Dear Dr. Sarno,
About a year ago I was in the worst state physically and mentally. I was in the process of interviewing surgeons to have surgery on the discs in my neck, which were believed to be causing the excruciating pain that radiated down my shoulder and arm. I was unable to sit, walk, and drive, which basically meant I spent a lot of time on my back, medicated. This was no easy task with two small boys. I was no stranger to chronic pain and had suffered for most of my adult life. My diagnoses ranging from irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, herniated discs, migraines and high blood pressure just to name a few.
As I lay on my basement floor, unable to move and realizing I couldn’t live my life like this any longer I was reluctantly going to pursue surgery. Then, enter my brother-in-law who had been suggesting your book to me for several years after his success with your TMS theory. This time I had finally agreed to read it. As I read the pages I began to wonder could this book be written about me. Of course it wasn’t, but I represent so many others who are struggling with chronic pain and desperate to find relief.
Your words resonated with me and I began to open up to the possibility that my pain could be emotionally charged. I especially found comfort in your words explaining that the pain I felt was very real, but originating from a psychological concern rather than a mechanical one. I had done every conventional and alternative treatment recommended that should have cured my pain and none of them worked. Now I know why, the pain was not being caused by a physical problem. Within six weeks of reading your book and subscribing to your theory of TMS, I was able to walk my kids to school, do hot yoga and drive a car without pain. Fast forward to today, it has been just over a year and I have been pain free and feeling better than ever! When life begins to stress me out, I reach for your daily reminders and I’m able to manage my mind and body as a whole and keep chronic pain away for good. I am eternally grateful for your dedication to TMS and hope to continue to see your work and legacy provide the shift our culture needs in the treatment of chronic pain.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Dear 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.
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.
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.