Dr. David Gersten MD

About Dr. Gersten

Dr. David Gersten is a medical doctor and diplomate of The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. His current practice and philosophy evolved out of the realization of the limitations of both clinical psychiatry and medicine. Psychiatry did not promise enough. Treatment took too long and the results of psychotherapy and medication were not satisfying or as profound as he had believed they would be, based on his training.

Even during his formal training, Dr. Gersten had already begun searching for better ways to help his patients. He first used mental imagery techniques in 1976 during his second year of his residency and helped a man with multiple sclerosis heal three bed sores that were three inches deep and that had defied nine months of hospital treatment. He soon incorporated mental imagery and meditation techniques as a routine part of his work. This early success in using mental fitness techniques to heal mind and body left a deep and lasting impression. In 1988, Dr. Gersten began to publish Atlantis The Imagery Newsletter, which had grown out of his love and respect for the power of mental imagery. Atlantis' 27 contributing editors are among the world's experts and pioneers in mind-body medicine. Dr. Gersten was fortunate to work with and learn from these world experts.

Healing Crisis

His personal research dramatically accelerated when he came down with a severe case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 1984. At that time, there was no name or diagnosis for this illness. His personal healing crisis led him to explore Traditional Western Medicine, Oriental Medicine, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Electro-Magnetic Medicine, Chiropractic, Massage, and many more. For two years, he explored Ayurveda and received treatment from the Dalai Lama's personal Ayurvedic physician. For another two years, he was treated by a sixth generation Chinese healer, who is also a medical doctor and surgeon. Neither of these approaches helped significantly. For nearly three years, he was treated by some of the most recognized homeopaths in the world, and he did experience a one-year remission - which eventually wore off completely.

He kept searching. When he learned about amino acid supplementation, he found the first real ray of hope for recovering. In fact, amino acid therapy helped him recover his life. Along the way, he continued to research and integrate mind-body technologies, such as guided imagery, into his clinical practice. Tapping the power of the mind to assist in physical illness is central to the work he does, as is helping each patient tap a greater power by finding his own sense of spirituality, his own God or Higher Power, and his deeper meaning and purpose for being alive.

The Spirit Factor

There have been several parallel lines of development in Dr. Gersten's thinking and clinical work. While he was developing his skills in mental imagery and meditation techniques, he was carefully studying the impact of spirituality in his patient's lives. This study culminated in the writing of his book "Are You Getting Enlightened Or Losing Your Mind?" published by Random House in 1997. The fact is that during his first year of psychiatry residency, Dr. Gersten was beginning to show an interest in spirituality, and he began to wonder about psychosis and mystical states... wondering if they had anything in common. His book is an attempt to put people's minds at ease; to let them know that spiritual experience is common; that most people have seen an angel or have had the visitation of the departed; that paranormal experience is the norm; and that everyone needs to know how to tap the enormous wellspring of spiritual power within. Spirituality and personal belief systems are part of Dr. Gersten's evaluation of every patient or client. The meaning of one's illness can be as important as the actual illness itself.

"Are You Getting Enlightened Or Losing Your Mind?," while an important landmark in his career, is not the end of the story. Rather, it contains an overview on spirituality, on the mind, on the nature of suffering, and on the nature of a successful life. This spiritual overview is the context within which Dr. Gersten does his work, with all of his patients and clients.

Peak Performance

His study and clinical use of both amino acid therapy and mind-body techniques led him to a new realization. It is not only the sick and ailing whom can benefit from these modalities. "Normal" people and those aspiring to greatness are in desperate need also. Because of this realization, Dr. Gersten has been working with athletes and CEO's of large companies... in addition to his clinical practice. If a world-class athlete like Olympic Gold Medallist Brian Boytano felt that he was physically ready for the Gold two years before he was mentally ready, the rest of us should pay attention. Dr. Gersten teaches mental fitness techniques to all of his patients and clients... from the deathly ill to the healthy athlete or businessman who is aspiring to greater heights.


Over these twenty years, Dr. Gersten has formulated his own unique concept and practice of healing, bringing together the best of mind-body technologies, the best of scientific amino acid supplementation, the best of Western Medicine... within a spiritual context. He has discovered his techniques in traditional Western Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Sports Psychology, Chinese Medicine, and Yogic Practices... to name a few. This is where he begins with his patients and clients - providing information, dedication, inspiration, technology - and insisting that his patients be active participants in their own healing process, and not by-standers in their own life. The bottom line, the reason for working the way he does, is to obtain results. Dr. Gersten believes that practicality comes first. "It does not matter how much I know, or how well integrated I believe my approach to be. What matters is getting results - alleviating suffering, helping to cure disease and reduce or eliminate symptoms. I want my patients and clients to feel better than normal... better than they were before they got sick. And I want to see athletes and others who come to see me to enhance performance... I want to see results, and I expect to see results. I also want to help people remember their joy, their bliss. People need to remember the carefree feeling they had as children, and they need to bring some of that joy of living back into their life, into their efforts to cure their illness, or run a faster mile."


Undergraduate University of Colorado Boulder,
Colorado 1970-B.S. degree

Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Medical School

University of Colorado Medical School Denver,
Colorado 1975-M.D. degree


University of California,
San Diego 1976


Psychiatry Residency University of California,
San Diego 1978

Chief Resident in Psychiatry 1978

Mind-Body Activities and Publications

  • Author: “Healing the Heart of America: Embracing Life After September 11th.”

  • Author: “ARE YOU GETTING ENLIGHTENED OR LOSING YOUR MIND?: How to Manage Everyday and Extraordinary Spiritual Experience.” 1997 (Three Rivers Press/Harmony Books/a division of Random House).

  • Publisher: “Atlantis, the Imagery Newsletter” which was printed bimonthly from 1989 — 1997. Currently Atlantis is entirely an on-line newsletter at www.imagerynet.com. Twenty-seven of the top people in the US and Canada served as contributing editors to Atlantis, including: Bernie Siegel, M.D., O. Carl Simonton, M.D., Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Larry Dossey, M.D., Jeanne Achterberg, Ph.D., David Bresler, Ph.D., Martin Rossman, M.D., Barbara Dossey, R.N., M.S., Peter Jensen, Ph.D., Janet Quinn, R.N., Ph.D., Inge Corless, R.N., Ph.D.

  • Author: “The POW Survival Guide” — written for the Allied troops of Operation Desert Storm. This booklet has been picked up as part of the Navy and Army SERE training programs (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape) at Coronado, CA and Fort Bragg. A presentation I gave for the Navy was videotaped and is now part of their training program. “The POW Survival Guide” is now on display at the American POW Museum in Georgia.

  • Author: “Alternative Health Care: Cost Effectiveness.” Prepared for and delivered to Hillary Rodham Clinton during the first White House meeting of Alternative Health Care practitioners.

  • Author: “Healing the Healer: One Minute Imagery Rituals.”

  • Author: “Cancer Coping Strategies.” (Pamphlet).

  • Author: “From Fear to Hope: Cancer Day One.” (Pamphlet).

  • Author: Monthly column on Alternative Medicine for The Light Connection newspaper, San Diego, California.

  • Radio Talk Show Host for “The Open Mind,” which aired throughout 1997. Dr. Gersten’s guests included: Bernie Siegel, M.D., Larry Dossey, M.D., Christiane Northrup, M.D., Gary Zukav, Peter Jensen, Ph.D., Dan Clark, M.D., Candace Pert, Ph.D., William Sears, M.D., David John Oates, and Claire Sylvia.

Dr. Gersten has consulted on 18 books by Rodale Press/Prevention Magazine,

  • Chief Advisor on Guided Imagery: “Choices in Natural Healing.” Rodale Press.

  • Contributor: “The Prevention How-To Dictionary of Healing Remedies and Techniques.”

  • Contributor: “Symptoms — Their Causes & Cures.” Rodale Press.

  • Contributor: “Age Erasers for Women.” Rodale Press.

  • Contributor: “Age Erasers for Men.” Rodale Press.

  • Contributor: “Disease Free.” Rodale Press.

  • Contributor: “Energy Forever.” Rodale Press.

  • Contributor: “Age Protectors.” Rodale Press.


Aminoacidpower.com from Dr. David Gersten MD, formerly known as Dr. Dennis Gersten.

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