My Success Story, by Abigail Steidley
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I was diagnosed with vulvar vestibulitis, vulvar dysesthesia, interstitial cystitis, and pelvic floor dysfunction several years ago. I was unable to work, wear underwear, sit, or walk. After seeking medical treatment but not finding much pain relief, I began applying a mind-body approach. I worked with a woman who taught me how to effectively reduce stress via deep breathing, and became more and more interested in mind-body methods. I was seeing immediate results just from the breathing exercises, and began studying everything I could find. When I came across Dr. John Sarno's The Mindbody Prescription, I was already completely sure that my illnesses were a result of how I was dealing with stress, how I was living my life, and how I was dealing with emotions. So when I opened the book, it really hit home. I was clearly a perfect match for the Sarno personality profile, and though he never specifically discusses vulvodynia in the book, I knew it simply had to be a manifestation of TMS or mind-body syndrome.
I had already had considerable pain reduction, but reading the book brought everything into even more clarity. I did not seek the particular analytic therapy recommended by Sarno, but simply found methods of dealing with my own mind and emotions that were highly effective. Before I knew it, I was completely pain free. I was so focused on the inner work prescribed by both Sarno and the breathing expert I actually did not even notice when the pain disappeared. Now I maintain a lifestyle that includes this kind of inner personal awareness and focus, which has actually brought incredible and fantastic changes in every area of my life. I feel connected to my soul, joyful, energized, and just plain happy.
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