Since reading Dr Sarno's Healing Back Pain and starting this program I've changed my approach to the back pain and stopped all preventative measures I used to do to minimize my pain. I used to sit as upright as possible while at work and when I came home I would do 40 squats in front of the TV while watching something on Netflix, and occasionally some stretching if my back was particularly bad. The pain never disappeared but these things kept it fairly manageable. That said, I have avoided sports that have twisting in them such as tennis and squash and golf, though the latter is no great loss, I was hopeless at it! Anyway, now in this post-TMS world I sit whatever way is comfortable which of course involves slouching. I also haven't done one exercise or stretch to strengthen or relieve my back. And I've largely ignored pain medication that I often took while at work to get relief. So now my back is in a horrible way. It's constant pain when sitting, especially if I don't sit bolt upright. When I bend to pick something up or I get up out of my seat it's like I'm an old man and I do it very gingerly. I try to tell the pain that it's got nothing to do with anything structurally wrong with my back, or anything I've done to exacerbate it. And that it's my brain trying to divert my attention away from emotional pain. And I tell my brain it's ok to reveal this emotional pain to me. I can handle it. But this self-talk doesn't help and I'm still left with the pain which affects my mood - forget repressed anger of the unconscious, I've got it in spades in the conscious mind! So my whinge today is that whereas I had small doubts about the pain being related to psychological rather than physical issues when I first embraced the TMS theory, these doubts still have logic on their side of the argument. I.e. After taking away the physical measures to protect my back and guard against pain, my back has responded by getting worse. Also, Dr Sarno doubts that inflammation in a bad back even exists. I found this a bit hard to swallow when I read it. Has he or anyone else tested this theory? Why would anti inflammatory drugs work on it? Before you say "placebo", I took indomethacin (a strong anti inflammatory) for something unrelated to my back - it was reactive arthritis which affected me in the ankles which both swelled up. The drugs reduced the swelling and as a side effect, my back in those few months was the best it had been in years. I wasn't even thinking of my back when I was taking it. I've also asked a radiologist friend of mine about it and he said inflammation is evident in an MRI if it's very bad or at the very least at the microscopic level - if you're looking for it. Sorry to be so negative...I don't want to put anyone off their progress But having said that, it's not all doom and gloom. The other day at work I raised a straight leg while sitting at my desk which always brings on excruciating pain at my lower back. I did it deliberately and kept it there and told myself I don't care about the pain! You don't frighten me and you can't hurt me beyond the pain (if you know what I mean). Strangely it stopped hurting and I could push my leg even further. I tried standing up and I felt I could bend more before the pain caught. I was quite excited as this was the first time I had evidence that the mind interplayed with the body. However since then doubts have crept back in and I found that when I sit up in bed, if I hold the position when the pain hits rather than shrink away from it like I've just touched a hot plate, the pain tends to disappear and I can complete the motion (i.e. Sitting right up rather than having to roll onto my side first). So I started to think this is just a physical phenomenon, that you just need to not shrink away from pain, and it weakens. Or do you think the mind is at work here too? One more argument on the side of TMS. Since not doing the exercises, not consciously trying to sit up straight and challenging the source of my pain, I've gotten these new really nasty pains down the front of my thighs when I'm sitting down. I used to get occasional pains of these before, not nearly as strong, which I attributed to tightness in my thighs after doing squats. Now that I haven't done the squats in weeks these pains are even stronger, so I'm wondering whether this is TMS from my brain that may feel threatened by my challenging it.