Thank you Dr. Sarno and NYT for introducing him to me. I started to have chronic body pain approximately around Jan 2019 that began with my right leg around the outside of my knee. It was so difficult that I had to completely adjust how I crouched when at work (I cook for a living). The pain persisted until covid-19, I was laid off and it went away briefly…to come back as back pain! The pain radiated everywhere with pain in my feet sometimes. I tried physical therapy, massage therapy, all sorts of books with limited results. The only relief I had was when I briefly visited home for the holidays or when I was very sore from intense exercise. I finally found relief after reading his book and showing my brain WHO controls WHO. No more repressing all these ugly feelings anymore, past and present! I wish Dr. Sarno was alive today so I could thank him personally.
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.
Sean Mac Oisin
Dear Dr. Sarno,
In my late teens I began a 10 year journey of one physical ailment after another and it continued until I studied your work. It started with knee pain, mild carpel tunnel syndrome, then lower back pain, severe allergies, asthma, pancreatitis and finished off with severe ulcerative colitis, all with no known cause and most with no known cure other than surgery for a couple of them. I tried cortisone shots in my knee, braces and therapy for my knee and wrist, inhalers and nasal spray for allergies and asthma, stretches and chiropractors for my back, a wheelbarrow of pills, juicing, fasting and diet changes for colitis. I even had a visit at one of the top four hospitals in the United States in search of help for pancreatitis and colitis only to come home with no answers. I was at a loss. In my mind, being in my mid 20’s, I should have been at the peak of health.
As a long time listener of Howard Stern, I heard him mention you several times over the years but always about back pain. I dismissed it because I only had a brief encounter with it but one day he went a little deeper and touched on the mindbody connection. It triggered something and I bought all of your books. I’m now almost 31, take no medication and I’m in the best health of my life. My breathing tests since studying your work have been “perfect” the pulmonologist says and he has taken me off all inhalers. The allergies remain but have been reduced by 90 percent.
During the time period I was studying your work I had an accident and suffered a Type 4 AC shoulder Separation. After I healed up through physical therapy and was feeling great, I put your theory of pain returning to the site of an old injury to the test. I randomly started feeling a severe pain in my shoulder as if someone was trying to drive a nail into it, it did not follow suit to what I had been doing physically and I “talked my self out of it”. The pain tried a couple more times to come back, I immediately shut it down and it hasn’t returned. I can’t thank you enough and as everyone else says, I am forever in debt to you Dr. Sarno.
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.
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.
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.
I had a knee problem and had tried everything. Doctors named it chondromalacia patella. Surgery was the only option. Then I came across the name of Dr. Sarno and read his book. I applied his techniques and it’s amazing, I am completely free of knee pain. When I got my knees MRI scanned there was no evidence of it, but the pain was there. After applying Dr. Sarno’s techniques it was completely gone.
I am writing this so that other sufferers out there can use his technique and become pain free. It’s truly sad that pain is inevitable but the suffering is optional.
Thanks with all my heart
Dear Dr. Sarno:
There are not enough words to thank you for saving me from the chronic pain that ruled my life for 10 years. I suffered from chronic back, shoulder and knee pain. It was baffling because it all started in my mid-twenties when I was basically at the peak of good health. I was an extremely active person all my life up to that point. In fact, I was training for a half-marathon when it all began.
After seeing countless doctors and physical therapists, and receiving countless (wrong) diagnoses over the years, I was at my wit’s end. My active lifestyle was relegated to walking on the treadmill and riding the stationary bike. My chair at work felt like a torture chamber for my back every day. And, I was also no longer allowed to wear my coveted high heels. My doctor finally prescribed knee surgery, but never actually saw anything on the MRIs or X-rays for my knee (or my back or shoulder) that would indicate I needed surgery. I am now convinced it was completely unnecessary.
A very smart person introduced me to your book, and I will forever be grateful. I devoured it and saw myself on every page and I took steps to get to the bottom of what was causing my pain. That was nearly two years ago. Since then, I have returned to my active lifestyle. Yoga, Pilates, jogging, Spin, Zumba. You name it. I am no longer afraid of physical activity. The doctors can no longer tell me that I’ll “hurt myself” if I do any of these activities or that I am “not built” to do them. I also have amassed a closet full of high heels that I proudly wear on a daily basis. And I no longer consider my chair at work to be a torture chamber. I have nearly forgotten what it felt like to be in constant pain all day, every day. It’s almost hard for me to believe that it’s truly gone.
I played on a softball team last summer for the first time in almost a decade. I can’t explain how invigorating it was to be on the field once again after so many years on the sidelines. I was scared to sprint around the bases at first. But with one crack of the bat, adrenaline kicked in and I took off like a shot – like the old Danielle. And I haven’t looked back since.
Whenever the pain acts up, I am able to turn my attention to the emotional factors that are contributing to it. Your book has taught me a lot about myself and made me recognize the stressful factors in my life that were contributing to the pain. Now I will be in tune with what my body is trying to tell me for the rest of my life. I can’t thank you enough for your books and all that I have learned from them. Thank you for giving me my active lifestyle – and my life – back!
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.
Dear Dr. Sarno,
I will be forever grateful to you for your clear communication of the impact of psychosomatic pain and other physical and psychological challenges. Simply reading The Mindbody Prescription led to the end of my restless leg syndrome. When severe knee pain prompted my doctor to order an MRI which showed arthritis and meniscus damage, I read The Divided Mind, did the work, and the pain diminished immediately and disappeared in less than two weeks.
Let’s hope you and others will succeed in building more and more acceptance of the principles of psychological treatment for psychological causes of pain. Meanwhile, I will continue to be mystified by the reluctance of people to try such a painless, inexpensive cure.
Dear Dr. Sarno,
You opened my mind to an entire new way of thinking about my body’s health and happiness. After reading your first book, recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, I was hooked and read everything else you have written (that I know of!) and then read Candace Pert’s books, and many other authors with related material. It sure is a whole different universe than we all think!
My husband and I are both artists who paint imaginative realism and I also have a blog that is about health and fitness. In my health and fitness blog, I dedicated a post to you (http://juliebellfitness.blogspot.com/2009/08/dr-john-sarno.html )
in August of 2009, along with separate posts about Candace Pert, Andrew Weil, and Steven Gurgevich. For your blog post, I asked my husband to create the attached cartoon. I hope you like it!
I wish there was a way to say thank you that would come at least a little bit close to how much I mean it, but, please imagine that there is and then accept that from me.
Take care of yourself!
From Julie’s Blog:
Dr. John Sarno
I was going to talk about Candace Pert next, but I realized that it was Dr. Sarno who led me to Dr. Pert, so it makes sense to talk about him first. I first heard of Dr. Sarno’s work through Andrew Weil’s recommendation. Dr. Weil had been saying forEVER that most any kind of back problem could be helped without drugs or surgery and that Dr. Sarno’s book, “MindBody Prescription” was a good place to learn about his theory. I didn’t pay much attention until I had a really yucky time with back, knee, and hip pain that just wouldn’t go away. I went to all kinds of doctors, got all kinds of tests including blood tests to see if I had some weird rheumatoid problem. To make my long, painful story short and painless, I took Dr. Weil’s recommendation and read Dr. Sarno’s book and (FOR REAL!)within 2 weeks after finishing the book, I was perfectly pain-free and back to running, weight lifting, and yoga.
Dr. Sarno has put himself out on a limb by spelling out a treatment that really consists of education. No drugs, surgery, or special exercises, just a new understanding of how the body’s systems of creating pain works. And it was this new understanding that opened my mind to a completely different approach to thinking about the entire subject of health. The beauty of this education is that once you understand it, the back-and-forth communication between your mind and your body becomes a source of knowledge for you that you didn’t know you already possessed!