Divided Mind, The

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"The book that will change the way we think about health and illness, The Divided Mind is the crowning achievement of Dr. John E. Sarno's distinguished career as a groundbreaking medical pioneer, going beyond pain to address the entire spectrum of psychosomatic (mindbody) disorders. The interaction between the generally reasonable, rational, ethical, moral conscious mind and the repressed feelings of emotional pain, hurt, sadness, and anger characteristic of the unconscious mind appears to be the basis for mindbody disorders. The Divided Mind traces the history of psychosomatic medicine, including Freud's crucial role, and describes the psychology responsible for the broad range of psychosomatic illness. The failure of medicine's practitioners to recognize and appropriately treat mindbody disorders has produced public health and economic problems of major proportions in the United States. One of the most important aspects of psychosomatic phenomena is that knowledge and awareness of the process clearly have healing powers. Thousands of people have become pain-free simply by reading Dr. Sarno's previous books. How and why this happens is a fascinating story, and is revealed in The Divided Mind."

Customer Reviews:

  • The Divided Mind
    I became aware of this book from a friend and fellow golfer who had suffered from back problems for many years, had surgery, etc. When I saw him recently he told me he no longer had back problems after reading Dr. Sarno's books. He suggested I read them as well; and I did. This book was a revelation! It describes the mind - body connection and explains our "hidden inner rage". Not a believer in alternative medicine, I must say I was skeptical; however, I am now a believer. This book, in fact the entire series, is a must read for anyone who suffers from chronic pain....more info
  • The Divided Mind
    As a psychologist, I find this book extremely helpful in understanding unconscious sources of chronic pain and debilitating health issues....more info
  • Great book if you have an open mind
    I had severe neck pain that traveled all of the way down my arm. MRI showed bulging disc. Two spinal injections offered little relief. I read this book and I am pain free. Figured it was worth $12 to give it a shot....more info
  • My back pain has been gone now for years
    I originally watched the television program 20/20 many years ago when they did a piece on Dr. Sarno and back pain. I went right out to purchase a copy of Dr. Sarno's book. I did not need to finish reading the book to end my back pain. In fact, just watching 20/20 was all I really needed to get most of my back pain under control. I have since recommended this book to my sister, who insisted her pain was caused by pushing around some heavy equipment. After she received no help from doctors she called me to ask me about Dr. Sarno's book. She has now gotten rid of almost all her pain and, like me, has a much better understanding of how powerful the mind is when it comes to physical issues. ...more info
  • The Divided Mind
    As a psychotherapist this book is right on target. If a person can accept this premise for 30 days their perspective will shift and they can be relieved of much suffering and pain....more info
  • Open your mind
    I've read all of Dr. Sarno's books over the last several years and this is the culmination of his efforts. His theories have saved my life. I went through 30 years of reoccurring back pain convinced that there was something structurally wrong with me. The worst episodes had me unable to stand up and get off the floor for literally two+ days. Try to imagine the things your body still has to do in 48 hours. It took me a year or so to fully accept and believe it though, a requirement for it to work. His books must be read over and over until they are internalized, then the magic starts.

    The situation that turned the tide for me was seeing an X-ray of my back with the interpretation of "perfectly normal lumbar spine" when in the middle of a particularly bad episode. The resultant argument with my doctor over this, who wouldn't even consider this alternate explanation, led to me leaving him after several decades of prior care. At this point, still in pain, I slowly re-read one Dr. Sarno's earlier books. When I stood up the pain was gone! I could not believe it, then, I did, and that was the cure.

    Except for a few minor episodes that I have been able control using Dr. Sarno's methods I have been pain free for almost 4 years. At 53 I run, lift weights and continue my lifelong commitment to martial arts.

    So yes, I highly recommend this book and all of his others. I am on a personal crusade to pass this information on to everyone I know that is in pain. The more I absorb his concepts the more I see that most pain is based on TMS and not on a structural abnormality and one of the amazing things is that this is true even if an X-ray shows that there is a problem! That is a phenomenal observation!

    If you are in pain read these books!
    ...more info
  • How Unconscious Emotions Can Create Physical Pain and Epidemics
    The book, "Divided Mind" is about the psychosomatic (mental) disorders that arise from interaction problems between a person's conscious and unconscious minds.

    The author John Sarna MD states that his goal is to "make clear that almost all common pain disorders that have afflicted millions through the years are psychosomatic".

    Psychosomatic problems are not illness - "they are a part of life, part of the human condition." An individual is not personally responsible for getting a psychosomatic problem but they are personally responsible for getting rid of it.

    This book has been based on pioneering research from six physicians who worked with John E. Sarna's theories which in turn are based on thousands of patient case studies. All of this work has been further reinforced by the studies of psychotherpists.

    As a mind- body doctor, John Sarna MD's job is to help a patient understand his problems then the patient can banish it from his/her self.

    He states that unconscious emotions cause diseases like acid reflux, ulcers, skin problems, allergies and much more. Plus they are a factor in auto-immune disorders as cancers and cardiovascular conditions. Given the wide range of problems caused by and related to unconscious emotions, the author believes that ignoring unconscious emotional problems in treating a person borders on being criminal.

    He explains this with numerous historical examples, syudies and case histories of patients who have manifested psychosomatic disease and how they were cureed.

    One of his claims is that "Textbooks state that fibromyalgia is of unknown cause and is not curable. I've cured patients with fibromyalgia".

    According to John Sarna MD the trends of the last half century is that doctors are only willing to resolves physical problems with physical solutions. Depression, for example, begins with an unconscious mental process that releases brain chemicals that lead to the physical sensations of depression. So to treat depression with chemicals (pills) but no psychotherapy is dangerous (a common modern practice).

    Because we can solve many problems and have had some amazing breakthroughs in the laboratory, doctors have become more focused on what can be known only in a lab (i.e. physical solutions) but humans are not just mechanical but are so interlocked with their mind, that rather than mind AND body - mind-body is a better term to describe how people work.

    In psycho somatic disorders " the brain induces actual physical changes in the body."

    On interesting fact that the book brought up is that hysterical disorders (nuttiness) and psychosomatic disorders tend to spread like a virus through a population "when the disorder is in vogue"

    That means that when a disease is in fashion many people develop symptoms for it!

    Example: In 1996 in Norway there was an unusual rise in incidents of `whiplash syndrome'. This is a condition where people would get neck and shoulder pain at the slightest bumper push. It was discovered by studying a country that had no cases of whiplash (Lithuania) that there were 3 main reasons that this epidemic existed in Norway.
    1. Doctor's couldn't explain it
    2. Medical insurance was easily available
    3. Wiplash syndrome was in fashion

    These are exactly the conditions that exist for the large number of popular American diseases (ex. Acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, tension and migraine headaches etc.)

    Most of these diseases are caused by a condition labeled TMS, which is a "mild, localized reduction in blood flow to a small region of a specific body structure, such as a spinal nerve, resulting in a state of mild oxygen deprivation." Thus any body part can be affected.

    One of the reasons its hard to start an epidemic once it's started is that many people in the diseased communities refuse to believe the disease is so simply solved. They refuse to believe it could be a mind-body problem probably because for someone in such a situation being told `its your mind' sounds like they are defective somehow - so they often are hostile about a suggestion. Their reaction is, "Maybe it is that way with others but not me, my disease is real".

    Why? Because a they worry that they may be nuts. And they have spent money and got emotional support for all the pain (which is real) that they have suffered making them feel silly. But they shouldn't as the disease they had is triggered by real reasons.

    What are those reasons? The old theory for physical pain without notable cause is that this pain resulted from a need for unconscious secondary gain (such as attention, sympathy etc.) but John Sarna MD believes that the pain is the result of primary reasons i.e. you feel pain in your body is to direct your attention away from unconscious anger, sorrow or rage.

    Example for CTS: People only develop carpel tunnel syndrome with the advent of computers. Yet people have been typing all day, 5 days a week, for decades before the arrival of computers and CTS. Many go through painful surgeries which do little to help as the problem is in blood flow not their hands.

    This is certainly a book that many in the medical profession will vehemently oppose (most without reading the book...ask your doctor). Since the book states the obvious based on observations and studies (i.e. it follows the scientific method) I do think that this book should be taken seriously and read by layman and doctor alike.

    P.S. By the way, John Sarna MD does say that stress is a major factor in psychosomatic problems and regular stress management will do a lot to alleviate the onset on physical diseases.
    ...more info
  • Dealing with the unconscious is not an easy task, but may be well worth it
    Dealing with unconscious causes of pain is not an easy task. Looking into one's emotions and doing the work of dealing with hidden rage and fear is also not easy. However, when one is looking at a lifetime of pain, culminating in death, one might want to consider the ratio of work to rewards. Even a little bit of work down this road pays off big. Once you get started, you will see this for yourself.

    For me, the payoff is not simply the relief of pain, although I can assure you from experience this does happen. It's dealing with all the doctors, feeling helpless do to anything about your own pain, waiting for test results to make sure you don't have something really serious, etc.

    It's all the anxiety around the pain that gets relieved in the process. Fear is an emotion, and anxiety comes from fear. Having a way to reduce fear and pain at the same time gives one hope and a feeling of control over your situation you might not normally have had you not discovered Dr. Sarno's work.

    Chapter four gives you the step-by-step instructions on how to begin dealing with the emotions that are causing you pain. You do not need to purchase his DVD lectures or pay to see him in person. If you can grasp these concepts as outlined in the book, and begin to do your own emotional work, there is a good chance you will see a change for the better in the way your body expresses these emotions as pain.

    If you need further help, it's probably not too hard to find a local therapist willing to help you explore causes of suppressed emotions. However, the idea that you can pick up this book and begin your own treatment right away is very exciting.

    Dealing with your own emotions buried in the unconscious is not an easy task, but a worthwhile one. You have nothing to lose but your pain, and everything to gain in the process, including rethinking the way you react to many of the situations in your life....more info
  • I'm Glad Now I Didn't Kill Myself
    I injured my back over 17 years ago and began the journey through the medical community that many other reviewers describe;chiropractic,acupuncture,surgery,steriod injections,etc. The absolute nadir must have been when I paid a "Rieke Master" (sp?)to hold her hands about six inches from me and ask,"Can you feel the heat from my hands?" No, of course I couldn't. I was so humiliated...you hear that when you hurt enough you'll try anything, but to find myself using a quack, that was embarrasing. The big thing about chronic pain is that eventually you realize what "chronic" means, which is forever,for the rest of your life.No intelligent person can face that without wondering whether or not a life like that is really worth living, and I considered suicide quite seriously.With my family history I was probably going to live at least another 25 years in agony,and I had to ask myself whether or not it was worth the trouble. Luckily, from the start I'd found doctors who prescribed narcotics for my pain. Had I not had those powerful painkillers I would certainly have killed myself. One doctor surgically installed a morphine pump that provided a small dose directly to the area that hurt. It worked very well, but as I developed a tolerance for the morphine I had to have the dose increased until finally the pump was turned as high as it would go. Eventually I had to take an early medical retirement from my job-now I would get 40% of my former salary and Social Security benefits, which don't amount to much. At least I could rest up. After a year I felt much better, except for the chronic pain.I still thought about shooting myself fairly often,but held it at bay with thoughts of the effect on my family. By chance one of my wife's doctors told her she should read this book. We bought it and out of curiosity I started reading it. I realilzed that a lot of the book pertained to me. A few days after I'd read it, my back didn't hurt anymore. The pain had almost disappeared. Since then I've tried to do things to make the pain come back. I've started exercising, I helped a relative move a rolltop desk from my house and into his truck (that worked! But only for a few days, and in a much milder form.) Now I've gotten a part time job that involves standing long periods, which used to cause literally agonizing pain. I've gotten sore, but that's about it. I've had the dose on my pump turned down three times in the last two months and I'll have it turned down again next time I see my doctor. My pain specialist is delighted and I'm feeling like I'm not a cripple anymore. There's a lesson here-had I gone through with my plans to kill myself,none of this would have been possible! If I continue to feel this good I'm going to try to get my old job back. Had I understood what Dr. Sarno was arguing in his book, that my pain was psychosomatic, I doubt that I would have read it. People who don't suffer from chronic pain ask, "what have you got to lose?" You can lose a lot. You lose hope.Once you've gone from one disappointment to another the fear of having another hope disappear into smoke makes it very difficult to commit to trying an new type of treatment. The sufferer has PLENTY to lose if this treatment fails like everything else has. How many blind alleys can you walk through? Thank God I did read the book. I wish the very best for Dr. Sarno and I think that people suffering from chronic back pain owe it to themselves to overcome their resistances and take a chance by reading this book. What's happened to me is little short of a miracle and the result has lasted well over two months, much farther than a placebo effect could have taken me. I'm glad now that I didn't kill myself....more info
  • THE Real Alternative
    Sarno's observations that many painful conditions are psychosomatically based (the pain is real, but the etiology involves repressive mechanisms operating in the unconscious) is a seminal insight that all western allopathic practitioners ignore to the detriment of their commitment to explore all efficacious treatments that might alleviate their patients' suffering. Purely somatically-based medicine - despite (and to a degree because) of explosive diagnostic technologies - has taken a seriously wrong turn in not focusing on the role of emotions and feelings as direct generators of pathologies. Sarno deserves credit, praise and encouragement in his lifelong attempt to reverse this narrow unproductive vision and restore the concept of holistic healing as the only truly salutary path to health and healing. Sarno has been ignored, undervalued and dismissed for far too long. He deserves a revered place in the pantheon of genuinely original and profound medical thinkers. His theoretical framework when strategically applied as a daily routine has helped me enormously, when - after a mountain of MRIs, EMGs, blood panels and surgical biopsies - drew a complete blank. Sarno's best book yet. Must reading for all chronic pain sufferers and mandatory reading for every physician who has watched conventional "structural" therapies repeatedly fail and who really cares about resolving his/her patients' agony by jettisoning their preconceptions, biases and limited training....more info
  • Genius
    Dr. Sarno's genius won't be unveiled until we (as a specie) get a grip on our emotions. For now, the world is as much divided as the mind. A tiny part understands, while the immense majority doesn't understand. Worst, that immense majority might not even be wired to understand.

    My dad suffers from his knee. He doesn't understand (and never will), so he keeps on suffering. It's easier for him to suffer (and get through surgery every 10 years) than to accept the fact that his knee is fine, and that the issue is buried in his mind.

    My boss (a VERY smart man, Ivy leaguer) suffers from his lower back. Doesn't understand. Still suffers.

    My best friend suffers from his ankle. Doesn't understand. Still suffers.

    My uncle suffers from his elbow (huge tennis player my uncle). Convinced by a "tennis elbow" diagnostic. Still suffers.

    My mom used to suffer from her neck. She understood, and doesn't suffer anymore.

    I have three herniated disks (C2/C3 - L4/L5 - L5/S1). L4/L5 was operated on 3 years ago, without success. Today I know. I won't suffer anymore. Ever.

    Thanks Doc. I'm grateful I've met you. I'm grateful I understood.
    ...more info
  • Great book!
    This is an outstanding book for individuals dealing with chronic pain. I bought a second copy as my first had become dog-eared and water damaged from taking it with me on all my travels. An excellent approach for those with an open mind to pain management....more info
  • Great Book! Has lead me to succesfull healing.
    I was skeptical while I read this book and I still am. However, this book has played a major role in my recovery from 15 years of sever RSI/Carpal Tunnel and 20 years of severe acid reflux/GERD... I am, thanks to this book and the choices it helped me make, completely free from antacids/proton pump inhibitors, acid blockers etc.. and 95% pain free from RSI/Carpal tunnel syndrome. If you're willing to take drugs for pain or illness, or see specialists, or have MRIs and CAT scans, why not try reading a book? I recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a life with less pain. ...more info
  • Dr. Sarno is the best!!!
    Once again Dr. John Sarno proved to be the best. He makes so much sense and never fails to hit the nail on the head. What a guy!!!!! The book is easy to read. My pain actually disappeared as I was reading the book....more info
  • Saved me from further pain and immobility. Priceless!
    I can go on writing about my own personal healing story, but since it is more/less simmilar to the other ones, I'll just write what I think may be useful for you people out there, looking to get better.

    I was studying Vedic philosophy for over a decade and the concept of mind over matter was not new to me. In fact, 5 years of monastery life trained me to fully accept and integrate that fact into my life, but mostly in the spiritual sense.
    I've had back problems for 10 years (starting when I was 24...which is ridiculous, I know) and although I knew that most ill conditions of our body come from our mind alone, I needed someone to direct my meditation and focus properly. And Dr. Sarno did it.

    So, anyway, to make it short, when I heard about Dr. Sarno's methods of healing, I immediately went to search the internet for any kind of text that would give me some knowledge of how it's done.
    I've found one radio interview by googling his name and some other keywords. Sat down to read it and within 45 minutes I was cured.
    Miracle? Damn right! When people realize the power of our minds, there will be many more amazing miracles to behold.

    To add to this, my 10 yr back problem was topped with severe painful condition that developed a few months ago and persisted without any sign of getting better. I was pretty much tied to my bed and constand adjusting, cracking my back, stretching and massaging. So much pain, I couldn't even eat properly and my finances were going downhill. Luckily, the whole drama lasted for only 10 (exremely painful) days, and it didn't end because of anything else but me finding out this interview, reading it and removing both the severe condition that occured 10 days ago, and my old condition that started almost 10 years ago. I thought, I don't even need those books, but to cut my arrogance right away, I remembered that this was only due to my previous knowledge about these things, and only because Dr. Sarno gave me the right key to the right door. I bought 3 books just to show a fragment of my gratitude. I'm recommending Dr.Sarno's books to everyone to contribute somehow myself.
    Oh, and I'm reading those books almost every day. It should replace some of the useless medical junk books you have in your house.

    The cure is in our mind. How wonderful!

    ...more info
  • Unexplained Pain, Explained.
    If you have searched for answers to unexplained health problems then the latest Dr Sarno book is a MUST read! Dr Sarno's theories of our emotions being responsible for real pain are taken to another level as half of the book consists of TMS tales from other physicians. An orthopedist and a rheumatologist are among those who volunteer their experiences with patients who were suffering from debilitating pain that has no physical explanation. The search for a cure leads them to the exploration of Psychosomatic medicine and eventual cures for their patients.

    Foe those unwilling to accept that the mind can be responsible for real pain, the rheumatologist offers this moment of clarity. "It strikes me curious that people will readily connect a feeling of embarassment with red cheeks or a feeling of nervousness with sweaty hands, but are unwilling to make a connection between anger and pain".

    Read The Divided Mind and then read it again....more info
  • Comprehensive & compelling
    Having suffered pain from a 'slipped disc' in my neck which all but disappeared after reading the Mindbody Prescription, I was keen to read Dr. Sarno's new book. Effectively a polished & updated version of his theory & treatment, it also contains very useful chapters by other MDs working in this field - just having a slightly different perspective & new wording was extremely helpful. I'd highly recommend it to anyone with a therapeutic background - it seems slightly more pitched at this audience - but also to anyone still working on any TMS based pain. ...more info
  • Review of The Divided Mind
    This excellent book, which in the first portion summarizes the findings of John Sarno, unfortunately assumes having read one of his earlier books, The Mind-Body Prescription, which better tells the theory. Still, I think anyone reading it would benefit, though not nearly as much as someone who had read the earlier work. My comments refer to Sarno's own writing only. The work of the other authors in the text are worth reading and make a valuable contribution to the study of repressed emotions as a cause of illness, if not the only cause. Someone should write an account that attempts to balance Sarno's views with the structuralist position, which applies to pain other than that induced by repressed emotions. Still, Sarno's views seem to account better for pain overall than mainstream medical works, yet his views will probably be dismissed by most structuralists unwisely. Sarno's views relate to the psychological causes of pain while the structural position pertain only to anatomical ones--the mainstream view. Anyone with some psychological training might be greatly impressed by Sarno's theory and should work hard to balance it. Reading the books helped reduce some of my own pain of long standing....more info
  • The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders
    This will be a very short review but hopefully helpful. This book was actually a gift for my 87 year old mother-in-law. She is an avid reader and felt any age reader would enjoy this book. It addresses the mind and and the huge part it plays in the healing process. I will certainly read it when I get a chance.
    Thank you
    David Clardy...more info
  • Dr. Sarno's work finally expanded upon to help those who are suffering far too long
    Although this book is written with Doctors in mind, it is wonderful to see how Dr. Sarno's work is being adapted and used in the medical community not just to treat pain, but other syndromes via both drug and non-drug therapies.

    However, for serious patients who are looking for something more directed towards them I would recommend an earlier book by Dr. Sarno, "The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain"....more info
  • The Divided Mind
    A must read if you have a basic background understanding of this topic. It will further support your belief. I especially found the support of other medical specialist a reinforcement of Dr Sarno's research....more info
  • For health professionals
    I got more out of J. Sarno's other books: Healing Back Pain and the Mindbody Prescription. The Divided Mind seems to be aimed at health professionals. It's an interesting read but if you've read his other books, you won't learn all that much. ...more info
  • If you're having back or other pain, this is a book for you!
    Back pain . . . if you've had it or do have it (or know somebody who
    has it), you must make yourself familiar with the work of Dr. John
    Sarno . . . he wrote my all-time favorite book on the subject, HEALING
    BACK PAIN, that helped me walk again . . . at the time, I read it, I
    was suffering from a herniated disc and in really bad shape . . . within
    a few days, I was up and about--and have never had problems since.

    I then read and enjoyed his follow-up effort, THE MINDBODY
    PRESCRIPTION, and was equally impressed . . . this one got me
    realizing that the mind can affect more than just problems in the
    back area; it also can be the cause of carpel tunnel syndrome and
    a whole host of other ailments involving the neck and shoulders.

    Sarno's latest book, THE DIVIDED MIND, is another winner . . . it is
    a bit more technical than his earlier efforts, though that said, I found his
    discussion of the views of Freud and others quote interesting . . . I also
    liked how he supplemented this with views expressed by several
    current practitioners.

    In addition, he addresses the entire range of psychosomatic (or
    mindbody) disorders, including common stomach and bowel
    conditions, skin disorders and even headaches . . . in his view,
    the crucial interaction between the generally reasonable, rational
    and moral conscious mind and the repressed feelings of emotional
    pain, hurt, sadness, and anger appears to be the basis for
    mindbody disorders.

    There were several memorable tidbits from the book; among them:
    * The enormity of the problem is illustrated by an article that
    appeared in the business section of THE NEW YORK TIMES
    on December 31, 2003. It described how one such
    expensive treatment, spinal fusion, is being widely performed
    despite the lack of evidence that it has any value whatsoever.

    The article went on to point out that the doctors, hospitals,
    and manufacturers of the hardware used in these procedures
    all have a financial stake in the performance of this operation.
    That national bill for its hardware alone has soared to $2.5
    billion a year. What the cost of treatment must be staggers
    the imagination. My medical school professors would be
    shocked and horrified at what has happened to medical
    practice. The marketplace and economics factors have taken

    * It is quite remarkable that I have been unable to find a single
    mention in the medical literature questioning the reason for
    these epidemics. And one never gets a reasonable answer
    when one asks, Why is it that the millions of men and women
    who pounded typewriters since the beginning of the twentieth
    century never developed CTS? Again, medicine bears the
    responsibility for these epidemics on two counts: first, by
    failing to make the correct diagnosis, and then by attributing
    the severity and long-term nature of symptoms. This is
    important because it supports the mind's strategy, which is to
    distract attention from what is going on in the unconscious mind
    and focus it on a body symptom. By so doing it perpetuates the
    process. The sad reality is that most of the people suffering from
    conditions like chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and CTS will not accept
    a psychosomatic diagnosis.

    And this one I especially liked:
    * So, whenever someone confronts their fear, resumes their activity,
    and feels fine, I tell them to celebrate. CELEBRATE! I tell them to
    talk to their brain--tell themselves that they are fine! There cannot
    be a physical problem if they were able to do the activity without
    difficulty. Celebrating is an important way to reprogram the mind. It
    helps condition you to think differently about your body and will help
    you immeasurably to undo the old conditioning and forget all that
    came before.

    Do yourself a favor . . . if you or anybody you know has ever had
    problems with your back or anything related (including various
    muscular pain), buy them THE DIVIDED MIND and his earlier
    books, too . . . you will not be forgotten!...more info
  • Dr. Sarno--You've Done it Again!

    John's Sarno's books have totally changed my life! About 11 years ago I hobbled into a class I was teaching in severe back pain---pain I had experienced frequently over a more than 30 year period.

    One of my students came up and said he had a book that would "cure your back pain once and for all." Of course, I dismissed his offer as politely as I could. After all, how in the world could a mere book cure my chronic back pain, when an aggregate of dozens of chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths, and even an orthopedic surgeon had not been able to help?

    I quickly forgot about the whole thing. The following week the pesky student showed up with Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain and strongly urged me to read it, again insisting that it would cure my pain. At this point, I decided to take the challenge, read the book, and then prove to the student that the book was a complete farce.

    Quite to my amazement, I literally "found myself" described on virtually every page. Applying the principles in that book, I cured my pain about 95% simply by feeling the signs of an incipient bout of acute pain, then trying to release the emotions or psychological resistance which was causing the pain. And in the remaining 5% of acute attacks of severe pain, I simply take time to reflect on and then let go of the underlying conflicting emotions which have caused the pain, since I have not neutralized them in time.

    My chronic severe back pains which had persisted for over 30 years, are now gone, except for a very rare acute bout, which lasts for only a very brief period of time. Thanks, Dr. Sarno!

    The greatest benefit for me of Healing Back Pain is that I no longer have the tremendous FEAR I used to experience during every bout of pain, expecting that somehow irretrievable damage was being done to my "fragile" back.

    Sarno's latest book, The Divided Mind, goes into much greater depth and detail about TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), or the way chronically repressed emotions, particularly rage, in the unconscious mind create actual physical pain in the body.
    In a culture such as present day America where chronic pain of all descriptions is so prevalent, Sarno's book provides a beacon of hope for millions of sufferers.

    Dr. Sarno, through decades of successful clinical practice, has discovered that much chronic pain, though indeed physical (so it's not "all in your head") is of psychological origin. The difficulty for many patients is accepting this basic fact. For many, it is much easier to want a physical "fix" for pain than to even consider the possibility that repressed emotion may be a causative agent.

    The Divided Mind deals with the psychology, physical manifestations, and effective curative approaches in great detail. The appended chapters written by other physicians who have adopted Sarno's theory of TMS in their clinical practices makes the book all the more useful and fascinating.

    Although I felt the author's devotion to Freudian explanations is a bit one-sided and dated, I still believe this is a "must read" book for people experiencing chronic pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc., who are ready to "think outside the box" and look for new possibilities in healing themselves.

    A most interesting book which will give you much greater insight into yourself.
    ...more info
  • Great book
    As expected, Dr. Sarno has written another great book for those of us with back pain. I have suffered from sciatica for 2 years and after reading Healing Back Pain the mind body connection, by Dr. Sarno, I wanted to read his latest book. What I found most interesting was how many other "so called" structural diseases were caused by emotionally repressed pain. How interesting the brain is that it has so much power over our bodies as well. Thanks Dr. Sarno for giving us freedom from our pain....more info
  • The Best Self-Help Book Ever Written.
    John Sarno's book "The Mindbody Prescription" healed almost all the pain in my body. "The Divided Mind" has completed the healing: all my physical pain is gone. I'm not kidding. Ninety percent of my "OCD" symptoms are gone. My skin problems aren't totally gone, but they will be eventually. I'm going to buy another copy of this book, because my wife is reading mine. Also, because if this book should ever go out of print, I want to make sure I have a copy of it. I know that's a little nutty, but this book is THAT important!

    I've re-read parts of Sarno's "Mindbody Prescription" many, many times in the three years since I first "accidentally" discovered it at my local library. ( I own two copies).

    I know it's ABSOLUTELY INSANE that a mere book can cure
    body pain, OCD and skin problems. The cure is also INSANELY simple: all these problems are caused by the genius of our own brains. Unconciously, we simply cannot bear to feel our repressed rage, fear, grief, sorrow, resentment and other emotions according to Sarno. So our brains, unbeknownst to us, invent various problems in our bodies, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, tinnitus, chest pain (the doc said it wasn't my heart) OCD (yes, OCD!) and more to divert our attention from these unacceptable emotions. Our unconcious just can't handle them.

    "All" we have to do is totally buy Sarno's explanation, and the pain or other problem goes away.. I admit, it's not easy. It's taken a LOT of work, even though I instinctively agreed with his reasoning.

    As one of my therapists said, everybody is a genius, in his or her unconcious mind, and that same mind which diverts our attention from our painful, repressed feelings also puts up an epic struggle against us exposing its insane game.

    You think I'm nuts? Fine. Don't believe me. John Stoessel, the famously contrarian ABC reporter, says Sarno's book eliminated his excrutiating back pain. The shock jock Howard Stern, who mostly sickens me, has also been relieved of his unbelievable back pain and OCD by Sarno's books. Andrew Weil, the complementary medicine guru, buys Sarno's explanation for the epidemic of pain disorders in our world.

    I've used Sarno's explanation of my body so often with myself that if I have any pain, I can turn it off by just silently or vocally telling myself that it's just my brain! No kidding.

    I absolutely agree that John Sarno should be given the Nobel Prize in Science or whatever category covers his work. Of course, I'm sure the MDs and other folks who make billions of dollars treating only the symptoms of our real problem, wouldn't agree. Tough.

    Again: don't believe me: BUY THIS BOOK! It's a heck of a lot cheaper, and WAAAAAY more effective, than therapy or most "medicine."...more info
  • Sarno's Done it Again!
    Dr. Sarno is a true pioneer in regards to diagnosing and treating back pain and has made a tremendous contribution with his discovery of the mind/body connection for this condition.

    This is his fourth book on the subject and, perhaps, the most comprehensive one. I really enjoyed reading it because it not only covers Sarno's principles but it includes experiences of psychotherapists and other physicians who subscribe to his concepts. For example, Dr. Mann's section on hypertension is a wonderful overview of his book Healing Hypertension (I highly recommend this book too), and it presents a new understanding of mindbody connection not embraced by the mainstream medicine.

    I also liked the many case histories presented by Dr. Sarno and others as it helped me understand and relate better to the information presented.

    For those of you who are skeptical of Dr. Sarno's mindbody approach, at first I was quite skeptical myself. At the time I was disabled with back, leg, neck, and hand pain, and quite disappointed and frustrated with the treatments I had received. How could all this pain and disability be due to tension? However, the more I read, the more I realized that Dr. Sarno's concepts and explanations answered all my questions about my condition and fit perfectly well with all the crucial research information I had discovered.

    Although Dr. Sarno's treatment guidelines seemed useful, I felt the need for more concrete steps and a faster recovery time. As a father of two, I wanted to get well as quickly as possible. So I designed an effective rapid recovery plan based on techniques used by Olympic athletes. I improved immediately and recovered shortly after. Those with herniated discs as well as carpal tunnel syndrome have also recovered rapidly using these techniques.

    After my recovery I wanted to share my story and the recovery plan with all those suffering needlessly from back and neck pain. In addition to conducting seminars and workshops I wrote Rapid Recovery from Back and Pain: A Nine-Step Recovery Plan which provides crucial research on back and neck pain and many cases of rapid recovery as well as a section for designing a personal rapid recovery plan.

    I have advocated for a long time and still do that Dr. Sarno should be nominated and awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine. I hope that day is coming soon!
    ...more info
  • Read With An Open Mind
    If you've never heard of Dr Sarno or his TMS theory (Tension Myositis Syndrome) before, this is your chance to get a good overview by Sarno along with similar perspectives from other physicians who use the TMS theory in their own practices.

    At first, the theory sounds counter-intuitive; how can this back or neck pain, tendonitis, plantar fascitis, numbness, weakness...be caused by the brain rather than a structural problem? Well, it can. I've seen evidence of this in my own life, though I still harbor some waning doubts. Sarno as well as the other TMS physicians who wrote this book provide dozens of examples from their own practices.

    TMS is often criticized because there is no "hardcore" scientific evidence that it works. Fair enough. But the fact is, many of the conventional modalities used routinely, such as ultra-sound, TENS, most of physical therapy...lack the same evidence. This does not stop their unquestioned use daily in nearly every medical setting.

    As the title makes clear, there really is an epidemic of mind-body disorders in this country and it is part of the reason we spend so many healthcare dollars for so little....more info
  • Sarno tells it like it is!
    Dr. Sarno does not pull any punches with his frank observations and conclusions regarding the true cause (and cure) for most pain and dis-ease conditions. He shook up my world as a chiropractic student in the mid-90's with his first books, and now I use and apply his methods regularly in my chiropractic practice, and have a copy of this book in each waiting room. Sarno's work has saved my own neck at times, and has been a valuable resource for my patients, who otherwise have been made to feel "crazy" by other doctors. This book should be required reading for high school "health" classes! People need to know this basic information if there is ever to be a solution to the "health care crisis." ...more info
  • The Divided Mind
    A scathing, nonfiction, medical thriller! As a psychiatrist in private practice I had my world turned upside down by reading Dr. Sarno's book. Under the spell of modern, biological psychiatry I have often answered the question of what causes depression with the pat "Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance." During the reading of Sarno's work, for the first time it occurred to me to ask, "What caused the chemical imbalance?" One cannot understate the significance of this book in its explanatory power and its power to heal. Modern medicine is wasting billions of dollars and prolonging the suffering of innocent people in blind, ignorant materialism. Medicine fails tragically in so much of its diagnosis and treatment by being enthralled with the laboratory and treating the patient as an organism or thing, ignoring the person, and the source of the pain.

    Dr. John Hagelin from "What the Bleep Do We Know?" states:
    Every age, every generation has its built-in assumptions; that the world is flat, that the world is round, etc. There are hundreds of hidden assumptions, things that we take for granted that may or may not be true. Of course, in the vast majority of cases historically, these things aren't true. So presumably, if history is any guide, much of what we take for granted about the world simply isn't true. But we're locked into these precepts without even knowing it, often times. That's a paradigm.

    Deepak Chopra chides modern "science" stating:
    So what's the real nature of the world? What's it really like? We can't trust the senses. They give us a very distorted view. They break up that wholeness into a small fragment and we call it reality. We happen to agree about it. We even call it "objective reality" and we have a whole methodology that we call "science" to explore that. But, if you really understand what science is, then science at least until now has not been a method for exploring the truth. Science has been a method for exploring our current map of what we think the truth is.

    And so Dr. Sarno sheds light on the grand delusion of modern "science" and "medicine" in this scathing thriller.

    Read it...be fascinated...be shocked...be healed....more info