Andres’s Success Story

I developed strange elbow pain during the summer of 2020. I attributed it to my calisthenics routine, which involved high repetitions of weighted and unweighted pushups and pullups. First, I tried to rest for a few weeks, but the pain persisted. This is when I started to obsessively google my symptoms. After some research I purchased a flex bar, which is effective against golfer’s elbow (my pain was on the outside of my elbow, and I had been doing lots of pullups, so this seemed like the best diagnosis). I did the flexbar exercises religiously but nothing changed. More googling and I discovered cubital tunnel syndrome otherwise known as ulnar nerve entrapment. This is similar to carpal tunnel but at the elbow and affecting the ring and pinky fingers rather than the thumb index and middle. At this point, I saw an orthopedic surgeon, who suggested I wait a little longer to see if it went away on its own. If not, he said he could do an ulnar nerve transposition to reroute the nerve. It was supposed to be an easy surgery. Still, this freaked me out and I thankfully decided to wait.

I stopped exercising for the rest of the summer and the pain went away. In the fall, I decided it was all behind me and started lifting. Things were going smooth, until one day I curled a heavy dumbbell and all the pain came back. This triggered a horrible downward spiral that lasted for about a year. I would google my symptoms over and over reading the same search results I had read the day or the hour before, click through pages and pages of any forum where cubital tunnel was being discussed, look up different treatment options. The pain level went up and down, but I always felt it.

In this time, I developed ulnar nerve subluxation. I could feel the nerve click over my elbow when I bent it, and this would send pain shooting down my arm. The pain moved around to different spots in my elbow. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. I isolated myself severely for months, probably the worst thing I did, and covid life only enabled this behavior. All the while, I constantly monitored how my elbow felt. I could not stop bending my arm to see if the nerve would still snap and to see if the pain got better or worse. I got my cubital tunnel diagnosis confirmed by and EKG and the doctor was prepared to operate.

Even with the EKG, I had my doubts about surgery. There was no good reason why the nerve was getting caught up or started snapping.

Desperate for a solution, I found Dr. Sarno’s books. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an instant fix but they worked and my condition improved. I read and re read the Mind body syndrome. I read Steve Ozanich’s’ The Great Pain Deception. I read the TMS wiki and listened to TMS podcasts. I started working out again and journaling. Today, I feel great 99% of the time. Sometimes, I will still have my doubts and feel a little something. This makes sense considering I spent about a full year of my life by myself conditioning myself to believe I was ruined.

Sandy’s Success Story

My name is Sandy and I live in New Paltz, NY. I began to experience migraine headaches when I was a teenager, and they got worse as I got older. I am now 67 years old and have spent the better part of every week of my adult life completely bedbound. I met with over 20 neurologists (at the world’s best institutions like NYU and Yale) and tried various approaches that either didn’t work at all or made me worse. My symptoms of migraine resulted in me not being able to show up for many life events like my daughter’s high school and college graduations. As you can imagine, my marriage and friendships also suffered.

When I couldn’t make our planned Christmas festivities this past year, my husband’s college roommate referred me to Dr. Sarno’s teachings and I found the list of practitioners on the PPDA website.

I believe that finding Dr. Laurel Steinberg and learning her method for preventing the migraine mechanism was a god-send for me. I am now completely symptom free for 3 months…I was going to write sooner but didn’t want to “jinx” it. However, I now realize that I’m fully in control.

I thank god for giving me the opportunity to have learned “The Headache Preventive Lifestyle” (a holistic approach she has had great success with) and for bringing this nice lady into my life. Her knowledge on migraine headaches and psychology is remarkable (she’s a psychology professor at Columbia too)– and she also helped me with my anxiety and relationships (sister and husband). Thank you!

Ryan’s Success Story

A few years ago I was experiencing numbness and tingling in my right pinky after playing piano and lifting weights. Soon after that I was feeling the same sensation in my left pinky as well. I knew nothing about TMS during that time.

I went to a hand surgeon who had me do an EMG / Nerve conduction study. The test showed that I had a slow down in my nerves at both elbows. The doctor was also able to see that I had ulnar subluxation (nerve ‘popping’ over the medial epicondyle at both my elbows. Medication and hand therapy was not working so the doctor strongly recommended surgery. I decided to go with surgery on my right elbow, ulnar nerve transposition surgery. The surgery seemed to fix my right pinky but the numbness came back after about five months.

During that time I was afraid of playing piano and afraid of lifting weights. I decided to take a break from my two favorite hobbies, but after the six month break my problems reappeared as soon as I started again.

To make a long story short, I have healed because I got over my fear. I decided to lift weights like I normally would and play piano at least 30 minutes a day. At first I would experience the numbness, like I was used to. I used to be afraid that I was damaging my nerves. I just kept training and eventually the problem went away as my fear diminished. Some other things that helped me get over my fear was:

-Reading the TMS books, such as the Divided Mind, The Great Pain Deception, To Be Or Not To Be… Pain-Free.

  • I found multiple studies that it is normal for athletes to have ulnar nerve subluxation. It was something like more than 50% of athletes have asymptomatic ulnar subluxation.
  • I went to another hand doctor and even though he isn’t a TMS doc, he told me that he is 100% certain there is nothing wrong with my hands, despite the EMG tests.

It helps to hear that from a doctor.

I hope this story helps anyone who is having similar issues. For what it’s worth I can press 135lbs over my head and bench press 225lbs, which certainly requires movement of the elbow, without any of my previous issues.

Jim’s Thank You

In October 2021, as I was beginning preparations for making holiday chocolates for my small business, I gradually developed pain in my right hand, the hand I use most in the process of creating chocolates. It was very scary. I wrote to all on my customer list explaining that I would not be able to make as many Christmas chocolates as usual. I went to my primary care physician, and of course he gave a probable diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. In spite of my mentions of stress as a factor in many diseases in our encounters, he always ignores me and heads for his arsenal of physical diagnoses. But I knew that CTS is a common diagnosis for what is actually TMS. To state the obvious, it is very difficult to move forward with trying to treat symptoms as psychogenic when every word you hear or read says otherwise.

To cite one small example: I went to the farmers’ market to buy bread and mentioned my symptoms to the two bakers (since they asked about Christmas chocolates). In unison, they said they both had had CTS, had the surgery, and were cured. Get the surgery! they advised. But I persevered in what I believed was the true diagnosis (it was a fairly easy connection to make: extreme stress over making several thousand chocolates by myself and terrible pain in the most crucial part of my body for the endeavor).

A few weeks after Christmas, I was lying in bed and realized that some of the same symptoms were showing up but this time in my left hand. Being familiar with this TMS flag, I was instantly optimistic about my future. For a while both hands hurt, then I noticed pain in various other joints. So my faith in the TMS diagnosis was strengthened, and within a few days, all the pain was gone. Yes, gone!

The next time I went to my primary care doctor, I expected him to ask if I had had the surgery he thought would be necessary. But, for a brief moment, I forgot that in modern American medicine, doctors have a brief allotted time to make sure you are still alive, then get to the next patient. He never even mentioned my carpal tunnel symptoms! So I said nothing and smiled to myself. Occasionally I have hand pain (usually the left one), but it goes away as again I smile about the “wandering symptom syndrome.”

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!


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: 

If you are new and want to know how to get started, I’d suggest going to the TMS Wiki ( 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,