Hey everyone, I've been interested for a while in our health care system's treatment of chronic conditions. Why is it that when I went to see a doctor for my varicoceles, which were causing me intense physical pain, he recommended me to a surgeon first? Why is it that I only discovered Dr. Sarno and Healing Back Pain through personal research? The idea of this thread is to talk about the politics of our health. Why is it that we have to go out and find Sarno's research on our own? Why is it that a surgery or medication will be partially (or completely) covered by insurance, but we have to pay completely out of pocket for psychotherapy appointments? I've been looking into this a lot lately, and I wanted to share some of what I've learned, and get your thoughts on it! It turns out that there's a complicated process in our health care system for getting treatments accepted by the medical community. As I understand it, there needs to be a body of research evidence for any treatment before it can be recommended by physicians to their patients. From drugs to surgical methods to psychotherapy, if it's covered by your insurance provider, it's been tested scientifically. And most doctors are going to recommend what's covered by insurance. Every year, some of our tax dollars fund that kind of research. The National Institutes of Health are the major distributors of that funding, and so what they think about medical problems like chronic pain is a big deal. The NIH are a bunch of research institutes run by scientists that want to study various health issues. And they have an Institute that's devoted just to neurological issues in health. Here's a list of treatments for chronic pain that they've compiled. These are all therapies that have research evidence to support their effectiveness. One thing I noticed was that only Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is listed as a psychological treatment. There's actually not much discussion on that entire page about the relationship between the way we think and our experience of pain. I bring all of this up because at the end of the day, the NIH plays a big role in determining how a doctor decides to treat chronic pain. If the NIH doesn't talk about how mindbody is an important part of chronic pain conditions, then the average doctor probably won't either. Here at TMSWiki, we recommend everyone go see a doctor to make sure there's no structural problems, and then we talk about going through this treatment. But what if you're like me? You go see a doctor and they actually SEE a physical problem? And you *still* have PPD? Let's say your doctor doesn't know about mindbody disorders, and recommends you for surgery? That kind of sucks. Has anyone else looked into the wider medical community's acceptance of the mindbody and chronic pain? Has anyone heard of an insurance provider that reimbursed for a mindbody-style treatment of chronic pain? Thanks for reading, you have earned yourself a bagful of awesome!