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Where to begin?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by James59, May 31, 2013.

  1. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I'm new here.

    I've been dealing with chronic pain since 2005. It was mild at first, just a feeling like my neck was doing extra work to keep my head up when sitting. By early 2007 my neck became visibly distorted. By the fall of 2008 I had to stop working because the pain was draining and I wasn't able to keep up with the workload.

    Doctors could find nothing wrong with my neck. I asked them if it might be caused by something out of alignment farther down and they said "That's not possible" and they blamed my neck pain on "stress" and recommended counseling (which was interesting but useless).

    Physical therapists I've seen say of course it's possible for neck pain to be caused by something else because everything is interconnected. But therapists aren't qualified to diagnose anything, so I bounced between two contradictory opinions without being able to confirm anything one way or the other. In all, I've seen five doctors and four kinds of therapists. Each one gave me some mild relief at first, but ultimately they had no lasting effects or they made things worse. While working with the first physical therapist I developed jaw pain and haven't had a pain-free meal since. I tried Feldenkrais which is about body awareness and that just made me hypersensitive to every little pain making my whole body hurt now.

    I still don't know how much of my problem is physiological and how much is psychological. I spent thousands of dollars on a lot of bad guesswork with nothing to show for it. Now I'm housebound and so fed up with the medical industrial complex that I haven't seen a doctor in a year and a half. That's a superficial overview of my present hell.

    I came across a mention of Dr. Sarno's theories on Anita Moorjani's Facebook page. The basic idea as I understand it seems to have a ring of truth for me. The initial neck discomfort appeared at a time when I was experiencing the most bizarre emotional experience of my life (I'm not comfortable sharing details just now, too personal). At the same time I'm still very skeptical of everything.

    I have loads of questions, but I'll start with this: Where do I start? Should I get one of Dr. Sarno's books, and if so which one? (I sampled one book on Amazon and his writing seemed awfully dry and technical.) Or can I find what I need in the wiki?
  2. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    There's a lot for you to explore here and elsewhere. But I think a Sarno book is a good place to begin--Healing Back Pain or Mind Body Prescription. Maybe you'll be lucky and have a "book cure." I had one of those 20 years ago; though not so lucky this time.
  3. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    James, I agree with D.R.--I'd start with Healing Back Pain. It's a very quick read, though you're right about the writing being very dry. However, it is quick (and cheap). If you feel you want something more, I'd recommend Dr. James Alexander's The Hidden Psychology of Pain, which delves a bit deeper into Sarno's theories and is also, I find, more accessible.
  4. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I'm confused about the differences between the two books "Healing Back Pain" and "The Mind Body Prescription." They seem to be recommended from various sources about equally, but what are the differences? Back pain is actually the least of my problems, so would the other book be better for me? If I only buy one book, which is best to start with? I need more to go on.
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Healing Back Pain is probably the most accessible of Dr Sarno's four books and contains a lot of concentrated wisdom that will bear re-reading several times as you work out your TMS cure. The M-B Prescription has more theoretical details about the causes of TMS and gives you a neuro-scientific perspective on the syndrome. You might also want to start the 37-day Structured Education Program (SEP) available on the first page of the TMS Wiki. You can go there directly by clicking the TMS Wiki tab at the top of this page.

    I'm not a doctor, so of course can't diagnose and prescribe, but the symptoms you describe sound to me like a classic case of TMS. You also might enjoy listening to some of the TMS success stories available here too.
  6. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    The Divided Mind can be a chore to read. I have seen people turned off from learning about TMS because it is so technical. Someone with a medical background may find it easier to read. I did read it twice but it was a chore. It did help me significantly.

    Even if you don't have back pain.. Healing Back Pain is one of his best.

    Welcome James to an amazing journey.
  7. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    James, it sounds like your main pain is in your neck, is that right? Though it's called Healing Back Pain, the book also deals with neck, shoulder, leg, and foot pain. If your pain is musculoskeletal, HBP will cover it.
  8. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Thanks, everyone. The consensus seems to be that I should read Healing Back Pain first. With that I downloaded the Nook version and read the first chapter last night. It seems to make sense so far.

    Gailnyc, It's hard to say at this point where my "main pain" is. It's pretty much everywhere now, though my neck often feels like it's going to explode. I do notice in the first chapter of Healing Back Pain that he covers a lot of other parts as well. The book seems mistitled. It should be called Healing Chronic Pain.
    gailnyc likes this.
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    James - How do you like Healing Back Pain so far?
  10. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Forest, it makes a lot of sense to me, and it's easier to read than I expected. I had some noticeable improvement for a several days, but I seem to have hit a setback as I describe here: http://tmswiki.org/forum/threads/a-week-with-some-improvement-then-crash.2181/

    I'm thinking I should also read The Mindbody Prescription to help reinforce the other book, to help it "sink in" as Dr. Sarno recommends. But I'm having a tough time deciding if I should order a paper copy or download the Nook version. (I've always had difficulty choosing between two good options that have distinctly different advantages.) :confused:

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