The Mindbody Prescription

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About The Mindbody Prescription

When people speak of MBP they refer to Sarno's third book, commonly called "The Mindbody Prescription," but fully titled The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain. Released in 1998, this is the first book by John Sarno where he includes other chronic conditions as TMS, a key component missing from his previous two books, Mind Over Back Pain and Healing Back Pain. As a result, people with other pain symptoms such as RSI, foot pain, knee pain, neck pain and Carpel Tunnel Syndrome have dubbed this book the cure for their symptoms. In addition to moving beyond only discussing chronic back pain, Sarno expands TMS to a wide variety of chronic conditions, listing seven areas as "equivalents of TMS" including:

  • The gastrointestinal system
  • The circulatory system
  • The skin
  • The immune system
  • The genitourinary system
  • The cardiac mechanism
  • Miscellaneous: This includes hypoglycemia, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue syndrome, and spasmodic dysphonia.

There are also several conditions which Sarno suggest emotions may play a role including: autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer.

There is some criticism about the writing style in The Mindbody Prescription, in that it is written a manner that makes it harder to read than it needs to be. Despite this, it is still deemed a book well worth reading.

The Mindbody Prescription has been translated into Korean, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, Romanian, and Hebrew (Source).

Treatment Methods

In The Mindbody Prescription Dr. Sarno restates his treatment methods he discussed in Healing Back Pain. Dr. Sarno suggests that there are three key components to any successful treatment of TMS. The first is to accept and believe that there is nothing structurally wrong with you. The second is to "acknowledge the psychological basis for the pain." This includes becoming educated on the causation of the pain and understanding the role repressed emotions play in chronic conditions. The third component is to accept the psychological, which in essence means to accept the emotions that you have. Dr. Sarno continues to give several techniques to help people accomplish these goals.

  • Think Psychological: Whenever a person is in pain they should think of what repressed rage is causing the pain.
  • Talk to Your Brain: By simply telling yourself that you know what is going on, and that your unconscious is creating the pain, can help a person reduce their pain level.
  • Make a Written List: List all of the stresses, pressures, and anxiety you have in your life, including things that are self-imposed pressures, and any anger or issues from your childhood.
  • Daily Reflection or Meditation: Dr. Sarno suggests that individuals devote time each day to think about their treatment and gain understanding on how to get better

Reviews for The Mindbody Prescription

Read slowly and carefully
September 13, 2000
By Mcgivern Owen L, from

In all fairness to readers, someone needs to establish that often there is simply no substitute for an occasional office visit to a real live medical doctor. One cannot cure EVERYTHING from a book. I also don't believe that the "Power of Positive Thinking" can cure all ills. With these caveats aside, it can be safely stated that this is a 4 or 5 star piece of work. It covers such a wide range of medical issues that no one review could fairly cover them all. I believe the best advice to "amazoners" is simply to buy the book and read it carefully, testing Dr. Sarno's theories and taking what you can. Treat it as a checkpoint of sorts, to be referred back to. Do not read it as a novel that can be discarded or recycled to a friend. "The Mind Body Prescription" belongs on your shelf permanently. Some readers may feel more comfortable starting with the author's "Healing Back Pain" (a true 5 star work!). That will introduce one to the Sarno philosophy before proceeding to "The Mind Body Prescription". Either way, Dr. Sarno has some excellent ideas. We all owe it to ourselves to read one or two of his writings.

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Buying The Mindbody Prescription

ISBN 0-446-67515-6

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