tried by “OneMinute Manager” author Ken Blanchard, baby doctor Benjamin Spock, Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell and several pro athletes and public figures, according to the pair’s promotional material.

But the real test came when Donny and Marie Osmond recently gave Pratt seven minutes before their TV show to cure Carmen Electra’s arachnophobia. (The actress is so terrified of spiders that the sight of one had catapulted her out of a store dressing room in her underwear.) After her session with Pratt, the Osmonds brought a large, hairy tarantula on stage. Electra didn’t flee–but she stopped short of petting the critter.