Sean’s Thank You

Dear Dr Sarno,

I was trying to find a contact for you, when I came across this site. I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for changing my life. A few years ago I was going in to hospital for back surgery when I came across your book “Healing Back Pain” in a local bookstore. I live in Ireland. I had never heard of you. I had tried everything else.

After reading your book I cured my back completely. It was astonishing. I understood exactly what you were saying and it worked 100%.

Over the years since then I have had chronic neck pain, an ulcer and chronic knee pain. I suffered these for a while until I remembered your book, and was able to heal every one of them, instantly, once I realized it was TMS.

I recently fixed my severe ankle pain, again instantly, when I remembered what I had learned from your book.

I have bought all your books and with the input in them from all the other specialists, I have been able to address many of the underlying issues that brought on my TMS.

You are an amazing man. Thank you so much. The world needs you. You are so far ahead of your time, that we will all have passed on, before your books are compulsory on all medical courses, which they will be.

Thank You

Sean Mac Oisin
Galway, Ireland

Jim’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I have never met you, and I am sure you have lost count of the number of times you have heard this, but I would like to sincerely thank you for showing me the way to heal my 30-year chronic low-back pain! I’ll try and keep my story short, but my back pain started when I was an active 17 year old, after which began a 30 year long saga of pain and suffering.

I was initially diagnosed with a bulging disc on the sciatic nerve which began “my life with a bad back”. After decades of seeing numerous medical specialists and receiving numerous treatments which included surgery, acupuncture, physio sessions, epidurals, and facet joint injections my pain persisted and increased. All of these only gave me temporary relief, if that. Gradually, I slowly but surely lost the ability to lead a normal life. The last 10 years in particular were quite bad as I was living with an average level of 8/10 pain, not being able to sit for more than a minute or two without extreme pain, and avoiding many of the activities one takes part in as part of a normal life. Somehow though I soldiered on by continuously adjusting my life, but the effect of the pain was really starting to take its toll mentally, no different really than being in a torture chamber. Eventually I reached the stage where I had given up any sort of hope of reducing my back pain and became resigned to the fact that I would just have to somehow live a life of taking prescription pain killers, and avoiding anything that caused my back pain to increase above the already ‘normal’ but high pain levels. In the end, no other treatment seemed to give me even a slight reprieve from pain, not even as a placebo. Even the pain killers slowly started to become ineffective requiring higher dosages. Looking back it is clear all of these treatments were aimed at the symptoms rather than the cause. I, as well as my family, had become a prisoner to my back pain.

That was December of 2013. Then one day I came across your book Healing Back Pain on the internet, and after reading a few reviews, I thought, “sounds too good to be true”, but I ordered the book, as well as The MindBody Prescription and received them a week later. I read the books in a few days and as a goodist, I could see myself all over them. I started to put some of the ideas and TMS exercises into practice, and about 2 weeks later I started to notice some reduction in my pain levels. My progress however stagnated a bit for a while, and then I mustered the courage to seek a psychotherapist. In Australia, TMS-aware psychotherapists (or medical professionals) are as rare as hen’s teeth, but funnily enough one of probably the only two TMS practising psychotherapists in this country had a clinic a few blocks away from where I lived! It took another 4 months or so of work with somatic psychotherapy but I finally started to get in touch with a huge reservoir of repressed anger that I had no idea even existed. It is July 2014 now and even though I am not totally pain free, I have reduced my pain levels significantly (by 70 % or more) and I am starting to do things I never even dreamed of doing before. I can now sit down and watch a movie, go to a theatre show or work in front of the computer, instead of lying down all the time. I have stopped worrying about my back, and have not had a flare up now for 4 months, something that used to happen every few weeks or so. For most of the day now I don’t even feel any pain. I have even jumped back on my bike which was collecting dust for the last 10 years in the shed. I recently even went to an 8-hour training course which involved sitting for most of that time. Focussing on feelings and emotions instead of the physical has definitely worked. It’s like my life has started again.

While I still feel some back pain now and then and have some more work ahead of me, I feel I have the knowledge and tools to completely conquer it and I am confident I will eliminate it in the near future. So once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your pioneering work and your strength of conviction in unravelling the truth about TMS.

Now when people ask me, “How is your back?” I answer, “Really good thanks!”. They look at me a bit puzzled and ask “What did you do to make it better? Special exercises? Swimming?” I smile at them and cheekily say, “I got better by ignoring everything that I was ever told about my back!” It gets their attention, and then I show them a copy of your book. To this day I always try to spread your good work.

Regards,
Jim

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

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

Jim Campobello’s Thank You

Jim Campobello's Photo

I suffered constant, debilitating back pain for two years. Then my wife discovered “Healing Back Pain” and had me read it. I was extremely skeptical but gave it a try out of desperation. (My orthopedist had just recommended spinal fusion surgery.) Within two weeks I was noticeably better, completely cured in a month. Dr. Sarno virtually saved my life.

I’ve had occasional equivalent symptoms in the two decades since then, but I pull out one of his books, work on the process, and they go away within days. I’m 65 years old and happily healthy. Thank you Dr. Sarno!!

Sharon’s Thank You

Sharon I read Healing Back Pain in the mid-1990’s, saw myself on every page, and it changed my life. I have never met you, but I owe you the a great debt for saving me from a life spent in pain in doctors offices. I had knee pain at that time that cortisone shots and physical therapy could not heal when a woman who had had severe back pain (including 2 operations) and was swimming 2 miles a day suggested I read Healing Back Pain even though my pain was in my knee. The next day I had a appointment with yet another doctor who told me I had fibromyalgia. I got off the exam table, thanked him, paid my bill, and never looked back.

Now when I have pain, I talk to/yell at my brain and reread your books as the basis to think about things that are bothering me. It has really helped to understand what is actually happening physically. For example, when I had recurring urinary tract infections, it helped to understand how the brain causes infections and allergies by suppressing or increasing the immune system. Once I understood this, it confirmed for me that this was a TMS equivalent, and I my last infection literally disappeared overnight.

I must also thank you for describing the subtle childhood emotional abuse of some TMS sufferers in the Divided Mind. I felt like you must have been sitting on the couch of my childhood home. I cried for an hour knowing I was not alone and did not imagine it. I have reread that section many times and it has been a great comfort.

Thank you, and I wish you peace and health in your life. I know you have brought a great deal of that to mine.

Sarah’s Thank You

Sarah running
Dr. Sarno,

I have never met you, only once read your book “Healing Back Pain” that was recommended by a friend. I owe you so much gratitude for changing my life! I suffered from over 8 years of chronic back pain. I was told I had bulging discs, spina bifida occulta and pars defect/spondylosis. Not only did I have back pain, but I have had 7 surgeries on multiple joints. 4 on my knee, one on my hip and both shoulders with rotator cuffs tears. To my surgeons amazement, I was a 34 year old homemaker and tore my rotator cuff without any accident or trauma! To dig deeper as to explain why I had so many issues at such a young age, I visited a rheumatologist who discovered I may possibly have Degenerative Back Disease and would probably have to take medication the rest of my life while my back disintegrated. Then read your book…

Before my pain issues I was a top runner in my state of Indiana and had a cross country scholarship to college. As my life stressors accelerated, so did my pain issues. After my junior year of college I could no longer run more that a 5K. As an adult I dreamed to run the Chicago Marathon. I had surgeries, physical therapy, took all the supplements I could find for my “bad joints” just so some day I could run again. Acupuncture, chiropractors and massage therapists too. Nothing helped long term. One issue would resolve just to have another injury occur. I couldn’t get past a 5K run without developing another injury or having significant pain.

I read your book March of 2012. To be honest, I got very angry! I couldn’t believe that all these years I had listened to all these Dr’s and professionals, when it turns out they were wrong all along. I put my running shoes on and went for a run, pain popped up here and there. Within a few days, the pain was gone.

I sit here writing this letter to you, not knowing if you’ll ever read it. But wanted to tell you that it has been 7 months after reading your book and I just completed my dream of running the 2012 Chicago Marathon!!! Not only did I simply finish, I smashed it! I ran it in 4 hours 2 minutes! I put your book down after reading it and haven’t stopped running since! I have no plans of stopping with a marathon either. The sky’s the limit! I feel like I’ve been given my life back and I credit you for that.

Forever grateful, Sarah

Sarah hugging mother after marathon

Myles’ Thank You

Myles' Photo

Hello Dr. Sarno,

I was always bottling in my feelings, trying to be an idealist, and seeming to end up at the bottom of the heap just for being too nice. Totally unaware of all this I was struck down by constant daily headaches for 3 months, fasting for 12 days brought the pain to a reasonable level, but I was left with a shaking and strain related migraine. I would also get debilitating sore throats and migraines that would take me out of work. I had MRI, CT scan, lumbar puncture, all inconclusive but relatively clear.

Eventually I heard an internet audio interview of Dr. Sarno, and being my usual solution-seeking self went and got the Mind-Body Connection book. I read it once, read Sarno-related back stories and success stories around the internet, found the root emotional problems and started to work on them and within weeks was fine. Since then I have been letting myself enjoy life much more and as a bonus it’s pain and injury free! That was four years ago.

Thanks, Myles

Joni’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno:

I want to express my double thanks for your work, which has cured me not once but twice now. About 12 years ago, after typical back problems, I found Healing Back Pain in a bookstore and, thunderstruck, read it for more than an hour in front of the shelf, unable to stop and with hope for the first time in months. My back pain vanished within days. I eventually bought three more copies, including two I gave to doctors.

I’m even more grateful, however, for a more recent TMS resolution. I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis nearly three years ago and tried everything short of surgery. Since I was (wait – am!) a runner, hiker, and long-distance walker/trekker, this devastated my lifestyle and health. The coincidence (or not) of my 50th birthday added insult to injury. I was always troubled by the logic of the diagnosis and treatments, as even minimal research uncovers as much medical bafflement and impotence for PF as for back pain. Then, just as my PF finally seemed to be healing, shooting pains began in one of my ankles. (Um, yeah. I should have realized then…) In desperation, I stumbled on something online that suggested PF might be a TMS manifestation. I bought both your latest books and started running again the next day. Though I’d given up hope of ever doing long-distance walking again, I’m now planning for the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

I’ll be thinking of you the whole way. Resolving my back pain was good, but by giving me back my feet, you’ve really given me back my life, and I feel 10 years younger. I just have to remember TMS as the first answer, not the last answer, next time something hurts!

Thank you doesn’t cover it. Gratefully,

Joni

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

Nelda’s Thank You

Sasha (Nelda’s son)Dear Dr. Sarno –

I can never express my gratitude completely for your work and your ability to communicate it to everyone through your writing. I was a TMS poster child, growing up with so many symptoms that I know now are indicative of TMS. My twenties were spent in pain and I was consistently told by every doctor I saw that someone my age shouldn’t be having these problems. My X-rays showed no disks at all L5-L4-L3. I had severe muscle spasms in my neck and literally couldn’t hold my head up and had to use a soft cervical collar. I began to have problems just talking to doctors about my problems and going to a new doctor was agony. I was able to find some help with the use of medication and acupuncture, but not lasting help.

Lasting help came from reading “Healing Back Pain” when I was in my late thirties. During the time I was reading this I was able to stop physical therapy, stop medication and start to take control of what was happening to me. It was a great rush of joy to discover that someone out there understood and could communicate this understanding. I know now that there are many of us out here who have been helped to heal using your insights and it’s truly inspiring to learn about everyone and to realize that I was never alone in all of this. I still have my problems but I feel that I also have the ability to work them through when I apply what I learned from TMS – there is always some aspect of any problem, physical or otherwise, that responds to your findings.

The photo is of my son, Sasha, who was born when I was 42. I cannot imagine life without him – he represents all that I was given because of reading your books, Dr. Sarno. My husband and I have been teaching him about TMS and the mind-body connection as he grows so he can apply it in his own life. Thank you doesn’t really cover it, but, thank you, Dr. Sarno, from my heart.

Nelda

Liz’s Thank You

Liz's PictureDear Dr. Sarno,

I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve given me. You not only freed me of what felt like a life-sentence of excruciating and debilitating back pain, but your work has also helped me to become the person I am today. Reading Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection in 1997 not only changed my physical health drastically, it also opened my eyes to who I am and how I function. Your work started me on a journey from a girl who was emotionally unaware and detached from her inner-world, to an emotionally-rich woman who now works as a psychotherapist, helping others to identify and process their feelings and grow through a better understanding of themselves.

I was only 18 years old when I was diagnosed and relieved of TMS in 1997. It started with a twinge of pain between the shoulder blades while I was working as a counselor in a sleep-away camp.  The camp nurse told me it was from the flimsy camp mattresses and would go away when I got home. But a few months into my senior year in high school, the pain grew stronger, more frequent and to more areas of my back. My pediatrician sent me to a sports medicine doctor. I had an MRI and other scans taken but they were inconclusive. So the doctor prescribed me muscle relaxants. When that didn’t help, my parents took me to a chiropractor. The chiropractor was convinced it was the after-effects of a car accident I had been in, but that never resonated as true to me (though it had to be for him to bill my insurance).  He had me come in every week for an adjustment and time on a massage bed. As I would drive myself home from the chiropractic session, I would have some of my worst bouts of back pain (though the car accident hadn’t affected me physically, it probably had emotionally/ psychologically- triggering the TMS pain). I was a teenager but I would have to miss out on some social gatherings because I was at home writhing in pain, lying on a heating pad in bed, my mom trying to massage the knots in my back with massagers- to no avail. I felt like an 18 year old stuck in the body of an 80 year old. I was petrified I was destined to spend the rest of my life this way, since none of the doctors I saw could find the appropriate diagnosis, or cure. I felt helpless and hopeless and wondered how’d I go on.

At the time, my older brother was reading Howard Stern’s autobiography. He told my parents that in it, Howard had devoted a chapter to singing the praises of a medical doctor who had completely relieved him of his extreme and debilitating back pain simply by making him aware of how his personality and emotional management affected his physical well-being. My parents and I were skeptical, but we were out of options so called you, Dr. Sarno, out of desperation. You told me to read your book because that alone may cure me – I may never have to even go and see you. So I got the book but because of our skepticism, I still came to you for the physical exam and the lecture. Within a couple of months I was pain-free and back to normal. But more than that, I had also gained a lot of insight into myself, my emotional makeup and how I function. My experience healing from TMS began a personal journey of self-discovery and much personal, emotional and spiritual growth for me.

I often feel fortunate that I was so young when I experienced TMS and became relieved of it. At age 18, it was hard to attribute the pain to most other sources, and I was open enough to consider an “unconventional” diagnosis. Then I was lucky enough to take what I learned about the mind-body connection into the rest of my adult life and apply it. And now as a psychotherapist, I help my patients to make the connection between their physical health and inner-life as well, and introduce them to TMS and how they can recover from it. As someone who has recovered herself, it does not become just an act of generosity, but a sense of duty to help people find what works to become pain-free!

Dr. Sarno, words limit me in expressing the gratitude and appreciation I feel towards you for the tremendous contribution you’ve made to my life, as well as to countless others. And though you will no longer be practicing, I am confident your work will live on through the many people whose lives you impacted and will continue to impact through your books, your former patients, your successors, and the legacy you’ve imparted. And it is not just your lesson that moves me, it is also how you have delivered it. Considering the ground-breaking nature of what you have accomplished, and how many lives you changed, it never appeared to become about ego for you, or fame, or financial success. You always come off as very sincere and humble. For you it has always appeared to be about the message and not the messenger, and that too is truly inspiring.

Thank you. I wish you much peace and happiness in your retirement.

Sincerely,
Liz

Tom’s Thank You

Tennis Tom's PictureDearest Good Doctor Sarno,

Thank you for your patient genius. Your books, which I’ve read twice each, have changed my life. I’m certain you will be getting a Nobel Prize. Now that you’re retiring, you can get back to playing tennis. I knew a fella’., Ken Beer who was playing tournaments at 98 and still hitting everyday at 102. If you’re ever out West we could do a little hit-up.

Love and Cheers,
Tennis Tom

Cara’s Thank You

Cara's PictureDear Dr. Sarno,

No matter how hard I try, I can not think of a way to express how grateful I am to you. You have truly given me my life back. At 26 years old, I thought that I was going to live the rest of my life in bed, in excruciating pain. I am now 100% pain free and it is all because of you. I was told by countless doctors that I will never be pain free, that what I have is an irreversible disease, that I need more surgeries, that I will resent any kids that I have because they will cause me so much pain, I will need 24 hour live in help to raise my kids, etc. For the first time in a long time, I am excited to live my life and know that it will be pain free.

In March of 2009, I felt pain in my lower back while at the gym. I had had some back pain in the past and figured that it would just go away. When it didn’t, I got an MRI 3 months later which showed I had a herniated disc at L5/S1. In the following months, I tried physical therapy, had multiple facet joint and epidural injections, and continued to get worse. In the fall, I was taking strong pain medications, wearing a heating pad every day to get through work, and going home to lay on the couch with a heating pad. Over the next couple months I had 2 surgeries, IDET and a microdiscectomy. My pain never went away and that next summer, I started to develop muscle knots all over my body. They started in my lower back and spread up to my upper back, shoulders, neck, jaw, ribs, stomach, etc.. I was diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome/fibromyalgia, put back in physical therapy, prescribed some new medications, etc. I was in excruciating pain all over my body 24/7. By January the next year, the knots took over my body and I couldn’t hold myself up. I spent the next 8 months getting intensive dry needling done 3x per week. I did not improve. I then started getting multiple medical massages per week, seeing a chiropractor and acupuncture. By January this year, I was at rock bottom, I had tried literally everything to get better and was starting to think I would have to live the rest of my life in bed. This is when someone recommended me your book. I saw myself in every page and started to feel better almost immediately. Now, I can honestly say that the knots I had for years are now gone, and that I am living a normal, pain free life.

Sending a lifetime of thanks your way.

Cara

Pete’s Thank You

Pete sky divingDear Dr. Sarno,

I can’t thank you enough for the work you’ve done. I cured my chronic lower back pain just by reading your book, “Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection.” When I first picked it up, I actually cried – in part, because I saw myself and my symptoms in all of the pages; and in part, because I felt like I was reading the truth, with a capital “T.”

After years of suffering, I’ve been pain-free, with full mobility, for well over a decade. I never worry about how I sit, stand, lift or what activities I engage in.

I have had a few minor relapses. But, when they happen, I’m never afraid. I always know TMS is the cause. So, with a smile and the utmost of confidence, I continue all physical activity, and search my mind and my life for what might be causing this pain.

It’s incredibly liberating to be unafraid of back pain.

Most recently, I had a slight relapse which lingered. So, I jumped online to engage in some “knowledge therapy.” (I’d given away every copy of your book I’d had over the years!) I stumbled upon the TMS Wiki site, and I was heartened to find a growing number of practitioners who are embracing your work. Thank goodness there’ll be someone to continue spreading the word about psychosomatic medicine after your well-deserved retirement.

Thanks, once again.

Pete

Sienna’s Thank You

Sienna on a boatDear Dr. Sarno,

It is a pleasure for me to write you these lines trying to express my gratitude for your work.
In my early 30s my life entered a parenthesis after a back spasm that appeared from nowhere while playing tennis. After 4 years of debilitating back pain, unnecessary surgery, constant physical therapy and other treatments and many unanswered questions, my life became very limited. I was skeptical, faithless and depressed.

Last summer I came across your work and ordered all of your books. I started devouring Healing Back Pain and felt like I was reading my biography!! Finally, I had found answers to all my questions.. I started connecting the dots, everything made sense to me!!!

It took me only a few days to accept the approach and kept looking for help. Finding the TMS Wiki was a treasure for me, cause “knowledge is Penicillin”. This is how I learned about Dr. Schubiner’s book and looked for a practitioner in Europe. I was very lucky to hear about Georgie Oldfield in the UK, who helped me to reinforce the diagnosis and set the following challenges with confidence. I am now swimming and my instructor is just amazed with my daily improvements. Time, perseverance and faith are taking me further. I am still on my recovery journey and enjoying every bit of it. As almost every patient says, ‘I am sure this work changed my life for the better.’

This is me now and I wanted to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU DR. SARNO for giving my life back!
I feel committed to spread the word and help those struggling, victims of the conventional health system.
I hope you have a pleasant and well deserved retirement and enjoy spending time with your love ones. They must feel very proud of you!!

Best wishes
Sienna. Madrid (Spain)

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 🙂

K’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

Words could never, ever express how grateful I am to have found you. I think my body always knew you were right. My awareness just had to catch up.

I had back pain for 25+ years. I was told my pain from from scoliosis and myofascial pain syndrome. I tried to find relief through Tylenol, chiropractors, physical therapy, and lifting light weights at the gym. Coinciding with my back pain for all those years was TMJ and headaches. They pounded and pounded, mostly during a stressful day at work. I did more PT, used a TENS unit, moist heat, tried acupuncture, and lifted weights more. Even if the pain subsided for a very brief time, it always came back.

Then, somehow, I found Healing Back Pain. It sounded just like me, I couldn’t believe it. Then I read The Mindbody Prescription and I related to that one even more. I made an appointment to see you; I knew I had TMS, but I had to hear it from you.

Thank you for changing my life. It is no longer ruled by pain every day. I have no limitations and that is incredibly liberating. I admire you for telling it like it is and for staying true to your convictions.

I will never forget you. I hope you have a long and happy retirement. I will miss you.

With gratitude forever,

K

Marcel’s Thank You

MarcelDear Dr. Sarno,

You have changed my life. You are about to retire so I’d like to use this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to you and tell you a little bit about how you reached me and impacted my life so profoundly.

While the occasional neck pain started for me around 4th grade it became a permanent companion after graduation from Cornell in 1998. In addition to the neck and shoulder pain I often couldn’t even rotate my neck to the right. My discomfort was very obvious to friends and family. I must have seen a dozen chiropractors, physical therapists and doctors over the years. MRIs showed bulged discs that were used to explain the pain. In 2008 it got severely worse with the fingers of my right hand getting tingly, pain moving down my shoulder and the right arm becoming so weak I couldn’t do a single push up anymore.

Here starts the miracle. One day I sit in a Borders coffee shop browsing books and came across your book “The Mind-Body Connection”. It immediately sparked my interest in wanting to know more. Being very visual, instead of buying the book I ordered your video “Healing Back Pain”. In the following 3 weeks all I did was watch your video twice and paired that with daily reflection and journaling. Once a day I read the accompanying study guide out loud to myself and thought about the material. Finally, I put about 50 potential stress factors on paper and picked one a day of my top 10 to write a paragraph about it. I also would re-read my journal daily even if I didn’t add to it. After about 3 weeks my decade long back pain disappeared and never returned again. It is now 4 years later and I am still in perfect health and 100% pain free. The solution was so simple, quick and within reach all those years.

Interestingly, shortly after my pain completely disappeared, the world economy and stock market melted down. I’m a portfolio manager and also manage money for family and friends. This was probably the most stressful time in my life but I felt the healthiest ever and remained completely pain free. To me it very much proved your point that healing doesn’t require the removal of stress factors but requires awareness and understanding.

Words cannot express my gratitude to you for dedicating your life to this research. With it you made a profoundly positive impact on the quality of my life and I cannot thank you enough.

Sincerely,

Marcel

Anonymous Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno:

I first heard about your work through Dr. Andrew Weil’s website. I had been
dealing with chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain. On his advice, I read your
book, “The MindBody Prescription”. Upon my first reading, I saw glimpses of myself in
your descriptions, but was not convinced I had TMS. Over the next few years
I tried massage, Feldenkrais, yoga, pilates, and physical therapy to ease the
pain, all of which provided only temporary relief. A decade later, still
suffering from chronic pain, I re-read your book and ordered your DVD “Healing
Back Pain”. I was finally convinced that I did indeed suffer from TMS.

Not long after this, I began feeling tingling in my limbs. My doctor became
very alarmed and feared I had Multiple Sclerosis. I then had an MRI (which was
clear) and a battery of tests with a Neurologist and Cardiologist, all of which
were inconclusive. In a state of high anxiety following this scare, I decided
it was time to look for a more holistic approach to my medical woes and found
Dr. John Stracks at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern
University. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to discover on his website
that he specializes in TMS. He recommended a program and book called “Unlearn
Your Pain” by Dr. Howard Schubiner. This led me down a path of emotional,
spiritual, and physical healing over the past year. I no longer suffer from
neck, shoulder, or back pain. The tingling continues, but I believe that it is
actually a sign of renewed energy that had been blocked for years due to
repressed anger, sadness, and fear.

Thank-you so much for your groundbreaking work in the field of mind-body
medicine. You have changed my life and I share what I have learned with anyone
who I think can benefit from my story. I wish you many blessings in your
retirement.

Louise Levy’s Thank You

LouiseHaving suffered for 12 years with chronic back pain and undergone four spine operations during that time I am incredibly grateful to Dr Sarno and also to the growing amount of evidence that allowed and encouraged me to finally take a leap of faith and walk away from orthopedic surgical treatment and interventions for good.

For over 12 years i believed the label that I had degenerative disc disease at three levels of my lumbar spine based on the black discs that I saw on my MRI scan. I felt despondent with life, believing I had to resign myself to living with a condition that by its very nature, was only going to get worse and worse, possibly requiring even more surgery as time went by. It was only after my third spine operation that I really began to question whether it could be all down to ’emotional’pain’ as opposed to physical. I remember showing my spinal surgeon a copy of Healing Back Pain during one of my hospital consultation’s and asking him if he thought my pain could be emotional to which he replied ‘I don’t know I’m a spinal surgeon, ask me something about spines’.

Now, working as a Hypno-Psychotherapist and having trained with Georgie Oldfield as a SIRPA (Stress Illness Practitioner) I am extremely passionate about helping others suffering with chronic pain, supporting them through their own healing journey, in order that they not lose out a large chunk of their life believing they are disabled as I once did.

Thank you so much Dr Sarno, enjoy your retirement.

Louise Levy

J.N.’s Thank You

Image of JN

Dr. Sarno, your books have saved me time and time again for the last 12 years. Back in 2000, I was suffering from multiple food sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivity, and unidentified pelvic pain. I’d tried everything, and had had to quit my job due to a coworker’s aftershave and find another place to work. Then, I started getting low back pain, and found your book “Healing Back Pain”. It intrigued me, and I bought “The MindBody Prescription”. I read the book cover to cover, over and over again. My back pain disappeared within 2 months. It dawned on me that my pelvic pain was TMS, and that disappeared soon thereafter. It was harder for me to accept that my food and chemical sensitivities were TMS, but they also disappeared.

Over the years, I have repeatedly adopted manifestations of TMS, and time and time again, I have reread your book and have eliminated the symptoms of the great majority of them (and reduced a few others, so far). I’m deeply grateful to you and your work, Dr. Sarno. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve done. Please enjoy your retirement and know how many hearts and lives you’ve touched. Much much love!!!!

-J, N. Adams, MA.

Hasanna’s Thank You

HasannaDear Dr. Sarno,

I’m so happy to have this opportunity to say thank you. Your wonderful work has changed my life personally and professionally. Twelve years ago, I had already had two (unnecessary!) shoulder surgeries and I was starting to have severe hip pain when I discovered your book Healing Back Pain. Within a month the hip pain, as well as chronic back and neck pain, were gone. And as a TMS psychotherapist, I’ve been able to help so many other people get their lives back too. Thank you for persevering for so long in the face of so much resistance!

Hasanna

Andy’s Thank You

Andy Windsurfing

In the year 2000 your Healing Back Pain book and tapes were a major turning point in my life. My lower back improved after 20 years of pain and back difficulties. There were no internet or forums at that time, and in the privacy of my own home was able to overcome my distressful situation. Later that year I took up windsurfing. At last I was in control of my mind-body and had the truth and a better understanding of how stress reacts with the body. Thanks to you, I am grateful to windsurf to this present day.

Thank you Dr. I am now retired myself and recommend windsurfing for the young at heart, perhaps I’ll see you on the water.

Andy, the fortunate windsurfer