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Too Good to be True? Understanding why it works... and for whom.

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 3, 2012, 2:55:39 PM PDT
NewsView says:
I happened to have noticed: It seems like the bulk of the glowing reviews are written by men. As many reviewers have pointed out, Dr. Sarno's most famous fan is Howard Stern. Are any notable women among the doctor's big advocates?

I agree that repressed emotion can inflict some serious muscle tension as does high stress in general. At the same time, we're living in a crude, rude, self-absorbed age where just about "anything goes". Therefore, wouldn't it stand to reason that TMS would have been an even greater problem in the Puritan or Victorian/Freudian era more so than our "liberated" modern era? It seems we're living in a time when the pressure to maintain a stoic composure isn't what it once was even by comparison to the 1930s/40s/50s. Gender roles have never been more flexible, etc.

If there is one big change from earlier times in society it is the prevalence of technology & automation. For most people, life doesn't entail the physically-active demands it once did (and we've got the obesity epidemic to prove it). We are far more sedentary, desk and computer-bound than ever. So doesn't it figure that more than anything being inactive may be the "injury" (pain generator) of modern times?

Dr. Sarno shares in common with other healthcare practitioners one salient piece of advice: get moving again. Do not be dominated by fear of pain or further injury. And therein lies the secret, I suspect: Taking up an active life might have more to do with a remission in TMS (stress-related) pain than anything else!

I'm curious: It's not clear from reading the bulk of the positive reviews how long the pain was relieved or to what degree using the "Sarno Solution". For those who respond, I'd like to see some indication of how many women vs. men found the method beneficial.

I have a theory that more men are going to be out of touch with their emotions than women, and if that's the case it would figure that more men will find the Sarno Solution applicable than not. On the other hand, Dr. Sarno includes in his group of TMS suffers those who are "overly conscientious", which could describe a lot of "Women Who Give Too Much" (another book title).

Finally, did everyone who found relief from this book agree that A) they were repressing things, B) were overly conscientious --- e.g. "the need to please" C) were a compulsive/perfectionist "Type A" personalities?

Dr. Sarno describes a very specific set of personality characteristics that he feels are at risk of TMS. For those who have really tried to relate to his methods but do not fall into Dr. Sarno's "personality structure" criteria is there any noticeable or lasting relief to be gained?

Posted on Jul 8, 2012, 6:53:42 PM PDT
InidiJules says:
I am a 30 year old female. I found this book after 12 years of off and on chronic back pain. I have been to several dr.'s who could find nothing wrong. Physical therapist and also a chiropractor who told me that although he could not find anything in a x-ray, that I would never be able to exercise at the level I had before and never be able to do lunges or squats again. I refused to believe this. I found this book while reading one by Dr. Weill, who reccomends it. I fit some of the personality traits, but not all. I am not a perfectionist or a "pleaser". This book gave me my life back. I have had no pain for 2 years.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012, 8:53:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2012, 8:54:41 PM PDT
NewsView says:
Congrats on the recovery. I really do feel, despite my own experience/review, that for those whom this works I absolutely can't knock it! I guess what I'm trying to figure out is for whom it is most successful and why. You bring up an important point that I missed. A lot of people who seemed to find relief have had severe or long-running problems but not necessarily the diagnostic confirmation that anything in particular is injured or amiss in the spine. Perhaps this method works best in situations where the pain is there but doctor's aren't necessarily sure why?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2013, 4:04:54 PM PST
oogles says:
I haven't yet submitted my review for this book, but I do recommend it all the time. My problem was physical - cracked two lower transverse processes L4 and L5. Knee in the back playing touch football. So I had a very real injury. I could handle any situation. I would never blow up - scream, or yell. Very calm, confident guy. In my case, I believe the stress needed a place to go, so my lower back was a great place to hide. Once i discovered it, it moved. Then moved again. The injury was 14 years ago. The TMS showed up about 18 months after the injury. Prior to that, it was healing, and I was back playing hockey. Then the TMS started, and I quit golf, quit hockey, wore a back brace - I was in bad, bad shape. Then I read the book. My back is still not perfect, but totally manageable. I play golf, hockey, etc.. It does not slow me down.
I've seen someone else reclaim their life who also had back problems, after i recommended the book. It was again - pretty much instant - once he got through the book.

Posted on Apr 1, 2014, 5:51:52 AM PDT
West says:
I would like to know what kind of emotions people are repressing that is causing their pain. For me, this seems like a hell of a lot of work because I have many issues that I need to deal with. Rage, anxiety, socially withdrawn, etc. Mental disorders usually aren't healed by yourself. I am pretty skeptical about this because everyone has problems and you can't just magically tell your brain to stop. Can someone give examples of their mental disorders causing their back pain? Thanks.

Posted on Apr 11, 2014, 9:53:06 AM PDT
West, the kinds of emotions people are repressing are those that are too difficult to face. Generally the emotions are related to the people who are closest to you now and in the past. I repressed that my best friend was going to die even though it was so obvious. My mind would not go there. Way too painful for me.
TMS is not a mental disorder. It is a human condition. It is what the mind does for protection. All of us have TMS of one sort or another- migraines, pain, indigestion. You are right, everyone has problems. You don't tell your brain to stop. You first need to understand what is happening in your life that can cause the pain. The pain has no purpose if you are aware of your triggers and issues. Read the book over and over. It took me six weeks to "heal" my back pain of 14 years. It is undoing all of the conventional thinking about back pain that takes time. Unfortunately, doctors and other professionals, who really are trying to do their best for you, have set up a system that just perpetuates the problems. I can only say, that living without back pain is a miracle for me. I have my life back.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2014, 10:44:56 AM PDT
Magicbird says:
Watch the testimonial below:

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Participants:  6
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Jul 3, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 27, 2014

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Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by John E. Sarno (Paperback - February 1, 1991)
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