Do you suffer from chronic pain? How about frequent bouts with back pain that may have slowed you down or sidelined you? What about tendonitis, knee, shoulder or neck pain? Or a supposed herniated disc?
If you’ve dealt with any of these painful conditions, I feel your pain. For me the pain had become an unwelcome yet ever-present part of my life I just “dealt with”, for what turned out to be a 20-year span.
In addition to thinking “what’s wrong with me”, I was growing more concerned about my future. What would I be dealing with in 20 or 30 years, and how would that impact my active lifestyle? My workouts were done in pain. And my logic was, it hurts when I workout and it hurts when I don’t. So I might as well workout.
Not only does it suck to workout in pain, it affects your strength and ability to go “all out”. By the way, I am not telling you this to complain or ask for your sympathy. I’m hoping to get your attention. And if you can relate to similar symptoms or know someone that’s dealing with chronic pain, I want to help you understand there may be a solution (that doesn’t have to include medication or surgery).About two years ago, a friend had recommended I read a book called “Healing Back Pain”. I guess I wasn’t ready for a cure yet because I didn’t heed his advice. I finally got fed up this past December and couldn’t take the pain anymore. I bought and read “Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection” by Dr. John E. Sarno.
This was a real eye-opener for me. Dr. Sarno offered countless examples about the symptoms of the patients who came to him for pain and that he treated successfully. He provided information about studies he conducted that further explained his concept and the results he achieved. Some of the cases he shared sounded like he was describing my situation.
Now I was really intrigued to learn more about Dr. Sarno, so I bought his next 2 books – “The Mindbody Prescription” and “The Divided Mind”. I was already on the road to recovery after reading Healing Back Pain as my pain was fading. But I needed to learn more and became fully pain-free after reading his next 2 books.Dr. Sarno refers to this process as “TMS”, or Tension Myositis Syndrome. By the way, Dr. Sarno is a Board certified physician. And until he retired a few years ago, he was a Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine on the faculty of the New York University School of Medicine who helped thousands of patients.
After ruling out that the pain is not due to a physical abnormality or something structural, his theory claims that in many cases, the physical pain (most commonly in the back) is a distraction created by the unconscious mind as a way of repressing strong emotional feelings. These feelings include anger, self-imposed pressure, perfectionism, and stress-related disorders. Dr. Sarno asserts that our unconscious mind creates physical pain as a distraction to avoid dealing with the more painful unconscious emotional issues.
Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection was published in 1991 and is the second of four books written by Dr. Sarno on the subject. As he learned more by treating thousands of patients, he amended the diagnosis to Tension Myoneural Syndrome to include not only muscle, but added nerve and tissue as well.Since I am not certified by Dr. Sarno, I am unable to give advice or provide specific treatments. However, I highly recommend that you go to Amazon and start with “Healing Back Pain” so you can begin to learn about the syndrome known as TMS.
You can also find plenty of videos and information online about Dr. Sarno’s work, including some of the more well-known people he has helped. The TMS diagnosis may not help everyone. But if you’re dealing with chronic pain, I think you owe it to yourself to explore his work further and learn more about it. After all, what do you have to lose?
Here are a few resources you may find helpful:
- Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwardsiedle/2012/09/26/americans-best-doctor-and-his-miracle-cures-dr-john-e-sarno/
- 20/20 Segment with John Stossel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsR4wydiIBI
- Healing Back Pain: http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection/dp/0446557684
- The Mindbody Prescription: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mindbody-Prescription-Healing-Body/dp/0446675156
- The Divided Mind: http://www.amazon.com/The-Divided-Mind-Epidemic-Disorders/dp/0061174300
I wish you all the best in your quest to be pain free.