Use mind to cure ills.
He was not only diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disorder for which there is no known cure, but also told that it was an aggressive form.
He recalls: "To say I was frightened was an understatement. The prediction was I could be confined to a wheelchair in a few years."
But, remarkably, that diagnosis proved to be a turning point. And he hopes his unique approach to recovery ( eight years later he is symptom free ( may help many others living with poor health or life-threatening illness.
Detailed in his new book, The Healing Code, this self-healing uses a variety of techniques including harnessing the power of the sub-conscious mind. He says: "I don't claim to be cured or to cure. I still have MS but crucially I've no symptoms and am in excellent health.
"I want to show a positive psychological framework, as well as healthy eating habits and regular exercise, can be a powerful catalyst to boost health." He trained as a psychotherapist, acupuncturist and nutritional advisor treating 2,000 people. He combines Eastern methods of combating illness with discoveries in health psychology and science for a holistic approach.
Mind exercises will condition your immune response, says Dermot, and can greatly enhance your recovery and health.
Repetition is key as it creates a conditioned response allowing the subconscious mind to deliver a greater sense of wellbeing and an actual state of improved health.
Choose a healing food: apples, dried apricots, grapes, prunes, oranges, raisins, strawberries or tangerines, as a diet staple to eat throughout the day. When you eat, repeat a healing word; pick one which represents your intent, like 'health'.
Laughter has been shown to raise antibodies to fight disease. Watch something that always makes you laugh. Every time you laugh eat your healing food and say your word. Only consume the food after laughing. Repeat with a different comedy each day for five successive days, then continue frequently in the next three months.
Studies show supportive human relationships have genuine healing properties. Recall a time you felt completely loved. Focus on positives, who was there, sights, sounds, colours, smells and try to conjure the same physical feeling.
Increase the experience to the maximum, so colours are brighter and you 'feel' the sensation. When it is all-consuming, eat your healing food, saying your word. Repeat this visualisation 10 times, but only eat the food when you feel 'love'. Repeat this exercise each day for three months.
Listening to music can help reduce levels of stress hormone cortisol. Either dance, sing along or drum to the music. Make sure the music is 'positive'. When you feel joyously lost in music, say your healing word and eat your healing food. Repeat 10 times for the next five days and continue frequently over the next three months.
* The Healing Code by Dermot O'Connor is published by Hodder Mobius at pounds 10.99.