Everyone is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind”

If you do not run your subconscious mind yourself someone else will run it for you

I have suffered from a lower back pain for many years.  It only affects me when I stand still or walk for extended periods… it has no affect when I run long distances or at other times.  There appeared to be no obvious or clinical reason for this and despite the pain it caused I put it down to ‘a trapped nerve’.
I stood at a trade show for two solid days about a month after reading the book the MindBody Prescription and realized at the end I had, had no pain through the two days. At the time of writing I have only read the MindBody Prescription once – I almost never have the back pain now and when I do I find it resolves itself.

That said I should state that I have read critical reviews of the book and appreciate one cannot cure everything from a book.  Likewise, I also don’t believe that the “Power of Positive Thinking” can cure all ills and would again stress that this worked (to some degree) for me and urge you to have any disorders checked with a physician – see disclaimer

The scope of this page is very limited – but equally incredibly powerful.  You do have to have an open mind.

Sarano’s proposition is that most muscular/ skeletel pain is usually the result of early infantile and childhood trauma which has been repressed (or for me other repressed thoughts and feelings – I was blessed to have a lovely childhood).  The emotion involved is invariably that of profound anger and rage. Our mind plays tricks and confuses us into focusing our attention on physical pain while the real problem is in our not facing and uncovering our repressed emotions, particular deep rage. The cure to Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) is simply to come to realize that the origin of the pain is from the unconscious mind and not from any bodily abnormality.  Sarno expands TMS to a wide variety of chronic conditions, listing several areas as “equivalents of TMS” including:

  • The gastrointestinal system
  • The circulatory system
  • The skin
  • The immune system
  • The genitourinary system
  • The cardiac mechanism
  • Miscellaneous: This includes hypoglycemia, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue syndrome, and spasmodic dysphonia.

There are also several conditions which Sarno suggest emotions may play a role including: autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer.

There are three key components to any successful treatment of TMS –

  • The first is to accept and believe that there is nothing structurally wrong with you.
  • The second is to “acknowledge the psychological basis for the pain.” This includes becoming educated on the causation of the pain and understanding the role repressed emotions play in chronic conditions.
  • The third component is to accept the psychological, which in essence means to accept the emotions that you have. Dr. Sarno continues to give several techniques to help people accomplish these goals:
    • Think Psychological: Whenever a person is in pain they should think of what repressed rage is causing the pain.
    • Talk to Your Brain: By simply telling yourself that you know what is going on, and that your unconscious is creating the pain, can help a person reduce their pain level.
    • Make a Written List: List all of the stresses, pressures, and anxiety you have in your life, including things that are self-imposed pressures, and any anger or issues from your childhood.
    • Daily Reflection or Meditation: Dr. Sarno suggests that individuals devote time each day to think about their treatment and gain understanding on how to get better

From the book –

  • “Increasingly, we discussed the pain with the patient, where it came from and why it would go away once the psychological poison was revealed.”
  • “He (the patient) understood and accepted the principle of psychological causation as applicable to his symptoms — and he got better.”
  • “In many cases merely acknowledging that a symptom may be emotional in origin is enough to stop it.”
  • “I would tell patients their backaches were induced by stress and tension, and if they were open to that idea, they got better.”
  • “The pain will not stop unless you are able to say, “I have a normal back; I now know that the pain is due to a basically harmless condition, initiated by my brain to serve a psychological purpose. . . .”
  • “The brain tries desperately to divert our attention from rage in the unconscious. . . . So we must bring reason to the process! This is the heart of the very important concept. . . .”
  • “I tell my patients that they must consciously think about repressed rage and the reasons for it whenever they are aware of the pain.”
  • “Remember, the purpose of the pain is to divert attention from what’s going on emotionally and to keep you focused on the body.”
  • “For some people simply shifting attention from the physical to the psychological will do the trick. Others need more information on how the strategy works, and still others require psychotherapy.”