TMSHelp Forum
TMSHelp Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ | Resources | Links | Policy

Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 TMSHelp General Forum
 SUCCESS STORY! (abridged)
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  


United Kingdom
9 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2005 :  15:42:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
(abridged success story)

Hello everybody! My name is Mike. I had RSI for 2 years. I Couldn't type anymore.

So... woosh! Goodbye career!

3 days ago, I read it was all about stress*, it clicked.

All of the sudden ... I typed like mad. No more pain!


I couldn't believe it! I cried A LOT.

(questions about Dr. Sarno's THEORY)
But how can "unresolved emotional issues" be the "PRIMARY cause"?

I thought I was injured, THEN the stress made it worse. WRONG. Apparently it's ALL about stress.

It makes no sense!

(questions about society)

Also, how THE HECK do you explain this to friends, family and coworkers without sounding MENTAL?

"Hey everybody! Remember my RSI? well, it was all in my head! Apparently, there was an emotional issue I had to take care of!"

That doesn't sound quite right.

Plus there's the OBLIGATORY reply "Nothing wrong with your hands? That means you can go back to work now!"

How do you deal with this?

*I found out about Dr. Sarno at

Edited by - exRSied on 10/03/2005 02:04:42


97 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2005 :  17:13:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Also, how IN THE HECK do you explain this to friends, family and coworkers without sounding MENTAL?"

Easy. Just lie. Tell 'em about your surgery, months of intensive rehab, and truckloads of painkillers. They'll understand.
Go to Top of Page


686 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2005 :  18:55:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You don't have to lie, but you are right that 99.9% of the lay public can't handle the truth. Also, I don't use the term TMS because no one has ever heard of that and it prompts more questions.

What I say is this, "I solved my stress induced muscle pain through a re-training program and making some adjustments to my lifestyle." Most of the time that just does it for them.

This works because...

(1) It addresses where the pain was - muscles.

(2) What caused the pain - stress.

(3) What did you do to recover - training program.

(4) Adjustments to my lifestyle - diabetics and heart attack survivors do this all the time, so people have heard of this.

Yes, I know its an over simplification, but its put in terms of what people will "get" without a long and involved explanation that they won't "get".

Take care, -Stryder

Edited by - Stryder on 10/02/2005 18:59:58
Go to Top of Page


United Kingdom
9 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  03:27:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Have you lied to them? How did that go for you? I'm curious to know because I really have no

clue how to go about this.

"Hey I had surgery, went to rehab and I'm fine now!"

"Eh? I saw you some time ago, how could you have been in rehab and be cured so quickly?..."

I WISH I could just lie. But this is tricky. Since I've had this for SO long, and I've been

cured so quickly and recently (few days ago) people will ask too manyquestions! "Finally you're

fine! So what cured it?!"

Plus, it's IMPOSSIBLE to lie to friends and family -- especially with something like surgery

and rehab. They KNOW too much already! I can't just come out so soon and say "Hey! I'm cured

now!". That will raise eyebrows.

I guess I agree with what you implied. I mean, attempting to explain TMS is foolish. NO WAY in hell I can even mention TMS. I

have to craft this in a language they can understand.

Should I hide this from for now? I mean, it HAS only been a few days since I'm 100% pain free.

How was your situation like?


Absolutely. and I like your approach. But do you actually say that to your friends and family? I suppose if I would use that line with my coworkers it

would shut em up. But boy, if I say

"I solved my stress induced muscle pain through a re-training program and making some

adjustments to my lifestyle."

to my family and friends they're gonna give me weird looks. I can already hear the replies:

"stress induced muscle pain? Can you please translate! What exactly was the problem?"

"What re-training program? You mean lifting weights? Haven't you been doing something similar in the past with no


"Adjustments to your lifestyle?" Oh great, so you're gonna turn veggan on us now? what "adjustments" exactly? What are you talking about?"

You can see my point!

I'm tempted to craft this (partly true) story

"well, I found people with the same problem and I learned this doctor in NYC found a cure! Lots of people flocked his office so he wrote a book about it! Apparently, it's the nervous system. Cuts the blood flow in my hands, see? Kinda like an allergic reaction! Basically, the cure is I have to work THROUGH the pain for many months and eventually, it will disappear! It may take some time you know, the nervous system has to change. There's a detailed retraining program as well, you know, specific stretching exercices, weight lifting ..."

May sound like a fairytale but MAYBE that will stop the questions until next month. I can deal with them asking the occasional "So, hows that training program? Hands any better?"

better than "are you seeing a shrink anytime soon for this?"
Go to Top of Page


97 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  08:41:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Have you lied to them? How did that go for you?"

Well, now, I was kind of exaggerating to make a point, i.e. tell them anything but the truth.

The best thing to do is probably to mumble something vague about massage therapy, rest, heat packs and stretching exercises. Keep it dull and plausible. Your coworkers will soon lose interest.

Interesting scenario, though. Some folks are trapped forever by their TMS. Check out maryalma8's post from 08/25: "Can't help those that won't take it." A sad tale of a 39-year-old man who "ruined" his back lifting a spare tire out of his car's trunk. He had to retire from the police force. How do you talk your way out of something like that?

Sarno should have an epilogue in his books: How to re-enter society/the workplace, etc. without seeming like a nut-case (or mentioning TMS).
Go to Top of Page


307 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  13:47:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think we should not only mention TMS to anyone who asks about our cure, but sing its praises. It might not only help others to resolve their own pains, but eventually it will become a well known and famously successful approach. Didn't Sarno say that 80% of back pain is TMS? I say "spread the word." Success will make for greater and greater acceptance in the medical community and in the world at large.

Go to Top of Page


292 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  13:58:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now, it's easy for me to say, but I think it is an important part of having this disorder to educate other people about the idea of TMS. Acceptance of such concepts starts at the "grassroots" level with one person speaking to another about our success stories. This is kind of sad since it is a medical condition, I know, but given the intellectual inertia of the medical community in terms of mind-body disorders, this will be the case for a while.

Similarly, information has to pass from one physician to another. In my consult notes, I mention that I think a patient has a "substantial emotional component" to their pain syndrome, and mention the fact that I am recommending a book by John Sarno. It's my hope that patients may then tell their primary doctor if they are doing well, and maybe, just maybe, the MD will learn a little something, and have a more open mind. Sure, I've already gotten, "I spoke to Mr. So-and-so, and they told me you said they should read some book for his neck pain (said with derisive tone)".

I think if we learn to speak about TMS just like any other medical condition, without being squeamish, people will be more apt to consider it so, rather than some fringe idea. In a way, this is similar to the general public's relatively new-found willingness to talk about things like depression and anxiety without shame or fear of judgment, since people are now willing to consider them "medical" problems, rather than some sort of moral failing, as in the past.

Go to Top of Page


686 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  14:16:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good point Dr. Z,

Yes, I think that the knowledge of TMS _does_ need to find its way into the mainstream. However, its been my experience that an enthusiastic "here's-everything-the-lay-person-needs-to-know-about-TMS" is typically rejected because its out of the mainstream and they can't get their heads around it (without possibly reading the whole book, and yes, if I had a truckload of HBP or MBP I would hand them out.)

So, like Dr. Sarno does with his patient selection, if I run across a receptive mind, then I give them the whole story. Otherwise, I give them the short story ("I solved my stress induced muscle pain through a re-training program and making some adjustments to my lifestyle.") since that's what they will accept.

Take care, -Stryder

Edited by - Stryder on 10/04/2005 09:36:11
Go to Top of Page


203 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2005 :  09:08:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good for you exRSied! I know several people who believe that repetitive tasks are to blame for their pain, including an aunt of mine who's basically a shut in - there's no way she would accept even the basic tenets of TMS though, tragically, so I just don't "go there" with her or people like her. What you've done by accepting it's TMS and recovering from it, is amazing. Way to go!

And Stryder, I've used a similar philosophy/method. I talked about TMS and the "real" cure to my close friends and family who saw me suffer for four + years with increasingly bad neck/shoulder pain and then saw me get instantly better (or somewhat instantly, as it took a few months). My parents who both have back pain are supportive of me and believe that I had TMS and cured myself of it but they continue to think their pain is "real." : )

My sister has used some of my techniques to lessen her dizzy spells and has made progress with this without ever picking up a Sarno book, so that's cool.

With anyone else, I simply told them that I'd found a connection between my stress levels and my pain and that once I learned some stress management techniques the pain subsided. That's it;and that's all they need to know.
Go to Top of Page


210 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2005 :  22:59:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To all:

I agree with Dr. Z. I think that we who have benefitted from Dr. Sarno's approach have a responsibility to tell others. That doesn't necessarily mean telling all the details to anyone who asks, but we should at least tell some people the basic ideas. After all, if no one had told you about Dr. Sarno, what condition would you be in today?

In the first year after I recovered, many people asked how I had done so. I usually explained it by saying that a medical doctor came up with a new treatment which borrows from Freud. This doctor believed that the pain was caused repressed emotions, so the treatment should be psychological. The people I talked to were generally considerate. Some said it was great that I didn't have to take drugs, which are prone to side efffects.

As long as the repressed emotions cause only applied to me, it was fine. When I suggested to some people that they might have that problem too, then things were different. That couldn't possibly work for them.

Oh, well. Some people who reject the idea at first may accept it later. Maybe if they hear it from enough people, they will take it more seriously. While it's hard to handle the rejection, this might be the way that Sarno's ideas will become more popular.

Go to Top of Page


560 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2005 :  07:58:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just come right out and tell people have have TMS and when they ask what it is I give them the full monty. If they don't accept it then that is fine and if they do it is also fine. My personal recovery is not predicated on what other people think. I am my own doctor and I can heal myself. No MD will tell you that. That blows people away.
Go to Top of Page


1903 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2005 :  12:50:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kind of sad really, that we feel compelled to hide the truth, or at least half of it...

Here's how I handle things...To those who have a clue, I tell them the truth..

To those who don't....especially derisive family members...I don't tell them anything really. After all, some things just get better on their own, right?

Just tell them "time," plus laying off whatever activity you used to attribute the pain to, combined to result in a gradual "healing" ..Who could argue with that?


Go to Top of Page


22 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2005 :  16:12:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sarno's been on Oprah, quite a while ago, so I'm surprised it's still so far from the mindsets of the world. I agree with Sarno's screening process. If I find a receptive mind, I will share. I noted his book to someone who wrote his name down. I ordered it from Amazon and am giving it to her tomorrow. After that, she's the only one who can decide if its right for her.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
TMSHelp Forum © Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000