[Medical White Paper] Unexpected and unintended cure of habit cough by proxy
By Dennis and Bethany Buettner
Refractory Unexplained Chronic Cough (RUCC) Diagnosed as the Habit Cough Syndrome Can Be Instantly & Permanently Cured in Minutes ~ or Even Seconds, In Children and Adults ~ Simply by Watching a peer reviewed and published YouTube Documentary Video (or via Telemedicine)
Peer Reviewed and Published Accidental Medical Discovery by Dr. Miles Weinberger, MD, University of Iowa. All pertinent medical research has been peer reviewed and published since Hippocrates. (Not intended to be medical advice. Consult with your doctor for your medical concerns. There is no medical advice in this story.)
Miles Weinberger, MD
Department of Pediatrics
University of California, San Diego
Rady Children’s Hospital
In 1966, Dr. Bernie Berman, a Boston allergist, described 6 children with a chronic cough that could be stopped by “the art of suggestion.” Dr Berman called this a habit cough.1 This disorder has been repeatedly described, sometimes with different terms but with the same description of the characteristic sound of the cough, barking or honking, and the absence of the cough once asleep.2–8
The frequency of habit cough diagnoses was reported at the rates of 7
per year at the University of Iowa6 and 9 per year at the Brompton
Hospital in London England.7 A median age for children with the
diagnosis was 10 years at both institutions.8 Treatment at the
University of Iowa consisted of suggestion therapy. In 1991, I
described 9 patients who were successfully treated with suggestion therapy. Seven who could be contacted, even years later, had sustained benefit.
Subsequently, I reviewed our experience with 140 children seen from 1995 to 2014. Among 85 of those children who were coughing when seen in the clinic, cessation of cough with suggestion therapy was successful in 81. In this letter, I present some unexpected and unintended additional observations related to this disorder.
In early February 2019, I received an e-mail from the father of
a 12-year-old girl with a 3-month history of a repetitive daily
cough that was absent once asleep. His online search for help led
to me. He and his daughter were at a location 3000 miles from
me. Her pediatric pulmonologist was prescribing inhaled corti-
costeroids, which were providing no benefit. Because she met the
criteria for habit cough, I undertook, for the first time, delivering
my usual suggestion therapy9 via Skype. Cessation of cough
occurred within 15 minutes. The girl’s father recorded the pro-
cedure and created a website (www.habitcough.com) that contained his daughter’s history and an audiovisual recording.
The full video was also placed on YouTube (https://www.
Although the outcome of this patient’s treatment via Skype was
a satisfying experience, an unexpected and unintended effect of the
video was subsequently reported to me.
I received unsought e-mails from the parents of 3 children and 2 adults, indicating that watching the young girl respond to suggestion therapy in the video resulted in cessation of their chronic cough.
The first of individuals these reached me in early April 2019.
The mother of a 10-year-old boy described her previously healthy
son who developed a dry hacking cough “that has not stopped,
except at night when he’s asleep” after a viral illness 2 months
earlier. His pediatrician prescribed steroids, azithromycin, 3
different antihistamines, montelukast (Singulair), amoxicillin and
clavulanate (Augmentin), albuterol and beclomethasone (QVAR),
benzonatate (Tessalon Perles), dextromethorphan (Robitussin
DM), and honey, with no benefit. Chest radiography and laboratory tests provided no diagnosis.
The mother, a pediatric nurse, had seen the video at www.habitcough.com and asked her son to sit by her and watch the video. The mother indicated that “he immediately identified with [the patient]; he jumped right into it and stopped coughing.” An e-mail more than a month later indicated that the previous coughing was still no longer present.
In May 2019, a mother of an 8-year-old girl sent me an e-mail
describing her daughter as having a bad cold several months
earlier that was followed by 2 months of a persistent daily cough
characteristic of the habit cough. Her physician obtained chest
radiography and prescribed “asthma and allergy medications”
without benefit. A pulmonologist told her daughter to “take
some ice water when you feel the cough coming on.” None of the
measures were of benefit. Searching for help on the internet, the
mother found the video on YouTube. While the 2 of them
watched the suggestion therapy procedure on the video, her
daughter commented excitedly, “I can hold the cough back.” This
was followed by cessation of coughing. Mother stated, “THE
COUGHING STOPPED! Like turning off a switch.” A subsequent
e-mail from the mother reported that the cough was still gone 4
In June 2019, I received an e-mail from the father of a 9-year-old
boy with a history of motor and vocal tics who had a persistent
repetitive chronic dry cough. The father indicated that the cough
occurred several times per minute and was not present when
asleep. When watching the video, the boy first stated, “It’s different
than mine,” but then associated what he was observing with his
own condition and found he could suppress the cough. The cough
was still gone the following day.
I also received e-mails from 2 adult women, 58 and 68 years old.
They both indicated that watching the 30-minute video and
following along with the dialogue resulted in cessation of their
chronic cough. One of the women stated, “I listened to the video
and concentrated. It really works.” The other woman commented,
“It’s amazing; mind over matter?”
Habit cough causes considerable morbidity, including well-
intentioned iatrogenesis, unneeded testing, unnecessary medi-
cation, and even hospitalization.9 Several variations of suggestion
are well documented as curative for habit cough.1,4,5,8 The
current unanticipated and unintended observations reported in 3
children and 2 adults demonstrate further the amenability of
habit cough to suggestion. The clinical characteristics of
habit cough are sufficiently distinct that the diagnosis can be
made by the typical history of a repetitive harsh, barking, or
honking cough, occurring up to several times per minute, that is
absent once asleep.
No testing is needed for diagnosis, and no
medications are needed for treatment. Knowledge and skillful
interaction with the patient are the tools for diagnosing and
treating this disorder.
Disclosures: The author has no conflicts of interest to report.