The Mindbody Prescription
The Mindbody Prescription

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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 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

Dr. John E. Sarno's Healing Back Pain is a New York Times bestseller that has helped over 500,000 readers. Continuing the research since his groundbreaking book, the renowned physician now presents his most complete work yet on the vital connection between mental and bodily health, The Mindbody Prescription.

Musculoskeletal pain disorders have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with most doctors failing to recognize their underlying cause. In this acclaimed volume, Dr. Sarno reveals how many painful conditions--including most neck and back pain, migraine, repetitive stress injuries, whiplash, and tendonitises--are rooted in repressed emotions . . . and shows how they can be successfully treated without drugs, physical measures, or surgery. His innovative program has already produced gratifying results for thousands of patients. The Mindbody Prescription is your invaluable key to a healthy and pain-free life.

Customer Reviews:

  • Mindbody Connection for Healing is Interesting Idea.
    The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain

    I've read the other reviews for this book. Some are lengthy, erudite discussions of the fine points of Sarno's theories.

    I think everyone who has really thought about it seriously, realizes that of course our minds can control our bodies to an extent. Sarno's basic thinking is that most diseases, chronic pain, etc. can be grouped together in one neat package, and by using his process, cures and relief can be affected.

    In many cases, I think this is true. My only problem with the premise of the book is that if you accept his ideas and use his process, but do not experience a diminishing of pain, or a cure for a chronic condition, it's your fault for not doing it well enough, long enough, or correctly. This may not be his intent, but it's what I came away with after having read the book carefully, twice, highlighting important points.

    I find it problematic that if a patient tries very hard, follows all the steps outlined, and still suffers, he/she will exacerbate the chronic condition or chronic pain because of guilt and feelings of failure.

    This is one person's opinion. Take it for what it's worth. I will continue to meditate, use biofeedback, and rest in a dark room when I get a debilitating migraine. And, yes, I will medicate according to my pain doctor's directions, too.

    ...more info
  • the key to all EMOTIONAL pain
    this book is a great one.dr sarno came up with a system that totally eliminates many different pains including allergies, acid reflux, and post nasal drip(worked on me!). However his idea that explains where all the pain comes from was nothing new to me. We all generate stress and produce lots of anger which we just push away and choose not to think of it. That built up anger and stress comes out in physical and emotional pain. So his ever simple approach is just to make a notation of things that bothered you and things that bother you.(the things that bothered you would be very traumotizing experiences usually) But again simply realize and make a diary of things that bothered you throughout the day that will usually take care of the basis of things. He came up with something new in that you have to continuasly tell yourself that your pain is not real and you know why its there bec of some blank emotional pain..thats basically it. only issue is that taking care of some things like eliminating an anxiety disorder will many times take itself out in many other fashions like deppression etc. So you would be required to keep up with this program for years just monitering the things that bother you on a day to day basis....great book i highly recomend it just for the fact it will get a person to think of the sometimes very scary but even more rewarding stresses that go on in everyday life....good luck!...more info
  • This book saved my life!
    I suffered from chronic back pain that left my unable to do any kind of athletic activity other than really low-impact aerobic stuff and unable to sit at my desk (I am a software developer) for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time. I would go home from work and lie down with heat/ice until dinner, eat, and then take a muscle relaxant (on bad weeks) so I could sleep. Needless to say, I was completely miserable. This went on for over 2 years during which time I was prescribed progressively stronger medication and went through several physical therapy routines. Nothing worked so finally someone recommended this book to me. I got the book and committed to it (it is very important to approach this book with an open mind - if you can't accept Sarno's ideas, this book will not help you) and within a month I was completely better. I hadn't even read the 3rd section of the book yet! It has been a little over a year and a half and I have had no trouble with my back. I'm back to playing basketball, ultimate frisbee, tennis, and skiing like I was never injured. If you are suffering from chronic pain, you owe it to yourself to give this book a try - for 12 bucks (less than the cost of one prescription) how can you not?...more info
  • Sceptic Turned Believer
    I am a writer/editor who endured seven years of carpel tunnel-like symptoms: tingling, pain, weakness, and numbness from both wrists all the way up to my neck. I underwent every possible treatment, mainstream and alternative, but nothing worked. One day, someone who had similar pain told me how she was cured by this book. I didn't believe her, but I was desperate: at the time I was taking the highest dosage of my painkillers, and had just quit my job because the pain was crippling. After two months of reading Dr. Sarno's book nonstop and learning how the pain was psychosomatic--which has a bad rap for being fake; it's real pain that is initiated from the brain--I was off of my meds and almost pain-free. Within four months I was pain-free. It's been one and half years and I'm still pain-free!!!!...more info
  • If you suffer from chronic pain, this is a must read.
    This doctor really knows how to fix chronic pain. I went to see one of his collegues about terrible chronic muscle problems due to overuse and fibromyalgia that had spread to all parts of my body. I had been dealing with this for 3+ years; even the Mayo Clinic told me that there was nothing they could do.

    I finally gave up and tried this approach as a last resort (I am horribly skeptical of all forms of non-conventional treatment.)

    It seemed like a miracle when my pain cleared up and I got my life back. Most of the pain went away in 3-4 months. I still deal with it from time to time but I have the tools to deal with it now.

    This approach isn't easy, but with persistence it absolutely works.

    I still apply Dr. John Sarno's methods today, and am now very much in control of my disorder, thanks to his help.

    I highly recommend reading it and Dr. John Sarno's book, "The Mindbody Prescription." It really does work, especially it all conventional treatment has failed you....more info

  • Powerful Way to Get Rid of Muscle Pain
    This book described the cause of my pain and muscle dysfunction. No doctors that I visited could figure it out. But Sarno has identified a very specific syndrome that many people have, and it is not theoretical...he has done a very good job of documenting his success with a specific theraputic process. It's both easy and hard to's hard to grasp the fact that a brain process could cause so much pain and muscle spasm, easy because once you follow the therapy, you realize how simple it is to reverse the process.

    Here's how it was for me:I was at the end of my rope. I had been to orthopedic surgeons, rehab doctors, chiropractors, accupuncturists and many physical therapists. I had constant pain with intermittent bouts of severe back spasms. After a couple of years I had to quit work because I was in so much pain. I spent most of the day lying down. Oh, and I was on three kinds of medicine. This was about 4 years into this problem that never seemed to get better, yet no doctor could find a real cause (except things like disc compression).

    I ran into Sarno's prior book, Healing Back Pain. Within about 3 days of reading the book, my pain started to subside. In 3 weeks the pain was about 50% and in 2 months it was gone. The book describes a series of steps you need to take to get rid of the pain and muscle spasms. It is basically a cognative therapy process in which you focus on specific stresses.

    It was scary to get back into activities after being fearful of lifting, sitting, twisting, bending, etc. Now I ski, play basketball, golf, tennis, and have zero pain. Sarno describes how he came about his theraputic process. It sounds like black magic. But I am an engineer that believes in science, and Sarno did his homework. I want other people to get rid of their pain, too.

    Of course not all back pain fits this model, but it seems like much of mid-life back pain could be caused by this specific syndrome. Sarno describes particular personality types that are apt to have this, and also says that people with allergies and irritable bowel are likely candidates.

    Many people will read the book and not get it. You have to really get into to it and dedicate yourself to the process. You've got nothing to lose except the pain....more info
  • This book saved my life.
    This book brings Dr. Sarno's brilliant discoveries beyond back pain into other realms so common these days: fibromyalgia, chronic fatique syndrome, candida, multiple chemical sensitity syndrome... this book hit his point home for me. I want the readers to know that you really do need to be willing the book over and over again several times depending on how long going and how deeply ingrained your pain syndrome might be. Trust me though, it is worth it!!!! My own pain syndrome was unsolved by western doctors and preyed upon by holistic doctors for years until I finally discovered that only I am responsible for my own well being and only I can help myself in this way....more info
  • Sarno is right!
    My problem was what urologists call non-bacterial prostatitis, neurologists call pudendal nerve entrapment, musculo-skeletal therapists call coccydynia, physical therapists call piriformis syndrome, ... Summarizing, no specialist knew what what the ... was going on with me but all of them claimed that it was something within their field. Moreover, many suggested surgery as the only solution. The pain was very bad and I could not lead a normal life.

    After a lot of internet searching, I came across Dr. Sarno's books and, because I was so desperate, decided to give them a chance. Now I'm 100% OK. (A piece of advise: don't wait till you're desperate!)

    I also recommend Fred Amir's book for practical tips, and, for people with chronic pelvic pain, the valuable book by R. Anderson and D. Wise, "A headache in the pelvis"....more info

  • It Works!
    Years ago, I read Dr. Sarno's first book and my back problems resolved "like magic". But I still had eczema, fibromyalgia, a nighttime anxiety disorder and chronic constipation. Not a fun life, let me tell you. So I literally fell on Sarno's new book The Mindbody Prescription. At first, my conscious mind rebelled at the notion that this was, in essence, a problem of attitude. But I had my success with my back to encourage me so I set about doing the easy mental excercises and was really shocked to find all my symptoms started to vanish. I have had one short spell of fibromyalgia (which I talked my way out of, as outlined in the book), no constipation and far less night anxiety (I never was anxious during the day). The eczema took longer and I still have to remind a few spots of it that "I know what you're doing so don't bother!" but it is 90 per cent cleared. Truly, this book is a miracle. I know Dr. Sarno's book won't cure cancer or heart disease but I am entirely convinced that it will help the symptoms and perhaps even make recovery more likely. What a relief! I feel much more in control of my life. I even used the method to get through the recent terrorist attack on New York.
    PLEASE read this book, let the message sink in, and KNOW that you have far more control over your own mind and body reactions than you ever thought. I wish Dr. Sarno all the best. Lots of mainstream medical people are going to hate his method because it will revolutionize the medical world.

    Sharon Jones...more info

  • If you suffer from chronic pain, this is a must read.
    This doctor really knows how to fix chronic pain. I went to see one of his collegues about terrible chronic muscle problems due to overuse and fibromyalgia that had spread to all parts of my body. I had been dealing with this for 3+ years; even the Mayo Clinic told me that there was nothing they could do.

    I finally gave up and tried this approach as a last resort (I am horribly skeptical of all forms of non-conventional treatment.)

    It seemed like a miracle when my pain cleared up and I got my life back. Most of the pain went away in 3-4 months. I still deal with it from time to time but I have the tools to deal with it now.

    This approach isn't easy, but with persistence it absolutely works.

    I still apply Dr. John Sarno's methods today, and am now very much in control of my disorder, thanks to his help.

    I highly recommend reading it and Dr. John Sarno's book, "The Mindbody Prescription." It really does work, especially it all conventional treatment has failed you....more info

  • Terrific information, but I still have questions
    Like most reviewers, I have had terrific results after reading Dr. Sarno's books, and I am very thankful that I found them after only 2 months of back pain, unlike many of you who talk of suffering for years.

    For the skeptics among you, I recommend searching for the study by Maureen Jensen in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was cited by Dr. Sarno in an interview. They did MRIs on people WITHOUT back pain, and found that a full 52 percent had bulging disks to some degree.

    That being said, I still have questions. There was a previous review by a physical therapist who stressed how important it is to not forget the "body" when thinking about mind-body problems. After all, it IS possible to injure your muscles through overuse, a slip on the ice, or what have you. The physical body is not invincible.

    I'm finding it very difficult to know when a pain that develops after a long run or a hike in the mountains is due to my worrying about the possibility of pain (TMS) and when it is an injury---in other words, is it physical or mental?

    For example, the other day I went for a 5km run. In the past, before my short adventure with back pain, I often ran 5kms and enjoyed the tired feeling I got in my muscles the following day. This time, I did a long, slow warm-up, walking the first km, stretched for awhile, and ran. It was really hard to let go and just run like I used to without concentrating on the mechanics of my stride, whether my hamstrings felt tight, and the remote possibility that I might "hurt myself", etc. When I got home, I felt some minor shin splints, something that had never happened to me in the past. So I was torn. Should I ice my shins and rest, and treat it as a physical injury, or think about psychological problems and see if the shin pain was just a distraction of my mind? It seems likely to me that my worrying about my stride led me to run in a strange way and tense my shins, leading to a slight physical injury.

    To summarize, although I no longer feel pain when just sitting around (and I'm thankful for that!) I'm finding it hard to "let go" and enjoy some of the physical activities that I used to do. Sports medicine doctors will tell you that, if you feel pain, you should stop whatever you're doing in order to avoid further injury. How nice it would be to have those little devices on Star Trek that scan the body and tell you what's wrong--red light means physical, green light means mental......more info
  • Outstanding Breakthrough!!!
    It works, it works it works! As a practicing hypnotherapist specializing in chronic illness and chronic pain,I finally know how I have succeeded with my own clients. So many times after having intuitively shaped the sessions as we went along, I have wondered just what it was that we had done that accounted for the clients relief. Now I know. Not only that, but now that I have his refined "blueprint" for success, I can get those results more frequently. My interest in using the mind to overcome pain was fueled in 1998 after watching the BBC program featuring Dr. Angel Esqudero use his "noesitherapy" the operate while the patient conversed with him...without any form of anesthesia! I have conversed with Angel via email several times and there is a definite link between his approach and Dr. Sarno's. Let me say however that Dr. Sarno has a much more streamlined program, and has obviously worked the bugs out. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1997, I had used hypnosis, NLP and other approaches to control and alter my pain successfully, but it was always in the background. Dr. Sarno literally taught me how to ELIMINATE my pain once and for all. Simply amazing! I have always enjoyed working with Chronic pain clients as they come in highly motivated and ready for change. If you are in such a position and would like to finally rid yourself of your aches and pains....get this book, read it repeatedly, follow the instructions, and I'm betting that you too will be FREE of your condition!...more info
  • Simply Put - It Works.
    When my back went, it went all the way. I lost the ability to walk. I could not lift my left foot off the ground and had to drag my left leg behind me. I had to sleep on the floor. It hurt to stand, sit, walk, sneeze, cough - my life was not a happy place. AN MRI revealed a badly herniated L5/S1 disk and the surgeon told me surgery needed to be performed within a week. The risks and potential complications were beyond my belief so I sought alternative methods.

    I tried physical therapy, pain medicine, acupuncture, sports medicine, deep tissue massage and chiropractic. I went through procedures I never heard of and never dreamed of participating in. I was only 34 years old and had been extremely active and now it looked like life as I knew it was over.

    A friend with a similar injury turned me on to this book. It worked for him so I read it - over and over and over. The ideas finally worked their way into my stubborn brain and within a couple months I was walking normally. One year later I am back in the gym full force, running at full speed, and almost completely pain free. My life is back to normal and I directly attribute my miraculous recovery to this book. It works on the principle that if you believe, you will achieve. Good luck and take back your life!...more info

  • It saved me lot of agony and pain. I highly recommend it
    I have been meaning to write this review for a long time but was waiting to see if my pain returns back. I have had severe back pain in the February 2002 and I went to all kinds of doctors. I read Dr. Sarno's both books (this and Healing Back pain) in April 2002 and applied his techniques. The back pain has been better ever since. The pain kind of shifted in different bidy places but finally I am pain free (99% of time). This book is incredible and Dr. Sarno is doing a lot of good for chronic pain sufferers. He is a saint. I highly recommend this book to any one with chronic pain....more info
  • Potentially helpful, but mostly a unscientific miracle cure
    Dr. Sarno suggests that most chronic pain is of a psychogenic nature (caused by unconcious, repressed emotions). Being psychogenic also means being psychosomatic, so he is literally saying that for most cases it's all in your head. His claims are based mostly on speculation and are unscientific. It is true that emotions do contribute to chronic pain, but Dr. Sarno is suggesting that the emotions are the _primary cause_ of the chronic pain and not just a contributing factor. Because emotions due contribute to the pain, his emotional treatment does appear to help (to some extent) for a small number of people. Since you can check this out of your local library for free, it's at least worth a try even if the chances of it working are slim. In other words, give it a try, but don't hold your breath....more info
  • Difficult to uncover the unconscious
    John E. Sarno states that various aches and pains--backaches, headaches, for example--are psychosomatic in origin. Granted. But his method of curing these pains is highly oversimplified. Just get in touch with your unconscious, he states, as though it were as easy as a few weeks' doing. However even after five or ten years on a Freudian couch, many patients can barely do this. One wonders just how an individual on his own can get in touch with his repressed rage, thereby eliminated the physical pain this causes....more info
  • Chronic Pain sufferers must read
    After suffering a life tragedy about 8 years ago I started having unrelenting, debilitating back pain and spasms. I was given a myriad of tests and prescriptions, went to physical therapy and even when to a pain specialist. After a couple of visits the pain specialist recommended Dr. Sarnos book. I read the book all the way through and went back and reread the areas that pertained to my situation. Over the next few weeks my tension myositis disappeared. I have recommended this book to anyone I know with chronic, debilitating pain.

    A few years later after my first pregnancy I suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome. After a while I remembered Dr. Sarnos book discussing carpal tunnel. I reread the book and my symptoms eased substantially.

    Even if, like I, the pain does not go away I'm positive Dr. Sarnos' insight into the Mind Body connection will help those with chronic pain manage the stress induced symptoms.
    ...more info
  • A must buy for those with long-term back pain
    I've suffered with chronic lower back pain for 30+ years, involving literally hundreds of medical and chiropractic doctor sessions. An accuputure specialist I consulted recommended this book. Within 3 weeks of reading it the back pain is gone. ...more info
  • This is THE source to recovery of your chronic pain - Dr. Sarno is the answer
    I bought and read both The Mindbody Prescription and Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain about 1 week after I had suffered a severe back and sciatic pain attack during Christmas of 2007. WHAT a LIFESAVER!!! I can't overstate this for my situation. The pain I had in my back and the sciatic pain that burned and tingled in my left leg was so painful that I could barely walk for 10 days, or even stand to shower. I had x-rays and an MRI which revealed that I had a lower herniated disc. The orthapedic doctors suggest oral cortisone, which I took in 2 5-day packs. That did nothing for me. I then tried Chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy which were unsuccessful as well. Chiropractic care had helped my symptoms in years before , but never went to the source of my pain, which was originating in my brain, not the structure of my spine. Surgery was suggested on my disc, but that was my absolute last resort. I had bought Healing Back Pain years before, but didn't really read all of it. So, I thought I would try it one more time and really digest it.

    After reading Healing Back Pain and also reading (and re-reading sections many time to help it sink into my unconscious) The Mindbody Prescription, I followed Dr. Sarno's methods of learning about Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) and how my pain originated in my brain and wasn't an injury of any sort. My pain was severe and the patterns conditioned in my head took a while to shake. I was functioning and back to work in about a week after I started the books. However, it took me a while to shake the fear of having the attack. With practice and once the concepts sunk into my unconscious mind, I was soon running and lifting weights, probably about 2-3 months after I started the program and books. I'm happy to say that I'm fully recovered now (14 months later) and it probably took about 3-4 months for me to be completely pain-free. Occasionally, I get reminders of pain in my body, but once I realize what is going on in my life or in that moment, I can get the pain to go away in short order. Also, now I know this pain cannot do any damage to my body and is just my brain telling me something.

    This man can save your life. Trust me, he saved mine. He is a true pioneer. Most orthopedic surgeons are in the dark ages on this theory and still doing a lot of unnecessary surgery. They are only going by the medical school books which are outdated and teaching the wrong treatment over and over again. Just like "the world is flat" theory, it takes a pioneer to come forward and champion new ideas. Dr. Sarno is that pioneer. Don't give up on the books and theories. I had to re-read the book (follow his suggestions in the book) and important sections over and over again, with journaling every day to get my unconscious to be aware of the concepts. Also, purchase Dr. Sarno's DVD lecture which also seemed to help me. It's worth it vs. all the doctor visits and expensive treatments. Good luck and don't give up!
    ...more info
  • Worked for ten years
    I was a very young boy of 14 the first time my back went out and it continued until I was left paralyzed on my bathroom floor the day of my brothers wedding.
    I was flat on my back with no hope of ever being normal. And this was at 26 years old.

    I stumbled onto Dr. Sarno;s book and my pain went away in two weeks. No kidding. I was a prisoner of my back for most of my YOUNG life and then after one reading the pain stopped.

    And it lasted for ten years.

    T two years ago I started feeling pain in my feet and then my back and then my hip. I have re-read the book and can't seem to shake the pain this time. I even stared psychotherapy to vent my unconscious rage. I am still in pain, but I know that it is caused by my unconscious stress and am really making an effort to follow the advice in the book. I have been in pain again for two years, but again, I know it is emotional. I am going to apply his principles religiously again and let you know how I feel in a few weeks.
    Jimmy Dore ...more info
  • Feeling Great!
    I had terrible back and leg pain for 7 years. I thought it was due to my house building days and an injury I thought I had received from pulling a boat from the water. An Orthapedic surgeon said he could remove the so-called pinched disc. I chose instead to regularly visit a Chiropractor. Between Chiropractor visits I would consume numerous anti-flammitory pills. I also did Acupunture.

    Then I read "The Mindbody Prescription" by Dr. Sarno. During the course of reading this book, I could feel the pain easing up as I could relate alot of what he wrote to my situation. After reading it twice, I was virtually pain free. That was two years ago and I have been pain free since.

    An excellent choice of books if you suffer body pain...more info

  • This book had a huge and lasting impact on my life
    Hearing about Sarno's theory and getting a hold of this book was one of the most important things that's ever happened to me. All through college I had escalating health problems. I went to a zillion specialists and got diagnosed with lots of contradictory things, but nothing made much of a difference. I had foot pain (diagnosed as plantar faciitis) to the point where I couldn't walk or stand for more than a minute (that was fun), "carpal tunnel syndrome," so that I couldn't type or write for more than a minute, bad chronic heart burn, knee and elbow pain (I was diagosed with arthritis), irritable bowel syndrome, and yeast infections. It just didn't make sense, but things kept getting progressively worse. Then one day my boyfriend was researching carpal tunnel syndrome on the web, and he found out about The Mindbody Syndrome. I got the book, did a lot of hard mental work, and over the course of a month all of my health problems disappeared. I can remember forcing myself to walk and willing my foot pain to go away, and slowly IT DID. I walked a mile, which I hadn't done in a really long time, and I knew I had the power to make everything go away. It's been been a year and a half; I still get occasional heart burn when I'm especially stressed, but that's it. (Best of luck to everyone out there that may be in a similar boat. I recommend going to the message board at if you have questions.) ...more info
  • It saved me lot of agony and pain. I highly recommend it
    I have been meaning to write this review for a long time but was waiting to see if my pain returns back. I have had severe back pain in the February 2002 and I went to all kinds of doctors. I read Dr. Sarno's both books (this and Mind-Body prescription) in April 2002 and applied his techniques. The back pain has been better ever since. The pain kind of shifted in different bidy places but finally I am pain free (99% of time). This book is incredible and Dr. Sarno is doing a lot of good for chronic pain sufferers. He is a saint. I highly recommend this book to any one with chronic pain....more info
  • It may lead to cures for other ailments, not listed by Dr. Sarno
    I highly recommend this book. It is an absolute must-read to cure all types of pain and muscle ailments.

    I wouldn't be surprised it Dr. Srano's work leads to cures for other problems, not (yet) listed in his books. I suffered a sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), and while I would recommend others who experience such a serious condition to follow *all* their doctors instructions (e.g. taking major doses of steroids, etc.), applying Dr. Sarno's technique seemed to help a great deal. Additionally, Dr. Sarno does mention in his earlier back pain book that steroids do seem to help, although he does not know why.

    Medical science still has a lot to learn, and we should all be open minded (both doctors and patients) and very thankful to Dr. Sarno for showing us new solutions and possibilities to what can be difficult and serious medical conditions....more info
  • A Whole New Way to Think About Health and Medicine
    This is a fantasic book and Dr. Sarno has done invaluable, scientifically sound work. Now, how do we make his knowledge work for us; how do we starting applying it right away?
    First, a few of the basics. 1. There is no way to utilize Dr. Sarno's research without dealing with the psychology of our unconscious minds. Most people are unfamiliar with this, so it takes some getting used to. If you have any skepticism regarding "the unconscious brain," maybe even doubting its existence, then this will be a barrier for you in benefiting from Dr. Sarno's research. Try to be open-minded and unafraid to own up to your own repressed emotions. A common mistake made by many health professionals is to cite conscious emotions as the cause, or part of the cause, of various health problems. For example, when I handed my doctor a copy of Sarno's book, he said, "I am already well aware that `stress on the job' is the #1 cause of back pain." But simply saying "stress" or "tension" is the culprit misses the point! We have to accept that it is our job to root out the sources of our repressed, uncomfortable feelings that are currently hidden from us.
    2. That said, we don't have to change those feelings or make them vanish. Rather, we have to try to bring them to light and, if possible, sit with them. Once our attention is on the emotions, day in and day out, then the purpose of the pain or other distraction fades away.
    3. Dr. Sarno's treatment program is not aspirin. You don't pick up his book on the days you hurt and then throw it down when you feel better. Dr. Sarno's books are a long-term means for us to re-think how we understand pain and bodily disorders (turns out that most of them are not pathological). Without diligently following through on this re-thinking process, future relaspe is a matter of course.
    4. No matter how bad your bodily problems are (and there are hundreds that could be at work), they are not the real problems. Let me say that again, the pain is not your biggest worry! It is so easy to wistfully think, "If only I were well, then my life would be perfect." I'm sorry, but that's not true. Rather, once you are well, you are then more able to focus on the anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, and past events that deserved your attention from the very beginning. In so far as you avoid these subjects, you encourage any available distraction that your brain might utilize to boost your complacency. Be strong and don't give up! To be specific, you've got to sit down for 15-30 minutes every morning and evening and go over the things in your life and your history that gall the heck out of your childish, selfish unconscious brain. This is the basis of the therapy. It is like homework. But really, it is medicine. The 15-30 minute sessions allow you to gradually absorb what Dr. Sarno has said, apply it to your own unique life, and talk to your brain. You have to banish the fear of physical disorders with facts and those facts need time to sink in. Plus, you have to develop new habits of mental reflection. It takes a lot of patience and maybe sounds bizarre, but we ought to consider how little we know about this field of mind-body medicine. No one is expected to be good at it right away.
    Strategies to use for self-therapy during your morning/evening sessions: take notes on ways that you put pressure on yourself, write down things that come to mind so you can review them many times. Talk to your brain. If you can lecture to your brain cogently, then you probably have Dr. Sarno's findings well summarized. Re-read sections of his books. Watch the videos available (Mumbleypeg Productions). Balance your reflection sessions. Don't just review the concepts of mind-body medicine. Be careful also to do sincere emotional exploration. It's easy to avoid (heck, the whole program is easy to avoid). And, it's easy to focus on just one aspect (say, your relationship with a specific family member). But there are many possible aspects. Most of them quite unspectacular when compared to trauma and abuse, for example. Trauma and abuse might be the case for you, but there's no need to have a troubled past to suffer severely. Just being a mature adult provides more than enough for a full "mental closet."

    Don't let the turkeys get you down. Few people will understand what you are doing during your morning and evening sessions. And, you might have to continue for many months. No need to worry. You get to learn more about yourself and your emotional reactions. Believe it or not, but it's truly a great opportunity. As Freud said, "Being totally honest with ourselves is a very beneficial exercise." Are *you* willing to be honest about, say, inner anger toward loved ones? It's no easy pill to swallow, but you aren't the first. Human psychology has its shocking revelations, but we all share them.

    Consider that a real revision of our understanding of health is in order. Starting with stress, it is important to note that stress is basically universal. To be a normal mature adult is to endure stress. However, accusing someone of being "stressed out" often evokes hostile reactions. We are taught that experiencing stress equals a failure to properly cope and deal with one's life. But don't be lied to! Alas, misinformation abounds and we are lied to regularly (yes, doctors will provide lab results about, say your poor adrenal glands. But don't take that malarkey. This is about your brain, not your body). The name of the game is not to magically live a stress-free life. That ain't possible! Rather, it's to admit the stress, point it out, bring it to light, and take the drama out of it. Sure, none of your friends might be doing this, but they probably don't know the wisdom that Dr. Sarno has collected for us, either.

    If you are active, congratulations on your exercise program. But, don't think it is a cure for back pain. Let's just let the cat out of the bag right now. Yoga is great. Swimming, jogging, cycling, etc. are blessed and holy, but no one ever got back pain from a lack of yoga so it doesn't follow that yoga cures the root cause. And likewise no one ever got back pain from a lack of physical therapy. So why do yoga and physical therapy sometimes work? Well, that's a long story, but they usually only work temporarily at best. But, by all means, if they work for you, don't stop! Read Dr. Sarno, though, and you'll see that the pain or chronic fatigue or depression is not a bodily or biochemical issue what so ever! It is all initiated by the brain, so the route to curing it is also through the brain. If you avoid this fact, you will avoid getting over TMS and it's host of equivelants. Throw away the pills and prescriptions. Get down to work. 15-30 minutes twice a day. Do it as long at you have to. And never look back. You're in good hands. The data has not been fudged. This therapy works. I owe my active life to Dr. Sarno's program....more info
  • He didn't tell me about the peace of mind that would come, and I'm rather upset about that...
    I was lying in bed this morning, terrible abdominal pain in my gut, and I started using Dr. John Sarno's instructions (page 139 in this book, and on page 70 in his "Healing Back Pain" book) instead of reaching for a Vicodin as I usually do. I first started running down all the instances of rage in my life. It was overwhelming. As I went through each experience and tried my best to forgive and release it, the pain got worse. That told me unquestionably that there was a relationship between the emotions and the pain.

    In one instance in my life where I had rage due to an intolerable work situation, I also had surgery to remove two herniated discs during that period of my life. This was not a coincidence.

    Based on the amount of rage I saw in my mind, I realized this was going to take a while. After I came to that realization, I just decided to be patient with it, and chip away at it a little each day. I also prayed for guidance as to how to best forgive and release this rage that I didn't want in my life anymore.

    Then, a peace of mind filled me, and I drifted off to sleep. Where a small amount of rage was removed, peace filled in the empty space vacated by the rage. I didn't expect that. After a brief nap, the pain had subsided enough for me to get out bed and start my day.

    Dr. Sarno didn't mention anything about his method creating peace of mind. Sweet!...more info
  • helped cure my RSI
    I had bad Repetitive Strain Injury in my hands. I could only work at a computer for 20 minutes without pain. I discovered Dr. Sarno's theories in this book and the book by Fred Amir and six weeks later I am working at a computer for five hours per day. I don't know if it can help all cases of RSI or even most cases but I wouldn't be surprised....more info
  • This book is priceless
    The effects of the employing the concepts in this book have been a dream come true for me. I had suffered from chronic pain problems for over 15 years. It started out as lower back pain, which then spread to become chronic shoulder tendinitis, upper back and neck pain, and then elbow and wrist pain as well. Over the years, my lifestyle gradually changed from being very active and in great shape to being unable to walk in one mile without extreme pain. The lower back pain was diagnosed as a degenerated disc for which I had two fusion surgeries in 1998 and 2001. My shoulder problems were supposedly caused by excess laxity in the ligaments and led me to have surgery on both of my shoulders. As is apparently common with TMS, the surgeries would help for a while, and then the pain would return, worse than ever. I tried everything: physical therapy (more sessions than I can possibly remember), chiropractic, VAX-D disc decompression therapy, acupuncture, rolfing, trigger point therapy, McKenzie, Egosque, steroid injections etc. Some of these techniques helped for a while, but the pain would always return as viscious as ever. I came to conclude I suffered from chronic myofascial pain syndrome and was told by "medical professionals" that the best I could hope for was to control it and would never be fully functional again.

    Thank God I was unwilling to accept these dire assessments. I actually read Dr. Sarno's book 4 or 5 years ago and dismissed it without giving it a real chance. It was only when I was truly desperate that I picked it up again in December, 2002 with an open mind. Within one week or so I noticed the pain was diminished. Amazingly, within 4-5 weeks, the pain was nearly gone. So then I started to exercise again and initially the pain came back, but I assured myself the pain had nothing to do with any kind of muscle inflammation or joint problem, and was only being caused by my subconscious. Sure enough, I continued to expand my workouts and now four months after applying the technique, I am in great shape, working out nearly every day, and in virtually no pain.

    If you are in chronic pain, read this book, it is all true. Do not allow "medical professionals" to tell you you have chronic myofascial pain syndrome or some other crock of nonsense. Dr. Sarno is right that they have created an army of partially disabled people that in fact have nothing wrong with them.
    I know of two other people who have had similarly amazing results. Read it and spend time every day to pound it into your subconscious. The truth will set you free, as it did me. Dr. Sarno, you improved the quality of my life more than i can say. Thank You....more info

  • Excellent Reference!
    The chapters on psychology may be a bit too detailed for most people, nevertheless, this is an excellent reference book for understanding a variety of ailments and bodily pains, often misdiagnosed, but usually caused by tension. It is also a good complement to Dr. sarno's Healing back pain, which helped me recover from chronic pain in my back, legs, knees, feet, neck, arms, and hands, and completely disability. Here's a list of tension-related conditons Dr. Sarno mentions in this book that is often misgiagnosed:

    Head, face, and mouth: dizziness, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), migraine headaches, Tempromandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), teeth grinding, canker sores, Bell's palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, Raynaud's phenomenon, spasmodic dysphonia

    Back, hip, and leg: Degenerative osteoarthritis, sciatica, pinched nerve, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, ruptured or herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, the pryformis syndrome, osteoarthritis of the hip, spina bifida occulta, pulled hamstring, ondylolysis, fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, myofacial pain syndrome, post-polio syndrome, facet syndrome

    Neck, shoulder, arm, and hand: osteoarthritis, pinched nerve, thoracic outlet syndrome (TOC), repetitive stress injury (RSI), whiplash, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tennis elbow, torn rotator cuff

    Cardiopulmonary system: asthma, sinusitis, hay fever, palpitations, some types of high blood pressure, chronic bronchitis, tachycardia, mitral valve prolapse (heart murmur), ectopic heartbeat

    Skin: rash, acne, hives, psoriasis

    Gastrointestinal system: colitis, heartburn, hiatal hernia, spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome, cramps and chronic diarrhea not caused by an infection, chronic constipation

    Genitourinary system: prostatitis, frequent urination, frequent urinary tract infections

    knees and feet: tendonitis, chondromalacia patella, torn meniscus, bone spurs, neuroma, plantar fasciitis, leg cramps, metatarsalgia, shin splints

    Immune system: repeated colds and infections, yeast infections, Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis), hay fever

    Other manifestations of repressed anger may be:
    ? Subclinical depression
    ? Depression
    ? Anxiety attacks
    ? Chronic fatigue syndrome
    ? Bulimia
    ? Anorexia
    ? Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
    ? Some acquired allergies
    ? Chronic pain
    ? Lyme disease (a bacterial infection caused by tick bites; however, finding the antibody titer in the blood is blamed for the cause of chronic pain)
    ? Spasms of the diaphragm, chest, and lungs, leading to hiccups, angina, and asthma respectively.

    This is definitely an excellent reference to have in one's personal library. ...more info
  • The Mindbody Prescription - Your Truth Will Set You Free
    This book was recommended to me by a friend who has been disabled for fifteen years from back pain (and four back surgeries to try to elminate it). As he knows more about back pain than I ever will, I dove into the book eagerly with my yellow highlighter in hand. The book is well laid out; takes enough time to lay the premise, then provides case histories to "prove" the theory. I admit I read it eagerly and rapidly, eager to get to the "how" portion of the book. It wasn't until I started re-reading (with a different color highlighter) that I really "got" the book - years of anger and unforgiveness come out as pain - my friend exhibited back pain; I exhibit psoriasis. All those things that have been "itching" to get out of me finally blossomed into psoriasis. I so do not want to have an auto-immune disorder - I read this book as if my life depended on it - and I can now see clearly the relationship between unsaid words and itching. I continue to re-read; one of John Sarno's patients wrote a "how to do this book" described in one of the later chapters: read the book; start re-reading and continue re-reading for 30 days. It takes about that long for "it" to sink in and for one to "get" it. For example, I was angry when I got home from work last Friday night, and because I read this book, I was able to process my anger and let it go before it did me in. I heartily recommend this book to anyone dealing with back or other pain; rheumatoid arthritis or other auto-immune disorder; or anything that causes your life to "not" work. God bless you!...more info
  • The Mindbody Prescription
    This is a very interesting book with an interesting premise. The author states that all pain in your body that persists after injury, or even without injury, is caused by unresolved emotional pain. We hypnotists have been saying this for years, but his cure is a little different. He says that your mind thinks it is easier for you to have physical pain, and is protecting you from having to relive those traumatic memories by distracting you with intense pain.
    Any one who has pain should read this book, and use it to heal their painful memories, or go to a hypnotist or EFT practitioner if they can't get relief on their own. ...more info
  • Blaming th victim! Pure crap!
    While I certainly agree that a negative attitude can impact an illness and that having a positive forward thinking attutide and not a self-defeating one is very important in treatment the idea that negative thouths or attitude can cause illnes is total bunk! I've been striken with 3 auto immune illnesses for 11 years now and I was happy and healthy before them- I didn't have any negative attitudes UNTIL I became ill and in constant daily unthinkable pain! Who is this author to talk about something that he has no first hand knowlage of!!!
    While there is no lab lest for Fibro (or CFS) there is an elevated level of subsance P in the spinal fluid in Fibro patients, as well as several other scientif studies confirming it;s scientific existnace. It's not IN OUR HEADS!!!!
    We fight enough battles for good research and good help from books we don't need to be discredited at every turn!...more info
    I was cured of carpal tunnel, back and knee pain, plantar fascitis, most of my hip pain, etc., etc.

    This book works-is very simple

    If you are having chronic pain issues that are not the result of an injury or real disease then this is the book for you !

    Also read book by Fred Amir...more info
  • Mindbody Prescription & Healing Back Pain
    I have suffered from allergies, sinus infections, bladder infections, dematitis, migraine headaches...and I could go on forever, for years. In the last 10 years or so I have had low back pain, sciatica, plantar facilitis, and recently peripheral neuropathy. I have had several episodes of PT, many chiropracter adjustments, seen the Dr., the Orthopedist, the Neurologist, had every test and xray possible, took many meds, had epidural injections, even went to an Allergist recently that told me I "just perceived the terrible numbness, tingling and nerve pain in my feet and legs". I happened to see John Stossel on 20/20 a few years ago and sent for Dr. Sarno's book "Healing Back Pain". I read it and highlighted several passages, etc. But didn't follow through cause my pain was too severe and I was too afraid. But...when the Allergist said I just "perceived" my pain, and every test said that I was "normal"...I GOT MAD! I picked up Healing Back Pain again and bought The MindBody Prescription. I am reading and rereading it every day now for the past 3 weeks. So far I am off pain meds, I put away my vibrator and my heating pad. I am trying new things every day. I couldn't sleep on my right side for 5 years or more and now each night I'm sleeping on that side more and more. I have a husband that is always trying to "help" me, and I am trying to get him to let me step out and do things. I still have pain and it gets worse when I am "uptight", but little by little I can feel the victory. I have extoled these books to several people I know that are suffering. I look forward to a "painfree" life. I lost a younger sister last year who had fibromyalgia. She was on so many meds that she didn't even know she had an infection and she died from Sepsis. I don't want that to happen again to anyone I know and love. Thank you, Dr. Sarno. I am grateful....more info
  • This book has helped my sister and my best friend!
    I purchased two copies of this for my sister and my best friend, both of whom have been suffering from a number of painful disorders. Both of them wrote to me very quickly after receiving the book and reported that it makes so much sense that they were excited and relieved to find such great information and ideas that were immediately helpful. I'm buying two or three more copies for other family and friends - it's a small price to pay for such wonderful results! Highly recommend!...more info
  • Invaluable
    Dr. John Sarno's book "The MindBody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain" is invaluable. I first bought Sarno's book titled "Healing Back Pain" for my mother in South Africa and learned that stress, tension and psychological factors can cause back pain and migraines. Since I have chronic migraines I bought his later book "The MindBody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain." His thinking is of course outside mainstream medicine. Sarno found that strong emotions generated in the unconscious mind, particularly rage, cause the mind to create a more socially acceptable physical distraction. The brain does this by reducing the blood flow and thus the proper amount of oxygen to the tissues involved. He says the change in the muscles, nerves and tendons account for 90% of the pain. He calls it TMS-Tension Myositis Syndrome as it is a physical disorder caused by tension in muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments. The pain from the TMS takes our attention away from the emotional trauma and instead of dealing with our repressed feelings we focus on our body.
    Treatment involves looking at what was going on in our life when the pain started and identifying repressed feelings from the past.
    An experience I had makes me think what Sarno says is true. When my half sister and her husband, from South Africa, lived with me for five months they bought a car that had engine problems that only got seven miles to the gallon to tour America. I was concerned about their car purchase but did not say anything. I developed severe neck and back pain and could not turn my head for a week. I shared my concern about their car at a Co-Dependency group meeting and to my surprise I became very tearful. As I spoke the ache in my neck evaporated like vapor. I later joked with them and said, "You're a pain in the neck!"
    I fit perfectly with the personality characteristics common in people with TMS-conscientious, responsible, perfectionistic with a strong need to please and to be helpful and good. And as Sarno says these tendencies have lead to tension and anxiety and physical problems.
    When I looked for repressed anger when the migraines started I discovered that I felt extremely rejected, betrayed and used by my sister and brother-in-law at that time. Once I identified the repressed anger and sadness I started to grieve. It was like going through a divorce. Now I see we had different expectations for our relationship back then. I thought of us as a family. They wanted to immigrate to America and saw me as their ticket to get established.
    When my stepfather heard I was angry he said, "Why don't you float your negative feelings in a paper boat down your creek? I thought I had! Now I see that Sarno's views are more helpful. Sarno says, "We are frail beings with brains strongly influenced by childish, illogical, reactions and dependency needs. Most of us carry feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, humiliation, shame and anger at ourselves for not living up to our own expectations and rage at others for perceived hurt and betrayals. The brain-mind is a conglomeration of thoughts and feelings that are often at odds with each other. It is not the neat, well organized, logical organ we would like it to be." Thanks to Sarno I've decided it's all right to be illogical and childish. It's part of being human and it is universal and if it means getting rid of my migraines and rage and becoming a better person in the end, then so much the better.
    To help people recognize that their mind, rather than a physical abnormality is the source their pain Sarno's treatment program involves lectures, group meeting and psychotherapy, if necessary. Patients are encouraged to discontinue all physical therapy, resume all physical activity, and review the 10 daily reminders: I have no structural abnormality only mild oxygen deprivation;-I have a harmless condition caused by repressed emotion (mostly anger);-TMS exists to distract me from emotions;-I have nothing to fear;-my physical aching is not dangerous;-I will not be concerned or intimidated by pain;-I will shift my attention from pain to emotional issues;-I intend to be in control-not my subconscious mind;-I must think psychological, not physical.
    Sarno has treated more than 11,000 patients with chronic pain-many of whom have suffered for years. He estimates he's cured more than 90% of them and has helped thousands of patients overcome pain without drugs or surgery.
    I've been studying the principles in Sarno's book for two months now and, unfortunately, still have the migraines. If the migraines are caused by TMS I may be among the 5% Sarno talks about who will need to actually experience my grief and rage with a therapist to get relief. However, Sarno's book has been invaluable as I feel happier and more at peace. He has helped me realize that I need to spend more time with people that leave me feeling loved, empowered, and inspired.......more info
  • transformation
    I have not even finished reading this book yet, and already, I am feeling a lot less pain. I am a 27-year-old woman. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, abdominal wall pain, and irritable bowel syndrome. I have been through physical therapy, special diets, and a chronic pain clinic, not to mention a boatload of painkillers.

    I never thought I would get better. The pain has been a part of my life since age 19, and since then, I've had to accept more and more limitations.

    Now, I am finally shedding those limitations. My mother saw Dr. Sarno a few weeks ago, and when she came home, she told me about his work. I was very interested, so I began reading this book.

    There was no big miracle, and I am not trying to lead anyone to believe that reading this will instantly "cure" them. However, as I read, I noticed that the pain was dissipating slightly. I began to think more about what could be causing rage in my unconscious mind, as Sarno suggested; and I wrote about some of it, which really helped. I have continued this process of reading, thinking, and writing; and my pain has lessened significantly.

    The emotional pain has been difficult to bear. It is easy to tell why the unconscious mind would want to keep these things hidden under a veneer of more "socially acceptable" physical pain.

    Ultimately, though, facing these emotions will become easier, and I will be free to have a life again. I can go back to work, and maybe eventually work full time. And I have hope again. I want to eventually get back into kickboxing, and do all sorts of things that I thought I would either never get a chance to do, or never do again.

    I highly, highly recommend this book to all people suffering from chronic pain who are willing to consider the premise that the pain is being caused by the mind. (This does not mean it is "all in your head"--this means that the pain is VERY real, but its cause is something that cannot be treated by traditional medicine.) It is well worth reading, for anyone who is willing to at least try to believe it....more info
  • A great discovery in the quest to rid chronic pain
    This works! Do not simply disregard the theories because they are radically different from other approaches and ideas behind chronic pain used by practioneers the world over. If you are open-minded enough to just embrace the idea and remain persistent, you will be pleasantly surprised! The fact is had I RSI FOR two years, but before ever reading sarno the following things did not make sense to me:

    1) I had the type of RSI where there is no pathology behind it. There was and is absolutely no evidence of structural damage anywhere in my arms, to the extent that my Doctor almost implied that I was wasting his time! It made no sense to me that such great pain could be caused my no damage or weakness of muscle fibres in my arms whatsoever. Dr. Sarno's theory can explain effectively why this is.

    2) I did understand why both my arms went out in sympathy. I played guitar, where both hands are doing something different. Why should the pain be exactly equal?

    3) People often told me I wasn't as physically strong as other people as a reason for being more affected by RSI. But in experience, the weight, height, build and to an extent general physical health had no correlation between those who got affected. Tellingly, I was perplexed that people who had a certain type of personality appeared to be more susceptible to RSI.

    4) I did not understand how sleep greatly increased my pain in my arms, whilst for other RSI sufferers with no pathology behind it, evening before they went to bed were the worst.

    All these distinctions were made without prior knowledge to Dr. Sarno's theories. When I discovered his books, everthing fitted into place. ...more info
  • Hard to believe
    My physican "prescribed" this book for me. I have suffered with chronic hives and deep edema for over ten years and have tried every kind of doctor and specialist I could find. I've had many tests and alternative treatments and a dizzying array of prescriptions. Nothing worked for long.

    Dr. Sarno's method is absolutely amazing. Utilizing his method, which is really just learning about chronic pain, my hives disappeared before my eyes. I had a method of dealing with them, making them go away, before I even finished reading the book with no drugs, no equipment, nothing. It was and is absolutely amazing...totally incredible.

    I suppose it is normal to be skeptical of the claims Dr. Sarno makes (and I am corroborating) regarding the power of the mind to heal the body. All I can say is that out of sheer desperation I tried it and it worked for me. It has worked for many others as well, and it just might be the answer you need to your pain/health problem.

    An excellent follow-up book is Pain Free for Life by Dr. Brady out of Florida Hospital. (Not that a follow-up is necessary, but it his helpful to help flesh out the ideas that have just been taught.) He gives a six-week program to implement much of what Dr. Sarno teaches and delves into journaling from a psychoanalytic standpoint. I recommend this as a follow-up rather than Dr. Sarno's videos, which are a light treatment of what is contained in the Mindbody Prescription. ...more info
  • If you're serious about healing, this is the real deal.
    There are many ways I can review this book and it's theories. However, it all comes down to one simple understanding. Dr. John Sarno is absolutely correct. It's unbelievable that more people have not discovered this way of healing their individiual ailments.

    So much money, time, and energy is wasted on drugs and "other" treatments,(doctors whom insist almost any ailment MUST be treated with drugs or "physical" treatment). Please don't misunderstand my point. If you fall out of a tree and break your leg, then of course you will need the care of a doctor and his prescribed medication. Or, if (God forbid) you aquire cancer or some other form of sickness that requires medical attention, obviously you need the proper attention. My point is that day to day, chronic pain in the body can be cured simply by John Sarno's discovery.

    I am not endorsed nor do I have any affiliation with Sarno. I'm a 40 year old man that battled back pain along with awful sciatica for years and years. After trying the standard chiropractic road (and others mind you), my conditions only got worse. And, I was paying a hefty bill to these "doctors". Once more, they would even prescribe or "recommend" some sort of pill that was supposed to "help".

    Finally, my wife and I discovered John Sarno and his theories. She (my wife) was battling a bad case of Fibromyalgia and she was only 35 years old. We were both very concerned for her future being she did not want every joint in her body aching the rest of her life (a common symptom of Fibromyagia). She saw numerous "doctors" that gave us the complete runaround and standard line--"Take 2 to 3 Advil a day and that should help. Limit your activities and get lots of rest".

    One day, my wife finally said ENOUGH. We both enjoyed exercising and her condition severely limited most activities. She decided to read John Sarno's book. She read it over, and over, and over, and over again (which I highly recommend in order to fully understand). Literally ingraining it into her head. Then, also decided to take Sarno's advice and do the opposite of what the other "doctors" prescribed.

    We both began exercising. Sometimes, literally, this was painful. However, and this is the magic part, the pain eventually went away. I'll say it again. THE PAIN EVENTUALLY WENT AWAY. Just as Sarno said it would.

    The mind has an unbelievable knack for dictating how we feel physically. Dr. John Sarno has figured out how this occurs and causes the back pain, neck pain, joint pain, headache pain we all are subject to day after day. Every day, life will deal us situations and instances that are the recipe for TMS(Tension Myositis Syndrome). It's how WE DECIDE TO HANDLE IT that is the difference.

    If you think I'm crazy, or preaching the "it's all in your mind" philosophy, let me ask you a few questions that we asked ourselves:

    -are you pain free with the so called "treatments" you are getting? And if so, how long?
    -does your pain return just like that for no reason?
    -do you notice a pattern of where and when the pain occurs?
    -do you find certain events or instances make your pain worse?
    -and finally, if the "treatments" you're currently recieving work, then why does the pain come back?

    This book decribes and explaines why we hurt. And, how to get over it--for good! If you are serious, and I mean serious, about curing your ailment, Dr. John Sarno and his books can help.

    Good Luck!!!

    Nick...more info
  • From Mike Warren
    This book has brought me more relief from my back pain than the surgery I had a couple of years ago.Physical therapy and rehab were a waste of time.I got no relief what-so-ever.I felt hopeless.My Dr. suggested this book to me and we discuss it on a regular basis.It's working.I will not claim it a cure all but the tools I've learned from the book have been very useful to me.Thank you Dr. Sarno for writting this book. ...more info
  • Yeah, Right, Like This'll Work!
    If you're like me, you've heard about Dr. Sarno's book and his philosophy on healing certain pains and disorders and you said to yourself with much sarcasm, "Yeah, right, like this'll work!" Well, I'm here to say, yeah, indeed right...this works!

    In these tough times I've been under a bit more pressure at work, and pressure at work means often that the stress comes home with me. A huge mistake that of course only adds to the tension I am so trying to eliminate. So my philosophy was try not to think about the stress, and things will be fine.

    Then suddenly a few months ago I started developing a pain in my upper back and lower neck. I'm thinking, geez, I must have pulled something or I'm just getting old. The pain persists and gets worse. Some days I strain to even move my head. I'm thinking that I better go see a doctor, but I know the outcome of that: MRIs, catscans, maybe physical therapy, maybe pills, even surgery???...All expensive and undesirable alternatives.

    So for years I've had a friend that has sworn by Dr. Sorno's book and the philosophy of self healing through thought. So for under 20 bucks for the book I figured what have I got to lose? On the contrary: I had everything to gain.

    After applying the principles that Dr. Sorno discusses in The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain, I live a different life.

    First, let me say, folks, that this is no cult, religion or anything like that. It may sound too easy, but this is simply taking the concept of understanding that you (may) have a condition called Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), accepting that you have the condition and following an extremely simple process that Dr. Sorno clearly and concisely lays out in about 30 pages in the third part of this book to expel the TMS.

    I say simple, but everyone's different. It was simple for me. So simple that I could easily summarize a simple 5-minute mind exercise inspired by this book--Not meditating...or is it? Whatever.--that I try to do every day that I attribute to eliminating my neck pain, and in addition, making me more at peace with stressful situations that occur in my day to day life.

    Bottom line: Within a very short period of finishing Dr. Sorno's book...I believe my life is better...on several levels. And I thought that the only people that say that kind of thing are, well, cuckoo. Okay...I may be cuckoo, but I feel great! Buy this book. Its principles apply to a lot more than just back pain. I was just lucky enough to have back pain in order to be led to this book.
    ...more info
  • It's all in your head
    The human anatomy is a marvelous organism, adapted to the ways of the world over hundreds of thousands of years, and extremely capable of self-correcting the damage in 95% of the injuries and disorders to which the body is susceptible--from whiplash to carpal tunnel syndrome to fibromyalgia to chronic fatigue syndrome to (more controversially) helicobacter pylori bacteria, hiatal hernias and Lyme disease. What about those folks who live in chronic pain, well beyond the normal limits of the body's requirements for healing itself? Will they stand to being told their pain is not "real"? Slim chance--in fact, the author would no doubt agree with them: their pain is real enough. But if the basis of the disorder is undiagnosable, or unmeasurable as far as the usual tests are concerned, then perhaps it's time to look with more than casual interest into the territory of the subconscious--its contents; its subversive, frequently irrational motives; its self-protective scenarios and clever evasive tactics.

    In other words, Sarno questions whether the physician's common diagnosis for so-called "functional illnesses"--"somataform disorder"--is of any more use to anyone than the out-of-favor term "psychosomatic." The former term simply applies a specific, impressive-sounding name to a vague EFFECT; the latter at least attaches the word to a mind-body connection implicating a CAUSE.

    Sarno's conclusions are often more suggestive than conclusive, his claims of cures more conspicuous that the methodology by which to achieve the cure or stop the pain (it's hard to take overly seriously the back-cover testimonials of relief experienced by celebrities ranging from Howard Stern to Anne Bancroft, at least based on the limited evidence in this book). Nevertheless, the author's notions frequently make sense, and if, to the displeasure of some, they reclaim the wisdom of Freud, perhaps it's high time the towering Viennese intellectual be taken seriously in ways other than vilification.

    Watching PBS trot out another medicine man at public television fund-raising time, prescribing everything from vitamins to fish oil to St. John's Wort to amino acids to Effexor and Wellbutrin in order to "change the structure of the brain" (those nasty chemical imbalances of the brain, addressed through altering the neurotransmitters--and now it's extended to the gut--those unfriendly bacteria, addressed by eating the right manufacturer's yogurt with the right friendly bacteria) is enough to make you question the quality of the information that is currently being dispensed as a "public service" to the community.

    Knowledge is power, and for that reason Sarno's book is at least a useful beginning toward a lasting prescription for extinguishing seemingly endless, all-but-life-ending pain. If you're a doubter, there are some rather simple tests to put Sarno's (and Freud's) ideas to the test. Let's say you're feeling absolutely awful, generally and specifically--headache, anvils in the chest, pokers in the gut, brain fog comparable to a surgical anesthetic, sharp, jabbing pains in your neck, sides, and back as though your worst nemesis is playing you like a voodoo doll, and then there's always that darn sore heel. Now think of someone you love or feel dependent on--a parent, a dog or cat, an only son or daughter. Imagine receiving without the least bit of preparation a message in the middle of the night informing you of the worst--the unthinkable. Now imagine the degree to which those aches and pains of just a few minutes ago matter to you, deserving to reclaim prime-time real estate in the subconscious territory formerly reserved for its sole VIP resident. Granted, the pain may be no less, but isn't it remarkable how it travels to other places, making itself felt in entirely different ways?

    The mind is a powerful thing--exceeding the little surface area we call the brain, or conscious memory, and indeed capable of having its way with matter. It laughs at booze, pills, probiotics, "health" foods, vitamins, "smart" drugs, antidepressants, exercise and meditation therapies of all sorts. It can destroy, or perhaps merely facilitate an ongoing problematic condition, but it can also repair. To deal with its powerful potential--for harm or healing--you need to be able to match it with knowledge of your own. Sarno is a good beginning (and so are some first-rate "Eastern" thinkers, like Chopra, when he chooses to be)....more info
  • A Life-Changing Book
    This book has completely changed the way I think about my physical and
    emotional well-being. It was recommended to me when I was in excruciating shoulder pain, from which I am now completely healed, but it has also had a radical effect on me in other ways. I used to obsess over all kinds of physical symptoms, convinced that there was something wrong with me that the doctors weren't able to find. Thanks to Dr. Sarno, I'm now able to stop obsessing, and look for emotional causes.

    My two favorite things about this book:
    1. Dr. Sarno makes it absolutely clear that experiencing psychosomatic symptoms like pain do not mean that you are crazy or neurotic; rather, they are a normal, unconscious response that everyone experiences at some time and in some form.

    2. There is not the slightest bit of touchy-feely woo-hoo in this book. Dr. Sarno is actually a very scientific, logical kind of thinker, and came to his conclusions because they make the most logical sense after years and years of experience treating patients.

    I can't recommend this book, or any of Dr. Sarno's books too highly. If you're experiencing pain that doesn't quite make sense and that doctors haven't been able to help, you need this book....more info
  • The Mindbody Prescription
    Anyone in chronic pain daily or intermittently needs to read this book. Dr. Sarno has done a lot of research to back up his incredible theory. People report complete healing from following the protocol in his book. Change your life, read his book and if you need help visit a hypnotherapist. ...more info
  • Mind Body Prescription
    Book was effective. The discussions helped to release stress that had a positive impact on back pain.
    If reading this, consider Sarno's other books....more info
  • I followed the prescription for stomach pain, and it worked...
    This book covers many fascinating mind/body phenomena, and you can easily apply the findings to your own ailments. I chased off some stomach problems by following the procedures/methods described in the book. I have a step mother that dispelled brutal back pain this way, too....more info
  • worked for me
    quick comment: I bought this book on a whim and it worked. Thank goodness I gave it a try. I'm back to my normal life style after 2 years of pain controlling my every move...

    *Update November 2007 (three months later)*

    I'm doing EVEN BETTER now. I bought so many copies to give to friends I've lost track. I've helped 2 people get better JUST BY TALKING TO THEM and using Dr. Sarno's theories in my discussions. I have been helping many of my friends get better, and I have gotten better at recognizing when TMS starts, and I don't get afraid of it. I focus on the stress in my life. The psychological. I feel like such a better person now. I'm able to communicate with others better than ever. Thank you Dr. Sarno.


    JANUARY 2008
    I gave a full recital in December (I'm a cellist). I haven't done that for three years. All my friends who knew what I went through came and were really blown away at the improvement I made.


    August 2008

    I'm doing fine, except I have a bad case of the "symptom imperative" that Sarno mentions. First, I had horrible sweating that replace my RSI. When I didn't have sweating, I had headaches. When I didn't have headaches, my calf muscles ached. When they stopped aching, my sweating came back, etc on and on.

    All I can say is the only way the pain stopped was by EXPRESSING the emotions I was feeling and letting them pass. Then the pain stopped. It seems I'll have "something" to distract me, I'm just that intense kinda guy....more info
  • Pain free
    This is a great book for illuminating how our perception of stressful events (worrying, trauma, negativity, anger) manifests itself in chronic, acute pain in the body. Another earlier book that supports the information in this book is Norman Cousin's "Anatomy of an Illness"....more info
  • This book will change your life
    My internist, who is very open to alternative treatments himself, recommended that I read The Mindbody Prescription a few years ago. He had had considerable back pain which he was able to eliminate from his life with the help of Dr. Sarno's books. I was feeling anxiety over health issues and was open to the idea of the mind body connection because I had seen the direct relationship between stress and migraine headaches, TMJ, and sinus infections at different times in my life. During my first reading of the book I was amazed to learn about what the mind is able to do that we are not aware of: it has a huge impact on our physical health. I began to learn how to control my anxiety, and have since read Dr. Sarno's book again a couple of times when problems came up. Almost immediately upon reading the book, the problems go away. I am completely convinced that stress causes at least 90% of all pain and illness. Dr. Sarno has begun a revolution and sooner or later the rest of the medical establishment will come on board. Perhaps one day doctors will be trained to treat the whole person, and not just the symptoms of illness. Until then, this book will change your life!...more info
  • Knowledge is Power
    I'm a physical therapist with 20 years experience in treating patients with low back pain, neck pain, and other various pain problems and if everybody would accept this information I would be looking for a job. After five years of chronic low back pain, I was completely painfree in two week after accepting my back pain was due to repressed emotions and not some type of structural problem. And yes by the way I do try to tell my patients now about the process but most will not accept it.
    I know at first the whole process sounds like a bunch of bull, but let me tell you there is a huge body of scientific research linking stress to back pain. Just think for a minute about all the great strides of modern medicine and then think how bad that same modern medicine is at curing back pain. That's because doctors and therapists are focused on the wrong problem. Doctors and therapists blame various structural problems when the real culprit is stress, pressure, and repressed emotions. Your back does not hurt because you are weak, inflexible, or malaligned it hurts because life is full of stress and pressure. I know because I lived it too.
    Dr. Sarno does a great job of explaining all this and makes a strong argument against traditional treatments. He explains how acceptance is critical not by blind faith but by knowledge and logic. He is truly one of the great thinkers of our time.
    I highly recommend this book to all those suffering from chronic pain. Dr. Sarno really did give me my life back. ...more info
  • A necessary read for those with pain
    If you have suffered from back or neck pain, then this book is a must read. Dr. Sarno has practiced at NYU for many years and has helped numerous patients overcome these physical ailments. The book is clearly written with many examples, which helps the reader to understand the principles and identify whether these apply to him/her. Dr. Sarno works with the concept TMS, tension myositis syndrome, which is used to explain how pain (or other sensory problems) can occur in various parts of the body for no clear (conscious) reasons. He reviews the details of TMS repeatedly throughout the book, again using many examples from actual patients.

    Dr. Sarno explains that many people experience relief of the pain through insight and coming to understand that their mind (brain) is responsible for the pain. Essentially, unconscious anger (and other emotions) create the physical response by decreasing blood flow and oxygen to the painful areas of the body. As the mind heals, so does the body. Dr. Sarno helps to heal the mind through this book by educating the reader about TMS and this process. Furthermore, he helps the reader understand that the pain is real (not imagined) and has an actual physical cause (i.e., reduction of oxygen) which is not dangerous or permanent. By reading the book, the mind's process for causing the pain is exposed and now rendered useless in distracting the patient from the underlying causes (i.e., anger). Therefore, the pain should decrease and stop altogether once this genuine insight is gained by the reader.

    In summary, Dr. Sarno's book is extremely helpful for those experiencing real day-to-day pain. He provides hope for those who have suffered from pain, in some cases for years, and he helps to end the pain where others have failed....more info
  • worked for me
    A miracle of a book. I'm still pain-free 2-years after reading it....more info
  • Recovery after 2 years of pain
    Dr. Sarno's TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) theory is based on the interaction between mind and body: lack of oxygen to the body's tissues creates the pain, but the mind is controlling the flow of oxygen. After 2 years of pain, I read this book. The theory fitted my observations and it worked. Since than I have had 2 years of normal function and feeling. For those that are thinking "placebo", please note that placebos don't last, whereas this solution does. A small point: I suggest not reading the preface, or reading it after the rest of the book, as I found it gave an off-putting introduction to the ideas. I strongly recommend this book....more info
  • This is just what the doctor ordered
    I noticed most of the negative comments come from folks who don't have problems and have never had to face these situations. How do I know? Because I was one of them. An engineer by trade, I'm very left brained. But serious illness and the futility of conventional medicine in treating chronic conditions sends you searching. I also have researched much of the "science" out there coming from the drug companies. There's no money (patents) in mindbody medicine, so don't hold your breath for huge announcments from the medical establishment in this area. And if studies are done (of which there are many, by the way), the biased editors of the journals funded by the pharmaceutical industry will forthwith throw them out. Don't be too enamored by "impartial science". There is no such thing nowadays.

    Dr. Sarno has hit the nail on the head in terms of understanding the source of many of our ailments. My wife has had aches and pains all over ever since we were married. She had a rough childhood and has a lot of emotional baggage. She has been 'diagnosed' with many structural issues as the source of her pain. However, by paying close attention to when the pain and other symptoms start, we have been able to recognize the emotional source of the pain and neutralize them using some emotional release techniques. An activity that has caused her back pain for a very long time no longer does. Every time she exercised, her knee would lock up. We identified the emotional reasons for this (fear of being in shape, losing weight, etc.), and the knee pain disappeared.

    My only concern with Dr. Sarno's approach is that he doesn't outline an effective strategy to resolve the emotional issue, which is the real problem. Simply recognizing the pain comes from emotions does not solve the emotional problem. My concern is the mind will relocate the 'ailment' to some part of the body where you no longer recognize it as a mindbody reaction (skin, allergies, or something else). So I think his insight needs to be integrated with other effective strategies for actually resolving the emotional issues. There are options out there, such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), but again, for the left-brainers (like myself a few years ago), they won't buy it. That's fine. They can keep suffering!...more info
  • So very true!
    I read Dr. Sarno's first book and it changed my life. I saw a special about it on 20/20. Until then, I had been suffering with lower back pain. Within 2 weeks of buying the book and do the mental exercises, it was gone. The pain moved to my left hamstring! I knew it was my body's attempt to house my stress somewhere else. More mental exercises and I have been pain free since 1998....more info
  • A Life Saver
    I was highly skeptical until I was out of options. After every type of doctor failed, I was told of this book and it "saved" my life. I was unable to live normally, I couldn't be the active, fun parent I wanted to be and was in constant pain and misery. I read both Sarno books cover to cover and in ten weeks was pain-free. If you have an open mind to the theories in the book it's almost like magic. ...more info
  • least helpful mind/body book I have ever read
    I actually have found mind/body approaches very helpful in dealing with my medical problems, but this book is really terrible, the least effective approach I've seen. Given how helpful mind/body approaches can be, I find it sad that this book, which only works on a limited subset of chronic pain patients, is the only approach that is well advertised. The vast majority of people I know who read this book did not find it helpful. It's basically a placebo which doesn't work if you are scientifically minded. Dr. Sarno has no grasp of the scientific method, statistics, or experimental design....more info
  • This book saved my life
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels ill but cannot find lasting relief through western or natural medicine. This book has changed my life completely - For countless years, I had barrett's esophagus, chronic yeast syndrome, allergies, multiple chemical sensistivies, you name it - and this book showed me what was really going on. Please do yourselves a favor and try this book....more info
    This book has been life-changing for me and many of my patients! Once one accepts that mind and body are inextricably connected, it follows that pain in the body can serve a psychological purpose. We all tend to use defense mechanisms to keep unpleasant emotions in the UNCONSCIOUS MIND. Dr. Sarno is the PIONEER in showing the impact of the UNCONSCIOUS MIND in everyday physical symptom production. This book should be REQUIRED READING for all medical students and physicians!! It will also be of tremendous benefit for chronic pain sufferers....more info


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