Chris’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

You are my hero. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You literally saved my life. Your incredible dedication & caring is quite simply amazing. I have tried to “spread the word of Sarno” for the last 25 years & I hope that I’ve helped some people help themselves. I genuinely love you. You are an amazing man. I hope you are well. You deserve nothing but the absolute best in this world & beyond!

Thank you so much,
Chris

Barbara’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I can’t thank you enough – you have changed my life. I put my back “out” about six years ago and was laid up for about 9 months until a friend recommended your book “Healing Back Pain” and I read a short write-up about your work in “Time” magazine. It made perfect sense to me, so I ordered the “Mindbody Prescription” and did what your patient recommended – I started writing everything down that I could possibly be angry or upset about. Well, at the time I thought that I was pretty in touch with my feelings because I had been in Primal Therapy since 1980. But I just started writing anyway and ended up with 2 full pages – LOL!! What came out was that I had been trying to be the good wife to my husband and was completely unaware of what I wanted. So, within two days I was out of bed (scared out of my mind, of course, thinking I’d end up in a wheelchair) and haven’t looked back!! I have been pain free since then!! And I had it bad – sciatica pain down my right leg and one of my little toes was completely numb. All gone!!! But the really cool thing aside from the back pain is that I have been using your method for everything now – if I feel like I’m getting sick, I either write down or just think about what it is that I’m not looking at. And then I don’t have to get sick. It’s incredible!!

So, you have changed my life – like I said, I can’t thank you enough!!!!

All the best to you- enjoy your retirement!!

Best regards,
Barbara

River’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

From the time I was eighteen to the age of twenty-one I suffered with debilitating back pain. I couldn’t get out of bed some days. I had to stop doing all the physical things I loved like training in the martial arts. The “doctors” (and I had many) told me I had slipped discs, herniated discs, degenerative disc disorder, twisted spine, pinched nerves and sciatica. I went to every different kind of doctor, surgeon, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and faith healer you can imagine. By the time I was twenty-one I was clinically depressed because of my pain and contemplating suicide, which I felt at the time would be my only relief.

Then I found your second book Healing Back Pain. Two weeks later I was completely pain free and twenty years later I am still pain free. I am also a much healthier person in general than I have ever been thanks to what I learned from your book. As far as I’m concerned you are a genius and you saved my life. Those that have never suffered the pain I suffered and realized the miracle of your treatment will not understand what a treasure you are for humanity, but I know. When you said, “Don’t listen to your doctor, do the things you love and don’t be afraid of pain” it was as if a divine light went off in my head. I felt that finally there was a doctor that knew what he was talking about and wasn’t just trying to sell me drugs and surgery. Your concepts of TMS saved my life and as a result I was able to save another person’s life.

A friend of mine was randomly complaining about her constant back pain that had been plaguing her for some time. Her doctor told her the same hogwash they told me; slipped discs and jargon. I told her my story and explained to her your theories of TMS. She accepted them and a week later she was pain free. That’s all it took to help someone else! The truths you discovered are radiating out into the world and saving people from unnecessary suffering. Whether you are ever acknowledged by the half wits in the medical community or not, you are a saint in the hearts of thousands, and someday millions, of people throughout the world. You will go down in history as a true healer and that legacy is well deserved.

Thank you Dr. Sarno. Thank you for being brave and putting the health of your patients above the money you might have made selling drugs and surgery.

Thank you. I am forever in debt to you.

– River

Woojin’s Thank You

The following is Woojin’s original letter to Dr. Sarno written in Korean, his native language. An English translation of his letter is below it.

안녕하세요
존 사노 박사님!

저는 한국에서 두 아이를 둔, 한의사입니다.

2012년 겨울 무렵부터 아프기 시작한 허리가, 2013년 5월경부터 심하게 아파지기 시작했습니다. 병원에 가서 진단을 하니, 허리 디스크라고 하였습니다. 직업이 한의사라, 친구,선배들 한의원 다니며 침과 한약으로 치료도 해보고, 양방병원 치료도 여러 방면으로 해 봤으나 그리 큰 효과를 보지 못했습니다.

여름에는 가벼운 윗몸일으키기를 하다가 흉추부위(등허리)에서 “뻑”하는 소리와 함께 숨쉬기 힘들정도로 고통스러웠습니다. 이때부터 고통의 시작이었던거 같습니다. 이후 경추부(목) 통증도 새로 생기도, 팔꿈치, 손목, 무릎, 발목 등, 몸의 큰관절들은 다 고장이 난 듯 통증이 심했습니다. 2013년 11월 경부터는 통증이 더 심해져 집에서 꼼짝없이 누워있기도 했습니다. 서 있기도 힘들었는데, 당시에는 하루에 서너차례 집앞 공원 산책정도만 했습니다. 그 무렵 둘째 딸도 태어났지만, 아이 안기도 힘들어서 너무 괴로웠습니다. 병원 검사도 몇 번 더 했습니다. 증상의 양상이 강직성척추염(ankylosing spondylitis, bamboo spine)이 의심스러워 두번이나 검사를 해봤으나, 아니라고 진단받았습니다. 통증은 심한데, 진단상 그리 심각해 보이지 않는다는 얘기만 들었습니다. 그렇게 겨울을 지내면서 단지 재활이라고는 공원 산책만 했습니다.

크게 차도를 보이지 않아, 굉장한 실망감과 우울감, 가족들에게 미안함으로 힘들었습니다. 게다가 더 심해질 것 같은 공포감도 컸죠.

어느 날, 친구가 읽어보라고 선물해준 사노 박사님의 책, “The divided mind” 를 읽게 되었습니다.
TMS라는 자가진단을 내리고, 책을 읽고 걷기 시작하는데, 정말 놀랄만큼 통증이 줄어들었습니다. 걷기도 수월해졌습니다. 너무 놀라워서 책을 꼼꼼이 정독했습니다. 그 이후, 걷는 시간과 강도를 늘리고 있습니다.

“reservoir of rage”의 개념을 받아들이는 것만으로도 통증이 많이 줄어 너무 놀랍습니다.

2014년 4월 2일이 제 인생의 터닝포인트 날입니다. 이젠 희망이 생기고 즐겁습니다.
비록 멀리 한국에서 편지를 쓰지만, 사노 박사님께 무한한 감사와 존경을 드립니다.

누나네 가족이 볼티모어 살고 있어서, 지금 할아버지, 할머니, 제 아들 셋이 여행을 갔습니다. 그 곳에서 제 부모님과 아들, 누나네 가족도 사노 박사님께 감사해 하고 있습니다.

미국에 가게 된다면, 꼭 박사님을 뵙고 인사드리고 싶습니다. 행복하고 건강하게 사시길 기도합니다.

2014년 4월
한국에서 최우진 드림 (woojin choi)


The following is the English translation of Woojin’s letter to Dr. Sarno.

Dear Dr. John Sarno,

I am a herbalist/oriental physician in Korea and the father of two small children.

I started having back pain since Winter 2012, and it grew severely from May 2013. My doctor said it’s a disc herniation. Since I’m a physician of oriental medicine, I went to numerous famous acupuncturist and herbalist but did not see much improvement.

In Summer 2013, I heard a breaking sound in my upper back (thoracic area) while doing sit-ups, and a literally “breathtaking” pain started. I think this was the beginning. The pain appeared in neck, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles as if all the important joints are all broken. I could not even move but just stayed home because of the pain since November 2013. The pain was so severe that it was hard to even stand still. I could barely walk around my house for short 3-4 times a day. My daughter—the second child—was born around that time, but I could not even hold her in my arms because of the pain. I had several more medical inspections. The symptoms were similar to ankylosing spondylitis, and I went through a complete medical examination for it twice. The results were, however, negative. I was only heard that the results do not show anything significant although the pain is severe. I could only do some promenade around my house for a rehabilitation that winter.

As there was no improvement, I was very disappointed, depressed, and sorry for my family. And the fear—what should I do if the pain grew more and more?—was enormous.

One day, my friend bought me your book “The Divided Mind.” I diagnosed myself as having TMS. I started walking right after finishing your book. Gosh, the pain was significantly less. I could walk easily. It was really surprising, so I read your book with care again and again. I am increasing the walking time and distance little by little.

I was very surprised that the pain decreased much just by accepting the concept of “reservoir of rage.”

April 2, 2014 is the turning point of my life. I now have hope and am ready to enjoy my life.

I can only send you this letter at the other side of the globe, but I give you sincere thanks and respect.

My parents and my son are visiting my sister’s family in Baltimore now, and they thank you very much for your work and how it helped me.

If I have a chance to go to the States later, I really want to meet you in person. I pray you stay happy and healthy.

Best regards,
Woojin Choi

Ashish’s Thank You

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
Ashish

Danielle’s Thank You

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!

Painless’s Thank You

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,
Painless

Lisa’s Thank You

Lisa riding her horse CodyDear 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.

Dan’s Thank You

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.

— Dan

Elisabetta and Jon’s Thank You

An image of Elisabetta and JonDear 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.