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T O P I C    R E V I E W
HilaryN Posted - 09/04/2005 : 07:36:19

When I first read TMP my visual migraines disappeared straight away. However the real reason I was reading the book was because of my RSI. I read the book 2 or 3 times, but the RSI (which I'd had 10 years) didn't go away. I was very enthusiastic about the book, but because my RSI didn't go away, I eventually decided it wasn't going to work. I think I was expecting a miracle cure or something.

Well, about a year later my plumber came round to do some work in my house. He's a very chatty person, and we were chatting about all sorts of things. At one stage he mentioned he used to suffer from back pain. Then he said "But that's a thing of the past, now - thanks to..." then he couldn't remember the name of the book.

As soon as he said those words, though, Dr. Sarno's book flashed into my mind, and I said "Was it The Mindbody Prescription?"

He said, "Yes, that's it! By the time I got to page 57 my back pain had gone!"

He was full of enthusiasm about the book - I joined in his enthusiasm, but told him that it hadn't worked for my RSI. His enthusiasm was so infectious, though, that I wondered if I shouldn't try again. For a few years I had been suffering from bad headaches at certain times of the month. I managed to stave off these headaches with vitamin supplements.. but I was having to take more and more for them to be effective, and I didn't always remember to take them. A couple of weeks later, that time of the month came, and I'd been forgetting to take the vitamins. I thought to myself:"Oh no, I'm in for a whopping headache this month". Then I remembered the conversation with my plumber, and thought to myself determinedly,"No, I'm not."

The next day, my headache started to come on. I started thinking, "Oh no, here it comes...". Then I remembered again, and
thought with great determination: "NO!" - and thought about the TMP book. It went away! I no longer take the vitamin pills, and although the headache sometimes threatens, I can usually get rid of it by thinking about Dr Sarno's book.

Encouraged by this success, I decided I would have another go at tackling the "big one" (my repetitive strain injury), in conjunction with a pain management technique (i.e. start typing for very short periods, well within my capacity, and build up slowly). Initially, (perhaps a couple of months?) I didn't really see any improvement. I was still convinced it was TMS, though, and I started to wonder if I should get psychotherapy. (Hard to get my mind to accept that idea because of the slight stigma attached to it, and also I haven't had any major childhood traumas or anything, and I consider myself a well-balanced person, why should I need psycotherapy, etc. etc.)

I decided to email Dr Sarno to find out if there are any TMS-trained psychotherapists over here in the UK. He replied that there aren't, but that I should try going to see a psychotherapist and lend them my copy of TMP. I have a very sympathetic doctor, and I'm sure that if I had gone to her, she would have referred me for psychotherapy. Also it would have been a good way to start the ball rolling in getting TMS known/accepted over here. However, on our National Health Service, it can take 6 months or more between getting a referral and actually getting an appointment. That in itself wasn't a problem, I would have been perfectly happy to wait. The problem was that, due to personal circumstances, I wasn't sure if I was still going to be in the country in 6 months' time, or whether I would have emigrated by then. To ask for a referral then ask for it to be cancelled is a "no-no". A very dim view is taken of it, and it would have destroyed any chances of asking for favours from my doctor in the future should I need one.

Meanwhile I had contacted a lady who wrote an article for the UK RSI Association magazine on how she had cured her RSI through reading Dr Sarno's book. She gave me lots of encouragement (very helpful!) and also recommended a book called "The Journey" by Brandon Bays. Brandon Bays isn't a medical person, but she describes how she healed a tumour by tackling the emotional causes. If I hadn't read TMP first I might have been a bit sceptical - but having read TMP first, "The Journey" made perfect sense. There are lots of "Journey" practitioners here in the UK, so I was able to get an appointment with one straight away.

After that (or maybe before, even?) I started making small advances. One day I made a small discovery. Previously the pain I got from typing tended to happen AFTERWARDS - maybe a few hours later. Pretty scary, and a very effective tactic in making me afraid to overdo the typing, because I had no way of knowing if I was doing too much. But I noticed a change: I was getting (slight) pain DURING the typing. I didn't push on with typing when this happened, because I don't like pain. But when I noticed the change, I thought: "Gotcha!" This was an improvement, because it gave me more control. Even though I stopped when the pain came on, I would tell myself it was TMS, and it would be gone by next day at the latest.

There came a time at work when I had to go on a one-day training course on a computer which didn't have voice-recognition. I could probably have arranged for it to be installed, but I decided not to. I did lots of typing and mousing, and by 3:00pm when I finished, my hands were achy and a bit painful... but no worse after-effects. A week later I was having memory problems on my PC and we decided to remove the voice recognition to see if that was causing the problem. (Previously I wouldn't have allowed that as I was entirely dependent on it. But I was feeling confident, so we went ahead.) It was supposed to be for half a day, but after that time the results were inconclusive, so I decided to keep it off for the rest of the day. The next morning I rang the Systems Administrator to ask him to put the vr back on. No reply - I think he was off
sick. I thought of ringing his colleague but didn't get around to it. That afternoon his colleague rang me and at that stage I asked her to put the vr back on. Nearly 2 days of typing with no major pain!

After that I decided I would not use my voice recognition until midday every day at work. This was a few weeks ago, and I've now increased it to 2:00pm before I start using it. By the way, all this story has been typed by hand, of course. (Over 2 days, but that's due to time constraints.) I love my voice recognition, but I want to be rid of my dependency on it.
12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
HilaryN Posted - 04/25/2006 : 16:00:49
it looks like others in my "support group" community may also benefit. I hope so!

Yes, it's great you posted your story. I'm sure others will be inspired by it.

Hilary N
armchairlinguist Posted - 04/24/2006 : 16:03:13
Yes sorry, I didn't know the comma would attach to the link.

It is great to have this forum for encouragement. I have been well trained in the structural cause theory so I am still having trouble giving up the belief that the computer can hurt me, even though I have seen the change since starting the method. My brain really does not want to let go. But I will persevere. And it looks like others in my "support group" community may also benefit. I hope so!
HilaryN Posted - 04/24/2006 : 14:14:11
Got it, now:

It looks like you had a similar experience to me: read the book initially, but thought it wasn’t working so stopped… then went back prompted by other people’s experiences / encouragement. That encouragement was instrumental for me in going back to reading the book and continuing.

That’s why I think this forum is great: people who have got over that barrier can encourage those who are still struggling.

Hilary N
HilaryN Posted - 04/24/2006 : 13:29:46
Hi armchairlinguist,

Thank you – I’m glad it’s helpful. I tried your link, but it didn’t work. I’d be interested to read it if you could “fix” it? (I got “Page not found”.)

Btw I also find linguistics an interesting topic as I love learning languages, but I never studied it. Like psychology, it interests me but I never had time to pursue it.

Hilary N
armchairlinguist Posted - 04/23/2006 : 22:15:33
Hi Hilary,
Thanks so much for posting your story. I have had RSI for three years and just started to apply TMS theory. Your story is very inspiring and helpful. I have a post about my experience so far at, if you or any other forum members are interested.
Stryder Posted - 02/04/2006 : 14:17:58
Hi Hilary,

Thanks for re-visiting your prior post, tagging your success, and giving us an update. Happy to hear that your RSI is in remission. Way to go.

Sarno rocks!

Take care, -Stryder
HilaryN Posted - 02/04/2006 : 05:01:50

Since October 2005 I have completely stopped using voice recognition (except for the very odd occasion when I'm in a hurry and want to write a lot of text quickly) and just use keyboard and mouse at work and at home. I've become an Internet addict, so I use the computer a lot at home in addition to at work. NO PAIN! Thanks to Dr Sarno and the people who encouraged me to continue.

Hilary N
JoeW Posted - 09/05/2005 : 18:56:46
You may have already seen them, but for RSI related Sarno success stories have a look at these sites:

Good luck - sounds like you're on the right path. My own RSI wasn't as far advanced as yours by the sound of it (no voice recognition), but I was heading along that path, before Sarno put a stop to it. I still get somepains, but the difference now is that I don't worry about it or fear it, and just carry on.
HilaryN Posted - 09/05/2005 : 18:16:11
Thanks, Anthony. Having got to the stage where I'm now spending well over half my time at the computer without using voice recognition I now no longer have any doubt that I will be completely cured. The hardest bit is at the beginning when progress is very slow, and even if you get tiny improvements you're not sure if it's conclusive proof that the TMS theory is working. That's when it's easy to get doubts, and that's when encouragement from others is very important. I didn't know about this forum then, but was lucky enough to get encouragement from a couple of other people.

Because that support from other people was a key factor in me deciding to continue, I was planning to set up an online support group, because I'm sure there must be lots of people who read the book, but because it doesn't work straight away, then give up.

I actually got as far as setting up the group last Friday. Then on Saturday I found this forum... so now I can ditch my group. Thanks, Dave!
Anthony Posted - 09/05/2005 : 06:19:47
Hi Hilary

I also suffered from RSI for several years before stumbling upon Dr. Sarno's books. Not only did I have severe RSI related to typing or playing videogames, I also developed chronic back pain and knee pain, and later on shoulder pain.

When I read the MindBody Prescription, I was immediately convinced that TMS was responsible for my pain, however it took at at least 4-5 months before the pain started to subside. However, the most important thing I got from reading the books was the reduction of fear I felt from resuming physical activity. I resumed spending an hour or two a day typing and playing playstation, I went back to the gym and worked out my legs and shoulders without fear of injury, and eventually the pain faded away.

At first, I was worried about not getting the instantaneous cure that people in Sarno's books got. However, I eventually just moved on with my life with the belief that I did have TMS and that eventually it would sink in and the pain gradually went away. So, my advice is give it time, and continue challenging the pain, within reason. You may have setbacks, I've had many. The pain hasn't gone away completely, when I am anxious or worried, my back usually aches and my wrists begin to shake, but I know that its just a harmless TMS attack and laugh at my mind's silly little strategy to try and scare me. And it goes away. The important thing for me is that TMS no longer gets in the way of my enjoying my life. Once this sinks into your subconscious, I think you will feel better too.
HilaryN Posted - 09/04/2005 : 09:38:51
Thanks, Lee.

Yes, I think people new to TMS need to know that it can take a while. Dr Sarno does mention a couple of people in his book who have taken years to get better, but it's easy to miss that.
leegold Posted - 09/04/2005 : 09:14:03

i have been involved in the forum for about 6 weeks or so, and i have had many responses that people wish dr sarnos books didnt call for 3 weeks to be healed. they tell me it can take longer, and not to put any time restraints on it. i definitely notice changes and improvements, as you have.

keep it up, as i will- dr sarno says there is NO thing as RSI except that which is TMS (which you know, im sure)

"A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones"

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