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How to Interact with The Medical Field now?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by zxywq8, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. zxywq8

    zxywq8 Newcomer

    I read Dr. Sarno's The Mindbody Prescription-Healing the Body, Healing the Pain and can see how TMS is at the root of all illness ... which is GREAT. But it has discredited the majority of the medical field for me now. The book came out in 1991-so now all I see looking at the majority of the medical field is a money hungry machine.

    The only credible fields I see now are mental health therapists, and people involved with treating traumatic injuries (like car crashes). And people who have/are developing vaccines.

    I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist, but no longer believe that would be a suitable role, seeing as the majority of our pains are psychological--I never wanted to become a mental health therapist, always believing that I couldn't handle encountering other people's pain so much on a daily basis, or seeing the dark inner workings of people's minds, because I am an empath and it would be too intense. (And as an OT, you're treating people physically for the most part--to cross the line into mental health therapy would be a big no-no, and it would be too tempting for me--I don't see the money hungry machine treating someone who's shouting TMS at everything well, nor that going over well with patients. I am also very spiritual so that intensifies things.)

    I applied for a job as an administrative assistant position, largely proofreading, doing data entry and administrarive work, and this Medical Case Management Company was the first interview offered to me after two months of applications. (They manage people who have long term disabilities, who have recently been in traumatic accidents and elderly case management.) So I jumped at the opportunity, but then as the interview came closer I found myself questioning whether I could work for the company knowing about TMS and it did not serve my interview well.

    I would love to take the position but I don't know if I could take the position.

    So question is how do you interact with The Medical Field now if you have accepted your TMS disagnosis? If you're working in the medical field, how do cope with knowing about TMS in an industry that rejects it. How have you had to adjust your thinking? (How do you relate to Dr.s now, or relatives who work in the medical field and reject it? For me, I'm just feeling like it would be easiest/best to avoid the medical field for the most part as far as work (and medical professionals)--I was already skeptical of western medicine, but even more so now.

    Thanks for reading! And thank you for any insights. Best,
  2. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Regarding the cause of illness:
    I would not say "TMS" (which just means the mind-body connection) is the root of all illness. Yes, it certainly causes or at least plays a contributing role in numerous symptoms and/or conditions, but not all. I was born with Ehlers-Danlos, and experiencing subluxations with my jaw or hearing about my uncle having straight up dislocations whenever he played baseball back in a day isn't going to be resolved with Dr. Sarno's work. That's just one of many examples, and is actually a fairly minor example compared to some serious diseases out there. The man in my profile picture didn't just have TMS. Some of us were recently discussing vitiligo and how it's not really brought on by TMS/the mind-body connection. To write off the entire medical field save for traumatic injuries and vaccines would not be in the best interests of anybody; I would not condone that.

    While I am not a healthcare professional, I do work in a related field that involves heavy data awareness and analysis. I go through annual HIPAA training and the works. When you see actuaries predicting mortality rates by various lifestyle and chronic condition factors, it's apparent that illnesses have countless causes, which is why a holistic approach to health is best. And even structural conditions that potentially have a mind-body component in some cases may not always be entirely "cured" by TMS/mind-body work. Jan on this forum references Gabor Mate's "When the Body Says No" and it's a brilliant book on how heightened emotions can sometimes be linked to the development serious diseases. That said, I can't say that someone who may have been predisposed to lupus and developed it after a stressful time in their life will for sure improve with TMS/mind-body work. There are so many different factors at play for each individual.

    Occupational therapy and treatments beyond TMS/mind-body healing:
    I can see why occupational therapy may be difficult because you're not a doctor or some other equivalent who can diagnose clients. But I don't think the existence of the mind-body connection alone should result in abolishing occupational therapy altogether. If you haven't already, I would perhaps perform some research on this topic: is anyone out there currently integrating relaxation techniques into occupational therapy to some degree? They must be at least minimally because I know techniques such as biofeedback are sometimes used.

    If this truly isn't something you believe in anymore, that's up to you and it's okay! I would keep in mind that even structural conditions such as cancer (which we of course wouldn't write off with simple Dr. Sarno books) can benefit from concepts like neuroplasticity: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/weekend-australian-magazine/training-the-brain-to-beat-pain/news-story/45ad7b7daaaf3c4bbbab6c76b0190ac7 (NoCookies | The Australian)
    Again, we wouldn't write off a lot of those as nothing more than the TMS/the-mind body connection at play, including confirmed trauma, cancer, diabetic neuropathy, etc. There is a need for other interventions outside of mental health.

    Interactions with the medical field:
    With regard to your question about interactions with the medical field, I still respect the majority of healthcare professionals and make an effort to only work with doctors who understand the mind-body connection to some extent. They've probably never heard of Dr. Sarno and that's absolutely fine - it isn't at all necessary. My providers are thorough and perform testing when we suspect something could be going on. As I always say, I do live in a major U.S. city with some of the top medical practices in the country and the world (especially two fantastic university campuses that in my opinion rival Mayo), so I trust them. Believing in their experience helps me tremendously. I did recently have an amazing doctor try to push a 30-day prescription for stomach pain on me, but I turned it down because there was no infection and I knew what was up. That said, I haven’t had this happen often.
    zxywq8 and plum like this.
  3. sam908

    sam908 Peer Supporter

    I consider the modern medical model broken and, as a result, I give little weight to the opinions of the several doctors I need to see from time to time. For example, I was told that I needed coronary bypass surgery, neurosurgery for sciatica, meniscus surgery, sinus surgery, hiatal hernia surgery and a few other medical interventions; second opinions revealed that I needed none of those invasive procedures and all of the seemingly affected body parts have since healed.
    BruceMC, zxywq8 and Idearealist like this.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Remember that Sarno never said TMS was the root cause of all illness. In The Divided Mind he clearly states where he draws the lines between conditions that are TMS and those where it is a contributing factor. I believe we best serve his memory and the cause by honouring these distinctions.

    My husband has Parkinson’s and I routinely engage with all manner of health professionals and the very best of them are passionate, open-minded and kind hearted. They may have to act within professional guidelines commensurate with their role BUT they do so with immense grace, wisdom and love. These qualities ought override any belief system because they are what make us human.

    I say work in the field with the humility and compassion to see the truth but not impose upon people who are already scared and hurting. Help them by loving them. As Ghandi said, Be the Change you wish to see.

    And if you cannot do that, then choose work in which you can manifest your noble desires. No one is served by bitterness or cynicism. Be a force for good, whatever you decide to do.

    I wish you the very best in this venture. God alone knows, the world needs people who care.
    TG957 and Dorado like this.
  5. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I completely agree, @plum. If we lived in a world that almost always focused exclusively on mind-body healing, we’d be missing quite a bit. In that alternative reality, there’s probably be a forum just like this one, but focused on structural conditions!
    TG957 and plum like this.
  6. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    Yeah, for the most part, my experiences with doctors have been very bad. It's honestly part of what's made accepting the TMS diagnosis so difficult -- I feel like doctors un/misdiagnose conditions all the time. If you have anything that's even slightly uncommon, you're often left up shit creek without a paddle.
    TG957 likes this.
  7. zxywq8

    zxywq8 Newcomer


    You are a fast typist! I appreciate your reply.

    I see how TMS can cause cancer--I am now calling TMS Too Much Stress; I can see how people I know who NEVER get sick are the ones who don't worry, who are capital L Living, and living balanced lives. I see how TMS is the root of all illness, meaning dis-ease--perhaps that is the better word to use.

    I will add that I am, and have been for a while now, skeptical of western medicine because of the pharmaceutical-revenue motivated narcotics push of the 90's that turned real people into guinea pigs and ruined people's lives, and families. It ruined people's lives and families. This is inexcusable. The medical field, as scientists (including doctors) knew what they were doing and did it anyway. Opium! Opiates! Western medicine already tried prescribing radium (!) and cocaine. It should know better by now. AND do better. Then there is the whole matter of insurance, and billing, but let's not get into that now.

    I am trying to hold onto this TMS diagnosis and understanding of disease because right now it is clear, and I don't want to lose it. I am resisting the urge to look up your syndrome. Respectfully, have you tried to resolve your health by applying the principles of TMS? I see a possibility here to revolutionize medicine, our health, and our lives. If we don't try it, how will we know? And as far as TMS is concerned, you can't just try--it's a hard "Do or do not. There is no try" (yes, Yoda). If TMS can cause cancer, and appear in the form of Chronic Lyme disease, it reasons that TMS can cause anything. Or in other words, if TMS can cause cancer, and appear in the form of Chronic Lyme disease, can it not not cause anything? I experienced skin discoloration ceasing within ~a day by applying the principles of TMS--by thinking it away. I was astounded. I am resisting the urge to look into the ins and outs of vitiligo. Dr. Sarno posits that TMS can cause Autoimmune Disorders and cancer--I can see how TMS can cause cancer, so it follows that TMS would also cause Autoimmune Disorders--which are (functioning) the same as Lyme disease. He listed about every goddamn disease in his book as being caused by TMS.

    The issue is is what would the medical field do if it accepted TMS? Many, many, many people would be out of a job and their livelihoods, so it is not going to happen (anytime soon); people are not going to consider it seriously; additionally Drs. know so much about diseases, so they are not in a good place to change the system--I found it difficult just having a college minor in psychology (perhaps what made it difficult is TMS is mostly psychological).

    I believe our "feelings" are our 6th sense. I believe our feelings on the whole keep us safe. I believe our feelings/emotions are from God; I believe everything is God; but I believe our feelings/emotions are especially close to God because they don't make sense, much like God/everything, ha! But our feelings keep up safe, like God (I do believe) keeps us safe. But now, we've crossed into a whole other topic, and into spirituality, which is a big no-no in the health field. And spirituality is something I wrestle with frequently and something for which I don't claim to have all the answers.

    Thank you for your recommendation to research more about OT.

    And God bless Dr. Sarno.
  8. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    With all due respect, if you aren’t looking into some of these conditions, it’s quite dangerous to assume they’re all always TMS/the mind-body connection. The connective tissue disease I was born with is genetic and means my body has never made collagen correctly. My skin, joints, and blood vessels are made out of silly putty. If you tug at my skin, it’ll stretch back very far, which surprises people because I’ve always been in shape. This was upsetting to me when I was an athlete. It’s not TMS and treating it as such would be bad.

    Now, I've written about how stress can worsen certain issues such as dysautonomia caused by Ehlers-Danlos, but there are certainly some things I have to deal with, like my skin taking forever to heal, tattoo ink blowing out thanks to stretchiness (there goes my stupid sports tattoo from college!), jaw subluxations when I eat something that’s too hard, needing to be careful when I do yoga because I can easily bend something too far, etc. When people touch my skin, I sometimes hear that I feel like "velvet" and "Gumby." This isn't going away.

    Navigating the medical field is necessary for everyone at some point:
    Conditions, disorders, diseases, and illnesses happen. Spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, Marfan syndrome, meningitis, malaria, toxic shock syndrome, and more - these are all real and they're not TMS. (And I know I’m definitely going to a doctor who practices Western medicine if I ever get meningitis or something else.) My dad got bitten by a brown recluse spider while traveling and the tissue in his leg started dying. He was stubborn and thought he didn’t need medical assistance, but ended up in the ER. This is why we need healthcare professionals. TMS doctors like Schubiner and the late Sarno do not believe everything is the mind-body connection and a big part of their work is identifying the difference. There are some doctors who don’t specialize in “TMS” that also get this.

    There are many, many different causes of cancer. That’s why one person can eat bacon every morning and smoke two packs of cigarettes a day yet live past 100, while another person can smoke half a pack of cigarettes a day and die at 55. Genetics, lifestyle behaviors, and environment play a major role in this process. The 55-year-old in this scenario won’t be saved by picking up a Dr. Sarno book. If you have two copies of APOE4 and no protective genes, understand that you must heavily incorporate physical well-being into your plan to avoid Alzheimer’s. If you have a PSEN1 or PSEN2 gene mutation, well, that just sucks. Working in a data-driven environment with actuaries and analysts especially makes this clear.

    Aging and mortality:
    Unfortunately, the body does have limits and TMS work won’t eliminate our mortality; otherwise, David Sinclair would have a far easier job as he strives to achieve radical life extension. The fact that aging exists also disproves that all conditions are caused by TMS as aging is also a significant cause of illness. Some scientists are even debating whether aging itself should be considered a disease. Prolonged emotional stress can certainly accelerate aging to some degree (this varies by person), but we all accept that TMS work isn’t going to make you live and be youthful forever. If Dr. Sarno’s techniques could cure age-related diseases, we’d live indefinitely until accidents, murders, addictions, or certain illnesses like malaria, untreated staph infections, hepatitis, and others claimed us.

    Someone might be asking: what about epigenetics? Again, a multitude of factors come together, and epigenetics do not mean you just turn every single condition on and off at your own leisure through mind-body techniques. The genetic Ehlers-Danlos I was born with cannot be turned off with TMS, my sister’s best childhood friend couldn’t turn off the genetic heart defect she was born with, etc. This doesn’t fully resolve issues such as aging either.

    Central sensitization:
    It’s important to note that TMS doesn’t cause Lyme disease, which must be cured with antibiotics; TMS can only cause a “central sensitization” where people who were already cured of the disease with the proper antibiotics continue to experience symptoms. The same can be said for injuries, mono, etc. Chronic Lyme is nothing groundbreaking in this sense.

    Having symptoms versus having the actual disease:
    You might hear people say that TMS “can cause nearly any symptom.” However, these symptoms are not always the actual diseases. For example, my nerve pain was not true nerve damage. My former biofeedback therapist worked with a client who had psychosomatic blindness, but her eyes did not have actual damage or a disease; if this has been the case, biofeedback wouldn’t have helped her. Biofeedback may help someone with a specific structural condition manage pain, but that doesn’t mean the cause of their condition is the mind-body connection, nor will the condition be cured by mind-body work.

    A combination of contributing factors:
    If you’re a cancer patient who feels relief from neuroplasticity concepts, you won’t want to simply assume those concepts will rid you of cancer. I’ve heard a few stories about cancer disappearing from TMS work (Steve Ozanich has spoken to a man who claims this), but again it’s just not the case for MANY people and does not justify abandoning almost all Western care. There are plenty of stories of cancer patients dying because they rejected traditional treatment. If you lived on a farm with cancer-causing pesticides and develop the disease, do you not seek medical attention? That would not be wise. And again, even if someone who is pre-disposed to lupus or sclederoma develops the condition after a stressful event, TMS work often isn’t the panacea. This likely points to a combination of contributing factors in the development of an illness.

    Yes, it's disheartening that people frequently overlook the mind-body connection's contribution to the disease process, but it's just as much of a miss to overlook the other drivers involved. We all hear stories about lupus or MS symptoms decreasing or going away in some confirmed patients, but this is so individualistic and it’s dangerous to take a one-size-fits-all approach here.

    Balanced approach to holistic well-being:
    Dr. Sarno himself didn’t believe that every condition was caused by TMS. A girl born with cystic fibrosis will die if her parents simply give her a Dr. Sarno book, a man with poor nutritional and exercise habits who develops type 2 diabetes but reads Dr. Sarno instead of changing his lifestyle is screwing himself, etc. My relative who faced serious complications from a pregnancy is only okay thanks to true medical intervention. Medicine has a place and that does need to be respected. If we lived in a world that said no structural conditions existed and abolished all Western medicine, you’d probably lose faith in doctors as well. I understand your concerns, but it’s ultimately all about balance.
    TG957, Sita and plum like this.
  9. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Interesting story: I just saw a segment on some women who had issues with breast implants causing severe toxicity in their bodies. This of course doesn’t happen to all women, but may occur in individuals predisposed to certain immune system-related issues. One woman even developed lupus, as confirmed by medical testing; some time after her breast implants were removed, she no longer had positive markers for the disease. So many potential causes and contributing factors that can vary by person in the development of diseases and this is why I recommend doctors who “get” both the mind and the body.
    Idearealist likes this.
  10. zxywq8

    zxywq8 Newcomer


    Have you tried to think yourself to better health?

    There is a woman who was autistic who retrained her brain to function normatively at age 25: http://www.brainblogger.com/2012/08/28/interview-with-the-woman-who-changed-her-brain/ (Interview with the Woman who Changed her Brain) If she can do that, what is stopping our brains from healing ourselves from all our diseases? Obviously, this sounds like a new field of medicine.

    I see cancer as the result of stress. Those people who smoke and drink past 100 are Living; they are not worried types. Could it be that cancer comes to those who are over stressed? Could this be true for all other diseases?

    I used to get sick multiple times a year--in a cold, flu season state. I worry less now and I don't get sick. Like I said, I have seen that with other people too: they don't worry and don't get sick, even when they are around other sick people.

    A good study/question to ask is who has never gotten sick?

    Dorado, thank you for your responses. You have raised some good points.

    I need to take a break from this.

    Plum, I will be looking into The Divided Mind. Thank you for your recommendation.
  11. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    My Ehlers-Danlos is genetic, something I was born with, and has no cure. To get technical, my skin, joints, and blood vessels have been like this since before I was born; this is how I developed when my mother was pregnant with me. I’m absolutely fine, but it’s a reality and an example. I have healed from so many mind-body symptoms, but this isn’t TMS. Can you change the color of your eyes with Dr. Sarno’s techniques? To me, that’s essentially the same question.

    Other diseases I referenced such as a girl born with cystic fibrosis are super serious and any doctor who doesn’t treat them medically should not be a provider. The previously referenced woman with breast implants wouldn’t have gotten better with TMS work, and what’s interesting is that part of the segment focused on plastic surgeons as well as medical doctors who told these women it was simply stress and not structural. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but it’s best to not suggest that mind-body techniques always cure all diseases if you haven’t researched them. I say this out of total respect and concern. Additionally, a condition or illness having a mind-body component doesn’t mean something is always purely TMS. If someone develops MS and stress was one of the triggers, addressing only stress may not the answer for a lot of patients. I strongly believe it’s individualistic.

    Cancer has many causes and contributing factors, including age, genes, environment, lifestyle choices, etc. I must stress that no TMS doctor has ever claimed that TMS is the one and only cause of all illness (I hope nobody tells a meningitis patient this or recommends that someone who got bit by a bat with rabies opens a Sarno book... that’d be bad!), so I must admit I’m confused as to where that claim came from? I agree that the mind is incredibly important and I sing this all day long, but it’s not the only thing for numerous cases. That’s why attitude IS undeniably important for centenarians, but research has also shown that longevity genes and/or lifestyle choices are important, and this varies by person and their unique situation. If someone had a toddler with cancer, I pray they do not abandon Western medicine.

    Because no TMS doctor is claiming this, and they actually help patients identify structural versus TMS/mind-body versus a combination of both, I do have to ask: is this claim making someone out there feel more in control and not face their susceptibility to disease and eventual mortality? Similarly, I’ve seen longevity and radical life extension enthusiasts who truly do not want to acknowledge nothing lasts forever and they will die one day, even if aging is cured, even if they upload a copy of their brains somehow (no, the copy logic doesn’t make sense), etc. These aren’t the most productive or healthy mindsets.

    This completes my comments on this topic; I’ll let other posters respond from here. :)
    TG957 likes this.
  12. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are raising a very interesting question. I asked it a lot as I was struggling through my bout of TMS. I went from a complete distrust of anyone with MD to their name at my lowest point to a more rational and more pragmatic approach. Not every doctor who was not trained in formal TMS technique is a narrow minded dogmatic. I found a GP at a managed care clinic who ended up being my greatest supporter and a huge help in my recovery. You have to learn how to talk to them and how to put their knowledge and resources to good use. There are still doctors out there who practice medicine as a devotion of heart. They will listen and will help.

    Having said that, I avoid talking medicine to my brother-in-law who is MD :).

    On the other hand, I noticed that some people convert into TMS thinking and then refuse to consider anything that has not been exactly vetted by Dr. Sarno. I am a believer that every person is unique and should chart their own path. My path was a combination of many things, not all of them followed Mindbody Prescription precisely. Yet I recovered.
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  13. zxywq8

    zxywq8 Newcomer

    I would like to say, of course, spina bifida requires surgical intervention. I have come to understand that doctors are necessary for spider bites, and snake bites, and surgeons are necessary. I do imagine working in the medical field as difficult now, differentiating between what is TMS and what is not, and not being able to do much about it.

    (Curious if anyone has any insight into how long it would take on average to learn to walk again after a car accident? Or forum/book references (relating to TMS)? Thank you.)


    Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.
  14. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Distinguishing between TMS and non-TMS sometimes is easy, but not always. It may take a competent physician to do so in the most complex cases. And what Sarno defined as TMS has been redefined or, to be precise, expanded upon lately due to the major breakthroughs in neuroscience.

    I am not aware of any manuals on how to walk again after a car accident. However, there is a great body of work in the area of neuroplasticity which has developed after Sarno published his first books. There are many books written on how people re-wire their brains after strokes, accidents etc. and recover the functions they lost. I highly recommend books by Norman Doidge. It is a fascinating read.
  15. MonicaL

    MonicaL Newcomer

    I had a back injury in 1993. It hurt off and on ever since. It disrupted my life and cost me a lot -- in stress, in worry, in wasted time, not to mention in money (for doctors, pain meds, massage therapists, etc.). This pain was a significant part of my life. I found out about Dr.Sarno's book from https://www.biomedics.com.au/resources/medical-equipment-testing-maintenance-guide/ (Guide to Medical Equipment Testing & Maintenance - Biomedics). What I like most of all: I read the book, I thought about all this stuff, I decided his description fit me perfectly (my personality, the type of pain, the length of time, etc., etc.), and once I knew there was likely nothing actually "wrong" with my back, it's like the game was up. My brain gave up trying to use that as a strategy. The back pain went away.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
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