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.

Dana’s Thank You

Image of Dana

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I read your back pain book while recovering from my second c-section, and fighting off very unpleasant back pain. I was seeing a physical therapist at the time. As an older mother, I really thought my days as an active person were over. Reading your book restored my back completely, no more physical therapy needed. Also, it gave me profound insight into the power of emotions, primarily anger, to affect the body. Now, I am a boxing student and my back is great! Many thanks for the inspiration and exciting life!

Sheila’s Thank You

Sheila hugging a treeIn 2006 I was injured at my job of 2 months at a school for the developmentally disabled. Ruptured L4/L5. The pain was so bad I could not sit even to use the bathroom. I was devastated as I had just moved into my 1st place, a 3rd floor apartment! In the few years before the injury I had left an abusive/alcoholic husband of 20 years then got involved with a man just like him and had finally left him, I’d quit my very stressful job at a dialysis clinic, went to college at 40, graduated with a 3.99 GPA, and got my dream job! After the injury the Dr. told me if I didn’t get a discectomy/laminectomy I would lose the use of my left leg. He asked me if I wanted to look like the lady in the waiting room with a brace on her leg and a cane! Of course I didn’t! I hiked and danced for fun! So I had the surgery and before long I had more pain, weakness, and numbness then before. I was told a fusion was the only option. Of course that made things worse.

I went to a thrift store one day and your book, “Mind Over Back Pain” was lying on the floor. I asked my Mom to pick it up and hand it to me as I was unable to bend. She did, I bought it and devoured it. At first I thought, “This guy is nuts! I know why I have back pain and it’s not because of me! How dare he!” But I read on and you got me! I was a believer! I read your other books and saw myself there too. I stopped going to Dr’s. Stopped taking pain meds and started doing the inner work that was needed. I read the TMS Wiki posts where I learned about Michael Brown’s “Presence Process”. I attempted it many times and finally completed it. I started hiking and dancing again and began volunteering for Hospice and then got a job caring for an elderly couple on a beautiful horse farm. On 11-11-11 I married a man I met 2 weeks after my injury. He’s taken care of me, taught me to do yoga, meditated with me, and most importantly showed me that I deserve LOVE.

This pic was taken when he and I took a trip to Washington and hiked at Mt. Rainier National Forest. I could never have done that if not for YOU! I don’t even want to imagine what my life would have been like if not for YOU! Thank YOU from the bottom of my integrated heart!

James’s Thank You

Dr Sarno,

Can’t be thankful enough for coming across this work, it changed my life.

I though I was doomed! I was suffering from RSI for about 9 months very badly and was off of work. I tried many private and public treatments (chiro, physio, massage, osteopaths etc) spent a fortune and only got more convinced that I wasn’t going to get better.

I came across a TMS questionnaire on the internet and saw myself in it. I bought Mindbody Prescription from Amazon (which at the time cost me £6. I had already spent over £700 on private treatment and only had slight relief). It made perfect sense to me and I got better in 3 weeks since then I have been climbing and working outdoors laboring with no limitations. I’ve had minor relapses but always have attributed them to emotional incidents.
What an amazing discovery you have found! So human and powerful that for many of us we have been living upside down with too much focus on the material and not on the subjective/emotional.

I hope that your message will continue to reach others in the UK and around the world, what an absolute legend!

Thank You.


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.

Avnita’s Thank You

Dr Sarno

Thank you so much for eliminating my chronic back pain. I am deeply indebted to you. This doesn’t have to be posted; I can’t be bothered to add pictures, etc… but I just wanted to give you this message.

I often mention your technique to others, but it’s mostly fallen on deaf ears. I can’t understand why.

I went to other “specialists”, but nothing worked, until I did your program and I also used it for other pain.

Thank you so much.

Love Avnita x

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,


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.


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.


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.


Joy’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I was one of those children with a ‘nervous tummy.’ I had myriad allergies and seemed to catch every bug that was going around. In my teenage years I became, like my father, one of those ‘back people,’ withdrawing from the chaos of family life at intervals to lie painfully, but quietly, on my bedroom floor.

As I grew older and encountered the adult challenges of education, marriage and travelling abroad, I developed various TMS symptoms, often at a time when these diagnoses became ‘trendy’ – in the 80’s I had ‘IBS,’ in the 90’s I had ‘fibromyalgia,’ and both my doctors and I were pleased to have a clear, simple label to hang upon my condition. But then new symptoms would develop…At a time I should have been having fun, I was having tests (always clear), taking drugs (always placebos that wore off) and undertaking physical therapies (which made me feel temporarily better from the interaction with a sympathetic practitioner). I wondered if I were a hypochondriac, but I so, so hated being ill…

With the advent of the internet, I was able to search out ever more reasons for my symptoms. Luckily, whenever I typed in the words ‘back pain,’ I kept finding references to a certain Dr John E Sarno… I ordered The Mindbody Prescription and wrote the date it arrived on the book’s front page: 15th June 2007.

That was the date on which I started to reclaim my life. On every page, I got that frisson that everyone describes, the realisation that ‘Hey, this is describing me!’ I had thought I was unhappy because of my pain; I now realise it was the other way around! This was the key to me actually addressing the real problems, and thus healing both my pain and my life.

I thank you, Dr Sarno, for the vision, wisdom and experience you have brought to your pioneering work. I thank you for your courage in standing up to the inevitable short-sightedness of the medical mainstream. I thank you for your kindness in making this information so widely available at such a low cost, and for seeking first and foremost to heal. I thank you, as so many do, for giving me back control over my life.

And I wish you all the best for the happy and fulfilling retirement that you so thoroughly deserve!

With sincere gratitude,

Rich’s Thank You

Rich in IcelandDear Dr. Sarno,

I’m sure many of us would agree that you gave us an invaluable gift that words cannot explain. I’ve tried to think of ways to thank you but there really is no way to repay you for this. How do you repay someone who has given so many people their life back, who gave me my life back? That’s all I can say is thank you and that I feel privileged to have read your books (rather early in life) and to have met you and the doctors you work with such as Dr. Sherman. Your legacy will surely live on and strengthen with time well after your retirement and mine.

I for one have told many people (once I know they are ready for it) about TMS and have seen family, friends, and colleagues recover from TMS/equivalents. I am now much more in-tune with myself and know that if/when TMS does strike, it’s simply a “notification” that tells me that I have some “stuff” to think about. It is nothing to fear or worry about. The pain is never as severe, does not strike nearly as often, and always diminishes once I start dealing with the true issue. I no longer feel like my body is wasting away and getting weaker and more susceptible to pain with each added day. Instead, I KNOW that my body and mind are becoming stronger, together. I am now able to maintain a very active and athletic lifestyle, without fear.

So, even though there is no way to truly thank you for giving me my life back, I will do my part in spreading the word and enlightening others of the power of the brain/mind. Thank you Dr. Sarno!


Katie Darling’s Thank You

KatieDear Dr. Sarno,

Your incredibly courageous and dedicated life of service has made an incredible difference in my life. I could never have crossed the “belief barrier” between theory and practice of TMS understanding without everything you have done – your books, your DVDs, your consistency, the experience of talking with people who have worked with you.

I hope you know how much you mean to all of us. On our TMS Forum we express our gratitude to you and our respect for you all the time. I wish you a very happy and contented retirement. I hope you can have some fun, and relax knowing that you have done enough (unless you WANT to keep very busy, that is!).

I send you love and thanks,

Katie Darling

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.


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

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,


Brigitte’s Thank You

Dear Dr Sarno,

My recovery began on the day I visited Physiotherapist Georgie Oldfield in London. Even that same night, for the first time in years, I slept without pain. I then listened to Georgie’s CD and I bought your book. From your book, “The Divided Mind”, I learned that the causes of TMS are a combination of personality, childhood traumas and general everyday stresses, mental and physical. From another, beloved book of mine, “A Course in Miracles” I learned the following “Sickness is a Defence against the Truth. I fully accept the truth about what I am, and I will let my mind be wholly healed today“.

I am still in the recovery phase and I am experiencing many ups and downs. The downs are almost always connected to feelings of anger or anxiety, and my nature is such that I cannot let go of these feelings, and consequently they refill my Reservoir of Rage again and again. However, I am now so aware of these processes that I can let go, with the help of meditation and prayer.



Howard Schubiner’s Thank You

Tribute to Dr. Sarno:

Dr. Sarno, your work has changed my professional life in a profound
way. As a academic physician and researcher, my interest in TMS began
with a simple encounter: the chair of my Internal Medicine department
told me about his wife who had one of the famous “book cures” (of
severe hip and back pain) after reading The Mindbody Prescription.
Knowing my interests in the relationship between stress and illness
and mindfulness meditation, he suggested that I “look into this.” I
did and this act was a major turning point for my career.

You were gracious enough to allow me to visit you in 2003 to spend a
couple of days observing your work. What a gift to see this work
firsthand! I will always be grateful to you for that. You started me
on a path that has transformed my career and given me a powerful sense
of purpose and meaning. I have spent the last nine years working
ceaselessly to further the goal of making your work part of mainstream
medicine. I have developed a 4-week program based upon your concepts
(with specific writing and meditative exercises) and used it to
conduct a randomized, controlled trial for people with fibromyalgia.
This study was published last year and was the basis for a $3 million
grant from the National Institutes of Health to study emotion-based
therapy for fibromyalgia.

A group of physicians and mental health providers has formed a
professional organization with the goal of training more health care
providers to spread TMS throughout the world. We will not rest until
we have achieved the objectives that naturally follow from your
groundbreaking insight: that many physical symptoms have their genesis
in the mind and can be cured by educational, behavioral, and emotional

I join with my fellow professionals and TMS-affected individuals in
thanking you for your tremendous contribution to medicine. I am
confident that your innovative work will be viewed as a landmark event
when the history of medicine is rewritten in the coming decade.

With gratitude and admiration,

Howard Schubiner, MD

Director, Mind Body Medicine Center, Providence Hospital, Southfield, MI
Clinical Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

John Stracks’ Thank You

John StracksDear Dr. Sarno,

Though I’ve told you in person, I want to reiterate just how much your work has meant to me on both a personal and a professional level.

When I was struggling in my late twenties with pain symptoms that no other person could understand or diagnose, your books explained to me what my symptoms were all about. I was able to heal because of your work, and I live pain free because you had the courage to speak up about TMS.

Now that I’m a physician, I have found that working with TMS patients is by far the most stimulating and rewarding work that I do.

I can’t thank you enough for your willingness to blaze this trail and spread the word about Mindbody Medicine.

I wish you all the best in your retirement. I hope you know how many of us are committed to keeping your ideas alive and to helping others live pain free.

Sincerely yours,

John Stracks, MD

P.S. My wife sends many, many thanks as well—because of your work, her migraines are a thing of the past.

Tom’s Thank You

Dear Dr. Sarno,

I am delighted to have this opportunity to say thank you for your wonderful work with TMS. I am 81 and due to the symptom imperative have had most of its symptoms during my lifetime. Thanks to your books, over the past decade I have been able to learn my way back to normal each time, sometimes with a struggle but always succeeding in the end. Your latest book, “The Divided Mind,” is a masterpiece; it should be required reading in all medical schools.

Many thanks and best wishes on your retirement.


Marie’s Thank You

Marie SwimmingThank you Dr Sarno

I guess you don’t need to know the details of my back pain and MRI scan results as they aren’t relevant anymore. Suffice to say that for 10 years I had grumbling back pain and constant fear. For about half a year it got so bad that I pretty much stopped doing anything was in constant severe pain and taking ever increasing doses of various medications.

I found out about Georgie Oldfield first and followed her programme – which included the immediate advice to obtain your books – advice which I followed.

Gradually I resumed ‘normal’ life – not really knowing what normal might be as bit by bit I realised how fear about my back had infiltrated so much of my thinking and my life. Within 3 months of starting the programme I was off medications, within 6 months I was virtually pain free and I could do everything that I used to do.

In the past year I have resumed all my prior activities; lovely things like cycling, acting, dancing and just cuddling up on the sofa with my kids and necessary things like caring and shoveling snow and I have also taken up new things like open water swimming, (including swimming a mile in Loch Ness!) and getting a little dog (yeah – who would have thought you could feel excited about being able to bend down and pick up dog poop!).

Thanks you so much, your work has not only given me, and so many others, our lives back but given us the opportunity to build a better life. Have a wonderful retirement.

Marie. Northern England.
Marie Accepting Award

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

Irene’s Thank You

image of IreneDear Dr. Sarno,

I was scheduled to go under the knife when I heard about you and TMS. This was over twenty years ago. At the time I had a two year old, 25 pound, very active baby in diapers, and when the surgeon told me I’d never again be able to lift over 15 pounds even after surgery I knew his cure would not restore my life to normalcy. A friend of my mother’s, who couldn’t have been more traditional with medicine, told me about you. After hearing many explanations for my back pain from GPs, chiropractors, pain management therapists, and back surgeons, none of which made sense, TMS was the first thing that sounded to me like the diagnosis fit the symptoms! I read your books, and I believed! But my back pain wasn’t going away and I knew I needed to see you. I had one hurdle to getting an appointment, though – I didn’t live in the NYC area. I spoke with you, and I’ll admit it, I probably begged, and I convinced you that I’d have the support I need in NYC (my wonderful aunt and uncle who lived in Queens) to come to NY for the 8 days necessary for an appointment and the lectures. (At the time you were doing a two-lecture series.) I recorded the lectures and listened to them over and over – they replaced the Raffi kids songs in the car for weeks! You gave me back my life, pain-free – thank you for that. Since then, when life gets stressful – work, kids going off to college, etc., if my back or my neck or my foot starts hurting, my husband says, “Pull out your Sarno tapes!”, and I realize he is right, and that’s what I do.

One other short anecdote – my brother was suffering from back pain at around the same time. He was living on the other side of the world, and I called him after seeing you and spoke to him for over an hour, and told him about TMS and the “think psychological” cure. Wouldn’t you know it, it clicked for him even faster than it did for me, and he was better in just a few days!

Thanks again, and I only wish there were more like you carrying on your legacy!

Irene from Illinois

Barbara’s Thank You

An image of BarbaraDear Dr. Sarno,

Twenty years ago I called you after reading your second book, “Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection.” I had been confined to bed with severe back pain for three months. This was due to an “adjustment” by a chiropractor (the trigger) that I saw for my frozen shoulder. Interestingly, once I became focused on my back, the frozen shoulder and pain from that disappeared. You told me that there was nothing physically wrong with my back (I had seen a doctor and had an MRI) and that I needed to become active again.

Because I was not quite desperate enough at the time and still unsure of the TMS diagnosis, I pursued medical help for my pain. I had every test and treatment imaginable. I went to a pain clinic run by a doctor who was both a physiatrist and psychiatrist so I figured if anyone could help me it would be him. Not so….he recommended surgery; a spinal fusion. When he could not explain sufficiently how that would help my pain (maybe he was going for the placebo effect!), I refused the surgery and instead, called you again. By then I had been practically bedridden for over a year.

You were again so kind and helpful to me and referred me to Dr. Segal who had trained with you during the past year and was within 70 miles of my home. My daughter drove me as I had not sat for more than five minutes since the beginning of this ordeal. I had to lie on a couch in Dr. Segal’s waiting room for the same reason. However, after she examined me and took a history, she insisted I sit back on a chair with my legs crossed as she told me there was nothing structurally wrong with my back that could be causing this pain. Although my lower back hurt terribly, I was determined to do her bidding, as this was my last hope. Two weeks later I drove to her office for my follow-up appointment.

Getting better was the hardest thing I have ever done. I was weak from lack of exercise and extremely nervous about resuming a normal lifestyle. I solved these problems by enrolling in the wellness center in our local community college and taking a psychology class. That was in January 1994. One class turned into two, then three as I worked part time while studying psychology and social work. It took me ten years but in July of 2004, I finished grad school with an MSW in Clinical Social Work. My goal was to help others who were suffering the same way I had. I am now an LCSW-C (Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical) with a private practice specializing in helping others CURE their chronic pain and other psychophysiological disorders. My bookshelf is filled with your books and those of others who have been influenced by your work.

hank you so much for your hard work and perseverance in the face of negative feedback from your medical peers. And thank you especially for your kindness and willingness to help me when I needed it most. I will always be indepted to you for giving me a new life and new career!

I wish you a long and happy retirement.




Graham’s Thank You

Dear John

(I use the familiar because you have been an integral part of my life for the past 15 years)
Thank you for saving my life, opening my mind, and giving me a new life to go on with.
Your work is a revelation.


South Australia

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.

Nancy’s Thank You

Your books are so brilliantly written, clear, concise and make so much sense. I can’t thank you enough for being so honest and direct about your findings. You have created a formidable antidote to traditional medicine’s somewhat archaic approach to long-standing sufferers for whom delivery of medicine has been inadequate.

Again, I cannot thank you enough, Dr.Sarno.

Georgie’s Thank You

Georgie Oldfield with Dr. SarnoDr Sarno, your work has changed my life for the better in so many ways. There is no doubt that I am personally healthier now, but my whole career and as a result my life, changed massively after coming across your work. I want to thank you for the time you spent with me when I visited you in New York, which enabled me to really get a handle on your work and your approach with your patients. That was the start of the most exciting stage of my career and within a short time I was working exclusively with my own TMS Recovery programme. Since visiting you in 2007 I can’t believe the changes I have made in my own life and the numerous patients of mine who have had life changing results from my diving head first into your visionary work.

Thank you from me and thank you from all my patients past, current and future who are resolving their symptoms as a result of your pioneering work, rather than carrying on managing them as best they can. I wish you a very happy and healthy retirement in the knowledge that you are leaving a wonderful legacy behind, which will live on after all of us are long gone.

With Best Wishes,

From Georgie

Tom’s Thank You

At 35, I had been suffering recurrent bouts of crippling back spasms for at least a dozen years. After I had been scheduled for spinal surgery, someone recommended Dr. Sarno’s book. Within a few days, I canceled the surgery and resumed a normal, active life. In the 22 years since, I have had one memorable bout. I got so mad at my TMS, I got on a bicycle with it and wouldn’t get off until it stopped being such a pain! I eventually won, but it took about 10 miles. I regularly run, bike, kayak and consider myself in the best shape of my life. I have since read more of Dr. Sarno’s work, had a conversation with him on the telephone, and passed on many copies of his books to anyone who dares to say “My back went out!” Dr. Sarno, you have changed my life in so many ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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