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 Recovered from back pain--thanks Dr. Sarno!
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490 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  09:03:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Posting here my original story from January 2006. Additional comments at the bottom.

"Hoping I can help someone who isn't sure about the mind having an impact on our physical bodies or who may have questions. I am an almost fully recovered TMS patient of Dr. Sarno.

I had weird sensations in my right butt cheek end of August--oddly enough coming home from vacation. Slight pains here and there, nothing that impacted my everyday life. Had it returning from vacation AGAIN in November. Sitting in the airport, thinking about my son going back to his father that night, returning to work, etc. Coincidence this happened again returning from vacation? Got me thinking. But then I was ok. For two weeks. Driving one day I got acute pain in my butt cheek and actually cried when I got home. Called PCP she said go to ER. ER said "sciatica, take this painkiller and steriod and go to your PCP." 2 days later PCP said take muscle relaxer. Not going to work (job) now, too much pain. Not better after 2nd trip to PCP that week so she said go to orthopedist. Fortunately had someone to drive me places as I was not in a condition to sit. Got xrays, "degenerative disc disease" I HATE THAT TERM. Then MRI which showed, alas, a herniated disc where else? L5 S1 of course. Well that must be the cause of the pain, right? I mean the orthopedist should know, right? OK, so take steriod pack (talk about making me sick!), then physical therapy would be next, injection of cordisone, then if nothing else worked, discectomy. Well, great. I have NEVER had surgery and don't want to! The steriod pack made me sicker than I have been all along. But I kept on it.
At this point I was pretty much disabled.
Dr. John Sarno was being mentioned to me here and there by friends. Sis-in-law brought me his first book when I asked her to come and do my dishes (I could not stand for more than about 30 seconds) and I read it right away! Hmm, interesting. Also read Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Healing book's section about a man who had shattered discs in his back, saw Dr. Sarno, and he has no pain anymore!! Wow, we're on a roll--this could be good--an alternative to surgery. I'm in.
Yeah, I guess emotions could be causing some of this. Got Dr. Sarno's other books and read them all. Decided to go see Dr. Sarno. Got appt early January. Had a ride in to NYC to see him. Had to lie on the floor in the waiting room and office! But Dr. Sarno was great. I loved his conviction and enthusiasm for what he believes. Talked to me about everyday stresses, etc. and then did exam. Yup, each pressure point for TMS was sure tender. Also showed me how some of my reflexes were so good they could NOT be related to a herniated disc. Encouraging. Got the "program" and was so relieved the herniated disc was not the cause of the pain! Got started on my "list" and essay writing. Screamed, cried, cursed, etc. but got lots of emotions out. I was home all day, so I filled spiral notebooks full of essays. Few days later I could stand up longer. Sit yet? No. Easier to get around though. Within 1.5 weeks I felt a miraculous difference. I asked to be taken to the grocery store since I had not shopped for myself in six weeks. Walked through the store but toward the end had to lie down in the car. Ok, that was progress. I was happy. Next day I sat! I went to the store again and sat in the front seat of the car! Amazing! No pain! So since then I have slowly had pain go away. I still get a little annoyance in the tailbone area when sitting awhile, but I am sure it will go away as I'm not finished with my 4-6 week intensive writing program.
I cannot say enough about Dr. Sarno. I must admit, emotions playing a role in physical health was no news to me as I had heard and read about this for years.
I realize some people won't buy into this as they feel it cannot possibly be that your anger, guilt, fear, etc. can cause the brain to cause pain. But I am a believer. I am proof this program works and am so happy I have been able to drive, go to work, and enjoy life again.
I saw Dr. Sarno at lecture last week and hugged and thanked him so much for his books and programs.
Who knows where I'd be (recovering from surgery just to have more pain?) if I had not read his books and seen him.
I wish my family would take it seriously and help themselves, but they're not ready. My bro has knee pain and programs himself to have it after doing hard labor. My dad has spinal stenosis and other things that are the "gray hair of the spine" as Dr. Sarno says. But I know they'd be helped if they'd open their mind to this. I guess I am just grateful to have my life back virtually pain free.
Funny how I talk about it at work slightly (most people are NOT open minded I have seen) and they say "oh you got lots of rest, that's why you're better". Really. I don't consider weeks of 24/day pain rest. Or "the physical therapy helped." Yeah, I went 3 times. Hated it. Thankful to hear Dr. Sarno does NOT recommend physical therapy as TMS is NOT a physical problem.
That's my happy ending to my TMS story. If I get more pain, I know what to do so that does not scare me."
Have had a twinge or two of pain especially when there were some unpleasant and unexpected changes at work, but I addressed them by writing or talking out loud at home, and the pain is gone.

You will be helped proportionate to the amount you believe TMS is the cause of your pain. If you keep doubting the TMS diagnosis, or keep concentrating on the physical, what you think you might have done to cause the pain (picked up my kid, turned funny, or one of my favorites to hear "slept wrong" hahaha), you likely will not be fully healed.

This works. I fully believed the diagnosis and took the steps to clear myself of baggage by writing till my hand hurt. Which is why I have responded to questions on this forum with "write, write, write." I have done so much additional reading about the mindbody connection and it's truly fascinating how our emotions affect our bodies. I highly recommend the book Mind/Body Health for insight into the mind/body connection, and The Solution program at for those who have trouble getting "in touch" with their emotions. I've learned a great way to go through a "flow of feelings" to help me get past hurts from the past. And present!

Best wishes to all of you on your recovery from TMS.

Suggested reading to open up to mind/body approach in addition to lat paragraph above. Thanks to those of you who suggested #1 and #2 below on this forum. I bought both and they are great.
1. When The Body Says No--many experiences of people with many ailments, including cancer, being healed with emotional work
2. Your Body is Talking--Are You Listening? More experiences of the mind/body intertwining.
Both books above show the many, many TMS equivalents (though not using that term).
3. Candace Pert books. Scientific outlook of mind/body. Fascinating.
4. Any book by Louise Hay. I would love to meet this woman.
5. Gay Hendricks about loving yourself. Found by accident.

I'm sure this list will grow. I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!

Edited by - mizlorinj on 11/26/2007 13:58:48


783 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2007 :  04:09:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanx so much for your inspiring story!!!
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3 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  12:26:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
this sounds almost precisely like what happened to me. I read the book yesterday and feel 50% better already. Absolutely amazing...congrats!
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182 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2008 :  11:20:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, amazing. You really didn't waste any time. You opened your mind and genuinly believed in the TMS diagnosis. I want to thank you for telling to write. When you mentioned journaling I realized that is something I hadn't really done yet. I've been suffering and complaining for the past 11 months and haven't thought about getting my emotions down on paper. You inspired me to try this and I must say I am feeling better only a few days later. I can easily see my symptom vanishing within weeks!
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5 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2008 :  20:13:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your story. I am having the same thing - sciatica, degenerative disc stuff, etc. It has been acting up today.
Thank you for the reminder to continue writing my heart out. Glad you're so in touch with your feelings.
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3 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2010 :  23:13:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many people believe that rest is best for a painful back, but actually, what your back really needs when itís hurt is exercise. Regular exercise relieves back pain by strengthening and stretching the muscles that support the spine and helps to prevent future injury Studies have shown that yoga is the number one most effective exercise for relieving back pain. However, not all yoga poses relieve back pain, and some can in fact aggravate existing pain, so it is important to know which poses will be most helpful in relieving back pain. It is best to do these exercises under the supervision of a certified yoga instructor, and if you encounter any problems with these poses, you should consult an expert.
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