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The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  915 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
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Paperback, 210 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Warner Books, Inc. (first published 1998)
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Mark Dickson
Jun 18, 2012 Mark Dickson rated it it was ok
Let me preface this review with the fact that the rating doesn't apply to Sarno's theory--that many physical ailments have mental causes--but rather to the book itself--to its execution. I feel like I could have gotten everything I needed from this book in the first chapter alone; the rest fel like overwrought redundancy, Sarno laundry-listing all of the ailments that are maybe/possibly/definitely rooted in mental causes.

I should preface this doubly with the suggestion that this may, in fact, bu
Yelda Basar Moers
Mar 22, 2016 Yelda Basar Moers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health-wellness
Truly an amazing, life-altering read!! Within 24 hours of reading this book my leg pain disappeared! Dr. Sarno believes that back and leg pain can be due to repressed emotions that turn to an interior rage that then become masked as pain. Confronting the mind with this awareness can break the cycle, or so he explains in his brilliant book!
Stefan Kanev
I'm reluctant to rate this book. It sounds very convincing and both the symptoms and history of my RSI issues fit the narrative perfectly, but I feel I should give it a fair shot before having an opinion.

It's basically a very simple idea. A lot of chronic pain problems, (usually related with the back and the upper body) are caused by stress-induced tension, as opposed to serious structural anomalies/deviations/problems. Thus, treatment should be focus on psychological issues and not on physical
Aleksander Skjæveland Larsen
Aug 08, 2012 Aleksander Skjæveland Larsen rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
This book is utter nonsense. In the book, the author complains his paper was rejected 7 times from different scientific publications. It
is my suspicion this was due to serious scientific mistakes, as the
book shows the author does not master this skill.

At one point he finds it incredible that occurrence of RSI was increased by 467% between 1989 and 1994. I fail to see why this is problematic; use of home computers exploded in this period. You would expect people spending too much time at the keyb
Mar 29, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing
amazing book for dealing with physical pain. Could not walk on my leg, had all tests done, was babying it. Book suggested to address it as caused by hidden rage - I did - leg's all better. WOW.

If you have migraines, aches and pains, shooting pain in arms, hands related to use of computers (carpel tunnel)...READ it....IF you are willing to accept the idea that - if tests have been done and there is no physical cause of the pain to be found - that the pain is cased by your brain.
Jan 03, 2012 Stephane rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Stephane by: Heard about on Rosie Radio
Shelves: favorites
A life changing read! This book truly connects the dots between the mind and the body. It shines a spotlight on the impact emotional stress can have on the physical body. I suffered from back pain for many years prior to reading this book. That pain is now gone and when I feel it starting to return, I now know it is a sign that I need to deal with emotional stress. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from chronic pain.
Paul Lyons
Mar 04, 2013 Paul Lyons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TMS: Tension Myositis Syndrome is relatively new term that few doctors are aware of, or want to be aware of. Thankfully Dr. John E. Sarno has brought this fascinating, frustrating mysterious condition to light. Dr. Sarno's 1998 book "The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain" functions in a very special manner, in that educates and heals at the very same time. It's value goes beyond traditional study of what makes a book good or bad, in that it is the equivalent of medicine v ...more
Travis Callender
Theory of Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)
The unconscious mind may avoid dealing with painful emotions of rage, sadness, shame, etc. through causing a pain syndrome in the body, thereby distracting the conscious mind’s attention to the physical pain rather than the emotional pain. The mind achieves this through constricting blood vessels and causing local anoxia/ischemia. The areas most typically effected are the postural muscles, tendons and nerves (e.g. back pain, neck pain, sciatica); but red
Feb 15, 2017 Jane rated it it was amazing
The message that he is trying to give is that your brain is causing pain in your body due to repressed emotions and your pain will go away by understanding this. For this information, I offer 5 stars. The delivery of the information could be better though. It's not a very captivating read but if you're suffering from any kind of chronic pain, the readability of the book is certainly the least of your concerns.

If you have any kind of pain such as back pain, neck pain, knee pain or migraines (or
Jun 24, 2016 Autumn rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I'm currently trying to solve an RSI issue. I had previously read It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!: RSI Theory and Therapy for Computer Professionals. Funnily enough, that book mentions Dr. Sarno's The Mindbody Prescription, but dismisses it because the authors take offense at the idea that it might be all in your head. And then I read a blog article in which the author took issue with It's Not Carpal Tunnel because the authors claim that RSI is a lifelong problem that can only be managed. The b ...more
Jul 16, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
4 stars is pending results in 2 months
I've seen this recommended by so many people; he also has a book strictly on back pain. Found it today for $1 at Half Price Books. I've heard so many testimonials about the roots and cures of back pain, which are backed up by what both MDs and DVMs know but don't understand... that the severity of radiological lesions in no way correlates with the severity of clinical pain in spinal disorders. Add to that the mysteries of the related pain syn
Dustin Davis
Jan 02, 2015 Dustin Davis rated it it was amazing
I have the audio book. I listened to it all once through and started getting immediate relief to 10 years worth of RSI in my wrists. The pain then moved to my upper back as the book said to expect. Then to my lower back. After a month the pain finally went away. It sprang up again number times over the next couple of years. Every time it did I would listen to chapter 9 on my train ride commutes.

Also, I have herniated my L5-S1 disc twice. It is ruptured. My neurosurgeon is amazed from my MRIs tha
Jun 09, 2008 Melisa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
A life changer because it changed the way I view physical aches and pains. I mean the little aches and the excruciating pains: back pain, stomach aches, searing headaches, lingering pain from physical injuries. Get this: we find it easier to handle physical pain then sit with fear, sadness, grief. Yup, it's true. Only way to find out is use/follow the book to bring yourself some relief from what ails you.

Megan Cardon
Apr 06, 2011 Megan Cardon rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone that has any type of pain
Recommended to Megan by: My doctor
I have all sorts of pains in my body that are pretty much unexplained, including chronic headaches. This book has helped me deal with these pains. I suggest this book to anyone who has issues with pain. It is one of those things that might not work for everyone but I say it is worth a try.
May 13, 2009 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Dr. Sarno totally has my number. I dip into this book or one of his other offerings therapeutically whenever I start to get an ominous twinge or ache. Good to have on hand right next to your Merck Manual.
Apr 30, 2013 Lavonne rated it it was amazing
Dr. Sarno explains how the brain uses pain in the body by finding weaknesses to distract us from emotional pain. Very good at helping us see how the mind and body are connected. Highly recommend to anyone experience pain.
Apr 17, 2010 Tasha rated it really liked it
This book will blow your mind if you have any chronic pain syndromes. Migraines, Fibromyalgia, depression, anything. This man is genius!
David Tybor
Feb 12, 2016 David Tybor rated it did not like it
This book provides many nice examples of logical fallacies.
Jan 13, 2017 Princi rated it liked it
interesting concept and when practiced i actually did notice some improvement. but the book is SO incredibly tedious to get through. and sarno himself doesn't actually tell you what you need to do to see the improvements. had it not been for a letter he included from a previous patient, it never would have been clear.
Todd Brelsford
Mar 19, 2017 Todd Brelsford rated it it was ok
Review about the book, not the TMS theory it covers. Book is VERY repetitive. There is probably only about 50 pages of useful info. The other pages are all rehashes of the useful 50, or stories about people he diagnosed with TMS.
Mar 13, 2017 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has some good ideas (the book could be much much shorter), but at the same time it can feel like you're buying snake oil. I guess the only way to be sure is to test it.
Catherine Theriault
Recommended by my ND for neck pain, this book took me on a journey that is both familiar and unfamiliar. I am intrigued with this new lens on the cause of pain.
Feb 15, 2017 Colleen rated it really liked it
I want to believe that this book will help me!
Jul 22, 2011 Ruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First reaction - hmmm, this is an arrogant one! Just talking to him can make your pain go away. He claims to have been successfully treating, for over 24 years, an emotionally induced physical disorder know as Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). Sarno is a professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine, not a pyschiatrist, or a psychologist, but most of the references he has are to well known specialists in both areas. His focus is back pain, mostly lower back pain, so not much of it relates to the ...more
Rosemary Brown
Jul 08, 2015 Rosemary Brown rated it it was amazing
Laura here. I read this on Dr. Brown's recommendation, and I was more than impressed—I was healed.

Sarno documents the power of the unconscious mind to cause physical pain and illness as a diversion from difficult emotion. Here, he talks mostly about his work with back pain. Many people find that their pain goes away just from reading the book, because once you understand what's going on, the game is over: the mechanism is no longer unconscious, and so your brain gives it up. It happened to me! S
Apr 04, 2009 Ken rated it really liked it
Having gone through many sessions and methodologies to try to combat lower back pain, I had this book suggested (by a fellow sufferer) when I was going to a pain management doctor. I have since read it completely twice and sections other times, and I feel that this doctor has definite possibilities when he states that a lot of pain is created by our bodies when we are undergoing various stresses. I think that he has something going here, and have utilized it from time to time. And, no, I have no ...more
Oct 17, 2013 Erika rated it it was ok
If you are new to mindbody principles, it is good, if you are not, it is basic and obvious. So my rating would vary depending on who picked it up...
maybe it would convince some new comers to this now widely accepted fact, that the mind affects the body for real and not just in the old understanding of- in the 'psychosomatic' sense. But if you have already read things like Damasio, Alexander, 'When the Body Says No' or any contemporary neuroscience, don't bother. BUT if you want to recommend a bo
Sep 30, 2013 Scott rated it liked it
Sarno became famous for his theory on the "mind body link" behind chronic back pain. In this book he extends the theory to almost any chronic pain that you can think of... to the extent that it does not feel credible. I understand that he is a controversial figure in the medical community, but he has lots of compelling case studies (more like anecdotes) which may make for interesting reading for anyone suffering from chronic pain. I certainly do feel that mind body link is underemphasized and no ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Erika rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. I had been to multiple doctors, specialists, hospitals, etc. I had been diagnosed multiple times.. tried multiple different medicines..etc. One doctor suggested to me that stress may have something to do with it..I was OUTRAGED..I used to wake up out of a dead sleep with these ailments..There was NO WAY my thoughts were causing this..I started searching online forums for people like me.. I found someone who suggested this book and read it with an open mind..The cure fo ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Shana rated it it was ok
It is wonderful if this book helps people; however, I found it very frustrating that Dr. Sarno chose not mention reasons why any of the pains he discussed might have a physical rather than psychosomatic cause. Lumping them all into a single category and not giving potential reasons why the sufferer might need to see an MD or their symptoms might not be a result of TMS seems like poor and un-objective medical advice.
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