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Chronic pain

Chronic pain conditions may be caused by repressed anger

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 by: Dr Craig Oster
Tags: chronic pain, repressed anger, health news

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(NaturalNews) The medical community has been criticized for failing to accurately and effectively diagnose and treat chronic pain. Many patients suffering from chronic pain conditions have not received desired relief from mainstream medicine. Based on the theory that some chronic pain disorders are instigated by repressed anger, Dr John E. Sarno, M.D. has pioneered a successful--but not widely accepted--treatment for a group of chronic pain disorders classified as "Tension Myositis Syndrome". Dr. Sarno is Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, and attending physician at the Howard A. Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center.

Dr. Sarno has coined the diagnostic term "Tension Myositis Syndrome" (TMS) for some chronic pain disorders with a psychosomatic basis and has demonstrated positive outcomes in the treatment of the condition. TMS is frequently manifested as chronic back pain. According to Dr. Sarno, TMS and other chronic pain disorders including repetitive stress injury (RSI) and fibromyalgia are born of the brain`s response to unconscious, repressed emotions. It is the awareness of the role of these unconscious conflicts upon the pain which his treatment is aimed, and according to Dr Sarno, "Lectures now represent the cornerstone of the therapeutic program and appear to be all that is necessary for 80 to 90 percent of those who go on to complete recovery."

Dr. Sarno`s concepts derive from Freud`s clinical observations and theories: "My developing ideas were the consequence of clinical observations; they were not based on preconceived notions about the mindbody connection. As with Freud`s patients, I found that my patients` physical symptoms were the direct result of strong feelings repressed in the unconscious." Dr. Sarno educates patients that TMS is an avoidance strategy, which fulfills the function of turning their attention away from frightening repressed feelings.

Dr. Sarno postulates that mild oxygen deprivation results from the brain simply altering the blood flow to a particular area in the body, causing the pain in TMS. He claims that the brain produces these pain symptoms to protect the patient from psychological trauma and turmoil and, as a distraction, to make sure internal anger does not become conscious.

Dr Sarno claims considerable success in diagnosing and treating people with TMS for over 30 years. He also states that oftentimes, simply gaining awareness that pain symptoms may be occurring to distract the person from feeling rage (which s/he would find unacceptable) will result in symptomatic relief.

The TMS Wiki (http://tmswiki.org), which was created by a group of individuals whose pain and other symptoms were helped by Dr. Sarno`s approaches, lists 92 current practitioners who utilize Dr. Sarno`s approach. While Dr. Sarno`s conceptions have not been widely embraced over the last 40 years, the mainstream may finally be coming to begin to understand the connection between emotion and stress on physical health. An article in The February 2011 edition of Scientific American "Neurostress: How Stress May Fuel Neurodegenerative Diseases" reports on formal studies linking stress to specific neurological conditions.


Sarno, John E. (2001). The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain (Kindle Locations 60-61). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition

About the author

Craig Oster, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) nearly 17 years ago. Discharged from hospice in May 2009, he is demonstrating improvements in wellness utilizing holistic health principles, including a raw/living foods diet. Dr Craig, utilizing these principles and his psychoanalytic understanding, is committed to helping individuals in their quest for greater wellness. Dr Craig is the founder of the "Healthier People (with ALS) Project."
Follow Dr Craig's Historic Holistic Healing Journey: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Craig/37394...
Dr Craig's Website: http://www.healingwithdrcraig.com.
Dr Craig's Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/#!/drcraigoster

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