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The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body,…

The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain

by John E. Sarno

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About 15 years ago this book saved me from the chronic pain of RSI. Dr Sarno says that our emotions and particularly our unconscious anger cause chronic pain. He believes in the knowledge cure, that we have to understand and accept that we have a great unknown reservoir of rage and chronic pain is our body trying to distract from that. It sounds completely woo-woo and it may not be what the mainstream medical establishment (ie the money making machine) wants to hear but it made sense for me and it worked. Unfortunately I am suffering a flare up of a different kind of chronic pain at the moment and I had stopped doing the journalling that Sarno recommends, so I am currently rereading this book and some of the newer stuff that has been published (this is still the best though). But you can't just casually read it through, you have to reread and reread and makes notes on the bits that resonate with you and reread again until you are actually sick of it. I have returned to journalling to explore this current chronic pain. I know it won't be quick but it will work.
I am also reading for the first time the book by Ozanich - "The Great Pain deception" and that is so far striking me as a good companion for Sarno's book. Will reread that also and make notes.
If you would like a more scientific read on the control your brain has on your body, then "Molecules of Emotion" by Candace Pert is a good back up - but read Sarno first. ( )
  infjsarah | Jun 7, 2015 |
Dr. John Sarno has written another book on the mindbody connection or what he calls TMS (tension myositis syndrome), a psychosomatic disorder that can involve pain in many areas of the body, headache, high blood pressure, asthma, and many other disorders. He is very clear in the text that first, you must have a medical examination to rule out serious disease and follow the advice of your physician. But, when there is no apparent cause for the illness and pain (and signs of aging in neck and spine are probably not responsible for chronic pain), your mind may be using the pain or disease to avoid facing crises and rage in life. He has had great success with patients who are receptive to the ideas he presents, even after numerous treatments and surgeries that failed to help. The book lists the therapeutic program that is recommended to patients with the understanding that, in some patients, this is all they need; some need a lecture experience and some need psychotherapy with a trained therapist to recover. And it is not unusual for the cure to work and then the pain or disease recur in another part of the body, the minds way of repressing thoughts to difficult to bear.

The book is written for the layman in simple to understand language. Dr. Sarno has included an appendix for academic concerns with extensive notes and there is a complete bibliography and index.

Although I have not seen improvement in my case as it is probably medical rather than TMS, I am still open to any help in this area and am reading more of Dr. Sarno’s works as well as others in the field. Since the mind and body are interconnected, I am surprised that more doctors aren’t open to this theory. ( )
  fdholt | Jun 12, 2011 |
Written for the masses, this book sometimes comes across as a long pat-on-the-author's-back. The author is trying to convince you of why his method to relieve pain works and why he knows without being too academic, but because of all this the book ends up being very self-congratulatory. Aside from that minor distraction, his argument is strong and the book really makes you wonder why more in the medical profession don't study the mindbody connection. I've only just finished it, so I can't say yet how well his methods work on my migraines, but I'm optiistic. ( )
  nicole_a_davis | Mar 8, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446675156, Paperback)

Dr. John Sarno caused quite a ruckus back in 1990 when he suggested that back pain is all in the head. In his bestselling book, Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, he claimed that backaches, slipped discs, headaches, and other chronic pains are due to suppressed anger, and that once the cause of the anger is addressed, the pain will vanish. Relieved Amazon.com readers call this book "liberating" and say "it sounds too good to be true, but it is true." Sarno has returned with The Mindbody Prescription, in which he explains how emotions including guilt, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem can stimulate the brain to manufacture physical symptoms including fibromyalgia, repetitive strain injuries, migraine headaches, hay fever, colitis, ulcers, and even acne. If these psychosomatic problems all sound a little Freudian, what with the repression of emotions in the unconscious, it's because Sarno unapologetically borrows from Freud for the basis of his theory and cites childhood trauma as a major source of emotional problems. He also says that his program is a "talking cure" of sorts, since patients must be convinced their pain is rooted in their emotions before healing can begin.

The book reads a bit like psychology text, with Sarno quoting from psychoanalytic theorists including Heinz Kohut and Graeme Taylor and the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition). Sarno walks through the neurophysiology of mindbody disorders, lists the symptoms of dozens of disorders that he believes are emotion-based, and offers a basic program for overcoming psychosomatic pain and illness. His recovery plan includes meditation and sometimes psychotherapy, including behavior modification, and stopping any medication or physical therapy. While Sarno's ideas seem radical, they were commonly implemented earlier in the 20th century, when psychoanalysis was at its peak of popularity, and they promise to become more accepted in our current era of alternative medical therapies and anger management. --Erica Jorgensen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:56 -0400)

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