I am a reader from Shanghai, China, of Dr. Sarno’s brilliant books – Healing Back Pain, The Mindbody Prescription and The Divided Mind.
I feel so lucky that I could come finally across the ones providing enlightenment and shedding light on the problems that have puzzled me for about a decade. I began to have a persistent upper back pain ten years ago, and meanwhile have intermittent (in fits and starts) pains in joins of arms or legs and unspecific loci across the back trunk. When in bed at night, having to once sit up before I needed to roll over laterally. Visiting a lot of physicians over many years ended up in fruitlessness.
Earlier in this year, I tried to find out some medical book on the symptoms overseas at amazon.com and located ‘Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection’ by Dr. Sarno. The striking phrase at the bottom of front cover, ‘Without drugs, without surgery, without exercise, back pain can be stopped forever’ appealed to me largely. How incredible the remark is! But as I got through down the book, the skepticism gradually faded away.
The principle behind the TMS theory perfectly fits in with an obscure idea of mine (or a hunch?) that mind must have something to do with body. The obscure idea has been around in my mind for several years due to the disappointment and frustration after the inefficiency and inefficacy in the diagnosis and treatment of my symptom. Saying ‘an obscure idea’ is because it has been purely my subjective conjecture based on no ground and unsystematic. I have no medical background. Thanks to the potential or underpinning of my own idea, I was able to assimilate the idea of TMS very quickly, and on the point when finishing the reading, I feel getting relieved. Inspirited miraculously, I continued reading ‘The Mindbody Prescription’, and got further insight into the unconscious. I am currently reading ‘The Divided Mind’ and very much impressed with Dr. Sarno’s remarkable findings of what disorders are mediated through the autonomic-peptide system.
In China, the mainstream modern medicine which is ultimately physical-chemical has been ubiquitously and inveterately deep-seated in the minds of the Chinese people to an extent that, as I observed, is more overwhelming than that in the United States as Dr. Sarno commented. For example, when I talked about the psychosomatic mechanism to the people around me, including my family members, I was considered ‘being absurd or simply nonsense’. Citing Dr. Sarno’s mention in ‘The Divided Mind’, on page 31, ‘Experience suggests that in the United States only 10 to 20 percent of people with a psychosomatic disorder are able to accept the fact that their symptoms are emotional in origin. Many are downright hostile to the idea. Though there are large numbers who seek psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, they represent only a small portion of the entire population.’ Comparably, however, the percentage of the acceptance of the idea by people in China is much less. My father-in-law, 82, has recent years been experiencing heavy attacks, about 7-8 times in a month, from headache, abrupt blood pressure elevation (around 200 mmHg./150 mmHg.) usually accompanied with dizziness, vomiting, tinnitus at uncertain times, possibly whenever in a day, whether in daytime or at night and whether the postures when standing, sitting or being prostrate. What seems to be odd is that he restores gradually to the normal with high blood pressure subsided after three or four hours silently lying in the bed. Seeking to get the cause of the disorders clarified, we took him to the examinations by specialists for several corresponding sections of the medicine using CT, MRI, electrocardiogram, blood-testing and some other measures, and also hospitalized. Unfortunately, however, no exact or accurate cause has been determined until now. I realized in light of TMS manifestations that his symptoms are inclusively characteristic of and pointed to TMS in origin featuring symptom imperative. It is regrettable that the lack of the practitioners specializing in psychosomatics in China gets us into trouble finding an appropriate way of treating him.
I make an effort to try to enlighten my wife about the psychosomatic idea by acquiring a Chinese-translated version of The Mindbody Prescription for her in hope of a further influence on other family members.
I really found myself enjoying every sentence of excellence in all the three books by Dr. Sarno. Dr. Sarno challenges the contemporary mainstream medicine not only in the U.S., but in the globe including China by bringing to light the truth of the ultimate (root) cause of seemingly structural abnormities in terms of the psychosomatic connections and interactions. In my view, the creation of the TMS theory ought to be qualified and eligible for Dr. Sarno to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In spite of the colossal impedance and hurdle by the prevailing mainstream medicine facing the psychosomatic medicine, the laureateship of Dr. Sarno is prospective, and it is not until in a historical stage in the future that in which the psychosomatic medicine transcends physical structural medicine and supersedes its status as a dominant medicine.
I admire your groundbreaking works and your wonderful wisdom, and heartily thank you, Dr. Sarno.