I've had serious lower back pain off and on for 40 years. These days I have a serious episode (aprox 2 moths of debilitating pain, followed by 4 months of moderate pain) every 4 years or so. I've had the usual herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 MRI diagnosis, but I always resisted an operation, and it always got better on its own. This last episode brought me back to Dr Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain, which I'd dismissed 8 years ago. This time I felt that it made a lot of sense. BUT - I've had no miraculous healing upon reading and rereading the book. After 2 months I'd say that the pain is about 50% better, which is substantial, but the rest just lingers on stubbornly, making it hard to sleep without a painkiller, stand for long periods of time, let alone restart my karate practice. This is about the timeline that my back pain took to cure in the past, without Sarno's theories. I've bought Sarno's lectures and carefully watched them; I've listened to Sarno reading from his own book on CD. I've seen TMS Dr Paul Gwozdz and attended his lecture, reading my list of TMS-triggers several times an hour… I'm seeing a TMS psychotherapist here in NYC. It all makes sense, and yet my recovery is incredibly slow, even stalled. One weak spot I see in Sarno's theory is the reliance on repression as an explanation for the onset of TMS. Sarno himself comments that the fastest responding patients often have a traumatic repressed memory, which upon discovery, leads to a quick recovery. He also comments that many people are not aware to what extent they suppress their anger. Not me. I've been aware of suppressing my immediate anger since I was a teenager. I've spent many an hour obsessing over things that I didn't do or say, to express my feelings. I do not believe that there are any hidden memories of abuse in my subconscious. So the idea that my brain is trying like crazy to keep me from thinking about my anger just doesn't really wash with me - I think about these issues constantly, and have for years. I suppose one could say that my brain is trying to distract my consciousness from this thinking by causing pain. Even so: why the long, lingering pain 2 months into the process?