Laura’s Thank You

Laura canoeing with her family

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I am so glad to have this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done for me. In 1997 I began having neck pain which soon spread to my arms and hands. I was working long hours on a computer at the time and so was diagnosed with RSI. I spent over a year on many traditional and alternative treatments. These included physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, Rolfing, Alexander Technique, and prolotherapy injections. None of these had any significant or lasting effect. Tests revealed tendinitis, inflammation, and muscle spasm. I was unable to work, drive, or do everyday activities like tying my shoes. I was told by doctors that no one ever recovers from a condition like mine and I should accept the fact that I would have a life of disability. I very much wanted to have children, and it was a constant sadness to me that I might never be able to because of the pain.

I had heard of your books, but my reaction was very resistant at first. However, over time, I became desperate enough to give them a try. Your description of the “goodist” described me exactly.

I began to use the do-it-yourself program you outline in The Mind Body Prescription. I stopped all physical treatments, and concentrated on your book.  I was also lucky enough to get an appointment with you at NYU Medical Center. I had a lot of improvement in the time between starting the at home program and the appointment. Within 6 weeks of seeing you and attending your lecture I was completely cured.

I had so much confidence in the cure that my husband and I immediately decided to start a family. I now have two beautiful teenage boys. I have remained pain free since December of 1999. I have absolutely no restrictions on my activity.

I know this is a long story, but I hope the details might be helpful to other people with RSI. Your work is brilliant. I am so lucky to have found your ideas. You have permanently restored my life.

Thank You,
Laura

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

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

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.

Sunita’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno

I can’t thank you enough for your discovery of TMS. I just discovered your book 11 days ago and it has already been a godsend. I am 30 years old and have been suffering from various symptoms of TMS like difficulty sitting for more than 30 mins, constricting neck pain, knee pain preventing me from walking more than 100 m, tingling in various parts of my legs and arms, spasm in my pereneum. I spent the last year lying in my bed due to pain and I was losing hope after having seen so many back specialists, physical therapists, and a good acupuncture doctor who thankfully helped w my neck but could do nothing about the other issues. I could hardly hold my job, couldn’t date, couldn’t see friends without being anxious about hurting myself and couldn’t think about exercising because every time I did I would somehow injure myself in a different area of my body. I felt like God was punishing me for something, to be honest because it has been one pain after the other with no end in sight.

The past 10 days have been the best I’ve had for so very long. I am still in process of working through my issues but at least now I finally have a diagnosis that actually fits my physical symptoms. Not only that but i realized that i have had some symptoms (shooting leg pain in middle of night, pereneum pain) even as an adolescent. Reading your book has been a spiritual experience. Now I have hope that I will really recover and am empowered – I won’t let this pain take over my life anymore. I only wish that more doctors would promote your message. Like Howard Stern said- ” you are a saint.”

I can’t thank you enough. Wish you all the happiness in the world.

Sunita

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

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.

Laura’s Thank You

Laura's Thank You
Dear Dr. Sarno,

You certainly changed my life for the better in so many ways!

I was 33 years old and the mother of two daughters, ages 15 months and 6 months of age, when “out of the blue,”I began to suffer excruciating lower back pain/sciatica– worse pain than the two natural childbirths I had recently experienced.

I found your book “Mind Over back Pain” and immediately booked an appointment with you at NYU’s Rusk Institute.

Within a month my back pain was gone.

Over the years I’ve had other TMS symptoms– Shoulder/neck pain, and foot pain, for example, and sometimes it took me awhile to realize that this new pain was just another manifestation of my old symdrome.

I think of any new pain symptom as my personal canary in the coal mine– alerting me that I am getting too close to the edge of my emotional comfort zone.

Your work not only gave me a life free of chronic pain and possible addiction to pain medications, but it also opened my mind to many other facets of mind/body medicine and emotional wellness.

I have traveled the world and enjoyed an active life all because of you– here is a photo of my husband Russ and me at the Great Wall of China in 2011!

I am eternally grateful! You are an amazing human being.

Thank you!

Laura

Robin’s Thank You

Dr. Sarno,

There is nothing I could write or do to convey the appreciation I have for you and the work you have done to help me.

For 15 years I suffered with many of the traditional TMS symptoms, especially back pain and sciatica. Like many others, I was told it was due to structural abnormalities, bulging discs, etc… I saw chiropractors, physical therapists, naprapaths and even acupuncturists. None of them helped beyond a very short time period.

After having kids, the pain got so bad that I was ready to go to a pain management clinic, get surgery, take prescription medication or whatever it took to control the pain. But a friend recommended your book, Healing Back Pain. After reading it and The Divided Mind three times each, I was finally able to get rid of the back, neck, sciatic and shoulder pain that I had been dealing with for so long. I discarded my back supports, electro stimulation belt, heating pads, ice packs, and immediately stopped seeking medical treatment.

The symptom imperative kicked in and I hit a few speed bumps. However, today I am completely pain free and able to be emotionally and physically involved in the lives of my wife and one year old twin boys.

Thank you, sincerely,

Robin

Gerre’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I am one more of the many people who are so thankful to you for your books and ideas that have so changed our lives. I suffered with severe neck and leg pain and am now completely pain free and enjoying life as it was meant to be enjoyed. Today I ran the local 10K in my town for the 35th consecutive year. I’m 67 years old.

With sincerest gratitude,

Gerre

Susie’s Thank You

Susie's Thank You Dr. Sarno imageDearest Dr. Sarno,

I want to give you my thanks and love.

I have had chronic neck and back pain since I was in my early 20’s and I’m now 56. I went to a doctor a few times and they offered to have me get an MRI but we didn’t have insurance so they would just give me Motrin 800. I just lived with the pain that I had. Last year (2011) my back got especially bad while doing the exercise program Power 90X so I went to my regular doctor and he suggested a chiropractor or physical therapy. I had tried therapy once before for my back and I got worse. I went to a chiropractor to see if she could do anything. She started manipulating my back and neck. At that time all I had for neck issues was a little crunching. She did five treatments and I was in such pain with my neck I couldn’t stand it. She finally sent me for an MRI on my neck and then my back because my back wasn’t responding to treatment either. She certainly did damage to my neck so that was my last visit to see her. The MRI’S showed 3 herniated cervical discs, a broken L5 and a deformed tail bone. I started searching for help and some how found YOU. I read your first book and became 90% pain free and am now about 95% pain free from believing what you had to say. I continue to try to think what could be emotionally bothering me when I get pain and I try to clear my mind of guilt. You’re the best. Enjoy your retirement.

Susan in northern NY

Enrique’s Thank You

Enrique RunningDr. Sarno,

I overcame severe RSI in my hands and lifelong pains including back, neck, and plantar faciitis, to name a few. As a result, I have been able to rediscover my childhood love of sport and exercise which I had abandoned so many years ago. Here’s a photo of me competing in an Ironman race in 2011, something which I would have considered impossible just a handful of years ago.

Thank you so much, Dr. Sarno. Your work made a huge difference in my life.

Best Regards,

Enrique

Linda’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I would like to give my sincere thanks to you for giving my life back.  I had severe right shoulder pain, spasms that would radiate into my neck and other areas of my back. After seeing a pain specialist and having him tell me that my pain could be related to some anger issues I searched the library for answers. There I found your books and read them both numerous times and found relief from the unrelenting pain. I did some psychotherapy and found much relief after unleashing some anger issues. I am so fortunate that I found your books in the library and reading as much as I could on the internet. I wish you a happy retirement. Thank you for dedicating your life in this area to help people with pain.

Linda

JanA’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno:

In September of last year I was advised by a PT to look into migraine diets for my many symptoms, including dizziness and neck pain. I found an internet forum with a lot of conflicting and apocryphal information – but no coherent answers. One person suggested reading The Divided Mind, for which he was severely abused by other users, but as he was the only one with something positive to offer, I was intrigued enough to get a copy. Needless to say, it changed my life.

A year ago, at age 60, I thought I was going rapidly downhill in spite of a healthy lifestyle and years of self-help attempts through yoga and physical therapy, as well as seeing practitioners in chiropractic, craniosacral, and traditional medicine. Now, approaching 61, I haven’t seen any kind of health practitioner other than my dentist since September, I’m doing weights with a personal trainer, and I am from 90-100% free of my symptoms most of the time. After reading your book, I went on to do some much-needed emotional work in order to achieve the level of relief I now experience, and I am quite sure that I could not have made that leap without your ability to explain TMS in a way that was logical, pragmatic, and easily understood.

I can’t thank you enough, not only for your brilliant work, but for making it accessible to the rest of us. We will do our best to continue to spread the word in your honor.

JanA

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