The Thank You Dr. Sarno Book

an image of Dr. Sarno with the Thank You book

This project began in 2012 with creating a website and a physical scrapbook of over 60 individual Thank You letters to give to Dr. Sarno on his retirement.

The above photo is from when he was presented the book in 2013. Dr. Sarno’s New York Times obituary opens with the photo and closes with the following two paragraphs:

On his living room table, he kept a thick scrapbook given to him by members of TMS Wiki, a support forum. In its pages, both patients and strangers wrote about experiencing years of pain before stumbling across Dr. Sarno’s writings; some posted recent photos of themselves running marathons and climbing mountains.

“Since 1982 I’ve used your books to help almost one hundred friends and acquaintances,” wrote one former pain sufferer. “In a just world you’d have the Nobel Prize for medicine.”

Dr. John Sarno, 93, Dies; Best-Selling Author Tied Pain to Anxieties.” New York Times, June 23, 2017.

The presentation of the book is also chronicled in the inspiring 2017 documentary, All The Rage (Saved By Sarno). You can watch the documentary here.

Moshe’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno-

I am writing this letter in the sincerest gratitude for your books and what reading them has done for me. My story is a familiar one: Three years ago, facing stressful full time work, graduate school at night at NYU, and a pending divorce, I began having unrelenting back pain. My back muscles were extremely tight, and the pain was chronic. Every day, the first thing I would feel in the morning and the last thing I would feel at night was burning pain in my back. I began to live my life in fear and depression, not sure why my body was failing me on top of all the other stresses that were going on at the time. I felt like a crippled old man, even though I was just 30 years old.

Once I graduated with my MBA in 2005, I decided to get to the bottom of the pain once and for all. I went to doctors who gave me ineffective pills and patches, each reading an MRI of my back with wildly different opinions as to what was “wrong” with me. I went to physical therapists who told me I had an arthritic back, and that I should stay in bed for 20 hours a day – despite the fact that I am an intermediate student of the Martial Arts and avid motorcyclist! I went to psychologists who told me that whatever was transpiring in my head had nothing to do with my body. I tried acupuncture, massage, water therapy, and more. All had temporary, if any, positive effects. A year had gone by, and I was in worse pain than ever!

Finally, I came upon your books. Despite how obvious it seemed to me all along, it was such a vindication to read that the mind and body are completely interrelated medically, a fact that is at the core of the Martial Arts I am studying. I read your books with much interest and decided to stop looking outside for relief. With nothing to lose, it was time to turn inward.

First, I ceased any physical activity I was performing for the sole purpose of healing my back. The idea was to stop the desperate shotgun approach, and to focus with laser accuracy solely on my mind. Next, using the meditation techniques I learned in martial arts, I dedicated 30 minutes per day to sitting quietly and clearing my mind while paying strict attention to my breathing. With the breathing calm, the mind immediately followed suit, and soon I could just listen. I realized just how much pent up frustration and anger I had within me, and I began to think deeply about those issues. It was extremely difficult to get to the core of it all. Like anything worthwhile, it took perseverance over a long period of time! Finally, after about 4 months of diligent daily practice, I began to notice a change for the better. The endless days of severe pain were giving way to moderate burning, and then to total relief for 1-2 days of each week. Encouraged, I kept on the same path and soon, relief became the rule instead of the exception.

It should be noted that there were setbacks – not every day was better than the previous one. Some days, it felt like I was getting nowhere. And it wasn’t easy to choose between horrific physical pain or brooding for hours over depressing issues, either. But I just kept on with it no matter what, confident that this was right for me.

People who witnessed my progress, physically and mentally, were dubious that all of this could be accomplished without exercise and medications, as if the meditation was somehow easy work. Far from it! But the results speak for themselves. The eventual success of this system proves beyond any shadow of doubt that the mind and the body are one, and any attempt to separate the effects of one on the other is misguided at best. Importantly, it also proves that we have the capacity to heal ourselves of debilitating chronic pain, if we are willing to go through the effort to do so.

Today, I am finally living pain-free, and I have you to thank for it, Dr. Sarno. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you advocate and what you’ve written!

Sincerely,

Moshe K L

Pamela J’s Thank You

I stood waiting impatiently for my turn to swing from the rope and drop down into the cool water below.  The swimming hole hidden in the Catskill Mountains was a delicious diversion on a warm summer day for those of us lucky enough to have discovered it.   

When my turn came, I grabbed the rope, and swung out far over the water.

My timing must have been off,  because instead of dropping in the center of the hole, I landed on the steep sides of the canyon where the water was only a few feet deep.  

I gasped, momentarily paralyzed by a sharp stabbing pain in my spine.  Another diver helped me out of the water and ran to the nearest house to call an ambulance; there were no cell phones back in 1977.  There were also no roads to our remote swimming hole, and I remember the EMTs carrying me down the steep mountain path on a stretcher.

I was lucky (and young); my compression fracture healed within a few months and the accident receded into the past.  But ten years later, newly married and living in New York, my pain mysteriously resurfaced.  Eventually, it became so intense that I had to write on my back lying on a heating pad.

“It’s in the exact place where I broke my back,” I said to my husband, John.  “The old injury must be acting up.”

John knew of a celebrity chiropractor renowned for treating Broadway dancers.  Surely he would know about back pain. 

Dr. Pressman (aptly named) manipulated my back and employed ultrasound and massage.  When these failed to help, he recommended limiting physical activity.

 “Most importantly,” he cautioned, “do not under any circumstances do the breaststroke.” ( I swam regularly at the Midtown YMCA.)  “The breaststroke puts extra strain on the lower back.”

The breaststroke was the most pleasurable and relaxing swimming stroke, and I couldn’t resist sneaking in a few laps now and then. But each time I did, I emerged from the pool crippled with pain.  

And then things got worse.  My back pain got so bad I could barely walk, which was a serious problem living in a fifth-floor walkup.  Dr. Pressman prescribed a tight-fitting corset similar to the one I had worn after my back accident.  Now, not only was my physical activity circumscribed, but my very breath was constricted. 

I was terrified; my world seemed to be shrinking. 

Until he died at the age of 93, Dr. John E. Sarno revolutionized the field of psychosomatic disorders.

About this time a friend showed me an article she’d read in New York Magazine  by Tony Schwartz, who described a year spent in inexorable back pain.  He had visited many doctors and alternative practitioners and tried every conceivable cure but nothing relieved his pain – until he consulted Dr. John Sarno, a professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine.  

Without fully understanding what magic Dr. Sarno evoked, I hurried out and bought his book, Mind Over Back Pain.  I was barely half-way through when something that did seem magical, or at least miraculous, happened.

All trace of my back pain completely vanished.

“I can’t believe it!” I told anyone who would listen, “Dr. Sarno’s book cured my back pain!”

Just to be thorough, I followed up with a visit to the doctor himself.  

When I met him, Dr. Sarno appeared friendly and business-like in an immaculate white lab coat and tie, a stethoscope around his neck.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with your back,” he said, after examining my X-rays.”

“But what about the old injury?” I asked.

“It’s healed, and in any case it’s not causing you any pain.”

Dr. Sarno educated his patients to understand that most chronic pain is an attempt to distract from unconscious painful emotions, such as rage or grief.  He believed the physical symptoms resulted from a muscle spasm which sets in motion a self-perpetuating cycle of fear and pain.  Dr. Sarno named this condition “tension myositis syndrome,” (TMS), also known  as “mind-body syndrome.”  

Dr. Sarno’s is a knowledge cure; you do not have to understand the unconscious emotions to relieve the symptoms, except in rare cases where the repressed emotional pain is intolerable.  In that case therapy may be a necessary adjunct.

It is understandable that we develop physical symptoms to mask feelings that are socially or psychologically unacceptable.  No one wants to reply a casual “How are you?” with “I’m fine except for the rage over being invisible to my parents,” or  “I’m great except for the grief over my father’s death.”  It’s easier to tell others (and yourself) “My bad knee (hip, shoulder, neck) is acting up again.”  Indeed, one of the unconscious mind’s favorite tricks is to create pain at an old injury site (as with my back pain) in an attempt to convince you this symptom is not brain-generated.  

In his last book, The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mind-body Disorders, Dr. Sarno wrote about his successful treatment of thousands of patients not only for back pain but other conditions, such fibromyalgia, heartburn, joint pain, and chronic fatigue.  TMS also manifests psychologically as phobia, depression, or anxiety.  Paradoxically, by creating symptoms, the unconscious mind is trying to protect you from a deluge of powerful repressed emotions.  

Other physicians and practitioners, too, are discovering the psychological basis of somatic illness. In her book Is It All in Your Head?: True Stories of Imaginary Illness, British neurologist, Suzanne O’Sullivan, M.D. states that approximately a third of her patients experience psychosomatic seizures.  The Pain Psychology Clinic in California has over twenty practitioners, while Curable: The App for Chronic Pain allows you to work at your own pace, at home.  Filmmaker Michal Galinsky’s movie, All the Rage, Saved by Sarno, (2016), documents Dr. Sarno’s lifelong crusade against the billion-dollar chronic pain epidemic.  The film chronicles Dr. Sarno’s successful treatment of prominent figures, including John Stossel, Larry David, and Howard Stern.

Of course it’s important be examined by your doctor to rule out serious illness or rare structural conditions that can cause pain.  (Dr. Sarno later declined to treat my husband when he suffered from an internal bleed that destroyed the nerves of his leg; knowledge was not going to resolve that.)

Although my back pain vanished after consulting Dr. Sarno, my unconscious mind did not appreciate being called out.  As soon as I accepted that the cause of my pain was TMS-related, I created a new symptom to take its place.  Dr. Sarno called this the symptom imperative.  People who exhibit the typical TMS temperament – driven, ambitious, perfectionistic – are especially susceptible. 

“OK guys, she’s on to us with the back pain,“ I imagined my unconscious mind saying.  “Let’s give her knee pain or irritable bowel or painful bladder or anything to distract her from repressed emotions and convince her this is not psychosomatic.”  

As much as I want to spread the good news about Dr. Sarno, I am hesitant to tell people in chronic pain about TMS. 

“How can you say it’s all in my head?” they argue.  “I’m not crazy! The pain is real.”

“I saw my x-rays!  My doctor says I have a herniated disc” (or a bone spur or arthritis).

As Dr. Sarno discovered, these physical conditions do not necessarily result in pain.  In The Divided Mind, he describes a patient whose orthopedist recommended surgery after the patient’s x-ray showed substantial degeneration of his left hip.  After this recommendation, his left hip pain increased . . . When he told me that his right hip felt fine, I asked him to humor me by having both of his hips ex-rayed.  On x-ray both hips had the same “degenerative” change, yet his right hip did not hurt!”

 As I was leaving Dr. Sarno’s office that day in back 1987, I stopped and turned around. “Dr. Sarno,” I asked, “can I do the breaststroke?”

“Not only can you do the breaststroke,” Dr. Sarno said, raising a finger in the air for emphasis, “if you want to get better, you must do the breaststroke.” 

 After that I did lap after lap of the breaststroke, kicking as hard as I could and never experienced a tinge of back pain. Although I still experience the symptom imperative to some extent, Dr. Sarno’s discoveries have dramatically decreased the intensity and duration of these episodes, and given me a rich and enduring appreciation for the power of the mind.

 As hundreds of thousands of grateful patients have said before me, thank you, Dr. Sarno.

Note: This essay was originally published in Folks at Pillpack, which is no longer in print.  All right to this piece have reverted to me.

Pamela J is an author of over thirty children’s books, and an essayist whose work has appeared in The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, The NY Daily News, Writer’s Digest, The Independent, and The Writer.  Pamela has also published humor in The Daily Drunk, Erma Bombeck, Brevity, The Satirist, and others.

Dave M’s Thank You

I had severe lower back pain. It took six nurses to get me out the car when I arrived the the hospital for surgery, the seat soaked in perspiration from the pain. Soon after the discectomy it returned. I couldn’t walk fast and spent a large part of my twenties bedridden.

I picked up a book, The Naked Mind, about living happily without alcohol, and in it Annie Grace talks about how anger fueled all her pain and mentions Dr. Sarno. Five weeks after reading Healing Back Pain, I had made a full recovery. My spine felt like that of a ten year old’s, the time before the pain.

I’m now in my 40’s and I do marathons, Ironmans, swims, and barefoot runs for fun… whatever I want, essentially.  

A good twenty people I have lent the book to have made a complete recovery too. 

Bobby’s Thank You

Thanks to Dr Sarno, I continue to live with my back pain-free, symptom-free, restriction-free, posture-unrestricted, medication-free, gadget-free. To stay healthy I try to eat healthily, follow the orthomolecular guidelines for supplementation, see my MaxLiving chiropractor on a regular schedule, and exercise for an hour every other morning with an ‘outdoor all-weather sunrise exercise group’.

I continue to tell my story of being freed from back pain to anyone who might benefit. I always ask them the question that really got my attention about the likelihood of my condition being TMS: is your pain the worst in the wee hours of the morning? If so, then you should explore the possibility that your pain comes from TMS.

Thank You Dr. Sarno!
— Bobby K.

At the outdoor all-weather sunrise exercise group in 31 degree weather. Holding a solid plank on the roller wheel, on one foot. In Jan 2020 — four months before turning age 65.

The following is my first thank-you LETTER to Dr. Sarno — from 2003:

November 6, 2003
Dr. John E. Sarno
Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
400 East 34th St
New York, NY 10016

Dear Dr. Sarno:

Thank you so much for all of the materials that you have published about TMS, and for writing to tell me of a doctor in my area who is knowledgeable about TMS.  I have an appointment in a few weeks to see Dr. Andrea Segal at GWU Center for Integrative Medicine, and hope to get a diagnosis of my condition from her.  I’m also visiting tomorrow with the Integrative Medicine clinic at my local Kaiser Permanente HMO to see what they can offer.

I don’t have much of a story to tell … other than it was much like you described in books and video. The first time around, about 4 years ago, I’d not heard of TMS, and went the conventional route — with all the attendant restrictions and fear that continue after the pain goes away. 

Then I had an episode about a year ago, awful pain, delays getting a new MRI.  Found one of your books, acquired and studied more information sources about TMS, and was pain-free and fear-free in no time.  Just a few weeks ago, I had a rather painful episode, and got back into the materials to study what to do in such a case, and again am rapidly better.  I am so fortunate and grateful that you developed the TMS theory, published your materials, and that I found those materials — and even more grateful that I am well, and have so little pain or fear. Praise the Lord!

The whole world owes you a very large thanks.  It is my hope that your methods will soon be widely accepted all across the country and the world.  If there’s anything that I can do to contribute to furthering that goal, I’d be interested in participating.  (I have recently returned a research survey form to Dr. Schechter.)

I wish you all the best in all your endeavors, and in your whole life.

Sincerely,
Bobby K. 

Rita’s Thank You

I’m one of the millions of people whose life was transformed by Dr. Sarno’s pioneering work in medicine and mind body healing. To say that I’m grateful and indebted to Dr. Sarno would an understatement. What I wouldn’t have given to have thanked him in person and given him a huge hug! I was suffering with CRPS, which had affected both feet and knees and rendered me bedridden with full body nerve pain and burning, but the day I read “Healing Back Pain” was the day I knew I was going to recover. I’m also thankful to Howard Stern, who recognized Dr. Sarno’s greatness and humanity, enough to dedicate a book to him. Dr Sarno was a maverick physician and a great human being. His impact on the world has been immeasurable and his legacy will continue to endure and grow.

I know you are smiling down on my little thank you note Dr. Sarno and I hope to spread your message as much as I can to anyone willing to listen. Sending you lots of love and hugs in heaven!

Rita

Cullen’s Thank You

Thank you Dr. Sarno and NYT for introducing him to me. I started to have chronic body pain approximately around Jan 2019 that began with my right leg around the outside of my knee. It was so difficult that I had to completely adjust how I crouched when at work (I cook for a living). The pain persisted until covid-19, I was laid off and it went away briefly…to come back as back pain! The pain radiated everywhere with pain in my feet sometimes. I tried physical therapy, massage therapy, all sorts of books with limited results. The only relief I had was when I briefly visited home for the holidays or when I was very sore from intense exercise. I finally found relief after reading his book and showing my brain WHO controls WHO. No more repressing all these ugly feelings anymore, past and present! I wish Dr. Sarno was alive today so I could thank him personally.

Tim’s Thank You

What’s greater than the gift of health? I went from being a person who felt like there was something wrong with their body … to a healthy, normal person (whatever normal is).

The mind-body treatment pioneered by Dr. John Sarno and carried on by others has transformed my life.

I’ve recovered from:

  • Sciatica that resulted in back/hip/leg pain,
  • Tennis elbow (RSI) and
  • Chronic fatigue – which left me with dizziness and cold/flu-like symptoms.

In addition to the three health challenges listed above, there have been other conditions that are so diminished now they are no longer issues in my life. These include things like acid reflux, chronic bronchitis, insomnia, and IBS. My full story is here:
https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/recovery-from-sciatica-hip-back-and-leg-pain-tennis-elbow-chronic-fatigue-and-much-more.25302/ 

If you are new and want to know how to get started, I’d suggest going to the TMS Wiki (www.tmswiki.org) and doing some research there. It contains a wealth of information. I’d recommend finding some books or a program you connect with and applying them in a systematic method. Some methodologies that I can personally vouch for were developed by Alan Gordon, LCSW, Dr. Howard Schubiner, and of course the grandfather of it all – Dr. John Sarno!

Tamara’s Thank You

In 2016, I was at the end of my rope. I nearly lost the ability to use my hands, due  to CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and dystonia.

I experienced severe neuropathic pain in hands, arms and shoulders. My both hands were swollen, bright red and extremely sensitive to cold and touch. I had frequent episodes of Raynaud’s Syndrome. I had to sleep seated in the upright position with both arms hanging down, to avoid numbness, tingling and extreme burning pain in arms from shoulders to tips of the fingers. My fingers curled in from spasms in the muscles and tendons (dystonia) to the point that I could not open up my hand, write, use knives, forks or other small objects.  Even taking a shower became a torture.

Symptoms were spreading to my feet and legs and I started experiencing muscular tension and pain in toes, feet, ankles and knees. Walking became difficult.

Disability was a matter of time, which only exacerbated my desperation and fear.

To make the matter worse, I was initially misdiagnosed by my doctors and was offered no treatment for my condition; instead, they wanted me to undergo procedures for the carpal tunnel syndrome: painkillers, steroid injections and surgery. I was told that my EMG (electromyography) showed irreversible nerve damage.

My friend told me about “Mindbody Prescription”. From the first pages I understood that I was a typical TMS personality. Thanks to the brief mentioning of CRPS (aka RSD) in the book as a possible TMS condition, I decided to try Dr. Sarno’s approach, because it was logical and made perfect sense.

Since then, I fully recovered and resumed normal life, without painkillers, steroids or surgeries. My hands, arms and legs are pain-free and fully functional. I completed several half-marathons, continue practicing yoga, and feel stronger than prior to CRPS. Not only I completely recovered physically, but Dr. Sarno’s books prompted me to re-examine my life and become more aware and resilient emotionally.

I owe my life and well-being to Dr. Sarno, and I am now helping other CRPS patients to heal using his method.

Thank you, Dr. Sarno, you are my hero! Your courage to go against the flow, your determination to ask questions and seek answers changed so many lives!

Forever grateful,

Tamara

Ted’s Thank You

I had severe pain in both legs from the ages of 12 to 20. I was diagnosed with everything under the sun, underwent treatments for all, and never get better. Chondromalacia, adolescent femoral patella syndrome, severely pronated feet, childhood arthritis, and of course fibromyalgia- a diagnosis defined as “pain symptoms of unknown origin.” I was in crippling pain my entire childhood. Eventually a family member heard Howard Stern talking about Dr Sarno and approached me about the idea. It had to be the answer. And of course, it was. I read the book, met with Dr Sarno, and within a year, I was as pain free like I was 11 again. I suffered my entire childhood because of a faulty medical system that didn’t give Dr Sarno the spotlight he deserved. I feel extremely lucky to be part of the minority that crossed paths with Dr Sarno’s dedicated work, and received the simple and effective treatment millions of other sufferers may never see.

Thank you, Dr Sarno. I know you never liked hearing it, but I owe my life to you. I refuse to not say it, its the truest comment I am able to make. I heard Howard Stern call you his hero this week. I guess he’s a little better with words than I am. When he said it I realized thats exactly how I feel.

You will never be forgotten.

Ted H

Sherri’s Thank You

I do thank Dr. Sarno everyday, but mostly I feel immense gratitude for his amazing intuition about human beings, and their pain. Dr. Sarno clearly perceived what most doctors, regardless of how long they practice, will never understand about themselves or their patients.

As experienced by many people; my low-back pain came out of the blue one day, and stayed it with me for twenty years. Similar to many people in my situation, I thought there was something terribly wrong with me, as I was struck with intense pain that I had never experienced ever. I searched for help from a dozen different doctors, and practitioners over the years, and I would find some relief for a while, but I was never completely pain-free, and never cured. Eventually, I’d have another devastating episode, seek treatment, and then be able to function again for a while.

After two decades, I listened to a story about Dr. Sarno on the radio, and I immediately knew this was my problem. I quickly read as many of his books that I could find, and then set upon creating a method to cure my pain. It took me a little more than a month to be completely pain-free. At first I feared it wouldn’t last, but I’m pleased to report that three years later I have no low-back pain. I can sometimes feel my muscles tightening during stressful situations, but I know I can always quickly resolve it in a few moments. So many thanks to Dr. Sarno, and I am hopeful that his legacy will continue to bring relief to millions worldwide for generations to come.

Jim’s Thank You, The Magic of Dr. Sarno

I was suffering from severe back pain for months. More than once I was unable to get out of a chair because my back was “locked.” It was almost as if my brain wasn’t sending signals to my legs. I nearly collapsed while walking on more than one occasion. The pain got so bad that I thought I would have to give up my passion of performing magic. The equipment is extremely heavy and requires a lots of bending and twisting for an hour to set up the show. I remember a phone conversation with my father about the fear of needing to stop performing, and I vividly remember tears rolling down my face as I told him.

I had tried pain relievers, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractors, steroid injections, ….

In 2014, I found a YouTube video of Howard Stern interviewing a magician. Near the beginning, Howard got side-tracked and started talking about Dr. Sarno. Intrigued, I looked at the reviews of his books on Amazon and was shocked at the countless success stories. Long story short, within 4-6 months, I was pain free! I have remained pain-free to this day. In fact, 3 days ago, I ran in a 5K race and finished in 23:20. (44th place out of 447 runners — not bad for a 42-year-old). In 2013, even completing a 5K would have seemed impossible to me.

I recommended one of his books to my girlfriend’s father. He had been in such pain that he couldn’t sit in a car for more than 45 minutes, so his ability to travel was limited for many, many years. After reading Dr. Sarno’s book, he experienced success as quickly as I did. He actually began lifting weights again, and this summer he will be driving from Pennsylvania to Boston to see his daughter again!

This picture shows me happily performing a handcuff escape routine in my show. Dr. Sarno is the real magician here as he made the pain for me, and thousands of others, disappear!

His work will live forever. After I was cured, the doctor who had tried the pain injections asked what happened. I told her about Dr. Sarno, and I am happy to say that she asked me to jot down his name so she could read some of his work. It’s exciting to think that there will eventually be a shift, even in the medical field, in the mindset of pain treatment, and it’s all thanks to Dr. Sarno.

He was a saint and a savior. I love you, Dr. Sarno! Thank you!

Magical wishes,

Jim Munsey

Drew’s Thank You

I am forever in debt to the work Dr. Sarno contributed to the world. During hard times I developed pain in my right knee and hip. This pain kept me from my love of running. After seeing multiple doctors and countless hours of physical therapy my tenacious attitude towards solving things (which ironically helps fuel the RAGE) led me to his work. Finding his books and the community of those who suffer from TMS have led me to getting back to what I love.

In the 2 years since discovering I have TMS and working on applying the therapeutic principles I have been able to complete FIVE half marathons. And just this past May completed my first FULL marathon!

This amazing photo would not exist without the work of the good doctor.

Walter’s Thank You

Thanks Dr. Sarno, I can do many things, that I could not do any longer.

After big exertions I can lie down also on a hard surface to recover and enjoy.

Even after lying for half an hour, I can get up by myself without any pain and without help.

Walter Z
Austria

Luise’s Thank You

Hearing about Dr. Sarno at 90 came about through a friend. I had some neck discomfort and she loaned me his book and video.

What transpired was the realization of how many insidious and serious TMS Equivalents were part of my life experience. For the last four months, I have done the Daily Study Plan every morning and watched his video every evening. Without going into my issues, I want you to know that my life has changed radically. ‘Thinking psychological’ sometimes erases and at other times mitigates my experience to the point that each day is a wonderful adventure, not a trial or at best, an endurance test.

My concept is that Dr. Sarno discovered, medically, that the world isn’t flat. It came to him as a surprise and a mystery, not from research…and his life was about figuring out what happened to those under his care. By facing ridicule and staying true to his Hippocratic Oath…he wrote of his experience and a few of us, worldwide, were willing to get that we didn’t know…and therefore could learn.

Gratitude abounds…

Gerry’s Thank You

He changed my life and how I look at and deal with pain, infection. I have the power to heal myself and I do it time and again. I have given his book and name to sooooo many people.

Amy’s Thank You

I found you serendipitously after approximately less than a year of back pain that seemed like so much more. My story is not as long as some of the others here, thankfully. The pain came at a stressful time in my life, though I had been prone to back spasms since my teenage years. As a physical therapist, I had been trained to see the body as a particularly complicated machine of sorts and to believe that pain occurs due to purely mechanical reasons. Deep down, I think I always knew that there was something more going on. Reading Healing Back Pain opened my eyes to a new, truer reality. I couldn’t rip myself away from it and finished all three of your books in a week. Like thousands of others have said, I saw myself on every page. My pain has left me and my view of the human condition has been forever changed. It is one of my life’s goals to bring your ideas into my own work and profession for a better, more holistic way of viewing people and their health. I am so thankful for your work, writings and perseverance despite rejection by the mainstream medical community. You helped me bring joy back into my life and change how I practice my career, I am forever grateful! Rest in peace, Dr. Sarno.

Rob’s Thank You

Thank you Dr Sarno.

Your books transformed my life and I will be forever grateful.

It really was a paradigm shift to change the way we process pain from a structural to an emotional cause. For me now pain can be used as a guide to how I feel emotionally and now I will journal how I am feeling.

It is a sad day that you have passed but your legacy will live on. Your past patients and readers of your books will continue to share your knowledge and insight.

Eventually people will realise that TMS is very real and that the mind and body are one.

Thank you once again to a great man.

You will be missed.

Rob B

Stef’s Thank You

Three years ago I was immobilized by back pain for 4 months. I was unable to walk, work, sleep, or do anything without excruciating pain. I spent a lot of money on chiropractors, acupuncture, anti inflammatory medicine, doctors visits to pain management clinics, surgeons, etc. I was on different kinds of medication and one of them began affecting my short term memory. I was scheduled for a spinal steroid injection to relieve my pain and as I was searching for side effects and risks of the procedure, I came across a video on YouTube that talked about Dr. Sarno’s book Healing Back Pain. I spent about 30 minutes listening and 1 hour reading about Dr. Sarno’s Mindbody approach to pain and it all made complete sense! None of the doctors I had visited had asked me about my emotional state of mind and I was going through a lot at that time! After a couple of hours of reading I was able to get up from bed and drive myself to the library to check out the book. Mind you that I had not left the house for the past 4 months! I read the book in one sitting and started applying everything. I was cured in less than 3 weeks and I have not had back pain since 2014. Dr. Sarno has touched many lives and helped many hopeless cases without using harmful and expensive medications or tests. His book costs $15 and it cures you for good! The mainstream medical community will not acknowledge his successful treatment because it is not profitable. I hope that each one of us whose life was touched by Dr. Sarno can help at least one more person! THANK YOU DR. SARNO!

Stef S

Richard’s Thank You

Thank you Dr. Sarno for encouraging me to join the thousands of anecdotally insignificant refugees from the mainstream medical establishment who have been cured after years of chronic pain distress and ineffective conventional treatment. Hopefully some day it will be like: yeah, we believed in that Dr. Pasteur back when they were still using leeches. May you RIP (as, too, Sen. Harkin, who tried to spread your knowledge for the benefit of the millions still suffering). Thanks to you I can now move heavy boulders with a back, and a neck, and a shoulder, and a leg, and a shin, and a foot, and an elbow, and a wrist that have all at least once been a shifting site for my mind’s painful play of emotions. We, thanks to our personal healing experiences, will continue to push on after you are gone in sharing your material. It may at times be Sisyphean (Hey, John Stossel, any luck with that Harvard MD brother of yours?), but at least it will no longer hurt.

richard13

Dan’s Thank You

I wanted to write to pay my respects to a man who changed my life in more ways than one. Before learning of Dr. Sarno and his writing, I endured eight years of crippling back pain. The pain not only dominated my life and was excruciating, but it also left me feeling hopeless, alone, and completely disillusioned with the medical field. Dr. Sarno’s commitment to science, combined with his tremendous empathy and lack of ego, allowed him to put the puzzle pieces together that were right in front of us. As a result, I was able to resolve this baffling and confounding torture within weeks. I cannot thank him enough for that, but he also gave me three other gifts in opening this understanding about my mind, my body, and life itself: 1) Through the process of recovery, I was able to gain a degree of confidence in myself that I did not know possible; 2) He helped unlock a passion in me that gave me a purpose beyond anything I had expected to have in life — to heal others from TMS and spread the word of his revolutionary ideas; and 3) With these things backing me (pun partially intended), I was able to escape a toxic relationship that could have destroyed my belief in myself and will to stay true to me. Because of these things, Dr. Sarno is probably the single biggest influence in my life, other than my mom. He will always be a great, great hero of mine, and I am devoting my life to showing the world just how right he was and how important it is to accept and embrace his convictions. Dr. Sarno, you gave more love to the world than most people ever can dream of and it has made the world a far better place. Now, we continue your work. Thank you from the depths of my heart, mind, and soul.

John’s Thank You

Dr Sarno changed my life in so many ways. When I first discovered “Healing Back pain” I was a 27 year old wreck. I had always been super fit and healthy but after getting married at 22 and starting a pressure packed job I soon began having significant back pain. The doctors told me I had degenerative disk disease, and thatI needed to stop physical activity and to be on strong meds. An idiot Chiropractor told me I had a 70 year old spine. My life became a mess, my marriage was difficult and I was sinking fast. I found Dr Sarno, saw myself on every page of his books and went to see him in NY.  Dr Sarno told me I was completely normal and healthy. I told him if the other diagnoses and he said “That’s nonsense.”  My life began to change right then and there.

Over the years TMS has hit me in other places like my feet, my upper back, and my knees. I’ve always fought it off (sometimes by re-reading Dr. Sarno, Steve Ozanich and others and reminding myself of the basics of how to manage this disorder. I live a physically active life now.

I rode my road bike over 4,000 miles last year, I’ve hiked all over the Rockies and have tried to live life to its fullest. I’m 58 now and I can’t imagine how I would have ended up if I would have only believed my Doctors. I really don’t think I’d even still be around.

Thank you Dr. Sarno, RIP.

Nick’s Thank You

Dr Sarno,

No words are sufficient to express the gratitude I have for the impact you’ve had on my life. There are zero words. Zero.

The brilliance of your insight is matched perhaps only by the courage you exhibited in sharing that insight, despite all the criticism you must have known you would face.

I don’t know that I would’ve had such courage. But I know I’m a beneficiary of yours. And for that I am eternally grateful.

You will be forever remembered.

Libby’s Thank You

My God bless Dr. Sarno! After seven years of desperately trying to solve my roving neck and back pain, pain that was so intense and varying that I was becoming depressed and disillusioned, my husband purchased Dr. Sarno’s book Healing Back Pain. As soon as I started reading it, I felt like Dr. Sarno was speaking directly to me. Dr. Sarno changed my life. Because of Dr. Sarno, I have a clear understanding of my pain and my brain’s role in my pain. I replaced my weekly appointments with deep breathing, affirmations and correct thinking. I’ve shared Dr. Sarno’s message with anyone who will listen. I love Dr. Sarno and could never thank him enough. I am pain free. Dr. Sarno’s legacy will last forever. God bless you, Dr. Sarno.

Angie’s Thank You

i am sad to hear of Dr Sarno passing. He was a very special person you changed the lives of thousands of people including me ,may he rest in peace. I am so thankful to him He changed my life. I read all his books and I learned through him to understand my pain and the connection between the mind and body. I have no doubt he was correct and in time the medical profession will honor him. For years I suffered with chronic pain . The doctors could only prescribe medication and eventual surgery but I am now retired and I’m doing fine, no medication and I haven’t yet had any surgery. Thank You Dr Sarno

Sarah’s Thank You

I was very sad to hear of Dr Sarno’s passing, but love your idea of building a very tangible tribute to him, so please find attached a photo from my pedometer app which shows me having walked in excess of 31,000 steps in one day. I had lots of foot pain for a long time, and nothing showed up on any x-rays or scans. I run my own dog-walking business so was in a very difficult situation, but it’s only by discovering TMS that I’ve managed to make such (literal) strides. So, I owe my business, as well as my health, to Dr Sarno’s pioneering work.

Best wishes
Sarah

Josh H’s Thank You

If it wasn’t for a scribble barely legible on a handout given to me by my Orthopedist about Herniated discs, which read “Healing Back Pain by John Sarno”, who knows where I would be today. Never did I think that looking up those words and consequently buying and reading that book would ultimately save what felt like a doomed life. While not fully healed yet, I feel that I now have the knowledge and power to complete my journey.

I am forever grateful to Dr. Sarno. He will forever be revered in my mind. I tear up just writing this, knowing what the words of a man I never met did for myself and my family.

While gone from this Earth, for those who have heard and taken his words to heart, he will forever live on.

Josh H.

Nancy’s Thank You

As a past shoulder pain sufferer who visited him and took his seminar 25 years ago. Dr. Sarno saved me from “frozen shoulder”. The knowledge is so important, and I use it anytime I get a transient pain for moments, or days. It’s mild oxygen deprivation… what am I angry about? Keep moving, and off I go.. with courage and the knowledge that its harmless. I’ve shared his books with many, some believe it and get better…others really need the ” diagnosis” that there is structurally something wrong with them and that is causing the pain.

Either way, this “good-est” is grateful.

Rest In Peace, Dr. Sarno, your work here made a difference, and you are appreciated by all those who “get it”.

Nancy

Billy’s Thank You

As someone who suffered from various forms of chronic pain (mostly mid back but also eye pain and shoulder pain) for over 6 years I can say for certain that I would not have the life I do today without your influence Dr. Sarno. I have always been a hard worker, an achiever- pushing myself to meet or exceed goals and expectations. My pain came on suddenly one night while I was sleeping and I spent the next 5+ years searching for a way out of it through traditional medicine and even some alternative medicine. We are all trained by our current health care system- dominated by drug and medical device companies to get on pills or have surgery.  I bounced around from one doctor to another and to dozens of specialists in pursuit of ridding the pain.  A rheumatologist actually diagnosed me with an incurable disease called ankylosing spondylitis. I would have to take drugs the rest of my life and my pain would eventually kill me.  Somewhere deep inside of me I didn’t really believe that.  I believed that I could get well again but I just didn’t know how.

It was my wife who saved me.  She bought ‘Healing Back Pain’ for me.  I was willing to try anything so I started reading that book. I accepted and believed Dr. Sarno’s premise that pain is an unconsciously triggered response in people who are perfectionists, are overly critical of themselves and also in people who are always worried about pleasing others. The light bulb went on. I was thrown a rope just at the time I was nearly over my head in the river of pain. The pain had taken over my life. It consumed my every waking thought. Agony, misery, helplessness, resentment were how I would describe my feelings… I prayed for God to help me across the raging river.  I needed to get to the other side.

I have read all of Dr. Sarno’s books and a couple of them two or three times. I wasn’t healed immediately or even in a few weeks like so many others- (lucky suckers Lol), and that caused me to question this concept and even go back to other specialists for a 2nd or 3rd time hoping that they had overlooked something. I wanted to believe but I wasn’t healing fast enough so I stopped believing for a while. The pain raged on.  I had to take a long path with the TMS approach.  I was led to the TMS Wiki site and from there to having conversations with Steve Ozanich and from there to meeting with Dr. Schecter to get a confirmed TMS diagnosis and from there to psychotherapy with Alex Bloom and from there to a totally new perception of myself and my life. Each step of that journey gave me more confidence and allowed me to take the next step. Each person was very instrumental in getting me across that river.  I am now pain free and have come to realize that Dr. Sarno was far ahead of his time. Someday he will be rightly credited for his life saving work in the field of mind body medicine and pain treatment. Thousands and thousands have been cured by him. Millions more would be if they would only accept this new way of thinking about physical conditions that he taught for decades.

I am so very grateful to you Dr. Sarno. I am also grateful to your family who allowed you the time and support to do this great work and write your books. I hope you can see from high in the heavens how many people you saved from a life of pain and suffering. Those of us who have been in that river know how dark and scary it is. It sweeps us away. But I realized that the only way to get to the other side was to let go of the side I was holding onto (surgery, stretching, braces, physical cures). It’s all about faith. You taught us that we are OK and we will be fine just fine.

Kasie’s Thank You

My heart hurts at hearing the passing of such a wonderful and innovative man who has brought so much happiness and healing in my life.

In 2013 I was sitting in a chair and leaning to the left while I spoke with a friend for several minutes. When I got up to leave, my back went into a horrible spasm and I couldn’t walk for a week which turned into a relentless 9 months of daily excruciating sciatic pain shooting down to my foot. On one particularly difficult day, I was laying on the floor of my living room crying out of sheer frustration and something told me to go to Amazon and buy the top rated book on back pain. To my amazing luck Dr. Sarno’s book healing back pain came up and the rest is history.

It took another year and half for the TMS concepts to really sink in for me and not fear the pain. My career in the Army ended and some other big life changes occurred through this process but it forced me to live a new and better way of life.

Over the past two weeks I’ve been doing yoga a couple of nights per week, walking, running and doing water aerobics. Having my identity back as a physically active and healthy person feels so good!

In the enclosed picture, I’m hiking Mt. Mitchell which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River in North Carolina. Words can’t describe the beautiful and life changing gift that I received after reading that book. I know that Dr. Sarno’s legacy will live on through the work of many others who’s lives he has touched.

Yvette’s Thank You

This photo reminds of my recovery from chronic back pain and herniated disc more than anything. After months of physical therapy, behavior counseling for anxiety, journaling and following Dr. Sarno’s advice, I was on the mend and able to take my first hike into Grand Teton National Park. I was elated. His book was the cornerstone of my recovery. I refer to it often and am so grateful for the knowledge and power it gave me. Thank you. Your work will live on.

Phil’s Thank You

Thank you for your books which I used to cure my neck pain and ADHD of 20 years.

I’m a clinical psychologist who works with injured workers and I have recommended your book to many of my patients since reading them. Many have found them helpful.

This is a shot of me hiking with my daughter on my back. Something that would have probably caused me a lot of pain prior to reading your books. Dr. Sarno, you are a giant among men and I am forever grateful for your help.

Best,
Phil

Randie’s Thank You

No words can describe how I feel towards this
Wonderful man. So I won’t try. Just suffice it to say
He will be sorely missed by us all.
God speed Dr. Sarno!
We love you and are ever so grateful
Randie Sullivan

Lindy’s Thank You

I had sometimes crippling pain in my coccyx for three years and often found it difficult to walk, bend and lay down comfortably.  I had acupuncture, acupressure, saw spinal surgeons, had painful cortisone shots into my tailbone, went to pain clinics and saw many other doctors, to no avail.  One day I was flipping channels and saw a young woman who spoke about how she had used a scooter for years due to back pain but then saw Dr. Sarno and her pain was gone.  I went to the store that day and bought “Healing Back Pain” and read it while on a trip to St. Lucia for a week.  By the time I left St. Lucia my coccyx pain was reduced by at least 50% and I didn’t need the special seat pillow anymore.  When I got home I called Dr. Sarno for an appointment and had to wait six months to see him.  During that time I read his other books and continued to improve and also used his suggestions when I had pain in other places in my body.  I saw him on Valentine’s Day, was diagnosed with TMS, stayed for two lectures and continued to follow his advice and was pain free.  Since that time twenty years ago I have re-read Dr. Sarno’s books and bought them for many friends who were experiencing pain.  A few years ago I developed sciatica after going through a very difficult situation that left me with PTSD and suffered with it for over a year.  I found that Dr. Sarno was no longer practicing so I looked for a therapist that was trained in TMS and luckily found a wonderful woman not too far from my home.  Within a few months the sciatica was completely gone and the PTSD had subsided.

I cannot imagine where I would be now without Dr. Sarno.  You are an angel!

Nancy’s Thank You

I am so thankful for Dr. Sarno.  I had had severe back pain incidents , carpel tunnel syndrome, but then had the worst Neck pain in my life.  It was so debilitating that I couldn’t get out of bed.  I literally couldn’t sit up for more than a few minutes.  My Dr. prescribed muscle relaxers and Accupuncture which gave me  very little relief and only temporarily.  The pain would last for about a week and then I would get an attack 1-2 months later.  After about the 3rd attack of Neck pain, someone recommended that I read Dr. Sarno’ s book.  I must have read them at least 3 times, and started to get relief.  I couldn’t believe it!  I read all of his books and went to see his protégés in NYC and have not had severe pain in 3 years.  When ever I feel a slight tinge, I remind myself that nothing is really wrong with my neck.  Thank you Dr. Sarno for changing my life.

Jos’s Thank You

Thank you Sarno for helping me to heal from low back pain at the age of 25. Now I can do what I love again – play basketball outside. I have my own blog in The Netherlands, spreading the word about TMS. Thank you

Julie D’s Thank You

I collapsed in the street in 2012 after a prolonged period of stress. My upper back had gone into spasm causing chest pain and this morphed into relentless shoulder, upper/lower back, neck and arm pain. That was the beginning of my journey. For the next three years, I was in almost constant pain in various parts of my body. My life stopped really. I could not work and I just lived a miserable existence. My world got smaller and smaller.

I saw Doctor after Doctor and had diagnosis after diagnosis. Finally, I was told I had fibromyalgia and an MRI scan showed problems with discs in my neck. I was told by a rather uninterested doctor that I would need to learn to live with this.

I had dark days, very dark days.

I started to fight back and found by chance YouTube videos highlighting Dr Sarno’s work and that was the beginning of my recovery. I watched, I read, I watched some more. Within months I had become completely pain free. I got my life back!

I have occasional pain but now I always know what’s behind it and I can move on pretty quickly.

My greatest joy now is simply being able to walk miles with my dog. Nothing athletic but something so important to me.

It is a sad day today hearing of Dr Sarno’s passing. After going through some very difficult times in the past month and a close bereavement, I am dealing with a mini flareup but I am well, I am healthy and I know I can deal with this. I no longer live a life of fear. I am currently listening to “Healing Back Pain” on audiobook so have spent my week with Dr Sarno really so this news is particularly poignant just now.

Dr Sarno was an amazing man in my opinion. He was willing to go against the crowd and do what he thought was right. It is to Dr Sarno that I owe my returning health. When other doctors around me simply turned to a mainstream diagnosis and left me to it, Dr Sarno’s information changed everything.

I speak of his work to other people who struggle with pain and though some are willing to listen, most are not and that must be a frustration he felt constantly.

God bless you Dr Sarno. I will be forever grateful for all your efforts, wisdom and compassion.

Julie Davis (and Daisy)
Kent, UK

Paul S’s Thank You

I was crippled by TMS and was not able to work for over 6-months when a friend referred me to Dr. Sarno’s book. After reading his books and watching his interviews online I was pain free within a few weeks.

Thanks you Dr. Sarno for your incredible work. I am deeply grateful. You will be missed.

With lots of love and gratitude.

Paul Smith

PS. The picture is of me rowing. I am the person stoking the boat on the far left. I never thought I would be able to row again until I came across Dr. Sarno’s work. : )

Quoth John Sarno, “Nevermore”

Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary,
Over years of chronic back pain too imposing to ignore,
Growing noticeably leery with each pain physician’s theory,
Suddenly I found a book that I had never seen before.
Just a book and nothing more.

And I thought it rather stellar that this New York Times bestseller
Was entitled “Healing Back Pain,” as my spine was rather sore,
So with little hesitation, and a hint of fascination,
I flipped through the first few pages just to learn a little more.
Just a chapter, nothing more…

Laying out a thorough series of distinct and striking theories,
Dr. Sarno drew an inference that struck me to my core-
That my pain manifestation isn’t caused by herniation,
But instead by an unconscious intrapsychic civil war.
“It’s the brain and nothing more.”

And this novel explanation for my lumbar aggravation
Was the freeing revelation I had long been searching for,
Through the spinal decompressions and the acupressure sessions
And the countless years of therapy spent strengthening my core-
Finally this was something more.

As I learned about repression and my unconscious aggression,
And the bevy of emotions that my psyche had in store,
Searching for a clear suggestion, reading on, I asked the question,
“What, amidst my mental processes, should be I be looking for?”
Quoth John Sarno, “Just explore.”

So I then began to journal, digging up every internal
Source of stress and rage and tension that I’d ever felt before,
And with each successive word I felt progressively unburdened,
Still I worried, “What if my back symptoms flare up even more?”
Quoth John Sarno, “Just ignore.”

And my back pain, ever grating, started fading, started fading,
As I dared to dream about the pain-free life I had in store,
And I asked with strained elation and a tinge of trepidation,
“Will this torment ever haunt me in the way it did before?”
Quoth John Sarno, “Nevermore.”

Alan Gordon, LCSW

Marilyn’s Thank You

Thanks to Dr. Sarno my five plus years of pain ended.  I was facing invasive back surgery due to the findings from my MRI.   I was distraught about the surgery, the recovery and the possibility that the surgery wouldn’t work.  As a last ditch effort, I read Healing Back Pain after a friend recommended it.  That was the beginning of my recovery. Once I realized that I had TMS I wanted a professional opinion, just to confirm my self-diagnosis.  Luckily, I found Dr. Stracks and he guided me on the remainder of my journey of healing.  I’m a different person and I thank Dr. Sarno for his years of work, dedication, persistence, guidance and teaching—  all of which have clearly made a difference in the lives of thousands of people!  I pay it back by telling people about my journey and encourage them to read Dr. Sarno’s books.

My condolences to Dr. Sarno’s family.

Marilyn

Christine’s Thank You

Thank you Dr. Sarno for writing your books to bring awareness that there is an different approach to healing chronic pain.  Your books gave people access to you who could not travel to NYC to have an in person appointment.  I hope that All the Rage is a huge success so people can still learn about you and your methods even though you are gone.  You deserve so much credit for all that you have done and all the people your have helped.

Jack M’s Thank You

Dr. Sarno,

Around this time last year, I went through 6 months of the darkest days of my life. I suffered from lower left back pain that refused to go away. After trying every recommendation and every doctor, I was basically out of options. I quit my job, cut out most of my friends and spent most of my days laying with my back flat on the floor next to my dog. At that point, I had tried an orthopedic, acupuncturists, massage therapists and a neurosurgeon while also taking an X-Ray and MRI along the way. I would estimate that I spent around $5,000 on all of this. This does not include the amount of money that I could have been making if I were going to work every day. After all of this, I felt just as bad (if not worse) than I did when my back originally began bothering me.

Suddenly after leaving a massage therapy appointment on a beautiful July summer morning, a friends grandfather called me. I was told “You are going to think I am crazy, but you should consider reading this book.” I was desperate and happy to try anything at that point. About 3 hours later, I would guess at around 2:00 I picked up “Healing Back Pain” at the library. By the time I had dinner that same day, I would say I was at about a 75% recovery. Within about 5 days I was back at 100%. It was literally a miracle.

I have friends and family who I try to convince to read the book because I feel strongly that they are suffering from TMS. It is amazing how they refuse to accept or believe it. Dr. Sarno mentions these people in his book saying that many people will not buy into his theory. I am so thankful that I did.

It is hard to think about those 6 months and consider how I basically resorted my life to nothing. No work, no social life and no exercise. However, after reading some of these stories I consider myself grateful that I only suffered for 6 months. Many of these people suffered for decades.

You are a genius, Dr. Sarno and I plan to watch your documentary this week. I am going to do everything I can to spread your theory and help cure people who suffer from TMS.

RIP Dr. Sarno.

Sincerely,
Jack M

Editor’s note: I followed up to ask for a photo, and Jack replied with the following:

This is a response from your previous email.

While suffering from TMS, I was unable to even think about exercising. Then I picked up Dr. Sarno’s book. Within several days I was cured from my chronic back pain. At this point, I had not worked out for about a full year. This photo was taken only 3 months after I picked up “Healing Back Pain” and was cured from TMS. I was in the best shape of my life. Thank you Dr Sarno for giving me the chance to exercise and get in the “best shape of my life!”

Steve C’s Thank You

I am very sorry to learn of the passing of Dr. John Sarno. Although I never has the privilege of meeting him, his dedication and work had a wonderfully positive impact on my life.

From 1985 until 2000 I suffered chronic back, shoulder, knee and hip pain as well as other TMS manifestations. Having exhausted all traditional ways of trying to treat the pain I really was very discouraged. Fortunately I heard about Dr. Sarno and I started my journey to elimination of pain without physical therapy, medication or surgery.

At first I was skeptical of what Dr. Sarno’s premises, but with no relief in sight I contacted Dr. Sarno’s office to try to set up an appointment. I found out that at that time Dr. Sarno was not taking new patients outside the New York area, but he took the time to write me a personal letter referring me to physicians in the United States who were familiar with TMS. The doctor in Chicago he referred me to in 2000 ran lab tests on me and felt that I suffered from TMS. After meeting with the doctor, and rereading Dr. Sarno’s books, I began to understand the source of my pain and eliminated almost all of my pain within a couple of months.

I am grateful for Dr. Sarno’s wisdom, and the fact that as busy as he was that he took the time to personally respond to me.

May his memory be blessed and his work continue!

Steve C

Dave H’s Thank You

This note was one I had been meaning to write for years and I am sorry I did not write it to Dr. Sarno before he passed but hope that he is looking down and reading this and what I am sure will be many other letters.

I am forever grateful to Dr. Sarno for his work, which for me touched me when I accidentally stumbled upon his name and a very brief description of his theory while paging through a Back Remedies for Dummies book. That was 13 years ago when my wife had taken me to a Relax Your Back store to see if we could find a comfortable chair for me to sit in at my law office. The chairs of course were not helpful and because I am a reader I gravitated to a small book shelf and started leading through the Back Remedies for Dummies book. By some strange cosmic force I found the one page that said something along the lines of: there’s a Dr. at NYU who believes that back pain is caused by unconscious emotions and that people who are high achievers and always striving to do good for others have pain caused by their unconscious mind. I instantly recognized that person and was intrigued and purchased Healing Back Pain.

I had a hard time at first accepting that I had an unconscious mind that could cause pain but I was struggling and gave the theory a try and it worked. But not for long. About six months later I woke up with excruciating pain. My instant reaction was that Dr. Sarno’s theory was no good. But after a week of trying physical therapy that was not helping I went back to the book and went all in. It took about three months but I have been pain free ever since. It is truly amazing.

Years later I started having arm pain and found Dr. Stracks in Chicago. I told him I thought maybe this was unconscious rage and he agreed and this pain went away in a week. Since meeting Dr. Stracks I have at his request sometimes talked with some of his patients and have given presentations to his patients. I also talk to anyone who will listen about Dr. Sarno and his treatment. I am aware of at least eight people I have introduced to Dr. Sarno’s theory that have rid themselves of pain after reading the book. They thank me but they need to thank Dr. Sarno.

I am forever grateful to Dr. Sarno for showing me how to heal myself, a remarkable gift.

My deepest sympathy to his wife, family and friends.

Dave Holmes
Oak Park, Illinois

Al’s Thank You

Thank you so much! You saved my sanity and life. I run 10 k 6 times a week and 2 half marathons so far.. For 3 months I couldn’t walk to my front door.

I could write 10 pages. THANK YOU is not enough, but it’s ALL I can say.
You are an angel.

GOD bless you!

Daniel’s Thank You

I wish I would have sent this before, knowing that maybe someday you could have read it. Thank you for saving my life Dr. Sarno. I specifically say saving because were it not for your work I’m not quite sure I could have continued living with the amount of debilitation and pain I was in everyday. I spent a good portion of my 20’s bedridden, using walkers and canes, seeing doctors/specialists and in agony from my widespread pain. At the time doctors suspected I may have had Lou Gehrig’s disease or Guillain Barre Syndrome, but after all that suffering I now know it was just TMS.

Nowadays I’m back to working, hiking, weightlifting, backpacking, running, going to school etc. I have my life back and I have you to thank for that. I’ve also met my wonderful loving girlfriend through the “world of TMS,” and am so happy we have found each other. I’ve included a picture of me with my two buddies (two of whom had supported me during some of my struggles) on the top of Mt. Langley, 14,000+ ft. up!

Dr. Sarno, your knowledge and information will reach the masses in time and you will be known as one of the greatest in history, I have no doubt about that. My loved ones are so happy to have their son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin back and I’ll remember you for the rest of my life for having brought me back to life.

Hoping you’ll read this message from above 🙂

May you rest in peace, Dr. Sarno.

Prem’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno.

You have given my life back. One day I thought I would meet you in person to give a hug. You are really a genius. And you changed the world of treating pain. I am really blessed to know about and read your book. I believe you are a god. RIP Dr. Sarno.

You will be ever living in our hearts….!