Part 3 – Dr. SARNO’S TRADITIONAL PAIN TREATMENTS Concluding this posting summarizing and commenting on Dr. Sarno’s chapter 5 from his book Healing Back Pain. Once again, I am not a doctor nor do I intend to give medical advice or take a position either for or against a doctor’s diagnosis that a patient’s pain may require medication, manipulation, or other treatment for a back or other condition that may be structurally damaged from injury, disease, a fall, improper lifting, or other cause. I merely think you would like to know, or refresh your knowledge after reading his book, that he believes most if not all of our pain is not caused by structural damage but by a process he calls TMS which deprives oxygen to parts of our body. That is caused, Dr. Sarno, says, by one or more repressed emotions that may and very likely do go back to our childhood producing anger, even rage, or anxiety, guilt, feelings of having been abandoned or abused. In this posting from chapter 5 Dr. Sarno begins by writing about treatments to strengthen muscles. He says that for years that has been the tradition method doctors recommend for treating back pain. “That idea is deeply ingrained in the American mind, and it is dead wrong,” he writes. Treatments to strengthen back muscles are taught in programs at various places including the YMCA, exercise is prescribed by thousands of doctors, and people are trained by a large variety of physical therapists. He finds nothing wrong doing the exercises and strengthening the muscles, and in fact says it’s a very good thing and he does them himself. But he tells his patients that the exercises will neither make their pain go away or protect them from it, and if they do they are having a placebo effect. And the exercises could help a person break their fear of physical activity, which would be a good thing. However, he says only rarely will he refer a patient to a physical therapist, and then only to help them overcome their fear and reluctance to do physical exercise. Dr. Sarno writes then about some physical treatments that can be helpful to increase the flow of blood into a hurting area by increasing the temperature of the tissue. Heat can be generated within muscle by use of shortwave or ultrasonic radiation. The same result can be done with deep massage and active exercise. Many people thin that applying a hot pack or a cloth wet with hot water will increase blood floor, but he says in reality it will not. The reason is, the heat does not penetrate the skin, let alone reach the muscle. Neither will application of a cold or ice pack. My sister has often recommended I apply a hot wet cloth to my lower back when it aches. I think it sometimes helps, but Dr. Sarno says it is just a placebo. Another example of how we believe in a cure if someone we know or respect suggests it. The application of hot or cold packs, or the use of radiation (nowadays mostly ultrasonic), deep and superficial massage, and active exercise are widely used today in treating pain, but at best they may provide only temporary pain relief. They do not get at the root of the problem, which that the pain is not structural but emotional, cause by one or more of the patient’s repressed emotions. Have you heard that before? You may even be tired of hearing or reading about it. But those thousands of people who were in pain and have healed themselves through TMS Know it’s worth repeating, and reminding our unconscious mind all the time. Increasing oxygen to a hurting area will not be accomplished by applying heat or massage or manipulation or any other structural method, but believing the symptom is TMS muscle pain. Inflammation is another whipping boy many doctors say is causing a patient’s pain. But Dr. Sarno says no one has ever demonstrated the existence of an inflammatory process in any back pain. Yet pharmaceutical companies keep insisting we buy their steroidal and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to treat back pain. Dr. Sarno says it’s difficult to determine if these medications, either prescribed by a doctor or bought over-the-counter at drug stores, work, because most of them contain an analgesic (pain-killing) ability as well as anti-inflammatory properties, “Since there is no inflammation in TMS,” writes Dr. Sarno, “one must assume that improvement with these is due either of their pain-killing function, or placebo effect.” He says steroids, such as cortisone drugs, will reduce or banish pain in many patients. He says he does not know why this happens, but he sees people who took cortisone drugs when they later come to him complaining again about their pain. “They have TMS” says Dr. Sarno, and they usually respond to TMS treatment which rids them, finally, of their pain. He concludes the chapter by writing about chronic pain. He says treating pain is not medically sound. Pain is a symptom, like fever. In his experience, in both mild and severe cases of pain, it is not a structural abnormality but a psychological cause, from one or more repressed emotions. Behavioral psychologists seized on the concept of pain being caused by a new disorder they called chronic pain. Pain was elevated to the status of a disease. “Pain is, has been, and always will be a symptom,” writes Dr. Sarno. “If it becomes severe and chronic it is because that which is causing it is severe and has gone unrecognized [a repressed emotion]. “Most patients [even with severe and long-standing pain] do not need psychotherapy. They do need to know that all of us generate and repress bad feelings and that these feelings may be the cause of physical symptoms.” Thank you, Dr. Sarno, for discovering TMS and showing us how through knowledge that discovery of our repressed emotion will heal us of pain. But you have to believe. Dr. Sarno and TMSWiki can lead a pain suffer to the well of pain relief, but the person has to drink of the water of healing. The cure most likely won’t come in one swallow. It may take days, weeks, or months of daily drinking from his 12 daily reminders for healing. But it does work. Dr. Sarno’s 12 daily reminders are: 1.The pain is due to TMS, not to a structural abnormality 2.The direct reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation 3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my repressed emotions 4.The principal emotion is my repressed ANGER 5.TMS exists only to distract my attentions from the emotions 6.Since my back is basically normal there is nothing to fear 7.Therefore,physical activity is not dangerous 8.And I MUST resume all normal physical activity 9.I will not be concerned or intimidated by the pain 10.I will shift my attention from pain to the emotional issues 11.I intend to be in control-NOT my subconscious mind 12.I must think Psychological at all times, NOT physical. I hope you will join the call-in Tuesday night when our good friend Steve Ozanich’s book The Great Pain Deception will again be a topic of discussion, this time on how our repressed emotions can switch the pain from one part of our body to another. This Tuesday, October 22, the call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 10 (The Symptom Imperative Phenomenon) in Steve Ozanich's book The Great Pain Deception starting at 9 pm Eastern Time. It lasts an hour, sometimes a little longer. Phone lines will open half an hour early so you can talk to hosts and early callers. Here's how to join the discussion (for detailed instructions, visit http://go.tmswiki.org/connect ): · If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 (347) 817-7654 and when prompted enter the meeting number 18311499. · If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/app/48fb7aa8/18311499 and follow the instructions from there. For more information, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Call-In_Peer_Discussion_Group .