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RIP Dr. Sarno

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wanted to share with all of my TMS friends that I have recently received news that Dr. Sarno passed away yesterday. It was his 94th birthday.

    Dr. Sarno was a true hero. A visionary who helped so many of us to get our lives back. He will truly be missed.

    At times like these, words begin to fail you, but I wanted you all to know.

    In this difficult time, if anyone would like to write a memorial post, I will be posting tributes at www.thankyoudrsarno.org . To submit your tribute, email it to thankyoudrsarno at tmswiki.org



    Tributes are pouring into the Thank You Dr. Sarno project. The most recent one is the story of a woman who will be running a 10K in honor of him after not having run for 16 years. Another speaks of spreading the word in Portugal.

    The New York Times obituary opened with the photo of the book from the Thank You Dr. Sarno project and closed with a description of how he kept it on his living room table because it meant so much to him. The project represents all people with TMS who are grateful for his work, and you can be a part of it. I'm keeping the project open because we want his grandchildren to understand and be proud of what a great man he was.

    To submit your own, just email thankyoudrsarno@tmswiki.org . Please include a photo, perhaps of you doing something that gives you joy - now possible because of Dr. Sarno's groundbreaking work.

    The NYTimes article:
    https://nyti.ms/2t1jlHm (John E. Sarno, N.Y.U. Rehabilitation Doctor, Dies at 93)
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  2. MSZ812

    MSZ812 Well known member

    I haven't posted on here in awhile, but I came across Dr. Schechter's twitter feed today. He announced that Dr. Sarno passed away yesterday. We all owe a debt to the work of Sarno. He has helped thousands and thousands heal and take back their life. I hope that in his death, the many high profile people that have been helped by Sarno point others in pain to the TMS approach. I'll be listening to the "healing back pain" audiobook narrated by Sarno himself tonight. Rest In Peace to one of the greatest medical minds EVER.

    - Matt
    Chizzy, Oscar B. and MWsunin12 like this.
  3. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    A saint !!! God rest his soul.
  4. Un0wut2du

    Un0wut2du Peer Supporter

  5. hodini

    hodini Peer Supporter

    I also just found that out today when I tried to reach him. I would have liked to have met him he sounds like a very interesting man may he rest in peace. I am looking forward to reading his book. My thoughts are with all of your who knew him and respect him.
  6. Ftaghn!

    Ftaghn! Peer Supporter

    Though he was already at a venerable age, I am speechless. Rest in peace.
  7. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    So interesting that he should leave the day before the movie about him and TMS premieres in NYC.

    Godspeed, Dr. Sarno. I am grateful to have your lifework in your books and I will carry forth your message to anyone who will listen. I've been greatly helped by Dr. Sarno.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  8. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I know how many of us on this website will be shocked and saddened by this news. Dr Sarno gave us back our hope and our lives. Rest in Peace.
    plum likes this.
  9. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    I think that the many success stories & ongoing comments on the various forums here are a tribute to this amazing man. He touched so many lives & has left behind a legacy of hope to those who suffer from pain. May you rest in eternal peace dear Dr Sarno.
    Lizzy, plum and MWsunin12 like this.
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm archiving the New York Times Obituary here. It brought a tear to my eye to learn that our book was kept on his living room table.

    John E. Sarno, N.Y.U. Rehabilitation Doctor, Dies at 93


    John E. Sarno, a doctor at New York University whose controversial books on the psychological origins of chronic pain sold over a million copies, even while he was largely ignored or maligned by many of his medical peers, died Thursday in Danbury, Conn. He was 93.

    His death, at a hospital, was confirmed by his daughter Christina Horner, who said the cause was cardiac failure. He had a home in nearby Carmel, N.Y., as well as one in Manhattan.

    He died a day before his 94th birthday and the release of “All the Rage (Saved by Sarno),” a documentary film about him.

    Revered by some as a saint and dismissed by others as a quack, Dr. Sarno maintained that most nontraumatic instances of chronic pain — including back pain, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches and fibromyalgia — are physical manifestations of deep-seated psychological anxieties.
    His books, including the best-selling “Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection,” became popular largely through word of mouth. Thousands of people have claimed to have been cured by reading them.

    His ideas inspired online support forums that doubled almost as shrines to him, and he received glowing endorsements from celebrities like Anne Bancroft, Larry David and Howard Stern, who dedicated his autobiography to the doctor.

    Another who swore by him, the financial writer and Wall Street trader Edward Siedle, described Dr. Sarno in a Forbes column as “the most brilliant doctor in America and unfortunately, a largely neglected national treasure.”

    The mainstream medical community, however, generally dismissed his theories as simplistic and unscientific, and felt that he went too far in saying that emotional factors not only worsen chronic pain, but also directly cause it.

    “His views are definitely considered on the fringe,” said Dr. Christopher Gharibo, the medical director of pain medicine at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, part of the Langone Medical Center at N.Y.U. “His position was that almost all chronic pain is purely psychological and ‘all in the head,’ which I certainly disagree with.”

    Eric Sherman, a psychotherapist who worked with Dr. Sarno for many years, recalled how Dr. Sarno’s colleagues would belittle him behind his back in lunchtime conversations at N.Y.U., even as some would visit him privately for their ailments.

    “It was him against the world, yet he was never afraid of not fitting in,” Dr. Sherman said. “He had a ‘damn the torpedoes’ perspective on his work, and was notoriously indifferent to others’ opinions of him.”

    Dr. Sarno, who specialized in rehabilitation medicine, developed his theories over almost 50 years at N.Y.U. He gave the various forms of chronic pain the collective name “tension myositis syndrome” (T.M.S.), which, apart from its psychological roots, he attributed to mild oxygen deprivation caused by reduced blood flow to muscles and nerves throughout the body.

    He said most of his patients improved simply by learning and thinking about the psychosomatic connection to pain, and that others recovered by journaling regularly and, in some cases, doing psychotherapy.

    Dr. Sarno, a health-conscious man who walked from his Upper East Side home to N.Y.U. every day well into his 80s, said he had gotten rid of his allergies by regarding them as T.M.S.

    Untrained as a researcher, Dr. Sarno never conducted formal studies of his methods, saying he preferred to spend his time helping people individually. “My proof is that my patients get better,” he often told his doubters.

    Some of his ideas, like his assertion that there is no correlation between chronic back pain and herniated discs, have been validated by research published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

    A handful of doctors have embraced his mind-body theories and started testing them empirically.

    “In my practice, I’ve seen enough examples of people getting rid of chronic pain through psychotherapy to know that the mind-body connection needs to be researched in more depth,” said Dr. Howard Schubiner, who started a Mind-Body Medicine program several years ago at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich., basing it on the work of Dr. Sarno.

    A study led by David Schechter, a professor at the University of Southern California, in 2007 found that chronic pain subjects who underwent a mind-body treatment — which included reading educational materials, journaling about emotions and, in more extreme cases, undergoing psychotherapy — experienced an average pain reduction of 52 percent.

    Dr John Sarno Documentary Video by Corpus Mentis

    John Ernest Sarno Jr. was born June 23, 1923, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to John Ernest Sarno, a printing press worker, and the former Delia Astone, a homemaker. He grew up in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn and at 16 graduated from Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens. He repeated his senior year to attend, and graduate from, the private Horace Mann School in the Bronx.

    He went on to Kalamazoo College in Michigan and stayed for three years before leaving in 1943 to join the Army. He worked in field hospitals in Europe for the remainder of World War II.

    Dr. Sarno received his medical degree from Columbia University in 1950 and spent nearly a decade in family practice in Fishkill, N.Y., where he founded the Mid-Hudson Medical Group. He returned to New York in 1960 for a residency in pediatric medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and then another residency at the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at N.Y.U.

    He joined N.Y.U.’s Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine in 1965 and practiced there until his retirement in 2012. For 10 years, he directed Rusk’s outpatient department but was not reappointed after he started delving more deeply into mind-body concepts.

    His other books include “The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain”; “The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders”; and “Mind Over Back Pain.”

    A wiry 5 foot 3 inches tall, Dr. Sarno almost invariably wore a Brooks Brothers shirt and tie under his lab coat. Eschewing computers, he wrote patients letters in elegant cursive with his treasured Mont Blanc fountain pen. He frequented the ballet and the Philharmonic, and would often hum along to the opera tunes he played on his office radio.

    Dr. Sarno’s first marriage, to Penny Patt, ended in divorce in 1966. He married Martha Lamarque, the former director of speech pathology at the Rusk Institute, in 1967. She survives him.

    Besides Ms. Horner, their daughter, he is also survived by three children from his first marriage, Lindianne, Lauren and David; a brother, Modesto; four grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

    Dr. Sarno expressed disappointment that his ideas had never been widely accepted by his peers, and he acknowledged that many had been chilly toward him.

    By contrast, his relationship with his patients was largely one of mutual affection.

    On his living room table, he kept a thick scrapbook given to him by members of TMS Wiki, a support forum. In its pages, both patients and strangers wrote about experiencing years of pain before stumbling across Dr. Sarno’s writings; some posted recent photos of themselves running marathons and climbing mountains.

    “Since 1982 I’ve used your books to help almost one hundred friends and acquaintances,” wrote one former pain sufferer. “In a just world you’d have the Nobel Prize for medicine.”

    Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.
  11. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Dr. Sarno changed my life and I will be forever grateful to him. I will always remember my appointment with him in 2007. I still have the piece of paper he wrote out for me.
    Lizzy likes this.
  12. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Although sad about this news, it is comforting to know that during his last years he could see 'All the Rage' come together and receive the gratitude of so many people who he helped during his career. I believe it must have given him hope that a life time of perseverance and frustration have not been in vain; the shift in thinking is slow but it has started. It is up to all of us to keep the momentum going and accelerate it, by spreading the word about the intimate relation between body and mind in many of today's health problems.
    Screenshot taken from my favorite scene of All the Rage, where Dr. Sarno reacts slightly uncomfortable when his wife and daughter stick it to him that he is too modest about the often life saving impact he has had on his many patients. (copyrights by RumuR)
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
    Bodhigirl, birdsetfree, Peggy and 2 others like this.
  13. jazzrascal

    jazzrascal Peer Supporter

    Dr. Sarno was a brave pioneer, and in my opinion the future of true medicine. So grateful to him.
    Bodhigirl and ThatBookBlewMyMind like this.
  14. Mark W

    Mark W Peer Supporter

    Dr. Sarno's work gave me my life back again, and what he has done for so many people in chronic pain is one of the most significant advances in medicine. Hopefully soon his ideas will be accepted as mainstream and everyone will be able to benefit. He may have left us, but his work will continue to free others and give them their lives back. Thank you so much, Dr. Sarno, you will be missed greatly.
    cdwrites likes this.
  15. Vizbuk

    Vizbuk New Member

    Very sad news hear his voice in my head most days telling me my pain will disappear it's so comforting

    Rest in peace Dr Sarno
    cdwrites likes this.
  16. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    That's very sad news, but he lived to a ripe old age and hopefully went peacefully. RIP Dr Sarno, and thank you
  17. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    Dr Sarno will live on in all the people his work touched and were healed by his insights.
  18. cdwrites

    cdwrites Newcomer

    I just found this forum from The New York Times article mention. I am patient of Dr. Sarno's going all the way back to 1996. So sad to hear of his passing. Where can I see the documentary? Has it just been released in theaters! Dr. Sarno was amazing. I am forever grateful to him for his help.
  19. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just went on the Internet and read the sad news about Dr. Sarno's passing. On his birthday, and mine also is today. I am 87. I owe Dr. Sarno for his TMS knowledge and being free of severe back and other pain. His memory and legacy live on in his books and articles and the wonderful video getting so much attention.
    Celayne, Lizzy, tgirl and 1 other person like this.
  20. chris_mom

    chris_mom New Member

    I will always be grateful to Dr. Sarno for helping me and so many others overcome debilitating pain and suffering. Dr. Sarno was a modern day Copernicus and I think his work will soon drive the shift in the paradigm. With the epidemic of chronic pain and the resulting opioid crisis reaching a breaking point, the time is ripe.

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