The book 'Healing Back Pain - The Mind Body Connection' written by Dr. John E. Sarno is a medical pioneer whose program has helped thousands of thousands of people overcome their back conditions, without exercise, drugs or dangerous surgery.
It discusses one particular cause of back pain, a phenomenon called 'Tension Myositis Syndrome' (TMS). Dr. Sarno explains that after identifying stress and other psychological factors in back pain, he demonstrates how many of his patiens have gone on to heal themselves without exercise or other physical therapy methods.
The important aspects of this book are as follows:
- Why self-motivated and successful people are prone to TMS
- How anxiety and repressed anger trigger muscle spasms
- How people "train themselves' to experience back pain
- How it is possible to get back pain relief within 2 to 6 weeks by recognizing TMS and its causes
Is John E. Sarno MD Going Too Far With His Book 'Healing Back Pain'?
John Sarno is extremely highly regarded in his field of expertise by other health professionals and he some important ideas. But with this latest book it is almost as if he goes a little too far, as if he is trying to make us believe that you can heal anything with the right mental attitude.
Although it is really important to recognise the importance of the mind in medicine, over exaggerating is not good either. This does not take away that this book discusses a very important aspect of pain, often overlooked by many health professionals, especially doctors.
MPS versus TMS
Interestingly around the same time as John Sarno MD talked about TMS , “myofascial pain syndrome” was being introduced by the famous physician Dr. Janet Travell. She helped President Kennedy get rid of his back pain using her methods. She worked closely together with her research partner Dr. David Simons.
Drs. Travell and Simons spent their careers researching MPS. By 1991 they published the first edition of their seminal textbook, 'Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction - The Trigger Point Manual'
This book was written really for health professionals due to the use of the medical vocabulary, unfortunately not something that back sufferers can understand. It expands on the TMS concept in much more detail, but the overall concept remains the same.
Trigger points are basically a soft tissue dysfunction, which are commonly know as 'muscle knots' to most health professionals. These 'knots' or 'trigger points' are responsible for causing and aggravating a bewildering array of otherwise mysterious aches and pains, especially low back pain.
A Book Written for the Non medical People
MPS is much more widely known then TMS, but even so it has not exactly spread as far as it should have. Although many doctors and most therapists do know about MPS, many others remain alarmingly oblivious. So really I have Sarno to thank for taking the idea directly to the public — and under which ever name that may be.
Even though Travell and Simons' work is extremely important they unfortunately never wrote for the non medical people. Besides their textbook being brilliant and impossible without a medical vocabulary it is also extravagantly expensive in any case. It really is meant for the bookshelves of professionals only.
Luckily John Sarno’s modest paperbacks weigh less than a pound and cost less than a meal.
Not only is Sarno’s book suitable for any reader with back pain, he explores some of the more human and philosophical implications of MPS/TMS, something that had never really been done before, and he proposes some valuable self-treatment strategies.
Before I started to read Sarno, I was still trying to treat trigger points with gentle physical manipulations. These were the methods taught by Travell & Simons, and popularized by many others. Later I enhanced this with a technique called 'dry needling'...
These methods are extremely effective, but after reading 'Healing Back Pain - Mind Body Connection' I was persuaded to enrich that approach with a strong emphasis on education and reassurance … which provided me with my patients in my clinic with astounding results.
A Book Highly Recommended
As explained Sarno still uses the term TMS instead of MPS, but this does not take away from the importance of the ideas in this book. Personally I don't think a person in pain will care less what term is being used or whatever it is being called.
I would highly recommend this book to back pain sufferers, those suffering from chronic muscle pains and all health professionals...
"As a doctor working in the area of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, this book really resonated with me.It was recommended to me by my physiotherapist son, and will indeed change my approach to certain patients...." Read full review
DR JF Gray
"This book is a life changer if you're someone who's suffered from back pain so terrible that you'll do *anything* to make it stop. And it's actually an amazingly simple theory." Read full review
You can BUY John Sarno MD,
Healing Back Pain -
Mind Body Connection
If you found this article informative you should request a free copy of my lower back pain relief guide. In it you will find more information about the 3 'pillars' mentioned above, as well as dozens of other tips that you can begin using right away.
Why continue to struggle with back pain or sciatica? You deserve to be pain free, and you must not sit around and wait for your body to fix itself, I am giving you the tools, now all that you have to do is take action...