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Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection [Paperback]

John E. Sarno
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (856 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Healing Back Pain promises permanent elimination of back pain without drugs, surgery, or exercise. It should have been titled Understanding TMS Pain, because it discusses one particular cause of back pain--Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)--and isn't really a program for self-treatment, with only five pages of action plan (and many more pages telling why conventional methods don't work). According to John E. Sarno, M.D., TMS is the major cause of pain in the back, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and limbs--and it is caused not by structural abnormalities but by the mind's effort to repress emotions. He's not saying that your pain is all in your head; rather, he's saying that the battle going on in your mind results in a real physical disorder that may affect muscles, nerves, tendons, or ligaments. An injury may have triggered the disorder, but is not the cause of the amount or intensity of the resulting pain. According to Sarno, the mind tricks you into not facing repressed emotion by making you focus on pain in the body. When this realization sinks in ("and it must sink in, for mere intellectual appreciation of the process is not enough"), the trick doesn't work any more, and there's no need for the pain. (Healing Back Pain should not be used for self-diagnosis. Always consult a physician for chronic or acute back pain.) --Joan Price

From Library Journal

This best seller was first published in 1991, but no one ever bid for the audio rights. Now, Sarno will narrate his own work.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"My life before Dr. Sarno was filled with excruciating back and shoulder pain. For twenty years I also suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and thought my back pain was due to my height or some sort of spine problem and that my OCD was a chemical imbalance and only treatable with medication. But all my thoughts were wrong. Imagine the miracle in my life when in a matter of weeks my back pain disappeared. Imagine my shock when I applied Dr. Sarno's principles and never suffered a single symptom again. Quite simply - I owe Dr. Sarno a lot." - Howard Stern

"For fifteen years, my life revolved around my back. I took time off from work, conducted meetings lying on the floor and slept with ice bags. Could this be psychogenic? I had considered Dr. Sarno's ideas preposterous, but ten years ago I was talked into seeing him. I haven't had back problems since. If Dr. Sarno is right a about other psychogenic pain, America is wasting billions of dollars. What a tragedy." - John Stossel, correspondent, 20/20

"John Sanro has changed my life and the lives of all the people to whom I have recommended him. He was healing patients with the mind-body connection long before anyone else I know. He is a true miracle worker." - Ann Bancroft
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

DR. JOHN E. SARNO is Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and an attending physician at the Howard A. Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From AudioFile

As a cause of back pain, tension myositis syndrome (TMS) is much more common than all of the mechanical diagnoses typically offered. The author says TMS is mild oxygen deprivation in certain groups of muscles due to stress, and especially the stress of repressing anger. Rather than limiting movement to avoid pain, the author recommends we move normally to reclaim the harmony between mind and body that is needed for healing. Though Sarno's ideas make some sense, his blustery assertiveness is often more prominent than his reasoning. He also attributes a wide range of ailments to TMS and says little about how blocked emotions cause this syndrome. Still, this is a reasonably good lesson for anyone frustrated by the typical medical approaches to back pain. T.W. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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