Success Story, by Salamander

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Hi all,

I've been to the TMS board on several occasions but have never posted. I thought that I would post my TMS history as a review of a most interesting disorder. I hope that this gives everyone some insight and hope as to how crazy this syndrome is....

I'm turning 40 on January 24th....and have lived since the age of 16 with a variety of Sarno (TMS) complaints. I will list all the various symptoms that I have had over the years. I found out about Sarno around when I was 30 (I only wish it was sooner). I fit the TMS profile, by the way, perfectly.

  • Prostate, Groin Pain (MRI's, physical therapy)
  • Tennis elbow
  • Swimming Shoulder (6 months of pain)Two MRI's revealed rotator cuff damage
  • Billiard Shoulder (4 months if pain)
  • knee injury, scoped by orth who removed about half of the artucular cartilage behind my kneecap. (two year recovery, with multiple visits to doctors around the country...I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympothetic Distrophy at one time (including a bone scan that showed bone changes).
  • heel tendinitis (hobbled in Europe, unable to walk due to severe pain)....recovered spontaneously a couple days later.)
  • Back Pain (MRI's revealed spondylysthesis, protruding disks etc...) Spent over a year trying various therapies and considered spinal fusion as a last resort. It was then that I discovered Sarno and my eventual path to recovery.

Overall, I thank my lucky stars that I discovered Sarno or I am sure that I would have gone through endless surgeries and other various therapies. Most of my so-called "disorders" were incredibly painful and disabling. So much so, that it would be hard to attribute them to anything but a structural problem. After reading Sarno, I decided that it was time to either give up and resort to drastic surgery measures or fight. I decided to not limit myself in any physical endeavor and purposefully engaged in whatever I wanted...the more vigorous the better! I decided that they would have to carry me out on a stretcher before I would stop what I was doing. If my knees hurt when I biked...I'd bike an extra 10 miles. If my back hurt when playing tennis...I'd play another set.

I got mad at this SOB (mind) and I will NOT let it dominate my life.

To any of the skeptics out there...this syndrome is very real, but very reversible!

Yours truly,


Cross country cyclist

avid Tennis player

professional billiards player

physical fitness buff

Part 2

I credit my recovery to reading and then rereading "Mind Over Back Pain" and then "The Mindbody Prescription". However, the following accident helped to solidify Sarno's theories....

It was when I was diagnosed with Spondylothesis and severely degenerative disk disease and told that spinal fusion/and or lamenectomy was my best option. All of this was seen on an MRI. However, the doctor also brought out a previous MRI that I had had done 10 years ago regarding a groin injury that I had sustained playing soccer. The doctor pointed out that the MRI's were virtually identical with very little, if any, change in the disks, spine, etc...

It did not take a rocket scientist to figure out that I had no Back Pain 10 years ago, but now all of the sudden I had severe back pain...yet the MRI's were the same??? This test, coupled with Sarno's theory made me an instant believer that structural changes in the spine meant nothing. At that moment I resolved that there was nothing wrong with me. Within a matter of weeks my back pain vanished (despite disabling me for almost a year). In retrospect, I suppose that it was the similarity in the two MRI's that I was finally able to see concrete proof that Sarno's theories were correct. I suppose that the biggest "leap of faith" for the would-be Sarno believers is overcoming the various "diagnostic tests". In this sense I was lucky since the proof was right before my eyes.

Now any time I see someone in the news hobbled by back pain, I think to myself, "if only they knew about TMS and Sarno".

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