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Have you read Mindbody Prescription by Dr. John E. Sarno?

It's the only thing that could cure my constant RSI/chronic pain after years of trying everything, and in the book he talks about fibromyalgia.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mindbody-Prescription-Healing-Body...

The idea of psychogenic disorders would have normally have sounded like esoteric BS to me, but I ended up picking up the book at the recommendation of an ex-Google coder who went through all the same things that I did. I'm glad I did; for 15$, I completely cured myself after years of trying everything else (physiotherapy, standing desk, stretching exercises, working out, various books on RSI, ergonomic chairs, keyboards, mouses, trackpads, switching hands, etc, etc), and it turns out the book takes a very scientific approach to these conditions, even if it admits that there's a lot we still don't understand about exactly how our minds work and how they can affect our bodies (it's kind of an engineering approach -- we figured out something that works, now we need to figure out why).

Highly recommended to all those of you suffering from constant back pain, neck pain, RSI, etc.




I was thinking of buying that book, but he sounded like a typical wackaloon to me. I mean, just from reading the first few lines of the Amazon review:

> 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.

Slipped discs are due to suppressed anger? What the fuck? I've been having back pain for a few years now (it returns whenever I slouch), but it started directly after a gym injury... what has that got to do with suppressed anger?


Reading this currently, with a lot of similar skepticism, mostly because of this blog post: http://aaroniba.net/articles/tmp/how-i-cured-my-rsi-pain.htm...

I avoid books like this because they are almost all "wacakaloons" like you say. But this one seems to be much better. At least the entire first half of the book is the author making the medical case for his treatment. It is well cited, based on both his clinical experience and other studies.

Sarno doesn't claim that slipped discs are caused by suppressed anger. He never says that all backaches, headaches, slipped discs, and chronic pains are due to this and stresses the importance of getting examined before judging for yourself the cause of the pain. He believes that the pain from things like a slipped disc sometimes is, though. He cites a multitude of instances where people have slipped discs and aren't in pain.

Again, I'm not finished with it and am still a bit skeptical, but I would say it's probably worth a read.


I read his book (http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection...) expecting to have a similar reaction. While he doesn't make the strongest scientific case, you are not doing his proposition justice. It's more about people who injure themselves maintaining unconscious tension in areas which leads to stiffness and pain well after the physiological healing has finished, because they fear re-injury.

I found some of his advice helpful insofar as it suggests that mindfulness meditation can help ease tension-induced back pain (which I have found to be true for me) and that there is a mental component in overcoming the fear of re-injury and allowing yourself to resume your full range of motion without subconsciously tensing up.

As someone who struggles with anxiety from time to time, I can even believe his statement that he's referred some patients to therapy before attempting to treat their back pain.


Invest a couple hours in reading a few chapters of the book and find out for yourself. I can't possibly summarize it all here without skipping important steps.

All your objections are addressed very well in the book. It's not like he hasn't thought about those things and how it sounds at first. He came to his conclusions empirically by treating his patients, not by dreaming up some theory out of the ether.

I'll just re-iterate my recommendation for the book. It doesn't cost much and you can always get it from the library if you really don't want to spend the money.


I don't think he claims that, but rather that slipped discs being painful is.

Not really sure about this (I haven't read that particular book), but I will say that Sarno's theories cured my RSI pain, which crippled me for over a year. I'm not sure if his explanations of the mechanism for the pain are correct (they seem very hard to test), but I'm pretty sure the pain was all psychosomatic.


I was in Chiropractic School and dropped out because I felt most patients got better by the placebo effect.

I once heard a Doctor describe psychosomatic pain. He believed the artierioles constricted with psychological stress. It's still real pain, but it will eventually go away.

I was deeply effected by nagging pain throughout my twenties. I went to Doctors, but since I knew where all the cranial nerves were(Chiro student), they didn't think it was psychological.

The American way to success(what ever that is) is Stressful. Especially, if you were the hard working type. Don't think you are invincible. The mind does break.

My use of weed has not worked. I used it for anxiety/depression but, it just made me feel anxious, and amplified any pain I had. But, everyone is different--try it--it just might work.




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