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Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

John E. Sarno
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 17 2004
Do you have back, neck, or shoulder pain that keeps recurring or won't go away? Does back pain keep you from living a full life? If so, you may be suffering from TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome)—and you don't have to take it anymore!
Dr. John E. Sarno is a medical pioneer whose mind-body approach has helped patients overcome their back conditions—without drugs or dangerous surgery. After indentifying stress and other psychological factors in back pain, he demonstrates how many of his patients have then gone on to heal themselves without exercise or other physical therapy. With case histories and the results of in-depth mind-body research, Dr. Sarno describes how patients recognize the emotional roots of their TMS and sever the connections between mental and physical pain.

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Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection + The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders + The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain
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From Amazon

Healing Back Pain promises permanent elimination of back pain without drugs, surgery, or exercise. It should have been titled Understanding TMS Pain, because it discusses one particular cause of back pain--Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)--and isn't really a program for self-treatment, with only five pages of action plan (and many more pages telling why conventional methods don't work). According to John E. Sarno, M.D., TMS is the major cause of pain in the back, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and limbs--and it is caused not by structural abnormalities but by the mind's effort to repress emotions. He's not saying that your pain is all in your head; rather, he's saying that the battle going on in your mind results in a real physical disorder that may affect muscles, nerves, tendons, or ligaments. An injury may have triggered the disorder, but is not the cause of the amount or intensity of the resulting pain. According to Sarno, the mind tricks you into not facing repressed emotion by making you focus on pain in the body. When this realization sinks in ("and it must sink in, for mere intellectual appreciation of the process is not enough"), the trick doesn't work any more, and there's no need for the pain. (Healing Back Pain should not be used for self-diagnosis. Always consult a physician for chronic or acute back pain.) --Joan Price --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

This best seller was first published in 1991, but no one ever bid for the audio rights. Now, Sarno will narrate his own work.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
I have never seen a patient with pain in the neck, shoulders, back or buttocks who didn't believe that the pain was due to an injury, a "hurt" brought on by some physical activity. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Sarno is a Genius! March 4 2000
Format:Paperback
If your back hurts, buy this book... now.
I have suffered from chronic back pain for the last 13 years, after having pain from powerlifting and being diagnosed with a ruptured L5-S1 disk. I also have a spina bifida occulta in my sacrum.
In those 13 years I have tried chiropractic therapy, stretching, exercises, heat, ice, nutritional supplements, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, special chairs and shoes, facet joint injections, physical therapy, anti-depressants, surgery (laminectomy in 1991), scar-removal procedure (2 yrs ago), and even daily high dose narcotic painkiller for over a year. The pain ALWAYS came back. It even started spreading to my hips and right shoulder over the past 2 yrs.
I found this book about a month ago when I woke up in pain yet again, even though I had been stretching and exercising every day. There was no logical reason for the pain, and that's when I decided to figure out what was really going on.
I found this book by Dr. Sarno and over the past month, the pain has gone away completely. I have never felt better.
Once you understand how the brain and nervous system function, you can begin to take control of the situation.
For those suffering back (or any other) pain, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I would recommend reading this book before going on to Sarno's "Mind-Body Prescription". I don't think I would have understood the info. in "MBP" as readily if I haven't read "Healing Back Pain" first. Read them both though.
Once you are pain-free, you will again see the world as your oyster.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, thank you, thank you Dr. Sarno April 25 2013
By Bruce
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Over the years I've had a few horrible episodes of back pain and tried the usual treatments convinced that the pain was due to some structural abnormality. It was puzzling when x-rays, a physiotherapist and chiropractor all told me that my back was basically normal, yet the pain continued. Well, after reading "Healing Back Pain - The Mind Body Connection" I now know that emotional factors were the cause. My back pain was the result of muscle tension caused by repressed bad feelings -- primarily anger and anxiety.

According to Dr. Sarno structural abnormalities rarely cause back pain and the personality type of the Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) sufferer fit me to a tee. Psychological factors cause the muscles to tense and the pain is caused by mild oxygen deprivation. As the pain was psychological and not physical there was nothing to worry about. What relaxation and relief this information gave me! As the pain slowly dissipated I moved again without fear. And even when the pain came back slightly, as it did now and then, it didn't bother me because I knew the cause. I would simply tell the pain to go away (well maybe not in words that polite).

It's a long story, but the trouble goes all the way back to the 17th century when Rene Descartes and the Catholic Church somehow convinced people into believing that the mind and body were totally separate entities. Science is now proving they were wrong! The mind and body are two sides of the same coin.

As we express unconscious conflict somatically, I highly recommend Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) as an excellent adjunct to "Healing Back Pain - The Mind Body Connection." The Tapping Solution video is one of the best resources I have found on EFT. Use this book and EFT (a double whammy) and you will definitely get rid of your back pain. It worked for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look. Nov. 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I think this book will be most helpful for people who have been suffering with back pain for a long period of time (months to years). Most back pain lasts only a short time, and if it persists, you probably either have a really serious medical problem (that is usually obvious) or there are psychological factors involved.

If you've been through the conventional medical system with your back pain for a long time with no satisfaction, have had many physical treatments (such as heat, massage, manipulation, etc.) with no relief, AND have had serious back pain issues ruled out, then I say it would be well worth your while to at least check out this book. While there are true physical causes of back pain that are not psychological, this book will make you think about any stress related issues that could be a part of your pain. Other self-help books I liked include Treat Your Own Spinal Stenosis. Good luck!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By mirabai
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the book that turned my life around. It teaches you how simple and easy it is to really take care of your own well-being. and leave back pain and many other chronic conditions in the past. Self-healing and self-care have never been easier. I keep buying more copies to give to friends and encourage them to pass it on to others. It feels great to have my health and strength back!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In pain? Read this book! Jan. 11 2000
Format:Paperback
I was debilitated by severe back pain early in 1999, a repetition of a problem I had in 1987. Over the years, I accommodated to the pain, limiting many of my activities. I would often have to take some time off to "lay down" to relieve occasional attacks. Then this year I was laid low by extreme pain in my legs radiating from the lower back.
An MRI and the diagnosis of 2 leading neurosurgeons confirmed the existence of 2 herniated disks, several bulging disks and spinal stenosis. Both recommended surgery, but I was hesitant. Even though I could not drive, sit up, or function in any normal way, I resisted the surgery. I was taking painkillers, anitinflammatories and doing physical therapy, but getting no better. None of the healthcare professionsl I queried would admit to knowing Sarno or anything about his ideas--what a shame.
After seeing Sarno on 20/20 I bought the book and recognized myself in his description of the typical back pain sufferer. I started to apply the ideas in his book that day, and started getting better immediately. After 4 weeks I was basically pain-free and after 8 weeks I felt I had recovered to my earlier level of health.
Now, 9 months later, I'm more active and in better shape than in the last 10 years, and feel 20 years younger. If you can get your mind to go along for a few weeks, this book will change your life for the better. Not least of all, you will feel that you really can influence your back pain syndrome, instead of being a passive victin. Try it!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very lucid! To be read by everybody...
Published 4 days ago by Marc E. Coppens
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the buy
This book was amazing. i dont like reading, but i had a herniated disk. I forced myself to read it. its a great buy. good read. and works!!! :)
Published 5 months ago by chickiroo
5.0 out of 5 stars pain pain go away
This is a great down to earth book on a theory that I am coming to understand and belive. I highly recommend it for anyone with back pain!
Published 6 months ago by Steve Whiteside
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind first, then Body
The concepts of your mind referring pain to your back and realizing that nothing is actually wrong with your back were revelations! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I heard about Dr. Sarno through a friend. If you suffer from chronic pain, this is the book for you. The CD is cheaper and I prefer it to the paperback. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Camille
1.0 out of 5 stars WHAT???
Boring as heck, not scientific and of no use. I have back pain from an injury and this book is telling me its all in my head. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Shannon Carson
5.0 out of 5 stars This works!
I was skeptical about this at first but a friend was raving about it so I gave it a try and wish I'd done it sooner! It really does work and its simple. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Emma J Polimac
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible read
I USED to get aweful back pain and the absenve of pain now is so wonderful. I order 5 of these paperbacks at a time and give them out to friends i hear suffer with 'back pain.'
Published 20 months ago by Stefan Scutaru
4.0 out of 5 stars I believe it.
I have been suffering with low back pain off and on for over 25 years and have seen numerous doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapist and massage therapists and they all help for a... Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2011 by J. Yaskow
4.0 out of 5 stars Healing Back Pain
This book is very, very insightful. It presents an entirely new way of thinking about back pain and is written with a nice balance of scientific information to create credibility... Read more
Published on March 25 2011 by Kathie
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