TMS In The Media

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See also

  1. Celebrity Advocates
  2. Medical Evidence
  3. Medical and Mental Health Professionals who advocate this approach
  4. Events
  5. Q&A with an Expert about this approach
  6. Books for TMS Patients
  7. Recovery stories categorized by symptom group

New York Magazine 03/10/1986

For years Tony Schwartz, a columnist for New York Magazine, suffered from Back Pain. In March of 1986 he wrote an article for New York Magazine that depicted his search for a cure. In Oh My Aching Back, Schwartz outlines the numerous different "miracle cures" that he tried, all of which ended the same way, with him still in pain. The article gives insight into how people with chronic back pain desperately seek any method to alleviate their pain. In March 1987 Schwartz wrote another article for New York Magazine entitled, Ah, My Non-Aching Back. After writing his first article Schwartz received a large amount of personal stories from people saying that Dr. John Sarno cured their back-pain. Schwartz, while doubtful of its success, describes his decision to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sarno and give his treatment a try. The article outlines the treatment methods of Dr. Sarno through the personal narrative of Schwartz. Also, Schwartz gives a detailed and informative history of Dr. Sarno that explains his medical career and how he discovered the mind-body solution.

John Stossel in a 20/20 segment from 07/25/1999

John Stossel, former co-anchor of the ABC news show 20/20, was a patient of Dr. John Sarno's and claims that his fifteen years of Back Pain were overcome through using Dr. Sarno's TMS approach. He is quoted as saying, "for fifteen years, my life revolved around my back. I took time off from work, conducted meetings lying on the floor and slept with ice bags. Could this be psychogenic? I had considered Dr. Sarno's ideas preposterous, but ten years ago I was talked into seeing him. I haven't had back problems since. If Dr. Sarno is right about other psychogenic pain, America is wasting billions of dollars. What a tragedy."

Stossel produced a 15 minute segment on 20/20 that told his story and described the TMS approach.The segment follows three or four back pain sufferers, including one who had such pain that she moved about on a scooter rather than walking. By the end of the program, after treatment by Dr. Sarno, she is shown jogging. The other pain sufferers that they followed all improved as well. 20 patient files were also pulled at random from Dr. Sarno's records, were called by a reporter, and all reported that they were better or much better after going through his program.

The segment from 20/20 is embedded below.


Accessible version of this video

The Seattle Times 07/23/2000

Molly Martin is the Assistant Editor of the Pacific Northwest Magazine. In July of 2000, she wrote an article for the Seattle Times entitled, Minding the Back. The article begins with Martin's own account of how stressful situations sometimes lead to her having Back Pain. Martin then gives a description of TMS and Dr. John Sarno's treatment for it and explains that patients must accept that their pain is psychological. Martin provides evidence for Sarno's treatment by citing a Stanford University study that found a torn vertebral disc does not provide a clear indication that a subject has back pain. The study concluded that a more suitable predictor of a subjects' back pain is their psychological and social state of mind.

Newsweek 04/26/2004

Claudia Kalb is a General editor of Newsweek and focuses on health and medical issues. In April 2004 she wrote an article entitled The Great Back Debate, in which she investigates the causes and treatments of back pain. Kalb investigates the numerous methods people take to cure their chronic back pain. The article suggests that back pain is sometimes caused by psychological factors. Kalb outlines the Dr. John Sarno's treatment and its effectiveness, as well as citing Dr. Eugene Carragee's study which suggests the best predictor of pain is a patients psychological distress. While the article focuses on back pain in a general sense it does provide a comparison of TMS treatments to those other back pain treatments, specifically surgery. The article cites former patients of Sarno who swear by his methods and his diagnosis of TMS. One former patient is quoted saying Sarno is "good for humanity." Overall this article shows Sarno and his TMS diagnosis in a favorable light. While it does mention some of the critiques of Sarno and TMS, it is contrasted by personal stories of Sarno's success in treating chronic back pain.

MedScape Today 06/07/2004

In June of 2004, freelance journalist Pippa Wysong, interviewed Dr. John Sarno for a story for MedScape Today. The interview is entitled, An Expert Interview With Dr. John Sarno, Part 1: Back Pain is a State of Mind. In the piece, Wysong investigated what interested Dr. Sarno in chronic pain treatment and what he initially found wrong with standard medical treatment. The interview goes into great detail about how Sarno discovered TMS and his treatment methods for it. Wysong also asked a series of questions about scientific research and how new findings relate to TMS. The interview allows people an opportunity to hear about TMS in a wide scope from Sarno himself. It makes the piece authentic and helpful in learning about how Sarno developed and uses TMS treatment. (Source)

Runner's World 08/2004

In 2004, Marc Bloom, a runner, coach, author and senior writer for Runner's World magazine, wrote an article entitled "Mind Over Matter". In it, he explains how he experienced debilitating back pain in 1994. After exhausting traditional methods of back pain treatments with no relief to his ailment, he stumbled upon Dr. Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain. Over the course of a few months, he was able to resume his running activities completely pain free. In this short article, he explains at a high-level how pain can be emotionally induced rather than physiologically based. He quotes a couple of doctors and a sports psychologist who provide some supporting information. Lastly, he writes about some of the proven strategies to overcome the pain such as journaling, distraction, and using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques.

Prevention Magazine 11/04/2004

In November 2004, contributing editor to Prevention magazine, Mike McGrath wrote an article entitled When Back Pain Starts In Your Head. This article discusses the causes of TMS and Dr. Sarno's treatment methods. McGrath also mentions the TMS treatment of John Stossel, the former 20/20 anchor who is a former Sarno patient. While the article does not go into great detail about TMS or any specific cases, it does offer a brief and informative review of TMS and some of the treatment methods that are involved with recovery. (Source)

WCVB TV 5 (ABC) in Boston, MA 05/16/2005

"Cure For Back Pain In Your Brain," 5/16/08. Video & Writeup.

"Woman Finds Back Pain Relief in Book," 3/24/05. Video & Writeup.

Best Life Magazine 11/2007

Jonah Lehrer is a contributing editor at Wired. He's also written for The New Yorker, Seed, Nature, and the New York Times. He wrote an article for Best Life Magazine in November 2007 on the psychology of chronic Back Pain. Here he reprints the entire 5000 word article on his blog. It's a brilliant account of some of the science behind the theory, and includes an interview with Dr. Marc Sopher on TMS.

WBAL TV 11 (NBC) in Baltimore, MD 05/01/2008 and 07/10/2008

"Back Pain A Mental Problem? One Doc Says So," 5/1/08. Video (also here). Writeup. Extra footage of this interview.

"Gerry: Doc's Back Pain Cure Healed Me," 7/10/08. (Gerry Sandusky is their sports director). Video. Writeup.

Extra footage of the interview with Gerry (8.40 minutes long).

Spirituality and Health 07/23/2009

This article, by Barbara Schramm, examines how the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia actually does more harm than good. The article is called Writing Oneself out of Fibromyalgia]. Rheumatologist Frederic Wolfe, who wrote the diagnostic protocol, suggested that having a Fibromyalgia diagnosis actually has led to more people having the condition. He also mentions that the link between doctors and pharmaceutical companies have exacerbated the problem of over medication. Schramm also investigated a study that proved journaling and meditation had positive results in limiting Fibromyalgia pain.

Runner's World 08/2009

Benjamin Cheever is an avid runner who developed Piriformis Syndrome that prevented him from doing what he loved so much. In the article The Big Hurt in the August 2009 edition of Runners World Magazine, Cheever describes his experiences dealing with chronic pain, and how a visit to Dr. Sarno healed him. This article looks at TMS from the view of an athlete and examines why TMS is rarely accepted in the athletic community. Cheever's story serves as a great example that overuse, even if you run everyday, does not cause chronic pain.

The Huffington Post 08/27/2009

Colleen Perry is a psychotherapist from Santa Monica who is active in the TMS community and is also a blogger at The Huffington Post. She is a member of the wiki and you can send her a message through her wiki profile (click on the Send Message button). She recently published an article on the Huffington Post about TMS entitled "Treating Chronic Pain - There is a Better Way!"

Drnorthrup.com 08/21/2009

Dr. Christiane Northrup has written on TMS/PPD several times including in her book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, where she discussed the work of Dr. John Sarno. In the article, Back Pain, Northrup gives an overview of Dr. Ronald Siegel's battle with chronic back pain, which led him to write the book Back Sense. The article discusses the multiple treatments Siegel went through and how we figured out his pain wasn't structural when he noticed the pain move from one leg to the other. After discussing Siegel's story, Northrup continues to give an overview of TMS/PPD including a section on how to recover. In this section she offers several journaling questions to keep in mind, as well as providing a list of the treatment suggestions that Siegel makes in his book.

Ezinearticles.com 08/31/2009

Anne West is an author and publisher of self-help eBooks on natural healing methods. She has written an article titled How to Heal Chronic Hip Pain. She has also published an eBook on the subject of healing chronic back pain. (Source)

Natural Solutions 12/01/2009

Meghan Rabbitt began having severe chronic back pain after she had been cross-country skiing. The article entitled, The Back Story,describes the process the author went through to become pain free, and how she found out about Dr. Sarno's theories. The article reads like a success story, and is a familiar story to many people suffering from chronic pain. The article is not bogged down with too much scientific facts, but explores the journey people take to be healed. Rabbitt describes how stress in her life was the main reason behind her bout with chronic back pain. This article is a refreshing look at chronic pain and shows that by uncovering repressed emotions people can become pain free. (The full text of this article can be found here)

Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal 01/2010

Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal (HCPJ) is the quarterly journal of the Faculty for Healthcare Counsellors and Psychotherapists (FHCP), the healthcare division of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. In early 2010 Alan Gordon, a psychotherapist in California, wrote an article for HCPJ entitled Miracles of Mindbody Medicine. Gordon begins by outlining the enormity of chronic pain patients and the affects it has on the United States. He states that over $100 billion dollars is spent a year on chronic pain treatment. Gordon goes on to cover the rise of the Dr. John Sarno and the mind-body connection, as well as discussing how stress and suppressed emotions can cause physical pain. The article also discusses TMS treatment methods and how they are received by patients. Gordon points out that it is easy for patients to initially reject the diagnosis, and he discusses the importance of the practitioner to help patients understand and eventually accept the mind-body approach. Gordon concludes the article by projecting what the future holds for TMS. He writes of the value TMS Conferences have on advocacy, awareness, and research on the field, as well as suggests that the growing embrace of mind-body medicine will lead to the eventual incorporation of the TMS approach into mainstream medicine. The article includes supportive perspectives by Georgie Oldfield, MCSP (founder of SIRPA), and Audrey Berdeski, DC, LLPC. (The full text of this article can be found here)

Where The Client Is 02/08/2010

In early February 2010 Will Baum interviewed psychoanalyst and chronic pain expert Frances Sommer Anderson for the blogzine Where the Client Is. In the interview Anderson describes how she became involved with TMS and what is was like working alongside Dr. John Sarno. Anderson began her career working at the New York University-Rusk Institute where she first met Sarno and learned about the mind-body approach. In the interview Anderson offers an in depth look at the therapist/physician relationship when treating a client with TMS. Anderson believes it is a necessity for therapists and physicians to work closely together to successfully treat TMS patients. The article goes into detail about how Anderson treats TMS patients and the different psychiatric approaches used in helping patients. Instead of simply describing symptoms of TMS, this article offers a glimpse into the psychiatric practice of treating TMS by one of the leading therapists in the field. This has rarely been seen in TMS media coverage and it gives new look at TMS and how it is treated within the field of psychiatry. (Source)

Where the Client Is has started a conversation about this piece between Dr. Anderson and Bronwyn Thompson of HealthSkills, in which they discuss the validity of the TMS approach. The discussion centers around TMS and the necessity for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT). Thompson argues that TMS in invalid because it lacks proven RCT's while Dr. Anderson makes a great case in support of TMS and cites the countless success stories of TMS and the recent research that has been done. This is a great follow-up to the original article and offers an excellent example of the TMS vs. "mainstream medicine" debate. The conversation is broken up into two parts and is available online. (Conversation 1) (Conversation 2)

As a lead up to the 2nd annual Mind-Body Conference in LA, Will Baum interviewed Dr. Eric Sherman, a speaker at the conference, for the blogzine Where the Client Is. The article is entitled What is TMS?- an Interview with Eric Sherman. In the interview Dr. Sherman outlines what steps a patient should take if they think they might have TMS. The article discusses the various treatment methods and the effectiveness TMS treatments have on curing chronic pain. (Source)

St. John Providence Health System

Kim Ruby, a yoga instructor and medical student at USC, wrote an article for this leading Michigan health care provider. The article provides a condensed explanation of how TMS works and how to cure it. (Source)

Success Magazine May 2010

The article discusses some of the more commonly accepted connections between the mind and the body, such as how stress and a negative attitude can cause undesired effects. However, there is also a sidebar article which mentions Dr. Sarno, quotes Dr. Sopher, and describes TMS. (Source) (Sidebar)

Science Daily 06/07/2010

The article, Why Does Feeling Low Hurt? Depressed Mood Increases the Perception of Pain , discusses the importance of a recent study that investigated how depression can increase pain. The article suggests that the pain is not "all in the head" or "all in the body" instead chronic pain is caused by a combination of the two. The research induced sadness and depression in people through a combination of negative words, music, and images. Then they measured their pain intensity, and found the participants had more intense pain at times when they were sad or depressed. In terms of TMS this study shows that negative emotions can cause or increase pain, and it shows a correlation between the mind-body connection and chronic pain.

Reuters 07/02/2010

In the article, "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise for Fibromyalgia, journalist Amy Norton examines Dr. Howard Schubiner's 2010 study about using "affective self-awareness" treatment technique in patients with Fibromyalgia. The study found that 46% of the participants had at least a 30% reduction of pain. Norton explains the failure of standardized medicine's treatment of Fibromyalgia. Dr. Schubiner was interviewed for this story and gives insight into what this study may mean for the future of Fibromyalgia and TMS. (Source)

Abstract to Howard Schubiner's study

TMS Wiki Interview with Dr. Schubiner

Psychology Today Online 2010

Journalist and LCSW, Will Baum, has written several articles discussing TMS for Psychology Today. In the article Dealing with Chronic Back Pain, published on March 2, 2010, Baum interviews TMS therapist Alan Gordon who discusses his practice treating TMS clients. In the interview Gordon explains how emotions can lead to chronic symptoms such as back pain, and then discusses ways in which patients can be healed of these symptoms by recognizing the patterns and triggers of their symptoms.

On July 12, 2010 Will Baum published another article entitled Mind-Body MD Looks for Emotion Behind Chronic Pain. In this article Baum interviews renowned TMS practitioner Dr. David Schechter. The interview is focused on the steps Dr. Schechter takes in diagnosing a patient with TMS. Schechter also briefly discusses how he became interested in TMS and his experience working with Dr. Sarno. There is also an interesting discussion of the article where Dr. Schechter responds to several people who have questions about the TMS approach.

Unified Health Journal: Summer 2010

Groundbreaking Principles of Psychosomatic Medicine: A Conversation with John E. Sarno, MD

"Best-selling author and pioneering physician in psychosomatic medicine discusses the unrecognized role of unconscious emotions in physical disorders and some of the central elements of psychosomatic processes.

Interview by Matt Laughlin" (Source) (update 5/6/11: Source was moved to the authors site; original site may not exist)

Hagerstown Magazine July/August 2010

In the summer of 2010 Journalist Arlene Karidis wrote an article called No Pain, Big Gain: Tension Myositis Syndrome. The article spotlighted TMS/PPD therapist Barbara Kline who is a LCSWC. The article describes how Barbara Kline recovered from her own debilitating chronic pain and is now successfully treating patients with TMS/PPD. The article provides an overview of the type of conditions that can be involved with TMS and concludes with mentioning the recovery story of Janette Barber from the Rosie O'Donnell Show.

Chicago Tribune 09/14/2010

In 2010 Chicago Tribune reporter, Julie Deardorff, wrote Write to ease your pain. The main subject of the story is TMS practitioner, Dr. John Stracks, who is a physician at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness. In the piece, Deardorff focuses on the effectiveness journaling has on healing people from pain and other chronic symptoms. While TMS has not been fully accepted by the medical community Deardorff mentions its growing acceptance, especially in other departments at Northwestern. The article concludes with several tips and guidelines a person should take in treating TMS.

Pain Medicine News 11/29/2010

This is a short interview with Dr Sarno by David Holzman in a Q & A format. Pain Medicine News (PMN) is designed to meet the needs of the spectrum of physicians involved in managing pain, including pain specialists, primary care physicians, physiatrists, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, oncologists, etc., and is mailed monthly to 50,000 physicians that are the highest-prescribers of pain medication in these specialties. (Source) Link will take you a Google search result with a link to the article.

Times and Transcript 03/02/2011

In an article entitled New approach can help patients with chronic pain, Dr. Martin Gleixner discusses how medicines standard practice of treating chronic pain is ineffective. Dr. Gleixner incorporates the TMS/PPD approach into his own practice as a naturopathic doctor. Gleixner gives three tips on how to recover from chronic pain including Rule out pathological conditions that may explain chronic pain, Integrate concepts of mind-body medicine, and Apply naturopathic principles and treatments.

Wall Street Journal 11/15/2011

This article titled Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain discusses scientific research which is helping scientists understand the brain-basis of how alternative (non-drug) therapies work to reduce chronic pain. TMS/PPD is not mentioned directly, but the article is still interesting in that it supports the idea that emotions, thoughts, and beliefs affect pain symptoms.

New York Times - Locals 1/2/2012

This essay titled In Pain? Try Saying 'Thanks' appeared in the online New York Times Local Community edition for Forte Greene, Brooklyn. In it Michael Galinsky, a successful documentarian and partner in multimedia studio RUMUR, "offers a nifty take on the “New Year’s resolution” story — a way to reduce pain and feel good doing it at the same time."

Forbes 9/26/2012 and 11/28/2012

In the article America's Best Doctor and His Miracle Cures: Dr. John E. Sarno written by contributor Edward Siedle, the author reveals his personal experience of being healed of chronic back and shoulder pain by Dr. Sarno who he saw in 1993. He continues to live a life free of chronic pain, jogs 30 miles per week, and recommends Dr. Sarno's books whenever he gets the chance.

Edward Siedle writes a follow-up article in How Americas Best Pain Doctor Took on the Medical Establishment and Won


Creations Magazine October/November 2013

In this article published in Creations Magazine, entitled The Great Pain Deception, Steve Ozanich, TMS consultant and author of The Great Pain Deception goes into detail about some of the main forces behind TMS and TMS healing. Ozanich discusses the two major purposes of TMS pain and "pain equivalents" (such as anxiety or fatigue): first, to inform the body that something is wrong, and second, to prevent the individual from sensing or feeling rage and other unwanted emotions, creating TMS symptoms to avoid psychological conflict. He expands on the second point, also pointing out that society "has collectively bought into the notion that physical problems stem from the body alone." Ozanich also discusses the power of belief and how it relates to health.

LivingBetter Online 11/12/2013

In the article 7 Steps to Heal Your Back Pain: Faulty Medical Advice Is Making Us Worse, TMS author and consultant Steve Ozanich outlines seven steps important to healing from TMS, or more specifically, back pain manifested as TMS. Steps include getting a physical exam (while also taking the results of this exam with a grain of salt), understanding the reason the pain exists, and looking at current stressors as possible causes for TMS back pain.

JenningsWire 12/16/2013

The article The Most Beloved Doctor In The World is a tribute to Dr. John E. Sarno and is written by Steve Ozanich, TMS consultant and author of The Great Pain Deception. In the article, Ozanich writes about the great impact Dr. Sarno has had on millions of people suffering from chronic pain through his TMS approach.

Viva Magazine Fall 2014

In the "Q&A With an Expert" section of the Fall 2014 edition of Viva Magazine, Steve Ozanich, TMS consultant and author of the TMS book The Great Pain Deception answers the question “Could you have TMS?” In his answer, Ozanich explains the basics of TMS, who is most susceptible to developing TMS, and the steps to take to overcome it. He also underscores the importance of belief in the TMS recovery process. Click here to read the full article.

Times of India 10/30/2014

Living With Mystery Pain Excruciating pain that can't be traced back to a physical ailment could be the result of suppressed rage.


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