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In this New York Times bestseller, Dr. Sarno teaches you how to identify stress and other psychological factors that cause back pain and demonstrates how to heal yourself--without drugs, surgery or exercise. Find out: Why self-motivated and successful people are prone to Tension Myoneural Syndrome TMS How anxiety and repressed anger trigger muscle spasmsHow people condition themselves to accept back pain as inevitableWith case histories and the results of in-depth mind-body research, Dr.

Sarno reveals how you can recognize the emotional roots of your TMS and sever the connections between mental and physical pain A must read for everyone who is willing to understand the real nature of back pain and other ailments. It was extremely helpful to me Thank you. I only wish I could personally thank this doctor for his true study towards this awful and painful condition.

Thank you Dr. Sarno for making my life better and educating me so that I can see the truth and root cause of my back pain which was not ever discussed by any other Doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist and its for cripes sake! I was desperate to know more about how the mind affects the body.

I had suffered from anxiety and depression. My severe back pain kept me from being able to exercise regularly because I was dealing with excruciating pain. I do have a large herniated disc and the doctors expected that I would be in severe pain. I was at to very bottom of the barrel, praying and asking God to help me with this pain. I some how found it on iBooks divine intervention and couldn't stop reading it.

And on and on. Every conventional diagnosis is dismissed as not causing symptoms in his experience. He again dismisses inflammation as important in back pain. He cites only the definition of acute inflammation "an autonomic reaction to disease or injury" p and denies that TMS is either of those things, completely disregarding all the possible causes of chronic inflammation that could relate to back pain.

Praise for Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection

The Traditional Conventional Treatment This was another frustrating chapter to read. First he says "therapeutic eclectism is a sign of diagnostic incompetence" p meaning that because there are many different treatment options for back pain surgery, medication, manipulation, acupuncture, massage, etc , and because one size doesn't fit all, obviously these treatments must all be wrong.

He doesn't acknowledge that different treatments work for different people for a multitude of reasons: different anatomy, different physiology, different medical and injury histories, different approaches to health care, different expectations, etc. He describes the placebo response as one that only works for a short time. And then he lists many different conventional treatment options and says they only work because of the placebo effect.

Muscle strengthening: "placebo effect" p Manipulation: "On occasion, dramatic relief of pain follows a manipulation, suggesting that the person is having a good placebo response" p He completely misrepresents acupuncture, describing it as similar to a nerve block p which might treat pain but not the cause.

He also misrepresents meditation, relaxation and biofeedback, saying there is "considerable fuzziness about this subject", despite the entire premise of his syndrome is the presence of stressors.

For the third time he dismisses inflammation as playing a role in chronic back pain. Mind and Body Well, this book continues to be frustrating to read. Two of the chapter subheadings use the word "current" despite, as I previously mentioned, that the information is 25 years old. But the laugh out loud moment is found here. After dismissing every conventional treatment as a placebo effect, on page he has the audacity to say "The best evidence of the validity of this concept is the fact that patients are able to stop the process simply by learning about it Many people have reported resolution of their back pain syndromes after reading my first book, making it quite clear that they were "cured" by the acquired information.

This could not be a placebo. Secondly, I don't even know how to describe how ridiculous it is to believe that being cured of a syndrome through acquisition of information couldn't possibly be a placebo!? In the next edition, I would like to see the research significantly updated. We've come a long way since first ed and second ed in our understanding of the mind-body connection and this outdated book should not be taking any credit for those advances. I would like the racism on page 68 removed. He cites a doctor who said in that Africans don't get back pain because they don't "seem to generate anxiety as we do.

Entirely logical. In fact, I think the whole premise of the book that the pain is all in our head, is a dangerous concept that has historically been used to disadvantage people. In conclusion: Since starting this book, the back pain that has been bothering me for the past year has much improved.

Reader Reviews

View 1 comment. I'm guessing people will have mixed feelings about this, but I felt this book helped me. It does drag on as many people have noted. It does show it's age in some of its comments Page 68 is TMS worldwide, and basically assuming the entire African continent does not experience this issue or stress comes to mind - yeah, s early 90s clueless much?

A better statement might have been about work environment culture rather than just lumping continents and ethnic groups. This book isn't just about b I'm guessing people will have mixed feelings about this, but I felt this book helped me. This book isn't just about back pain, even though that's the main focus. It discussed other physical symptoms and ailments that can be alleviated when a person looks at the emotional and other stress factors hidden in their lives; and how we're not always even aware we're hiding such things from ourselves.

When I looked at the full list of issues I thought to myself - I've experienced half of these in my life; and often, when one gets better, another picks up. Having put the mental blinders on to barrel through high school and college as my father fought cancer which is just one thing I was keeping at bay that I've continued to have to heal from , I can see quite well now how people suppress things just to get by day to day. But at some point, you're burning yourself up - whether emotional exhaustion or things finding a physical outlet instead.


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Many people will lash out and say "but I have a real medical problem! The problem arises when you acknowledge one and deny the other - neither can be ignored or denied. If you have an issue, see a medical doctor - it may not be all in your mind.

Healing Back Pain Dr. John Sarno - My Story

But don't rule out what's going on in your mind. They both must be attended to. May 06, Mike rated it it was ok. First I will say that if this book worked for you then, more power to you! I am a big believer in his premise that tension can result in physical pain manifesting itself in various forms.

Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection - AbeBooks - John E. Sarno:

With that said, the other pages of this book consisted of Dr. Sarno complaining that most people don't believe him and the medical profession discounts his discoveries. His proof consists of stories from his patients and how he cured them and leaves out anything based on facts. Instead, he uses phrases like First I will say that if this book worked for you then, more power to you!

Instead, he uses phrases like "it is my belief" and "I think that". So, great premise but poorly written gets you 2 stars. Sep 10, Gaijinmama rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction. The idea that deeply repressed anger can cause physical tension, resulting in not only back pain but digestive and sinus problems and headaches However, I agree with the other reviewers here who have said the book is too vague and repetitive.

Doc, so yes, I am tense, stressed out, and anxious and my back hurts like H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks, but what specifically am I supposed to do about it? That said, it is nice to see a medical professional actually doing resea The idea that deeply repressed anger can cause physical tension, resulting in not only back pain but digestive and sinus problems and headaches That said, it is nice to see a medical professional actually doing research into the mind-body connection.

This is an area that needs to be explored and de-stigmatized. However again I guess I'll just have to reach for the ibuprofen again and keep doing my stretches. View all 4 comments. Jun 09, Laurel Marlantes rated it it was amazing. No book has changed my life more. I'm amazed and so thankful I was told to read this book. Anyone who has suffered from ANY difficult to diagnosis condition should read this. After 3 years of struggle with numerous doctors and procedures and tests and who knows how much in medical bills, I literally have had zero back pain since reading this book and adopting Dr.

Sarnos beliefs.

Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection

I know I sound like I drank the Koolaid, but its true!! It's weird, and crazy, I know. But its also so awesome and the No book has changed my life more. But its also so awesome and there's no denying the effect it's had. I feel like the first time in years, I'm getting my life back - no pun intended ; Jan 21, Gregg Bell rated it it was amazing. View 2 comments. Jun 21, Jane rated it it was amazing Shelves: self-help , health , psychology , nonfiction , mental-health.

All the stars!! If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would. If a book can make your pain go away, that is all that matters. First of all, if your pain goes away from this book, are you really concerned about the writing? Second, the reason he is repetitive is because in order to make the pain go away, you ne All the stars!! Second, the reason he is repetitive is because in order to make the pain go away, you need to reach the deep part of your brain that is trying to distract you with this pain, so you may need to hear the message several times.

I have had head pain for a couple of years. I already knew about John Sarno and actually read one of his other books so I was already strongly suspicious that this pain was psychosomatic.


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In the past couple of months I started to DO more things to make the pain go away, such as getting massages, doing asanas, going to a reiki healer and using hot compresses. Unsurprisingly now that I read the book all of these things would temporarily make the pain better but ultimately led to more intense pain. My brain was trying to get me to be hyper focused on my pain and every time I did something that involved attention to the pain it knew it was working so it gave me more pain.

It is very similar to OCD in this way. Reading the book helped me to break the loop. Just really understanding what was happening made this brain trick less powerful. I then came across a YouTube video of a John Sarno meditation.