The following letter was translated from Korean to English using Google Translate.
Hello Dr. John E. Sarno.
A reader who read the book of Dr. in Korea, I am patient. (The Divided Mind)
I have worked as a herbalist in South Korea, is the father of two children.
Low back pain with no cause began a year and a half ago, I was terribly sore from a year ago.
At first, been diagnosed with a herniated disc, I was treated with enthusiasm.
However, I also want to be a good thing, it gets worse again.
One day, in the exercise, thoracic pain site to the beginning, the pain had come in the whole spine. Since then, even painful knee when walking, even painful ankle, one day, neck and shoulder, wrist, elbow now also hurt.
I tried a thorough Diagnosis at the hospital, but as a result of diagnosis, I have not seen serious.
Rather than be treated through several hospitals, rather than looking at the big improved, and the disappointment of many, Depressed mood, anxiety, I now suffer from fear.
Because off work, I was not sorry to family around.
All that because I wanted not to, body and mind to become gradually worse, economy of household was also worse.
To put it simply, I have to not find a breakthrough.
Recently, a friend came to visit me. He introduced me to read a book to me. Read a book, if I started walking, it has been reduced a lot about pain surprised.
In the context, empathy will go largely to the “reservoir of rage”, which is the main content.
I have only rehabilitation exercise now, but I can see the hope that some good. I’m getting more and more love.
April 2, 2014, is the day of the turning point of my life.
I am very grateful. In Korea, I hope health and happiness of Dr.
Husband of the sister and sister live in Baltimore, they are very grateful to the Dr.
Now, My son went to play in Baltimore together grandma, grandpa.
On my behalf, 5-year-old son is a heart to thank the Dr.
If I go to America, I want to you to say hello to the teacher by all means.
I had a knee problem and had tried everything. Doctors named it chondromalacia patella. Surgery was the only option. Then I came across the name of Dr. Sarno and read his book. I applied his techniques and it’s amazing, I am completely free of knee pain. When I got my knees MRI scanned there was no evidence of it, but the pain was there. After applying Dr. Sarno’s techniques it was completely gone.
I am writing this so that other sufferers out there can use his technique and become pain free. It’s truly sad that pain is inevitable but the suffering is optional.
Thanks with all my heart
Dear Dr. Sarno:
There are not enough words to thank you for saving me from the chronic pain that ruled my life for 10 years. I suffered from chronic back, shoulder and knee pain. It was baffling because it all started in my mid-twenties when I was basically at the peak of good health. I was an extremely active person all my life up to that point. In fact, I was training for a half-marathon when it all began.
After seeing countless doctors and physical therapists, and receiving countless (wrong) diagnoses over the years, I was at my wit’s end. My active lifestyle was relegated to walking on the treadmill and riding the stationary bike. My chair at work felt like a torture chamber for my back every day. And, I was also no longer allowed to wear my coveted high heels. My doctor finally prescribed knee surgery, but never actually saw anything on the MRIs or X-rays for my knee (or my back or shoulder) that would indicate I needed surgery. I am now convinced it was completely unnecessary.
A very smart person introduced me to your book, and I will forever be grateful. I devoured it and saw myself on every page and I took steps to get to the bottom of what was causing my pain. That was nearly two years ago. Since then, I have returned to my active lifestyle. Yoga, Pilates, jogging, Spin, Zumba. You name it. I am no longer afraid of physical activity. The doctors can no longer tell me that I’ll “hurt myself” if I do any of these activities or that I am “not built” to do them. I also have amassed a closet full of high heels that I proudly wear on a daily basis. And I no longer consider my chair at work to be a torture chamber. I have nearly forgotten what it felt like to be in constant pain all day, every day. It’s almost hard for me to believe that it’s truly gone.
I played on a softball team last summer for the first time in almost a decade. I can’t explain how invigorating it was to be on the field once again after so many years on the sidelines. I was scared to sprint around the bases at first. But with one crack of the bat, adrenaline kicked in and I took off like a shot – like the old Danielle. And I haven’t looked back since.
Whenever the pain acts up, I am able to turn my attention to the emotional factors that are contributing to it. Your book has taught me a lot about myself and made me recognize the stressful factors in my life that were contributing to the pain. Now I will be in tune with what my body is trying to tell me for the rest of my life. I can’t thank you enough for your books and all that I have learned from them. Thank you for giving me my active lifestyle – and my life – back!
Dear Dr Sarno
I am indebted to you for rescuing me from myself. I had a minor injury 6 years ago that turned into a nightmare of chronic back pain for 2 years. Eventually it got so bad I couldn’t sit which meant I had to stop work and spend most of my time lying on the floor. I shut down my life completely because of this pain.
When I read your book The Mindbody Prescription, I recognised myself on every page. It then only took me a couple of months to fully rid myself of pain by using your techniques and, at the same time, working with a therapist who helped me to unload the emotional baggage I was carrying around.
This year, after pushing myself too hard in a job I was struggling to keep up with, I again find my body has something to say. Again it has stopped working. My doctor says it is ‘adrenal fatigue’. I am suspicious that this may be the new ulcers/RSI/whiplash/back pain equivalent as I see so many books are being published about it right now. So I am applying the same techniques I learnt from your books and, having now finally given myself permission to leave this job, the symptoms are going and I am feeling much clearer.
During my back pain episode and now through this fatigue episode, I found that creative writing helped me to work through and understand what was really going on; how I had gotten into this and how I would get out. I have recently set up a blog, http://painfatigueandme.wordpress.com/about/, where I have uploaded my pain journey writing in the hopes that other people who are suffering unnecessarily might recognise themselves in my story and find their way to your books.
With love and thanks,
Dear Dr. Sarno,
In 2003 I began to experience chronic back pain that was so severe that it kept me from sleeping at night.
I immediately contacted my physician, who did a full work-up, with MRIs, CT scan, bone scan (because the pain radiated from my sacrum area), and physical therapy. He supplemented this treatment with (at different times) opioid painkillers, neurontin, Lyrica, and NSAIDs.
The workups showed two herniated discs but nothing else that was exceptional. The PT temporarily relieved my pain, but it returned all too soon. Chiropractic had a similar result, as did cranio-sacral therapy. I increased my daily exercise regime and added stretching. Still no relief from the chronic night-time pain.
I continued to take an exploratory and proactive approach to my chronic pain. I began to attend yoga classes and received acupuncture. I underwent a full series of Rolfing sessions as well as a six-month long course of weekly shiatsu massage. All of these ‘alternative’ treatments were wonderful because of the relationships that formed around them, and they were very emotionally revealing, but they didn’t vanquish my back pain. I stretched, I learned to release trigger points, I read all the books I could find about back pain.
Still no lasting relief from the chronic pain.
My PC doc and my ortho specialist arrived at the conclusion that surgery would be the next step, but they warned me that it is often ineffective at relieving chronic pain.
One day, I found *Healing Back Pain* at the library. I checked it out, went home, and read it in one session. I realized almost immediately that this approach applied to me and my situation.
I entered treatment with a psychologist and began to practice gentle stretching exercises (Chinese qi gong). Within a few days my pain was drastically reduced, and within two months it had entirely gone away. I no longer had to take painkillers or lose sleep. Best of all, my emotional life became more satisfying and well-integrated. I became a happier and (I hope) better adjusted person because of this learning experience.
I continue to be free of back pain ten years later. Every once in a while, when I feel a twinge in my back (or a stomach upset or a skin problem) I turn my attention to factors in my emotional life, and that does the trick. I’ve helped several friends and relatives arrive at the same resolution for their issues, including orthopedic pain, gastrointestinal issues and fibromyalgia.
I believe that many people find secondary gain in TMS pain and are unwilling to confront the psychological issues that cause it. I only hope that one day, physicians and other health-care practitioners embrace your approach more readily. It has the potential to save them, their patients, and the health-care system from the disastrous effects of chronic TMS pain.
I have been suffering from recurrent episodes of chronic back pain over the last 10 years.
The intensity of the pain has been ranging from moderate to intense in relation with my life style and working activities. Over the year the problem turned into a regular 2 weeks pain over the space of a month. I have seen numerous doctors and was diagnosed with all sort of conditions. Shorter leg, spine disorder, L4 stuck to L5…
I have been very fortunate to come across your book “Healing Back Pain” which has had a very strong and immediate impact on the understanding of my underlying problem.
Within a matter of weeks I have rediscovered full physical activities without any restraints or compromise.
I am very happy to enjoy again running and my new life in charge of my body.
And for this I cannot be thankful enough.
Dear Dr Sarno,
It was back in 2007 when my then boyfriend (now husband) and I, in a rather stressful professional moment, started having pain in our hands.
The pain increased for both of us day after day, reaching our necks and backs. Yet we didn´t dare to complain, we were young, we were in love, we had friends…How dare we say anything was wrong?
I still remember the day when we really accidentally learnt about your work. It was the first day I had to leave work early out of pain, my husband had been at home for over a month by then. We thought we had googled everything, we thought that that was it, our life as we imagined it was over, we were destined to perish with our RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)…
And then we stumbled upon a random, rather basic website of graduate students who were “saved” by you. We thought of giving it a go, Funnily enough, we were booked to go to the annual RSI conference in London the day after, where we met some people who were volunteering presenting your work. We looked for them (they weren´t given any visibility) and had a long chat. Possibly the most important chat of our lives.
Well, after that chat something clicked in my mind and I was pain free within hours. My husband took a bit longer, but within 14 days he was back working more than full-time (he had to make up for the time lost). Since then we have started a mind-body journey. We know a lot more about ourselves, whenever we have some pain or a cold that takes a bit too long to go away we ask ourselves where we are mentally and emotionally.
I haven´t stopped reading literature related to the mind-body connection since then, and my curiosity cannot be satiated. I am young enough to think that I can change career and if I do, that would probably be my area of work.
I credit you for our health and I admire you for your intellectual honesty, courage and humanity to challenge mainstream knowledge.
I am so glad I found this website, I hope this message reaches you.
Thank you very much from both of us.
I suffered constant, debilitating back pain for two years. Then my wife discovered “Healing Back Pain” and had me read it. I was extremely skeptical but gave it a try out of desperation. (My orthopedist had just recommended spinal fusion surgery.) Within two weeks I was noticeably better, completely cured in a month. Dr. Sarno virtually saved my life.
I’ve had occasional equivalent symptoms in the two decades since then, but I pull out one of his books, work on the process, and they go away within days. I’m 65 years old and happily healthy. Thank you Dr. Sarno!!
Dear Dr. Sarno,
I read your back pain book while recovering from my second c-section, and fighting off very unpleasant back pain. I was seeing a physical therapist at the time. As an older mother, I really thought my days as an active person were over. Reading your book restored my back completely, no more physical therapy needed. Also, it gave me profound insight into the power of emotions, primarily anger, to affect the body. Now, I am a boxing student and my back is great! Many thanks for the inspiration and exciting life!
In 2006 I was injured at my job of 2 months at a school for the developmentally disabled. Ruptured L4/L5. The pain was so bad I could not sit even to use the bathroom. I was devastated as I had just moved into my 1st place, a 3rd floor apartment! In the few years before the injury I had left an abusive/alcoholic husband of 20 years then got involved with a man just like him and had finally left him, I’d quit my very stressful job at a dialysis clinic, went to college at 40, graduated with a 3.99 GPA, and got my dream job! After the injury the Dr. told me if I didn’t get a discectomy/laminectomy I would lose the use of my left leg. He asked me if I wanted to look like the lady in the waiting room with a brace on her leg and a cane! Of course I didn’t! I hiked and danced for fun! So I had the surgery and before long I had more pain, weakness, and numbness then before. I was told a fusion was the only option. Of course that made things worse.
I went to a thrift store one day and your book, “Mind Over Back Pain” was lying on the floor. I asked my Mom to pick it up and hand it to me as I was unable to bend. She did, I bought it and devoured it. At first I thought, “This guy is nuts! I know why I have back pain and it’s not because of me! How dare he!” But I read on and you got me! I was a believer! I read your other books and saw myself there too. I stopped going to Dr’s. Stopped taking pain meds and started doing the inner work that was needed. I read the TMS Wiki posts where I learned about Michael Brown’s “Presence Process”. I attempted it many times and finally completed it. I started hiking and dancing again and began volunteering for Hospice and then got a job caring for an elderly couple on a beautiful horse farm. On 11-11-11 I married a man I met 2 weeks after my injury. He’s taken care of me, taught me to do yoga, meditated with me, and most importantly showed me that I deserve LOVE.
This pic was taken when he and I took a trip to Washington and hiked at Mt. Rainier National Forest. I could never have done that if not for YOU! I don’t even want to imagine what my life would have been like if not for YOU! Thank YOU from the bottom of my integrated heart!