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Why was sarno the first?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by jamejamesjames1, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    This has nothing to do with healing more just a curious question.

    Fear or emotions causing pain or anxiety doesn't seem like that crazy of a concept. Of all the doctors and other professionals in related fields, how is it possible only one person thought this way?
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    He wasn’t the only one, many people have written on this concept over the years. Most notably there was a doctor called David Harold Fink whose book “Release Nervous Tension” was a best seller in the 50’s (if memory serves). His second book “Be Your Real Self” examined authenticity and goodist/people-pleasing traits.

    Fink also applied a rudimentary understanding of the neurology involved. His books are utterly charming and of their time but the message is the same.

    In alternative healing, the mind~body concept is as old as time. All the major healing philosophies from Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine through to the long-standing westernisation of the chakra system and such put emotional and psychological factors at the fore. Within these philosophies, getting to the root of the problem is paramount.

    Our culture and our times are enmeshed in a sterile, over-medicalised, externally focused paradigm of healthcare. It’s entirely based on symptom management and medications or surgery. Pain medicine in particular has been dominated by the pharmaceutical industry and only now are people waking up to the folly of this.

    Sadly too many practitioners of alternative medicine have borrowed the pill-popping model from mainstream medicine and you’ll see the same physically based thinking in action there. Many people on this forum have fallen prey to this on their way to Sarno.

    Sarno came to his conclusions based on good science (primarily he possessed an open mind), and observation. He knew that our health is the sum of who we are and how we live. If you expand your reading to embrace a few outliers you’ll discover how deeply and profoundly Sarno’s views exist in other fields. You’ll also see how wholly and yet how simple his ideas are as compared to the centuries of evolution in systems such as Taoism.

    In using your mind to heal your mind, you have to get out of your own way and acknowledge the hubris in recognising that you only know what you know (and what your culture permits), to open yourself to the vastness of true knowledge. Countless people have documented this. They simply didn’t get the press that Sarno did.
  3. Neil

    Neil Peer Supporter

    @plum what was Finks method/approach like? Did he too like dr sarno help ppl heal? There is not much info abt him on the internet.

    Ayurveda is purely physical. Indian meditations are based on manipulation of energy. They never get to the emotional root cause.
    Buddhist meditations focus on emotional clearing.

    Now what a layman like me understand is that modern science has many branches like physics, chemistry, psychology etc etc etc. Dr sarno discovered a healingh method thru psychological branch of modern science. Its just that the chemistry branch looked more profitable for enterpreneurs & made it mainstream.

    "That our forefathers, three thousand years ago, had finished extracting all that was of value from the universe, is not a worthy thought. We are not so unfortunate, nor the universe, so poor." - Rabindranath Tagore.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Neil, it’s a shame so little is known about him because his writings are so helpful. I believe he did help patients in a similar way to Sarno, but he used the language of ‘nerves’ which people seemed to be more aware of then in terms of understanding what a nervous breakdown or nervous tension actually was.

    I wish I had his books to hand (I lent them to my mum) but I do recall he placed great emphasis on relaxation and on the reader learning techniques that would enable this. Some of these are familiar to us today as progressive relaxation and body scan meditations, but he also invited the reader to explore areas of their lives that induced tension. He didn’t particularly embrace the psychodynamic approach as Sarno did though. I guess the closest match would be to neuro-psychology, and something like a 1950’s version of Rick Hanson (who is a Buddhist and neurological-psychologist).

    I sourced his two later books secondhand via used booksellers on the internet so it’s worth seeking them out if you’re curious. I’m not sure where the original book came from but it inspired me enough to read the other two. Sometimes a slightly different take gives us the nudge we need.

    As for Ayurveda, for the most part you are right about the emphasis. I’ve had the good fortune to read a couple of books where the thrust was very much on the psychological but most practitioners definitely lean into physical remedies for dosha imbalance. That in itself is questionable. This aside I always liked the acknowledgement that we bloom from Nature, in the same way as a blossom or a fruit.

    I love that quote. It’s marvellous to realise that universe is infinitely creative.
    Neil likes this.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Also Dr. Ainslie Meares.
    “Relief Without Drugs - How to conquer tension, pain and anxiety by a leading Australian Psychiatrist”. (1967).
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Let's not forget, whatever one thinks about Freud, that Dr Sarno went back to Freud's theories when he was developing his own. Freud totally got the mindbody connection right - it was his execution of it that left so much to be desired.

    Dr Sarno's books explain how he developed his theory. I usually recommend The Divided Mind because it was his last one, updated, plus it contains six standalone chapters from five MDs and a psychologist who present different points of view and experiences with the mindbody connection.

    I personally spent decades being told by doctors (the better ones) that there was nothing wrong with me, but that I would benefit from reducing my anxiety. This made sense but I had no idea what to do about it until I stumbled across a recommendation to read The Divided Mind on a migraine site. Turns out those docs knew what they were talking about years before Dr Sarno wrote his first book - but he was the only one who explained what was really going on in my brain so that I could change it. Him and Claire Weekes, who wrote Hope And Help For Your Nerves in 1969, and that was my second life-saving book.

    We honor Dr Sarno with this site because his work made this knowledge accessible and immediately relevant to our suffering. But we also offer, through the wiki, two free programs, and this forum, many other resources beyond the works that first brought us here!

    TG957 and Dorado like this.

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