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The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2006
Reading it thoroughly twice and implementing the recommendations in this book, has helped me address some debilitating RSI related pains which I'd been carrying for more than 6 years.

Different strokes for different folks and all that, but for me this book was a winner after spending years and countless £££ trying to treat my symptoms
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2006
I was suffering from RSI, not sure if its the book or the remedial massage therapy I'm having is what helped (or both), but my RSI is a lot better and improving every day.

Its a very compelling argument and conventional medicine doesn't have all the answers. My doctor told me to take pain killers which only tackles the symptoms not the cause.

UPDATE: Its been over 4 years and I'm RSI free, it did come back a few months after first getting it but I read one of his later books and applied the principles and it soon went away again. I used to get the occasional back pain too, but having read the book if I do get any symptoms (which is now very infrequent) I can make them go away just by running through the principals in the book before I go to sleep.

Dr Sarno offers a hypothesis and evidence to support it, if you accept it and believe it then it will work for you.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book on the strength of the reviews and also comments on other books where people said this one is better.

I've had some ongoing aches and pains for years now. I've managed to get rid of the lower back pain I was having and some constant neck muscle stiffness. However, in the last few years I've been getting wrist and forearm pains, mainly on my right side. Another nerve pain has been at the top of my hip when I do a slow Tai Chi kick at the top of the movement.

After reading the reviews I knew I was going to buy a book about the pain coming from psychosomatic influences from my unconscious mind.

Lets face it, its a big leap to believe its not physical but a psychological issue. But having done Tai Chi for many years I do believe the power of the mind is tremendous.

The idea in a nutshell is the unconscious mind is shielding us from inner rage. Its in so deep we might not know its even there. The rage can develop from other emotions like guild, frustration all sorts of things. Also its not always obvious. Like being a parent or a partner where you are expected to now be fully responsible for someone else.

Sarno tells us about the different parts of the mind: the child, adult and parent. The unconscious mind is the child who wants things their own way. Its all about me.

With an idea like this one needs to present your case. Sarno goes to show that some discs that look out of place don't actually contain the nerves to cause the pain we are experiencing. In some cases pain can shift from one leg to the next. There is plenty of case history and facts in this book around this area to highlight the possibility that own brain is distracting us with pain in the body.

The distraction is to prevent us looking at the rage. Apparently, the unconscious mind totally hates rage and does its best to hide it from us. I like to think of this process as a highly intelligent computer that is still a child but is a genius. It knows internally we've a slightly protruding disc in the back so it creates some pain locally. This might sound far-fetched until you hear about xrays done to several peoples back who's discs are fussed, out of alignment and yet the owner doesn't have a single back problem! People come to Sarno who've had operations on their back and still suffer pain. Once they understand that its a covering technique by the unconscious mind, eventually their pain completely clears up with no physio or anything.

This brings me to the most important part of the process. Without the acceptance that the brain is doing this, its impossible to work. The brain has fooled you, you've bought into it and you're screwed.

However, if you're desperate, or open-minded or both, this makes a lot of sense.

As I've only really just finished the book I can't speak of miracle cures. However, I intend to try my best to re-educate myself about my pains. The key is to accept its not physical but a covering. The unconscious mind has the ability to control blood flow to the body. So a reduction in blood flow causes the pain and weakness.

About 20 years ago I was in a Kung Fu/Tai Chi competition. I was practicing this complicated move with a long spear that involved this scissor jump over it. For the fist time in my life my lower back completely pulled so I was crippled. However, I decided to carry on and skip that movement, do all the Tai Chi forms, which included a complicated spinning kick. So I remembered this whole incident yesterday and it got me thinking that the pressure of the competition caused my brain to give me a back problem so I didn't have to do any complicated manoeuvres.

One final thing. Reprogramming your mind like this takes a lot of weeks. You have to commit to the idea its your mind causing the pain. If you are in doubt then its not going to work. One technique suggested by a reader is to re-read the book over and over. I thought this was a good idea. Most books about changing habits say it takes at least 30 days to ingrain a new habit.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2001
I have suffered from RSI for about one year and, after a very depressing period of intense pain, it had become more manageable through osteopathy and anti-inflammatory treatments. A friend introduced me to Sarno's work saying that she had cured her long-term back pain with it. I am fairly sceptical about anything I perceive to be New Age and accepted her offer of a loan of the book without thinking my cure was around the corner. I read the book, recognised a great deal of what he says are particular types who suffer back pain/RSI and began the program. Within a few days the pain had receded significantly and within two weeks, it was virtually gone. Some people believe that this treatment "blames" the sufferer for their illness but what it does is show how certain types of people with certain behaviour patterns can be susceptible to psychogenic disorders and can then, once informed and convinced of that, cure themselves. I was sick of doctors and other health professionals reducing me to the position of "sick person" and found this enormously empowering. It may not cure everyone but I, and a growing army of other ex-sufferers, know that there is an answer out there for an awful lot of people to end the misery and impotence of chronic pain.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
After many tests, painful physio, and painkillers that didn't work my Doctor was advising tests for secondary bone cancer. After following the instructions in this book, the excruciating pain in my spine, which had increased to the point where I was housebound and miserable, vanished in minutes! My Doctor concurred that given my circumstances it was conceivable that the pain had psychological origins and admitted that the tests for bone cancer she was advising were a 'shot in the dark' given that all else had failed to pinpoint a cause. As I continue the mental exercises the muscle pain is diminishing daily and I can contemplate a return to work soon. The Doctor is following my case with interest, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 1998
After many, many visits to an internist, orthopedist, and chiropractor, with the accompanying MRIs, for SEVERE leg pain, I discovered Dr. Sarno's book online. It is a common sense, quickly understandable approach to healing yourelf. My first pain-free day was after reading the first 20 pages! So I kept reading. That was 6 weeks ago. Today I am celebrating 3 totally pain free weeks. And now I am using the information to deal with headaches which is working. I am recommending this book to anyone who has pain. I was absolutely miserable and am AMAZED that a book could give me back my life! Thank you Dr. Sarno!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2011
About 8 weeks about I started getting pains in my right wrist, within a day my whole hand and half of my arm had swollen up and I was unable to use it to do anything. I was getting numbness, pins and needles, dull extremely painful ache and weakness. 2 days after that I started to get pins and needles in my left arm and was petrified that it was starting in that arm too. . .low and behold within hours it was swollen and extremely painful.I was more tired than I had ever been in my life, like I had the flu but for weeks on end and was petrified it could turn into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was left unable to do ANYTHING without excruciating pain, I become extremely low. . .suicidal even.
Nothing was easy, getting dressed would take me up to an hour and I would be exhausted for the rest of the day because of it. Back and forth to the doctors for days on end with no explanation apart from (we will have to see what the scans say) but I knew it wouldn't be good. I became detached from my friends and took time off uni. I was living in my own bubble of misery, if it hadn't been for my partner then I truly don't think that I would be here today. All I could think was why me, why now in my 3rd year of uni, I'm only 22 and otherwise extremely fit and healthy.
I began to travel the internet in search of a "cure" or anything that could help me and time and time again Dr. Sarno was cropping up. At first I was EXTREMELY sceptical and though that it must be some type of scam, but the more and more I searched and read peoples successful cure stories the more I became convinced and it gave me hope.
For £5 I thought what could be the harm? I have nothing to loose and within 2 days the book arrived. By this point I had read more and more success stories on the internet and had got my hopes up beyond belief that I was more worried it wouldn't work.
I can truly say that within 2 days of starting to read this book I have seen a massive improvement in my health, everything he says just makes too much sense and it all started to fall into place, I could relate to it and see myself written within it. A friend even comment that she said it sounded like it was written for me. 5 days down the line and I have 90% of the use of my hands and arms back - the best bit I havnt even got to the treatment section yet!

But seriously if you have any doubts in your mind please ignore them and give it a go, I cannot even put into words how this has changed my life forever.

p.s. I managed to write all of this by hand - without the aid of voice recognition software and it feels AMAZING!!!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 1999
Why is it that common sense is not so common? Dr. Sarno's book has made a major difference in my life. I had decided that the remainder of my life would be spent with constant muscle spasms and a sedintary life style. I have thrown away the SI belt, resumed walking and swimming, talked to my unconscious mind, and have experienced little muscle pain in my back, legs, and arms since reading the book. Dr. Sarno explains in clear, if somewhat redundant, style exactly what happens when muscles are deprived of oxygen and how anxiety, anger, and fear contribute to muscle spasms -- being diagnosed as degenerative discs, nerve entrapment, etc. My copy is underlined, high lighted, and loaned out. This is revolutionary work that shows immediate and lasting results. Thank you, Dr. Sarno.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 1998
I first read Healing Back Pain when I was totally incapacitated by a herniated disk two years ago, so I was wonderfully surprised to see his new book. His method worked for me then...as well as for several others I've recommended the book to since. Sarno has wonderful ideas with roots in both Freudian theory and the emerging (or re-emerging) area of mindbody medicine (an interesting outgrowth of this era of managed care). He feels that unresolved emotional conflicts and the repression of the uncomfortable feelings resulting from the lack of resolution lead to spasms in the muscles which perpetuate pain. This idea provides hope...and a way out... for many who find themselves in chronic pain. The weaknesses in this book? Sarno is a fairly good writer, but not the best. And his interpretation of Freudian theory is a bit vague and poorly formed, but basically on the mark. I am pleased that I have another Sarno book to recommend to people (mostly clients in my psychology practice)...and I do know, unequivocally, that his method works.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2011
Whilst perusing Amazon for another Sarah Keyes back book, Sarno's books flashed up...............the huge amount of positive reveiws caught my eye. I've spent the last two weeks immersing myself in his theories, having suffered constant & very painful back and sciatic nerve pain following a L4/L5 prolapse 23 months ago. Two epidural injections, osteopathy, McTimmoney, physio, a cocktail of painkillers and other drugs have had little effect. But reading John Sarno's books has !!
After just two weeks i feel at least 50% of my pain has already gone, it feels amazing (at times i can hardly believe it) and i am feeling very positive that a few more weeks will make even more difference. As others have said before me, it's got to be worth a go. Thanks Amazon !
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