Thank you so much for creating this forum for peer support! And thank you in advance for reading, listening and commenting... This is a bit long, so I hope you'll bear with me: I am 37 year old business owner, mother to a wonderfully lovable teen with permanent disability, whom I raise alone. I've been living abroad, far away from my family, for many years. I think in that alone lie the majority of my "life pressures". Add to that my abusive childhood, and high expectations of myself - and it's the classic recipe to TMS. Up until 3 weeks ago (July 8th), I could not walk for more than 5 minutes at a time (and even then, it was using a cane!). I spent the entire spring 2013 in excruciating sciatica and lower back pain on my right, as well as sharp knee pain on my left. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc, protruding to the right, between L4 and L5. The knee got very little attention (physiotherapy did not work, and neither did the antiinflammatories I was on for 7 weeks; the spine doctor does not know anything about knees so it was quite the mystery how this knee thing happened, not to mention how to get rid of it). Between the left knee and the right leg/lower back pain I was heading downhill fast towards the operating table, from which I was extremely scared of. 3 weeks ago, I was exposed for the first time to the concept of TMS and quickly realized that I've been living with TMS probably all my life unknowingly. I have to first thank my brother, who called me 3 weeks ago on a Friday night, and told me about a family friend who was like me facing a surgery for herniated disc, and came across Dr. Sarno's books and healed completely. It was 10pm, I was very skeptic (my brother loves "spiritual gurus" LOL), and I was already in bed after a very rough day following my 2nd visit to the spinal clinic (aka hearing from the spine doctor that I really should do a surgery for my herniated disc). I listened to some interviews on YouTube with Dr. Sarno, I can't begin to describe the RELIEF at the thought that my back is healthy and strong and that I will not need a surgery! I decided I must get that book the next day, and put it to work when I was on my way, walking slowly (still with a cane) downhill to catch the bus (instead of taking a taxi, which I was forced to do for months). As I walked downhill the pain began to "act out", but I kept reassuring myself that my knee pain is psychological as I walked towards the book store to get "Healing Back Pain". I literally talked out loud to my knee and the sharp pain stopped, within minutes. I haven't even opened the book yet... I returned home and read the book to the week hours of the night. I felt as if it was written about me: My early manifestations of TMS were mysterious skin conditions between ages 4-6. I've developed lower back pain at the ripe age of 10 (That adds up to 27 years of back pain... OUCH!). This constant pain is so deeply engrained into me that I've developed a high pain tolerance and can't even imagine my life without that constant pain/pressure/stiffness in my lower back). In addition, I "enjoyed" countless headaches through my teen years till the present days (usually they come in when I'm very stressed about school or work). I had all kinds of other mysterious physical symptoms before the "herniated disc" episode, such as waking up at night from unexplainable cough or from a numb hand or pinky finger. So I had no difficulty convincing myself that "it's not physical, it's psychological". To top it off, as I was reading the book, the pain shifter dramatically from the right lower back to the left lower back and the pain was turning on and off at random. Within 48 hours the sciatica went away. Needless to say I stopped using the cane; but I also stopped taking the Gabapentin (which was useless anyway), and cancelled my physiotherapy appointment that Monday. I also made an appointment with my family doctor so that she can refer me to a psychotherapist and started treatment last week. The sciatica disappeared for most of the time, and whenever it came up (sometimes in my left leg, just for fun and for proving me the "symptom imperative" - so I knew Dr. Sarno was right. Similar things happened when I experienced headache the following week as I finally returned to work after 2 months of absence. I thought about what made me angry that day, and the headache disappared. So far so good - this looks like it can be a "success story". And I realize I am being harsh on myself as I'm only 3 weeks into the process. However, these are my concerns and I hope you can help me: 1) While I'm easily able to put the TMS approach to work on all the "new pain" - i.e. symptoms that were onset in the last episode (knee pain, sciatica, etc.) - I have no success whatsoever in getting rid of my so-called "normal" back pain in my lower left back. I've had it for years and I'm not feeling any improvement. Every time I get up after sitting or bending, it feels very stiff and hurts. 2) For years I've been practicing Pilates and enjoying it a lot. It also felt as if it was helping me with my back pain (though my initial interest in it was more for overall fitness and vanity...). Should I continue with that? Or should I stop any sports that might be considered "physical therapy"? 3) Ditto regarding swimming. I just love water, and enjoy outdoors swimming. I think the reason it always helped with my pain is because swimming brings me to an almost-meditative state, and really relaxes me while helping to sort out my thoughts. 4) Regarding running: I used to hate running, but it grew on me when I started running on the sand by the beach (did I mention I love water)? I went on my first run last week, all enthusiastic, and my pain got worse. I was not pain free when I started to run, but things certainly got worse after - and I tried to deal with it emotional, but since then I'm feeling even more "stuck" in my inability to release or get rid of any of my back pain.