Mind-Body Medicine Center of Providence
Dr.Schubiner's Technique Really Has Helped Me....
Here is what JS, age 44, of Livonia, MI, has to say:
I had suffered with lower back pain for 20 years. It was determined that a bulging disc that was found on CT Scan caused my pain. My pain over these years had been intermittent but seemed to become worse over time. In 2002 my pain became so severe that I couldn't walk. An MRI was done and showed the same bulging disc that was found 20 years prior. I was put on bed rest and disability for two months. During this two-month period, I had 3 epidural blocks and multiple physical therapy sessions. My only relief came with pain medication. My pain eventually improved but I still suffered, especially at night and with certain activities. I had also spent a lot of money on chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture without significant relief.
A friend told me about Dr. Sarno's book, Mind Body Prescription. I figured that I had nothing to lose by reading the book and I was at a point where I would try anything. Once I started to read the book, I found it difficult to put down. Everything started to become clear. I found a definite correlation between events in my life and my symptoms. After trying Dr. Sarno's exercises, my back pain was gone after 2 weeks. Even though I still get aches and pains occasionally, it no longer controls me and I now feel empowered to control my minds power over my physical symptoms.
I am amazed at how much power my mind had over my body, but I don't allow it to cause pain anymore.
SD, 16, Troy, MI (November 17, 2006) -- “All I did was walk on my tip toes!!”
In May, 2005, my sister and I were goofing off and standing on our tip toes for about 15 minutes straight. I got a sharp pain in one of my Achilles tendons, and stopped immediately. The pain went away, but about 2 days later I got the same sharp pain in both of my ankles while walking to class. At softball practice that night, my coach made me go see the school trainer. She pressed on my upper calves and on the sides of my lower Achilles tendon. She said I didn’t have Achilles tendonitis because it only hurt when she pressed on my lower Achilles tendon.
When the pain persisted, I went to our family doctor, and he told me that the cause of my problem was the tip-toe walking. He put me on 400mg of Motrin, twice a day and diagnosed me with Achilles tendonitis. He said that the Motrin should help and that I should be pain-free in 4-6 weeks. However, I got worse and had to sit out the rest of softball season.
Six weeks later, I went to a different family doctor and he put me on Ketoprofen gel that I applied twice a day directly to my lower Achilles tendons. When I didn’t get better after 4 weeks, he prescribed physical therapy 2 times per week.
Now that I think back, I had a lot of confusing symptoms during the month of June. In the middle of the month, I participated in gymnastics to prepare myself for cheerleading tryouts. I clearly remember that during the gymnastics class, I had zero pain. I thought it would be obvious that I would have the most pain while I was flipping around on the gymnastics floor, but oddly, I was wrong. After gymnastics was over, my usual pain returned and didn’t get better. In July, I saw a sports medicine doctor. He took me off of the Ketroprofen gel and put me on 500 mg of Naproxen twice a day. He told me that I would be healed by the time school started as long as I took my medicine, rested my ankles as much as possible, and wore higher heels to keep my Achilles tendon from stretching.
I attended cheerleading camp in the beginning of August. On the first day of camp, I did a lot of walking and standing but strangely my ankles didn’t hurt that night. However, the next morning as soon as I woke up and even before I got out of bed, both of my ankles had excruciating pain. They had never hurt that bad before. I could barely stand up and when I walked down the hall to the bathroom I started to cry. This was the first time that I had ever cried because of the pain that I was having. Overall, by the end of cheerleading camp, my ankles were far worse than before. My doctor was not happy with me and told me that this would cause a great setback in my recovery time. As you might’ve guessed, I did not recover by the time school started, and was still sitting out of cheerleading. At the beginning of school, I also switched physical therapists. After 3 months, my new physical therapist was able to reduce my pain from an 8 to a 6.
In October, my sports medicine doctor saw that I was not improving significantly, so he put me in walking casts. I was not happy about this at all and in fact, when I went to Wright & Fillipis to get them on, I had tears in my eyes. I was the new girl at school and had to wear 2 plastic boots on my ankles throughout the day. I was mortified. The only plus side to the boots was that my team sympathized with me a little more and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to participate any time soon. I had to wear the boots for 4-6 weeks. Also in October, my wrists began to hurt.
I got my boots off about half-way through November and my ankles felt a little better. I had to stretch them every morning and night, and do multiple exercises a couple of times per week. My ankles had a little less pain (about a 6 on a scale from 1-10) but I still could not do my everyday activities that I would’ve liked to. Meanwhile, my wrists continued to get worse and worse. It was like little pins and needles constantly poking at the tops of my hands, the underside of my wrist, and my forearms. I was having a very difficult time writing and could no longer type. I went to my sports medicine doctor and he told me to wear some wrist guards at night.
My ankles were still at the pain level 6 by December. They weren’t getting any worse but weren’t getting any better either. My wrists were even worse this month than in November. I could barely write and had an extremely difficult time taking mid-terms. It was hard to even fill in the bubbles on my scan-tron answer sheet. I had to purchase an electric toothbrush because I could no longer brush my teeth without experiencing pain. Also, when I came out of the shower, I had to have my mom brush my hair because the pain was unbearable. During Christmas break, I wore my wrist guards 24/7 and did absolutely no writing or typing. Oddly, my wrists hurt more than ever before during this break. During December, I also noticed that whenever I wore my heavy coat, my elbows would hurt when I bent them. It was almost as if the pressure from the jacket was giving my elbows pain.
During December, I saw a genetics doctor and was tested for Marfans Syndrome. Although the genetics test came back negative, my genetics doctor still believed I had the syndrome because of the physical examination. I also had X-Rays taken of my lower back and wrists to see if I had any form of arthritis. My sacroiliac joints appeared normal. In both of my wrists, the radius was slightly bowed and my rheumatologist suspected that that could be causing the pain. Doctors also suspected carpal tunnel syndrome. I was referred to another rheumatologist and he recommended methotrexate. My parents elected for me not to take it however because it was similar to a chemotherapy drug.
In February, I heard about Dr. Sarno and my dad contacted him. He said that he only saw patients in the New York area and I was very disappointed. However, I read his book and my dad was doing some research online and he found Dr. Schubiner.
Also in February, I went to see another genetics doctor. My friend’s mom, a nurse, said that he was experienced in my type of situation and even healed another patient like me. So, I was excited for this appointment and was hoping to get some answers. However, the day of the appointment was the worst day of my life. I went into the room, and to make a long story short, he told me that I had Marfans Syndrome, I couldn’t be healed, and I would have to live with the pain for the rest of my life. If I had to live with that pain forever, that meant that I wouldn’t be able to walk long distances, type, write, cheer, or play softball ever again. I broke out into tears as soon as I got into the car.
We signed up for Dr. Schubiner’s seminar in hopes that this would finally heal my pain. However, the seminar didn’t start until later in the month and I was going to Florida for Easter. My ankles and wrists were hurting so bad that my dad called Dr. Schubiner and asked him if there was anything that we could do before the seminar that would minimize the pain. We got the CD that Dr. Schubiner uses for his seminar, but for this special case, he let me have it early. Just by relaxing, and listening to the CD my ankles and wrists began to fell a little better.
In May, by going to Dr. Schubiner’s seminar, my ankles and wrists completely stopped hurting. I did all of the writing exercises that he gave his patients to do and just kept reminding myself that the pain was “just my TMS acting up again”. Sometimes, when my ankles or wrists were hurting, I would look in the mirror and yell at myself to make the pain go away. I found that it was very difficult to look in the mirror and see myself yell at myself. However, that always seemed to be the most effective thing to do. During this month, I could walk longer distances, use my regular toothbrush again, eat with forks, spoons, etc. without pain, and I even played softball for the first time in over a year.
By the summer, I was completely recovered and pain free. I was able to do everything that I wanted to with my friends and most importantly, I could cheerlead and play baseball again. After seeing all of those doctors, and being on all of those medications, I finally found something that worked. I thank God every day and I basically owe Dr. Schubiner my life for everything that he has done for me. Without him, I would still be having my pain and wouldn’t have a clue on how to fix it.
LH, Age 17, Farmington Hills, MI -- “Could worrying cause severe back pain?”
I want to thank you for allowing me to attend the Tension Myositis workshop last year. As you already know, I have played competitive soccer for about 10 years now. I started playing when I was 7, I suffered a back/hip injury about five years ago that never seemed to heal. I didn't take any time off and the pain would flare up now and then. Sometimes the pain was so bad that I had to be taken out of the games because I could barely run or strike a ball. I never would know when the pain would hit because some days I would be fine but others I would suffer. I would take pain relievers before and after games just as a precaution. My father is a physician so through the years I have been to several orthopedic doctors, sports medicine doctors, different physical therapists, chiropractors and other specialists. All the medical tests came back normal. I even tried yoga and pilates and had orthotics made for my shoes because they thought maybe I needed to be more flexible and that the actions involved with playing soccer called for better flexibility. I worked with a personal trainer for a couple of years to build a stronger core. But the same back and hip pain kept coming back. I was so frustrated that no one could understand the pain I felt or could help me resolve it.
You were the only physician that I saw who asked me how I slept at night. I have always had trouble falling asleep ever since I can remember. I also had trouble staying asleep and would wake up almost every night in pain and discomfort. I never put the two together: my pain and the problems with sleeping.
The workshop made me realize a lot about myself. I realized that the pain I felt was tied up with the anxiety I felt every night before I went to bed, especially if I had a big soccer game or tournament coming up or had other "stressors" like boy problems, exams, college visits, etc. Your meditation tape really helped me to relax before going to bed. I also learned to confront the pain and "talk" to it. I took control by telling the pain to go away and concentrated on my breathing to help become more relaxed so I wasn't all knotted up and tense at bedtime. I realized that my anxiety was showing up in the night while I was asleep and causing my muscles to tense up and that the pain I felt was exactly like the pain I felt from the old soccer injury I suffered years ago. My brain NEVER forgot what that felt like.
I am happy to say that a year after the workshop I sleep better than ever, feel healthier and more relaxed and I have less anxiety over the "stressors" of my life. I am relatively pain free now and I love it! I am back to playing soccer like my old self again which is cool. I have been recruited to play Division 1 college soccer next fall and now I am not afraid and I do not have doubts that I can do it because I have learned to conquer the pain that had affected my soccer for so long. Thanks again.
JD, age 19, Birmingham, MI (December 30, 2006) -- “TMS almost ruined my life”:
TMS intruded my life in August of 2004. Only two weeks before I started my freshman year of college, I began to notice sharp pains in the metatarsals of my left foot whenever I ran. At the time, I assumed the pain came from the intense workout schedule that I was following as I prepared to try-out for my school’s soccer team in the fall. Looking back now, however, TMS was clearly the culprit. I was anxious about playing college soccer and overwhelmed by the intensity of our summer workout program. I worried about how I would measure up on this new team, and the thought of being away from home terrified me. My fears and anxieties were at an all-time high, and the pain in my foot manifested them. Eventually those mental strains would extend to other parts of my body. In fact, during the intervening thirty months I would suffer forefoot pain, lower back pain, stomach and intestinal problems, and lateral knee pain before finally beating TMS.
My foot pain, and then a year later my back pain, began as I was training during the summer for soccer—undoubtedly the most physically and mentally exhausting training of my life. Although I was killing myself six days-a-week trying to follow the team workout program flawlessly, I still feared that I would be unready for the season, and I obsessed about performing perfectly on the upcoming team fitness test. The stress of those two summers wore on me, and I was often in tears—frustrated and frightened that I simply would not “cut it” when the season began. All the stress and anxiety became more than I could handle and soon enough, I had developed TMS.
I played both seasons despite my “injuries,” all the while seeking answers to my ever-worsening pain. Throughout the soccer season and the off-season, I consulted countless doctors and underwent nearly every available therapeutic treatment besides surgery. Yet nothing helped. I finally gave up on solving my foot pain, since three doctors and a physical therapist had failed to give me a diagnosis, and decided to simply play through it. My back pain, on the other hand, was far more debilitating, and it was keeping me from doing anything active, particularly preparing for the upcoming junior soccer season. I was desperate to find answers and finally return to the life of a normal 19-year-old.
By August 2006, after living with chronic back pain for a year, I had seen an orthopedic doctor, a pain management specialist, a sports medicine doctor, an osteopathic mechanical manipulation doctor, a neurosurgeon, three physical therapists, a muscle activation therapist, a chiropractor, and even a Pilates instructor, but my condition had not improved. Moreover, it had actually worsened. Unable to run, sit, or walk without low back pain, my occasional swims when I pulled through the water while my feet dragged pathetically behind me were a far cry from the intense six-day-a-week workouts of the previous two summers. I could not even open the refrigerator door without feeling the ache sharpening in my lower back.
Additionally, I had begun experiencing excruciating stomach cramps after each meal. Pretty soon, nearly everything I ate left me doubled over in pain. That summer my father had undergone a bone marrow transplant to treat a serious blood disease, and not coincidentally, my stomach problems began the day he entered ICU. TMS had turned my life’s stresses into even more physical pain. Still only a teenager, I felt as if my body was falling apart: I was miserable and frustrated, and it seemed that once again I would be forced to live with pain that no one could fix. Then, miraculously, I found Dr. Schubiner.
At first I thought the whole TMS thing was crazy, a little too hocus-pocus for me. Yet as I read the material on the syndrome I began to realize that it was not that ridiculous after all. My unexplained foot, back, and stomach pains were not uncommon for TMS sufferers. Also like other TMS patients, I had undergone many diagnostic tests and received several seemingly convincing diagnoses (Morton’s neuroma, osteoarthritis, a bulging disc, and facet joint inflammation just to name a few), but no treatment had ever provided significant, lasting relief. Moreover, like many TMS sufferers I possess a strongly Type A personality, and between my anxieties about soccer, my fears about my father’s illness, and my struggle for perfection in all aspects of life, I had certainly placed myself under a great deal of stress.
Knowing that I had nothing to lose, I made an appointment to see Dr. Schubiner, who proceeded to diagnose me with tension myositis syndrome. The following day I swam harder than I had swum in several months without any pain. Just knowing that my pain was not an actual physical problem changed everything. A few days later I went for a twenty-five minute run—my first run in eight months—without any pain once again. My foot pain and stomach pain also disappeared. I was amazed: the pain that had controlled my life for almost two years was completely gone. A week later I left for my third soccer preseason completely pain-free, but unfortunately my trials with TMS were not quite finished.
On the first day of the season I began the workout my coach had given me to get back into shape after so many months of not running. Less than a quarter-mile into my run, excruciating pain along the side of my knee stopped me in my tracks. Both the team trainer and my coach tried to convince me that it was iliotibial band syndrome, but I suspected that TMS had returned to haunt me once more. I had been nervous about the daunting task of getting back into game fitness and fearful of what the season had in store for me. Once again, TMS had given me physical pain to prevent me from doing the fitness work that always placed such a physical and mental strain on me.
Although I had defeated TMS once, it had returned with vigor and this time it would take much more to beat it—but I did. I had to fight the doubts of coaches, doctors, and even myself that it was TMS. I was very frustrated and Dr. Schubiner suggested that I need to fully believe that it is TMS, that I need to be positive and that I should start counseling. I found the counseling to be extremely helpful and in hindsight, the counseling (along with Dr. Schubiner’s advice, and my subsequent determination to stay positive) was the major turning point for me. The counseling helped me to verbalize a lot of the issues dwelling under the surface, which helped me to understand myself much better and improved my understanding of what was causing TMS and what I needed to change in my mindset to beat TMS. After a month of barely being able to bend my knee, I decided it truly was TMS and set my mind to beating the pain. Now three months later, I have experienced no knee pain for over a month. Occasionally, I feel the outside of my knee start to twinge, but by simply reminding myself that I do not need that pain to protect me from my fears, it quickly fades away.
Dr. Schubiner has given me my life back. At 19 years old, I did not know if I would run or even sit without pain again; now I feel unstoppable. I am back to playing soccer and working out several times a week. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Schubiner for helping me beat TMS and reclaim the active lifestyle I cherish.
CM, age 45, Ann Arbor - 30 years of health problems:
I have had chronic health problems for over 30 years. I have had a history of Crohn's disease, back pain, TMJ and fibromyalgia. I have seen many doctors and tried numerous disciplines. I tried every treatment, every doctor recommended - physical therapy, traction, spinal adjustments, muscle relaxants, pain medications, steroids, TENS treatments, myotherapy, acupressure, acupuncture, hypnosis, novocaine injections, and prolotherapy.
My pain was especially bad at night causing poor sleep. Even sitting around in the evening watching TV or reading was painful. I feared any illness requiring bed-rest, because I couldn't lie on my back for any length of time.
I then read Dr. John Sarno's book, "Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection". It became clear to me that my physical pain was a result of emotional issues. It was a relief to me to learn that I could have pain and not have anything physically wrong with me. I read his book repeatedly and practiced his "daily reminders" for several months, but the pain persisted.
I was very excited when I heard about your Mindbody workshops, because I knew I was on the right track and need more guidance. Your TMS workshop provided the additional help I needed to get well. It enabled me to face my emotions, and that has made all the difference.
I am in much less pain and feeling better than I have in years. I feel much better, perhaps 75%. Some evenings, I am even pain free. It took me a long time to develop the pains I had and I feel it will take time to completely erase them.
I am able to begin a walking program. Not strenuous yet, but I was unable to do much more than wander once around a mall, and even then with pain. Now I feel I can walk more vigorously, several times around a mall and I'm confident I can build on this fairly quickly.
In the evening, I am in much less pain as I unwind from my day, reading or watching TV. My sleep has improved, not as broken up because the pain made me change positions all night long. I now sleep straight through for about 7 hours and doze off and on for the last hour. I used to toss and turn every half hour or so. I would say my sleep is 90% improved.
Overall I feel more energetic. I feel I can play with my grandchildren, work around the house, enjoy my life and retirement more fully; the way I thought I would enjoy my golden years. I still have trouble laying on my back, so I plan to continue with your CD reflections and writing exercises to keep the pain under control. It took many years to develop my health problems, so I know it will take time to alleviate them totally. I know this is a work in progress.
I wish to thank you for your help in my recovery. Your workshops have given me new hope for the future, and a pathway to move forward pain free for the rest of my life. Thank you again for all your help. I feel like a new woman.
CD, Royal Oak, age 55, shares Dr. Schubiner's inspirational lecture helped:
After years of intermittent anxiety, followed by depression, I knew I could no longer fool myself into thinking that my problem was caused just by a set of certain circumstances. I told myself that I only needed to get beyond the next problem and everything would be okay, only to be faced with a new set of problems that caused me to be anxious or depressed. After medication and therapy, I still did not have the tools to understand and deal with this reoccurring problem. I wasn't sure that Dr. Schubiner could help when he invited me to his class. From what I understood, his approach dealt with physical symptoms, not mental or emotional ones.
Dr. Schubiner's inspirational lecture and guidance helped tremendously. I started to calm down and understand for first time what was behind my problem. The writing exercises brought out profound information about myself that I was unaware of, even when the subject matter was very familiar. Dr. Schubiner is a true healer. If you are at all skeptical or afraid, that's okay. That will change once you begin the classes and follow through. Take the classes and you will richly reward yourself.
SS, age 53, Muskegon, MI tells:
I began to have stomach pains about 9 years ago. They began in the fall and got worse every fall for several years. I tried to ignore it, but when it was particularly bad one fall, I had my gall bladder removed, but the pain continued. The pain intensified each year to the point where I saw several gastroenterology doctors and even went to the U of Michigan for another consultation. No one could identify the problem, and they called it “functional dyspepsia.” I started counseling but that didn't help.
Eventually, the pain began to occur through the whole year and I began to have panic attacks, particularly in the afternoon around 3 pm. I had to stop working and was in a great deal of pain.
I heard about Dr. Schubiner's program from my primary care doctor. I read Dr. Sarno's book and went to see Dr. Schubiner in his office. He explained the connection between and mind and the body and I enrolled in his program.
As part of the program, I learned that my pain was primarily due to the guilt and shame that I carried with me due to the fact that when my second husband had died, I had to make end of life decisions that I thought conflicted with my faith. Through the exercises and meditations, I realized that I had been beating myself up for so many years and never realizing how much of a toll this was taking on me. I had buried those feelings and never dealt with them. I even went back to look at my husband's death certificate and saw that he died at about 3 pm and that was the same time that I was having these panic attacks. It all began to make sense to me. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and about what things in my childhood made me the person I am today. I am so grateful for this opportunity to understand myself better. My stomach pains went away and now only occur on occasion to a much milder degree and I no longer have panic attacks. I am back at work and feel so much more in control of my life and my body.
Thank you Dr. Schubiner for all your help!!
LW, age 36, Ann Arbor - From active to sedentary and now active again:
I've always been an amateur athlete and sports junkie, but severe low-back pain changed my life from active to sedentary. It started about six years ago. I got the first episode of back pain in January, but got over it relatively quickly and I promptly forgot about it. One year later, it happened again. I reasoned that the two January episodes were linked to a change in exercise patterns: Every November, soccer season ended so I'd start jogging three days a week in the winter. Even when I wasn't in an episode of acute pain, I still had some pain that I'd simply ignore. But when I had the second episode, I stopped running and I used chiropractic care to feel better. I was told that my lower vertebra was out of line and that the space between the vertebras had collapsed. I religiously went for treatments and did every exercise I was recommended.
A year later, again in January, I was on a hike in AZ, went lightning struck again. This was the worst episode ever. I couldn't walk, couldn't cough, and was in complete agony. I saw doctors, therapists, and had MRI's. There was nothing definitively wrong but I was in a great deal of pain. I can't remember all the different treatments I tried, but they included acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, too many exercises to list, and I saw every doctor that anyone recommended. I even tried something called prolotherapy, which is an injection of sugar water into the lower back. Those shots made me feel better for a day or so, but the pain always returned. I wasn't in crisis mode, but I had a lot of pain all the time. I was told that I had degenerated discs, a pelvic girdle that was “too loose”, and some other things that I don't remember. My pain was solely in the lower back and did not radiate down my legs at any time. I was fortunate to have good doctors who were straight with me, and one of them looked at my MRI and told me that they'd never be able to pinpoint the exact spot that caused my pain.
By late 2005, I was in a bad place. The pain was severe all the time and after trying everything, I had no other place to turn except having my vertebrae fused. I saw two doctors. One said to hang on and put it off as long as I could. Another simply explained the procedure and didn't seem to have a strong opinion. Searches about fusion on the Internet revealed more horror stories than good. My thought was to wait a year and see how I was at that point. If the pain continued, and it had been constant for almost two years, I'd have them fused. In February of 2006, my sister sent me Dr John Sarno's book, The Mind Body Prescription. I never would have read a book like that, but I was desperate.
As an outwardly very calm person, who nevertheless is quite tense on the inside, I saw myself in the pages of that book. I began to believe that my back was no different from those who don't have back pain. I read research studies that showed that there is no difference in the MRI's of people with back pain and those without back pain. As I began to realize that I wouldn't make myself worse by carrying on with activities, I started moving more and gradually went back to exercising. I could ignore any pain as long as I didn't think I was permanently damaging my back. Plus I was sure I had TMS. In five days, the pain was nearly gone.
Wow. Wow. That's so unbelievably incredible, isn't it? For the next six months I felt remarkably good. I even had another episode of pain a month later and licked in it in four days by recognizing what it was from (my mind) and telling myself that I was really OK.
One problem however was that I was still afraid of hurting my back, so I didn't do all of the activities that I would have liked. For example, I didn't play soccer, didn't jog. I was glad to feel better and didn't want to “push” it. So I did things that I thought were safe, like bike riding.
Then things got crazy at work. The pressure mounted. I could feel my back getting worse and then one day as I spoke on the phone, I had another episode. This one was bad and I could not talk my way out of it. I read Dr. Sarno's book again and again. I could almost recite the book by rote, but it wasn't helping.
An Internet search led me to Dr Schubiner. I took his class and I have to say it was as enlightening as the book first was. I learned so much more than just about TMS. I learned several methods to deal with what's inside my head and relieve the tension that was directing itself to my back. Dr. Schubiner said so many things that made an awful lot of sense. He talked about “chipping away” at the tension and finding what works for each individual. I also appreciated the fact that he makes the class become a terrific chance to reset your priorities in life. So much of it made sense to me. In two weeks, I was feeling far better; almost pain-free.
Two weeks ago, I played soccer for the first time in two years. The next day I went jogging. The pain just about disappeared. For me, the last piece of the puzzle is ridding myself of the fear that the pain will return. I'm not 100 percent there, but I'm working on it. And now I have the tools to fight TMS head on. It is a terrific feeling and I hope my story will help you as well.
SD, aged 37, Brighton, MI:
I first went to hear Dr. Schubiner give a talk on TMS in preparation for an upcoming graduate class I was going to be taking related to mind body medicine-never considering it would directly impact me. One of his slides listed about a dozen common disorders linked to TMS and to my surprise I have or had experienced about half of them over the past twenty years. These symptoms came and went and appeared to be totally unrelated including: sciatica, irritable bowel syndrome, GERD, migraines, insomnia and neck/shoulder pain. I made an appointment that night for a consultation with Dr. Shubiner that ended up connecting the dots to a long history of pain and suffering. We discussed major emotional events from my past and then were able to link them one by one to physical symptoms that had seemingly appeared “out of the blue”.
The three workshops that followed were extremely helpful to my understanding of TMS and how to eradicate its hold on my life. I found the writing exercises, meditations and affirmations to be very valuable tools and have seen a significant decrease in my symptoms as a result of them. I recently attended a five-day silent meditation retreat, at which I experienced a reoccurrence of many of my symptoms. At first I responded with anger and fear, but when I went back to the core tools from the workshops, the pain was gone almost instantly. I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Schubiner and this program!
BP, aged 42, Farmington Hills, MI
I attended a presentation that Dr. Schubiner gave in March of this year concerning our mind’s ability to create physiological responses to stress. While sitting there I began thinking of a reoccurring chest and left arm pain that I was experiencing on a regular basis. I had seen my physician about it and had had the routinely prescribed tests to determine its cause, and unfortunately nothing was found. I started to think about when these pains would occur. It became clear to me that the pains always occurred when I was thinking about or involved in something stressful or troubling, and almost always would go away shortly after the stress was removed.
After your presentation and took your advice and bought Dr. John Sarno’s book, The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain. During the days and weeks following your presentation and while reading the book, the chest and arm pain became less intense and eventually dissipated providing me very welcomed relief. Occasionally, I would detect its reemergence, but I was able to make it go away by simply acknowledging what circumstances I found myself in or by recognizing what I was thinking about that may be causing the reaction. Each time this occurred, the pain would go away shortly there after.
Dr. Sarno indicated in his book that they are an entire host of other maladies that may be driven by the mind’s reaction to stressful situations. This led me to reflect on the last 10 years of my life. Going back as far as 1998, I have been treated for gastrointestinal discomfort twice, ulcers, intense back pain, a heal spur, joint pain, as well as nasal and skin allergies. All of these medical problems were real and were prescribed treatments, but had no apparent causes and were left unexplained.
Along with the chest and arm pain one chronic medical condition, nasal allergies, has persisted until just a few months ago. My allergy symptoms were so severe at times that I would have daily sneezing jags along with routine allergy induced asthma attacks. I have been treated for allergies for over three years. My physician told me that I have three primary allergens, dust mites, cat saliva, and tree and grass pollen. As a result, I have had allergy shots, taken regularly prescribed antihistamines and have taken steps to avoid allergic triggers. None of these things have provided any substantial relief.
After reading Dr. Sarno’s book, I began to examine the possibility that how and what I think about may be connected to my allergies as well as the chest and arm pain. Since March, I have stopped taking all allergy medications and I have not made any attempt to avoid allergic triggers. Incredibly, I have been virtually symptom free. The few times that I have had symptoms develop they have quickly gone away by simply noticing what is happening and connecting it to what I am thinking about or what is happening at the time.
The last 3 months have provided me with the most consistent physical well being I have had in years. I am sleeping better, breathing better, and feel a greater sense of control over how I feel physically. I appreciate the help you have provided me and wanted to share this with you.