- Paperback: 193 pages
- Publisher: Warner Books; 1 edition (February 1, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446392308
- ISBN-13: 978-0446392303
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,680 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection Paperback – February 1, 1991
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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
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Here are some KEY tips that helped me to heal:
1. Stop covering up your feelings. In the past, if someone said something offensive towards me, I would cover up the feeling by thinking about it, rationalizing why they said, what they said, the context, blah blah blah but the FEELING is what is important. My mind would say I'm not offended but the truth is I am. FEEL THAT FEELING and tell yourself it's ok to feel this. I am ok.
2. Stop letting your thoughts torture you. In the past I would let my head spin in worry for hours and hours, thinking oh maybe this will happen, but what if that happens. Take charge and say NO to your worry thoughts. It will suck for a while because worry is a habit and it takes time to break so you will be stopping your thoughts A LOT but eventually the worry slows down and dissipates. Channel that inner rage at your thoughts. Tell them to shut up! I wont take this abuse anymore, I deserve to feel good and I choose to feel hopeful.
3. Practice positive thinking and prayer. This will vibrationally help you to heal. Feed yourself POSITIVE ENERGY as much as you can, believe in your healing, no matter what the pain is telling you. Listen to My Morning Jacket, spend time in nature, get off Twitter and Instagram and all that noise, pet your dog, think about great things that have happened to you.
4. Journal. Write about what makes you angry, sad, scared, insecure. Write it out. I would oftentimes feel the repressed rage boiling up to the surface as I wrote. This is exactly what the pain is trying to distract you from, it is great to feel that rage there.
5. Cry, scream, beat the hell out of something. Get those emotions moving. If you have chronic pain, you have stale emotions sitting in you. Lay on your bed and breathe deeply into your belly, make a sound as you exhale, this helps to rouse the old emotions, bringing them to the surface. Keep breathing into it and cry it out, beat your pillow, whatever you're feeling.
6. Don't worry about setbacks. I had so many times where the pain would go down, only to come back with a vengeance. I was afraid I would never heal, but the fact that you can get it moving up and down like that at all shows that things are changing. Keep practicing, hold strong, and eventually the pain starts to lose the fight.
Good luck and god bless.
If you still don't believe me, shoot me a comment on this review and maybe we can chat via email. I used to walk around with a cane due to my pain and now I'm climbing mountains, back to work, sprinting, weight lifting, you name it. Good luck.
During the past 10 (2004 – 2014) years, I was not in constant pain, but every year I had at least 2 -3 episodes. Each episode will last for about 2 months. My physical therapists told me that my core muscles were too weak; that’s why I kept injuring myself if I lift something heavy or slip my feet on ice. I had trouble to walk during the attacks, because the muscles in my hip areas were having spasm which made my hip alignment crooked, one leg will become shorter than another. During each attack, I had to accept the truth that I will have to live with the pain for about 2 months. My physical therapist said that strengthening and stretching my muscles will be my only solution.
Because of the excruciating & debilitating pain, I sometimes had to use crutches. The buttock muscles were having constant spasm and the pain travels from one side to another. I can never forget the worst situation I had before, was that one night I didn’t have my crutches with me so I had to crawl from my bedroom to bathroom at night…
On 12/30/13, I had another attack right before my husband’s eye surgery. I was under a lot of stress because his other health issues plus his eye surgery. During this most recent episode, I went to my PT who already became my friend to receive my usual massage and adjusting treatments for about 1 month and yet the pain still kept traveling to different areas between my hips and legs and the pain just won’t go away.
On 1/23/14, I was so depressed and feeling hopeless. I felt that my life is over because of this never fading problem and it made me not able to function. Out of desperation, I suddenly thought about the book “Healing Back Pain” by Dr. Sarno that I read 10 years ago. I picked it up from my book shelf and read it again from chapter 1 carefully. This time I again see myself on each page of this book like 10 years ago. To help myself even better, I also read a lot of reviews from Amazon about this book; I realized that there are so many people had the same problem as me. A lot of them are even more serious than me and they were cured. I also found out that for some people it does takes longer to be cured 100%. Not everyone was cured 100% instantly. For some people it takes 2 day, some 1 to 2 weeks, or even 1 to 2 months, or ever longer. Be patient and do not doubt!!
Another very important aspect that we should know is sometimes TMS can come back because our brains are so deeply ingrained by the previous diagnosis and experiences. We just need to learn how to deal with it by shifting our attention to our emotion and reading the daily reminder that Dr. Sarno suggested. The pain should go away in a very short period of time. I also watched some video online to help to understand how other people got help by Dr. Sarno’s theory.
This time, 10 years later, the result was amazing! I’m now 100% cured! It took me about 1 week to get 100%!
Here is a record during that amazing 1 week. I’d like to share this with you to hopefully be of any help to you --
The 1st day – I read the book and felt 90% better immediately. I stopped messaging myself and doing any strengthening and stretching exercises that I supposed to do in the past. I can feel that my both legs were stronger and most of the pain was gone, but right buttock still has some mild pain and tightness.
The 2nd day – Read more of the book and some Amazon book reviews. I can walk normally and felt stronger than yesterday. Later on, I felt a short period of pain in my groin area and I immediately shift my focus on my emotion, not my physical, and the pain just disappeared instantly. But the tightness in the right buttock was still there.
The 3rd day – I read more of the book and the Amazon book reviews. I did laundry and cleaning work without any pain but with the same tightness in my right buttock.
The 4th day – I went grocery shopping for 2 hours without any pain and with just the same tightness in the right buttock area. Read more of the book and watched some video regards to Dr. Sarno’s theory.
The 5th day – I shoveled the snow for 2 hours with no pain. I was so proud of myself.
The 6th day – I felt I was 95% better. I can still felt the tightness in my right hip area though. I went to my PT that day for the last time because the insurance company needed an evaluation report done by my PT. During this past 1 week, I purposely didn’t do any strengthening & stretching that I supposed to do and yet I my PT checked on me and said that my hip alignment was perfect. Both legs were in the same length. I told my PT about this book and cancelled all the booked appointments for the following weeks and asked her NOT to loosen me up on my right buttock since I didn’t want the treatment to confuse my brain.
The 7th day – I was 100% better. The last bit of pain and tightness in my right hip area was totally gone.
During the following months, I got 2 or 3 times of very mild soreness here and there, but they didn’t last and never affected my walking ability. All I needed to do was to review Dr. Sarno’s "daily reminders" on page 82 and to resume writing journals every night to focus or "think" psychological and the pain will go away instantly.
However, I have to say, it does take TREMENDOUS courage. When my hips gave me the old signals that I used to think that it was about to go into spasm, I had to ignore it, and walk, bend over, or lift something, and ignore my fears. I had to force myself not to massage the sore muscles, refuse the PT treatments and be patient to let it go away itself. I had to talk to myself and deal with the fear everyday. This was the most difficult aspect of this healing, though. But it is WORTH it.
I feel that I’m gaining back my confidence and ability to live my life. I’m hopeful and very thankful. I’m no longer feeling as a victim but wish my experience can be a blessing to other sufferers. Not only did it cure my pain but it gave me tremendous insights into my own psychology which were incredibly valuable. I realized that I am/was a very anxious person. I constantly live in fear. Especially about my pain, immobility and my husband and my kid’s health conditions; these are probably my biggest worries.
I can only hope that more doctors and health care providers will read this book and accept this theory to help thousands and thousands of people who are suffering from TMS pain and yet are being treated incorrectly.
I ordered several Dr. Sarno’s books to share with people around me. I thank God for Dr. Sarno and would recommend his book and theory to anyone who is in chronic pain. Even if you are not in pain, it’s good to have the knowledge that the connection between body and mind as a prevention and maybe you can help other people by mentioning this book. If you are in chronic pain, please read this book with an open mind. Just like a reader, Steve Rankel, commented in his Amazon book review for this book ”Why do we as humans think everything must be hard? Complexity is not the measure of something's value. Results are.”
I am forever grateful to Dr Sarno. Thank you Dr. Sarno from the bottom of my heart!! You are an amazing doctor. I appreciate you for regaining my health, my life, and I admire you for your honesty and courage to challenge the mainstream medical society. Please keep teaching others how to take advantage of the healing capabilities God gave to all of us.
Dr. Sarno, you truly deserve Nobel Prize!!!