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The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders Hardcover – March 28, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Dr. Sarno brilliantly explores the chasm between the conscious and unconscious minds where psychosomatic ailments originate.” (– Mehmet Oz, M.D., co-author of You: The Owner's Manual)

“I beg anyone seeking a solution to pain to study the amazing and revolutionary approach outlined here.” (– Howard Stern)

About the Author

John E. Sarno, M.D., is a professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. He has been practicing medicine since 1950. He is the acclaimed author of three earlier books on musculoskeletal pain.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060851783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060851781
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Gallagher on August 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
John's Sarno's books have totally changed my life! About 11 years ago I hobbled into a class I was teaching in severe back pain---pain I had experienced frequently over a more than 30 year period.

One of my students came up and said he had a book that would "cure your back pain once and for all." Of course, I dismissed his offer as politely as I could. After all, how in the world could a mere book cure my chronic back pain, when an aggregate of dozens of chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths, and even an orthopedic surgeon had not been able to help?

I quickly forgot about the whole thing. The following week the pesky student showed up with Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain and strongly urged me to read it, again insisting that it would cure my pain. At this point, I decided to take the challenge, read the book, and then prove to the student that the book was a complete farce.

Quite to my amazement, I literally "found myself" described on virtually every page. Applying the principles in that book, I cured my pain about 95% simply by feeling the signs of an incipient bout of acute pain, then trying to release the emotions or psychological resistance which was causing the pain. And in the remaining 5% of acute attacks of severe pain, I simply take time to reflect on and then let go of the underlying conflicting emotions which have caused the pain, since I have not neutralized them in time.

My chronic severe back pains which had persisted for over 30 years, are now gone, except for a very rare acute bout, which lasts for only a very brief period of time. Thanks, Dr. Sarno!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A casual look at Dr. Sarno's books leads some people to dismiss them because they know that their pain is real and are turned off by a psychosomatic diagnosis. It is important to realize, however, that just because your pain or illness is psychosomatic doesn't mean that isn't truly painful or doesn't really exist. The key is to realize that your brain has a relatively simple method for causing chronic pain, specifically the ability to restrict the flow of oxygen to your tissues. This ability can be used to help bury subconscious rage that is the product of daily stress, a traumatic childhood, or a perfectionist mentality.

In today's society, a person simply cannot afford to exhibit raw emotions and, as a result, your brain does whatever is necessary to keep those emotions from surfacing. Sometimes, just the awareness of this paradigm is enough to reduce or eliminate chronic pain. If you have chronic pain that just won't respond to conventional treatment, this book could be the solution that you've been looking for.
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Format: Hardcover
I was having excruciating pain in my right buttock area and an MRI showed a herniated disc. Well of course after phys therapy, steroids, etc., surgery was the option left. Just the word surgery made my pain worse and I was really scared.

I first read Mind Over Back Pain, then in chron order, Dr. Sarno's other books, this one being the latest. I enjoyed how he shared the new things he learned in each book. I then said to myself this could be TMS (tension myositis syndrome--pain caused by oxygen deprivation to muscle or nerve or tendon or ligament due to brain). I decided to see Dr. Sarno and was diagnosed thankfully with TMS. He did look at my MRI and said the herniation was large, but likely not the cause of my pain. I have followed his study program which is outlined well in this book and 2 weeks later the pain is basically gone. I am able to walk or sit with no burning or pain, even drive, which I had not done for weeks.

Dr. Sarno's conviction in what he is doing and saying was thrilling to witness. And unlike other doctors, there is no "it could be . . . " and so "try this . . ." It is "you have TMS", this is why, and here is what to do. I loved hearing that from him.

I highly recommend all his books. I am grateful to Dr. Sarno for writing these books and helping me be pain-free and I've told him so!

I was NOT a skeptic from the beginning, however, as I believe strongly that our mind (emotion) affects our body. If you are open to learning how you can realize and accept things about yourself, your life, and your childhood, read Dr. Sarno's books.

I am thrilled I am pain-free with no surgery!
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Format: Hardcover
John Sarno's book "The Mindbody Prescription" healed almost all the pain in my body. "The Divided Mind" has completed the healing: all my physical pain is gone. I'm not kidding. Ninety percent of my "OCD" symptoms are gone. My skin problems aren't totally gone, but they will be eventually. I'm going to buy another copy of this book, because my wife is reading mine. Also, because if this book should ever go out of print, I want to make sure I have a copy of it. I know that's a little nutty, but this book is THAT important!

I've re-read parts of Sarno's "Mindbody Prescription" many, many times in the three years since I first "accidentally" discovered it at my local library. ( I own two copies).

I know it's ABSOLUTELY INSANE that a mere book can cure

body pain, OCD and skin problems. The cure is also INSANELY simple: all these problems are caused by the genius of our own brains. Unconciously, we simply cannot bear to feel our repressed rage, fear, grief, sorrow, resentment and other emotions according to Sarno. So our brains, unbeknownst to us, invent various problems in our bodies, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, tinnitus, chest pain (the doc said it wasn't my heart) OCD (yes, OCD!) and more to divert our attention from these unacceptable emotions. Our unconcious just can't handle them.

"All" we have to do is totally buy Sarno's explanation, and the pain or other problem goes away.. I admit, it's not easy. It's taken a LOT of work, even though I instinctively agreed with his reasoning.

As one of my therapists said, everybody is a genius, in his or her unconcious mind, and that same mind which diverts our attention from our painful, repressed feelings also puts up an epic struggle against us exposing its insane game.
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