1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Question about Dr. Sarno's books

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by jml19, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    I am on Day 31 of the SEP and am ready to purchase some books for further reading. I see where some people bought both Healing Back Pain and The Mindbody Prescription. Can somebody tell me what the difference is between the two books?

    I would be interested in knowing that book(s) different ones have found really helpful.
  2. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    Hi JML-I've read them both but can't find either copy right now to remind myself of the differences! I recall Healing Back Pain being more basic, as in, trying to help a person understand that TMS exists, and the MB Prescription as furthering those concepts. I've read several of his books and honesty, I think you can't go wrong no matter where you start. If I had to do it over again I think I would start with the Mind Body Prescription. Hope this helps.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  3. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Yes, thanks for the help!
  4. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    You can get each of them quite inexpensively ( even including shipping) on many of the used book websites. They just might take as long as 10 days or so to arrive. Some on the forum say that the MBP is more in line with Dr. Sarno's more recent opinions
  5. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    As a matter of fact, I did buy both books from a used book supplier on Amazon...for about $7 each. So far I like "Healing Back Pain" better.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Essentially the books represent the gradual evolution of Dr. Sarno's thinking as time and experience matured his theory. The first book is therefore the simplest but many prefer MBP because Sarno expands beyond back pain to a range of other symptoms. It's profoundly reassuring to see your problem included as it makes acceptance that much easier.

    Many of the old timers here like The Divided Mind best as it is more nuanced and includes chapters written by doctors trained in and practising TMS healing. This book gives a broader and deeper perspective which builds progressively on the content of the others.

    They are all worth reading.

    Tennis Tom and Ellen like this.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Excellent summary Plum!:bookworm:
    plum likes this.
  8. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Many of the old timers here like The Divided Mind best as it is more nuanced and includes chapters written by doctors trained in and practising TMS healing. This book gives a broader and deeper perspective which builds progressively on the content of the others.

    They are all worth reading.


    Thanks so very much for responding!
    plum likes this.
  9. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    So....I read/scanned both of the books (The Mindbody Prescription and Healing Back Pain) and didn't see a single thing in either one about journalling. I know that others have written about how to do that, but I was wondering if Dr. Sarno ever discussed that in any of his other books?
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    He definitely does. If memory serves there is certainly a section in The Divided Mind and I'm 100% sure it is mentioned in the other books. I don't have them to hand else I'd check. Hopefully someone here (@Tennis Tom I'm looking at you :)) can furnish you with coordinates.
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    My memory is that Sarno never referred to it as "journaling" or "expressive therapy", but rather suggested that people write an essay about each event they listed as possibly contributing to their TMS.

    Sorry, I've given away all my Sarno books so can't look it up.

    Take it away @Tennis Tom
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here's something about journaling from Georgie Oldfield at SIRPA in the UK :

    http://www.sirpauk.com/may-not-found-journalling-helpful/ (Why you may not have found journaling helpful | SIRPA UK)

    Why you may not have found journaling helpful

    [​IMG]There are numerous studies showing that Therapeutic Journaling can be effective in boosting health and wellbeing, from improving Asthma and Rheumatoid Arthritis to reducing visits to the Doctor and lowering rumination and depressive symptoms.

    Because it is such a simple and virtually free ‘therapy’ to use, I always recommend it to my patients and I have seen some swift and life-changing results, even when this is the only strategy people have used.

    Rita’s shining example!
    [​IMG]An example of this is Rita who had been through some exceptionally challenging times in her life, including adverse childhood experiences, the death of her husband in a bombing attack in Ireland, as well as the death of one of her daughters. Rita had been in hospital unable to walk for a month and was suffering from pain and a functional neurological disorder, which was mimicking multiple sclerosis. After coming across this approach and using journaling to address the emotions she had been repressing all her life, her symptoms resolved in a matter of a few weeks.

    So as you can see from Rita’s outcome, at times journaling really can have quite dramatic results, but then of course everyone is different and many take longer and some just don’t feel it’s for them. However, I also see many people who tell me they have been journaling for weeks or even months and it hasn’t worked for them. I’m always interested when I hear that because there is often a reason for this.

    The importance of letting go and moving on
    [​IMG]People tell me that they aren’t focusing on their pain and are trying to focus on the ‘psychological’ cause of their pain as Dr John Sarno and the rest of us in this field recommend. They tell me that they offload about how they are feeling and allow themselves to ‘feel’ the emotions, which ensures that they are not repressing them, which is great. Once they have finished, they often consider what they feel grateful for and anything else to boost their mood, which again is good thing to do.

    The next day though they begin to focus on all the negative things in their life again, past or present, and the cycle starts again because they never reach a point of resolution or acceptance. Unfortunately this can actually create self-induced stress because by not resolving the issues they tend to continue ruminating about it all, which not only causes the emotions to build again, but continues to ‘fuel’ the pain cycle, which is what we are trying to avoid.

    One important step is being missed here and that is to rationalise the issue that they have been offloading about, consider it from all angles and then put things into perspective in order to reach a point of acceptance so they can let go and move on.

    Holding on to resentment, anger, bitterness, jealousy etc only harms us, not the individual or circumstance that caused it in the first place. If you are reading this you will probably know that harbouring unresolved emotions like these cause all sorts of health conditions, as well as chronic pain. Studies show that adverse childhood experiences for example are closely linked with ill-health in later life, but by being able to acknowledge how you felt about these events and then put things into perspective offers you the opportunity to let go, move on and regain your life.

    Letting go or forgiveness, isn’t religious or spiritual and it certainly isn’t about condoning what someone has done. It is about letting go of the hold this person/event has been having on you, which at times can be years or even decades. Journaling provides a wonderful opportunity to address the issue and reach a point of acceptance that it happened, accept that you can’t change it anyway but you can decide to let go and move on from it.

    So, for some brief tips on how to use journaling to address unresolved emotional turmoil:
    • Allow yourself to rant on to paper. Give your inner child a voice, let yourself blame, be the victim, moan, complain etc. Free-write or write unsent letters, where you can really direct your feelings towards a particular person, until you feel you have ‘bottomed’ the issue or at least an aspect of it.B. You might feel you need to write a few unsent letters etc before you are ready to move on to really complete the next step.
    • Begin to explore the issue from all angles, either by free-writing, jotting down insights or dialoguing with the individual so you ‘hear’ it from their side. Consider:
      1. What you have learned from it/them?
      2. What positives can you take from it? (e.g. have you learned never to act how they did, have you been able to help others in similar situations, what personality traits have you developed as a result that make you a good friend or employee?)
      3. What do you know about the other person’s earlier life that might explain why they behaved as they did to help you understand it better?
      4. The fact that it is in the past and decide whether you are now ready to accept the lessons learned, let go and move on.
    • Finish by aiming to ‘lift’ your mood if necessary, for example by:
      1. Focusing on things you feel grateful for.
      2. Watching a happy or inspiring video.
      3. Breathing more slowly and deeply than usual, imagining the air flowing in, around your heart and then gently flowing out again. Then conjure up something or someone you love until you feel the sensation of compassion, love or joy and allow this to build up as you continue the slow, rhythmical breathing.
      4. Cross your arms and stroke your arms from your shoulders down to your hands at the same time while speaking reassuringly to yourself or using supportive affirmations.

    chronic pain healing pain journaling
    This entry was posted on Monday, April 11th, 2016 at 12:05 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  13. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    That's an excellent guide.....I esp. appreciate that the writer stresses the way in which to "move on" after opening up a repressed emotion/issue. I think that a lot of people are afraid of journaling because they are not sure what to do with what is uncovered. In another book I have, she calls it "reframing" the memory. I see it as looking at the childhood memory from an adult perspective. Although this is probably discussed elsewhere, it is helpful to see this again which clarifies the "hows" of proper journaling.

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