Tribute to Dr. Sarno:
Dr. Sarno, your work has changed my professional life in a profound
way. As a academic physician and researcher, my interest in TMS began
with a simple encounter: the chair of my Internal Medicine department
told me about his wife who had one of the famous “book cures” (of
severe hip and back pain) after reading The Mindbody Prescription.
Knowing my interests in the relationship between stress and illness
and mindfulness meditation, he suggested that I “look into this.” I
did and this act was a major turning point for my career.
You were gracious enough to allow me to visit you in 2003 to spend a
couple of days observing your work. What a gift to see this work
firsthand! I will always be grateful to you for that. You started me
on a path that has transformed my career and given me a powerful sense
of purpose and meaning. I have spent the last nine years working
ceaselessly to further the goal of making your work part of mainstream
medicine. I have developed a 4-week program based upon your concepts
(with specific writing and meditative exercises) and used it to
conduct a randomized, controlled trial for people with fibromyalgia.
This study was published last year and was the basis for a $3 million
grant from the National Institutes of Health to study emotion-based
therapy for fibromyalgia.
A group of physicians and mental health providers has formed a
professional organization with the goal of training more health care
providers to spread TMS throughout the world. We will not rest until
we have achieved the objectives that naturally follow from your
groundbreaking insight: that many physical symptoms have their genesis
in the mind and can be cured by educational, behavioral, and emotional
I join with my fellow professionals and TMS-affected individuals in
thanking you for your tremendous contribution to medicine. I am
confident that your innovative work will be viewed as a landmark event
when the history of medicine is rewritten in the coming decade.
With gratitude and admiration,
Howard Schubiner, MD
Director, Mind Body Medicine Center, Providence Hospital, Southfield, MI
Clinical Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI