Wednesday, November 10, 2021

With Mike Sill

Although officially unattributed, I'm pretty certain this photo of Walt Needham and Mike Sill is by Dave Martin.  The only other frontal duo of these two is by Martin, and the setting is similar.  One of Walt Needham's greatest accomplishments was in working with blind people who had been classified as mentally ill.  In a groundbreaking major research project Dr. Needham showed that a significant number of blind mental patients actually suffered from a phenomenon very similar to phantom limb pain in amputees.  Their "hallucinations" were something else entirely,  and his research and the treatments that came out of it improved the lives of thousands



  1. I remember listening to a fascinating radio documentary on this subject where Dr Needham was in fact interviewed. Given that it was on sound, and I knew nothing of Walt Needham's ground-breaking work outside the bodybuilding world, the penny didn't drop. Interestingly, a friend of mine who went blind as a result of Type 1 Diabetes started having out-of-the-body experiences and was referred to a psychologist but as these episodes didn't seem to bother her - in fact, she rather enjoyed them - no treatment was prescribed. We were walking her guide dog one evening on the Downs when she came out with the oddest of comments, "Aren't the cherry blossoms particularly beautiful this year," which of course was quite true. As if she could see my frown, she laughed and said, "I was up here the other morning..." Make of that what you will.

    1. Thanks for sharing these interesting stories. I'm not surprised that Dr. Needham rated a radio interview, and your friend's experience is strange, but comforting.