Alexander’s Thank You

I am a reader from Shanghai, China, of Dr. Sarno’s brilliant books – Healing Back Pain, The Mindbody Prescription and The Divided Mind.

I feel so lucky that I could come finally across the ones providing enlightenment and shedding light on the problems that have puzzled me for about a decade. I began to have a persistent upper back pain ten years ago, and meanwhile have intermittent (in fits and starts) pains in joins of arms or legs and unspecific loci across the back trunk. When in bed at night, having to once sit up before I needed to roll over laterally. Visiting a lot of physicians over many years ended up in fruitlessness.

Earlier in this year, I tried to find out some medical book on the symptoms overseas at and located ‘Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection’ by Dr. Sarno. The striking phrase at the bottom of front cover, ‘Without drugs, without surgery, without exercise, back pain can be stopped forever’ appealed to me largely. How incredible the remark is! But as I got through down the book, the skepticism gradually faded away.

The principle behind the TMS theory perfectly fits in with an obscure idea of mine (or a hunch?) that mind must have something to do with body. The obscure idea has been around in my mind for several years due to the disappointment and frustration after the inefficiency and inefficacy in the diagnosis and treatment of my symptom. Saying ‘an obscure idea’ is because it has been purely my subjective conjecture based on no ground and unsystematic. I have no medical background. Thanks to the potential or underpinning of my own idea, I was able to assimilate the idea of TMS very quickly, and on the point when finishing the reading, I feel getting relieved. Inspirited miraculously, I continued reading ‘The Mindbody Prescription’, and got further insight into the unconscious. I am currently reading ‘The Divided Mind’ and very much impressed with Dr. Sarno’s remarkable findings of what disorders are mediated through the autonomic-peptide system.

In China, the mainstream modern medicine which is ultimately physical-chemical has been ubiquitously and inveterately deep-seated in the minds of the Chinese people to an extent that, as I observed, is more overwhelming than that in the United States as Dr. Sarno commented. For example, when I talked about the psychosomatic mechanism to the people around me, including my family members, I was considered ‘being absurd or simply nonsense’. Citing Dr. Sarno’s mention in ‘The Divided Mind’, on page 31, ‘Experience suggests that in the United States only 10 to 20 percent of people with a psychosomatic disorder are able to accept the fact that their symptoms are emotional in origin. Many are downright hostile to the idea. Though there are large numbers who seek psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, they represent only a small portion of the entire population.’ Comparably, however, the percentage of the acceptance of the idea by people in China is much less. My father-in-law, 82, has recent years been experiencing heavy attacks, about 7-8 times in a month, from headache, abrupt blood pressure elevation (around 200 mmHg./150 mmHg.) usually accompanied with dizziness, vomiting, tinnitus at uncertain times, possibly whenever in a day, whether in daytime or at night and whether the postures when standing, sitting or being prostrate. What seems to be odd is that he restores gradually to the normal with high blood pressure subsided after three or four hours silently lying in the bed. Seeking to get the cause of the disorders clarified, we took him to the examinations by specialists for several corresponding sections of the medicine using CT, MRI, electrocardiogram, blood-testing and some other measures, and also hospitalized. Unfortunately, however, no exact or accurate cause has been determined until now. I realized in light of TMS manifestations that his symptoms are inclusively characteristic of and pointed to TMS in origin featuring symptom imperative. It is regrettable that the lack of the practitioners specializing in psychosomatics in China gets us into trouble finding an appropriate way of treating him.

I make an effort to try to enlighten my wife about the psychosomatic idea by acquiring a Chinese-translated version of The Mindbody Prescription for her in hope of a further influence on other family members.

I really found myself enjoying every sentence of excellence in all the three books by Dr. Sarno. Dr. Sarno challenges the contemporary mainstream medicine not only in the U.S., but in the globe including China by bringing to light the truth of the ultimate (root) cause of seemingly structural abnormities in terms of the psychosomatic connections and interactions. In my view, the creation of the TMS theory ought to be qualified and eligible for Dr. Sarno to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In spite of the colossal impedance and hurdle by the prevailing mainstream medicine facing the psychosomatic medicine, the laureateship of Dr. Sarno is prospective, and it is not until in a historical stage in the future that in which the psychosomatic medicine transcends physical structural medicine and supersedes its status as a dominant medicine.

I admire your groundbreaking works and your wonderful wisdom, and heartily thank you, Dr. Sarno.

Callie’s Thank You

Dear Doctor Sarno,

Thank you! Your work has changed my life.

For ten years I suffered from what I believed was worsening carpel tunnel, and sciatica, as well as excruciating lower back pain. It was common knowledge amongst my friends and family that no one could possibly be doing all of the strenuous and detailed carving work that I was doing on a regular basis as an artist, and not suffer the consequences.

I got on a treadmill of physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, and anything else that held some promise to help relieve the pain. It was expensive, and time consuming, and while some of it worked, the relief was only temporary.

It got to the point where I couldn’t turn my head without my hands falling asleep. I couldn’t use my hands as well as I needed to, I stopped being able to ride my bike (my primary means of transportation), and at it’s worst I could barely sleep without waking up with aching and numbness in both my arms. It was a daily misery that was spiraling downward and I thought that at the age of 35 I had ruined my body. I felt old and done.

Then a friend recommended that I look into your books. She said a friend of hers who had been scheduled for back surgery had healed herself with your books, and was now a runner, who never had to get that surgery after all.

As soon as I picked up your books I understood that I had TMS. It took reading them all for me to believe that even my particular pains, the ones that felt so deep seated and undoubtedly nerve related, could also possibly be the ones you were talking about. I read all three books multiple times, listened to them all on audio, and did “The Mind-Body Workbook” by David Schecter.

It took a little while for my pain to completely abate, because, as I came to understand from reading related books by one of your therapists Francis Sommer Anderson, when you are suffering from deep seated childhood trauma, as I was, having grown up with severely drug addicted parents, sometimes the cessation of pain is a process that takes weeks, months, or even longer.

I made an appointment with Dr Rauschbaum at the Rusk Institute — the only availability they had was 3 months out, and by the time I got there, the pain had subsided. However, the day before my appointment, I was tying my shoe, and a new stabbing pain appeared in my heal and ankle. When I got to my appointment, Rauschbaum guessed the exact location of the pain, and let me know that sometimes the mind makes a last ditch attempt, on occasions like, before a TMS appointment, to convince the you that dire pain is your fate. As soon as I walked out of the office the pain vanished.

Now, if things get especially rough, like with a recent death in the family, I get a return of pain or other psychosomatic symptoms like hives or psoriasis, but, now I know what it is, and I just have patience with it, and if it doesn’t go away, I return to reread one of your books, make sure I’m keeping up with my journalling, or watch some testimonials on youtube of people who have recovered, and that’s generally enough to help it go away.

Now, not only am I largely pain free, but I am also am an emotionally healthier and more empowered person as a result of the process. It has deeply affected my understanding of physical health and emotional well being, and I’m grateful for this increased wisdom.

Also, I started learning to surf again this year (another thing I had had to give up because of the pain), and I feel like I’ve gotten my body back. I”m alive, and it’s incredible!

Thank you!!