About this title:
Do you have back, neck, or shoulder pain that keeps recurring or won't go away? Does back pain keep you from living a full life? If so, you may be suffering from TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome)—and you don't have to take it anymore!
Dr. John E. Sarno is a medical pioneer whose mind-body approach has helped patients overcome their back conditions—without drugs or dangerous surgery. After indentifying stress and other psychological factors in back pain, he demonstrates how many of his patients have then gone on to heal themselves without exercise or other physical therapy. With case histories and the results of in-depth mind-body research, Dr. Sarno describes how patients recognize the emotional roots of their TMS and sever the connections between mental and physical pain.
Healing Back Pain promises permanent elimination of back pain without drugs, surgery, or exercise. It should have been titled Understanding TMS Pain, because it discusses one particular cause of back pain--Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)--and isn't really a program for self-treatment, with only five pages of action plan (and many more pages telling why conventional methods don't work). According to John E. Sarno, M.D., TMS is the major cause of pain in the back, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and limbs--and it is caused not by structural abnormalities but by the mind's effort to repress emotions. He's not saying that your pain is all in your head; rather, he's saying that the battle going on in your mind results in a real physical disorder that may affect muscles, nerves, tendons, or ligaments. An injury may have triggered the disorder, but is not the cause of the amount or intensity of the resulting pain. According to Sarno, the mind tricks you into not facing repressed emotion by making you focus on pain in the body. When this realization sinks in ("and it must sink in, for mere intellectual appreciation of the process is not enough"), the trick doesn't work any more, and there's no need for the pain. ( Healing Back Pain should not be used for self-diagnosis. Always consult a physician for chronic or acute back pain.) --Joan Price
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