Tricia’s Thank You

Tricia's Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno

Five years ago, I was a 24 year old woman that had given up on life after battling immense pain for over a decade. I had vowed to take my own life at the end of that year until I was given a gift that would change my life forever. Someone had known of my pain and gave me your book. Within a month I was pain free and by the end of that year I was able to celebrate my life and the hope that I had gained instead of giving up. I had never even met you but yet, you were the only one that helped me through the hardest part of my life. I can still remember how many tears of joy I cried while reading your book and I still to this day smile every time I hear your name or hear of a story of someone else that healed their pain because of you. I only hope that one day everyone living with pain will hear of you and give your books a chance because so many are in need of healing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you have done, I will forever be in your debt because I am alive now. I still battle TMS every so often but as soon as it emerges, I recognize it for what it is and realize that I am in control of my pain and my body and not the other way around. This is has changed my life in so many other ways other than just a healing of the body. My mind is at peace and that is something I never thought would happen. Thank you for giving me my life back.

You are my hero Dr. Sarno.

Sincerely,
Tricia

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.

Joel’s Thank You

Joel's PhotoDr. Sarno,

Beginning in February 1996 I was unable to stand straight, was in EXTREME pain in my back and right leg and taking prescription narcotics to try to manage pain. I had an MRI whereby I was told I had a ruptured L5/S1. I tried injections which provided no relief. I had 2 doctors tell me the only way I would ever get better was through surgery. I read your book, “Healing Back Pain” and finally saw you in September. You diagnosed me with TMS. I attended the group sessions and also went to a psychologist (Dr. Sherman) who specializes in TMS. On December 16, 1996 I was finally pain free, standing upright and off the pain medication. The picture I have sent was taken in February 1997 (I am on the bottom).

I had a recurrence in 1999 that lasted for about 6 months. I was pain free for about 9 years when in 2008 I had a recurrence. I went to a pain management specialist, as you were out of town and I wanted medication to try to relieve the pain. I told him I will be his worst patient as I only need pain medication to help get me through the next 3 weeks as I was going to be traveling allot and I believed my pain was mentally not physically induced. As part of his condition to prescribe me medication I had to agree to get an MRI. With my schedule it took about 6 weeks for me to get the MRI and by then I was 95% better. After reading the results of the MRI my doctor told me that not only do I have a problem with my L5/S1 but I have a problem with my L4 and I have arthritis. I asked him what he recommended and he said bed rest, physical therapy and to continue with the medication he prescribed. I told him I was basically pain free and I asked him how he can explain that. He told me he could not. I have been pain free since then.

Dr. Sarno, thank you for helping me avoid unnecessary and potentially damaging surgery and for helping me become a mentally stronger and together person. You are truly a special person and I wish you and your family good health and only the best life has to offer.

Joel

Steve’s Thank You

Dr. Sarno,

I am so pleased to have this opportunity to thank you, acknowledge you, and honor you.

Several years ago I limped into your office with excruciating lower back pain that severely impacted the quality of my life for 2 years. Prior to meeting you, I could not walk properly, run or dance without burning pain. I tried physical therapy, chiropractors, acupuncture, deep tissue massage, and even hanging upside down from my ankles for hours (inversion therapy). None of that worked. Then, NYC’s most prominent surgeons recommended back surgery and they had the MRI’s and X-rays to back-up their recommendations. As a last chance effort to avoid surgery, I went to see you. After working with you and Dr. Eric Sherman, one of your gifted psychotherapists, my pain disappeared. Treatment took less than a year and I have now been pain-free for over ten years.

Since I am a professional engineer, I was able to see the disc abnormalities on the MRI’s. It was therefore very difficult to not subscribe to the physical diagnosis given to me by so many doctors. In the face of my skepticism you held your ground and declared that while the pain is real, the source is not the disc but the mind. It was in your certainty that I found the courage to discover, confront and come to terms with painful emotions from which the pain served to distract me. When it was no longer necessary to be distracted from these emotions, the pain ceased to serve a function and went away.

I thank you for your courage to stand in the face of little to no agreement from medical establishment. I acknowledge you for being a doctor who, early on in your medical practice, told the truth to yourself and others when your patients did not get better using popular and lucrative (to medical and insurance companies) treatments—and then found a way to get your patients better. I honor you for distinguishing a new paradigm for the treatment of chronic pain.

The Collins Dictionary defines genius as “a person with exceptional ability, especially of a highly original kind; distinctive spirit or creative nature; a person exerting great influence.” Collins uses the example, “Mozart’s musical genius.” Future generations will no doubt use the phrase, “Dr. Sarno’s medical genius.” In every sense of the word, you are a genius. I am honored and fortunate to have been treated by you and to know you.

With deep love and respect,
Steve

Anonymous Thank You

23 years ago after my baby was born I was told that due to hernieted disks my back was too weak to support another pregnancy. I lived with chronic pain.

After seeing Dr. Sarno and attending his lectures I was pain free-through 2 more pregnancies until today. Those children are now 21 and 18. I have not had any significant back pain since then becuase when I start to feel a twinge I realize that it is just TMS.

I have given Dr. Sarno’s books to many people and saved them from chronic pain and surgery just from reading the books.

Dr. Sarno not only gave me back my life, he gave me two more beautiful lives to enjoy.

James’s Thank You

Hello Dr. Sarno,

Before I found out about TMS, I believed that my body was “brittle”. I had pain in various areas over the years, along with a host of other TMS symptoms. When my older brother told me about your work in 2003, I went on-line and started researching. I felt a ray of hope just reading the description of the MindBody Prescription on Amazon.com! I always felt my symptoms were “strange” but I could not articulate just why, after reading your book, I knew exactly why.

I just have to say Thank You! Also, you should be proud of yourself for staying the course with your diagnosis of TMS disorders when the medical community was, and is, at odds with the TMS diagnosis. That must take incredible personal strength. I want to tell you this does not go unrecognized by me and many others.

Enjoy your retirement, and may God bless you and your family.

From Boston, Massachusetts,

Take care,

James

Chris’s Thank You

Dr. Sarno,

When my back doctor referred me to your book, “The Divided Mind”, I was very hesitant to say the least. In my late thirties, I had dealt with severe chronic pain for almost 15 years in an increasing number of locations throughout my body. I was diagnosed with fibro and had visited a plethora of specialists and pain clinics, not to mention the medications, physical therapy, and devices. I used to be a very active person, but I quit almost every activity because of fear that I would aggravate an injury or hurt myself in a new place.

Well, I forced myself to open your book, and just a few pages in, I started laughing out loud because of the relief I felt. Your words described me. I had never heard such a diagnosis, yet it made so much sense. The more I read, the more I said, “Yes! Yes!” I started working on the daily, mental exercises. I bought “The Mind Body Prescription” for reinforcement. And slowly, I began to resume all the activities I had abandoned over the last 15 years. It was a battle, and I still have lapses of fear, but now I know for sure I have TMS, that I can do things like hike and play tennis without fear I’m going to cause physical harm.

I can’t thank you enough for changing my life. I had resigned to a life of immobility and depression. Getting back to my old activities has made so much difference to me. I’ve had countless tests and a shoulder surgery for impingement syndrome in the past. Reading your words convinced me that nothing is physically wrong now, and getting rid of that fear is a life-saver.

Thank you so much, not only for helping me get my life back, but for your tenacious truth-telling in spite of the resistance from the traditional medical establishment. I hope they will someday follow your lead.

I truly can not thank you enough!!

-Chris Framingham, MA

Marj’s Thank You

MarjMy name is Marjorie, 47, and I have lived with chronic pain for too many years, it affecting how I raised my three children, how I went about my daily life and the person I thought I’d become. I read MindBody Prescription and Healing Back Pain and it changed me. I want to thank you for showing me, and so many others, that many times there is nothing physically ‘broken’ and that life does go on once we acknowledge that. It has allowed me to address emotional issues, stressors and let go of the guilt of being a parent with chronic pain for all those years. I am not a hundred percent pain-free yet, but my attitude has changed drastically and I face my fears head-on because I know that it’s “all mental”.

While visiting Mexico last year, I even went snorkeling for a whole day, jumped 25 feet into a lagoon (I’m terrified of heights!) and went exploring in an underground cave another day, things I never would have considered doing before. I felt like a million bucks afterward! Thank you! “

Marj 🙂

Marie’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I have never met you. But because of your work, I can play Beethoven’s Spring Sonata on the violin to my children.

Eight years ago, when I stumbled upon a copy of The Mindbody Prescription in a bookstore, I had not typed on a computer in seven years and had not touched my violin in nine. After reading your analysis of chronic pain, I recognized it was the first explanation that explained all of my experience of chronic pain — all of my symptoms and why physical therapy helped. So I accepted the cure–to acknowledge and accept unconscious rage. In fact, I didn’t just acknowledge it; I felt it. By the time I left the bookstore, I was livid with rage — at the fact that I had been crippled for years; at the wasted time; at my job that bored me; at family members who had hurt me; at friends who did not love me enough; because I did not know what decisions to make; because I was disappointed in myself; and at the vast disproportion between my desires and their total satisfaction.

And as the rage built up into a scream inside my head, I felt warmth flow into my hands. And I knew my hand pain was over. It has never returned.

My only regret is that, because the book was so good, and my healing so quick, I never got a chance to thank you in person.

Thanks, Dr. Sarno!

Marie

Debra’s Thank You

Debra at the BeachDear Dr. Sarno,

I feel my life story has two very distinct segments – “Life before meeting Dr. Sarno” and “Life after meeting Dr. Sarno.” The positive changes in my daily life since meeting you three years ago are truly that dramatic and powerful. After nearly a lifetime of chronic pain, I came to you desperate for even the slightest improvement. My diagnoses of Post Polio Syndrome and Fibromyalgia were completely dominating my life. My world, year by year, was getting smaller and smaller. My body, day by day, was getting weaker and weaker.

I was indeed shocked when you were adamant that I repudiate both diagnoses in order to get well! That was just the beginning of the many ways I needed to learn to change my thinking and to connect with what was really going on emotionally.

Although I had already experienced over a decade of psychotherapy, without the understanding of how TMS worked, it was impossible for me to get better. That was the missing link, and all attempts at healing were futile without it. My gratitude to you also extends to your introduction of Dr. Bob Evans to me within weeks of meeting with you. I continue to see him weekly, and the results are nothing short of astonishing! The boundaries limiting my personal world are falling away, one by one. In fact, I am one of the few women I know who truly feels that as I age chronologically, I am getting younger and more vibrant emotionally and physically. To me, your life’s work is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you, beloved Dr. Sarno, for my miracle.

I wish for you all the blessings that you have given to others.
With the greatest admiration and gratitude,

Debra