Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Power of the Mind

Divided Mind
Did you ever have an injury that was slow to heal? An injury that you couldn't trace back to any particular physical incident. An injury that didn't seem to heal with rest and traditional treatment methods? This injury was real, and may even have affected your running. In cases like this, there are some who believe it might have been your mind that caused the injury due to tension or stress, and your mind that holds the key to the cure. One of the leading pioneers in the study of the mind and its relation to injuries is John E. Sarno, MD. Dr. Sarno has written a number of best selling books on the subject, including his latest book the "The Divided Mind".
Dr Sarno, who was once the feature of an ABC "20 /20" feature, has had thousands of patients who swear by his treatments including athletes and high profile patients like radio disc jockey Howard Stern. Stern was so grateful for the 83 year old Dr. Sarno's help in overcoming persistent back pain that he dedicated one of his books to him.
Another person who has been helped by Dr Sarno is Marc Bloom, one of the best writers on running in the country and the publisher of "The Harrier"-- the premier cross country magazine in the country . Marc had this to say about Dr. Sarno's latest book: Marc Bloom, runner, coach and author

""The Divided Mind" is the latest and best book yet from the revolutionary and courageous mind-body specialist, Dr. John E. Sarno, a physician at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine of NYU Medical Center. Sarno's theories of health and pain are directly opposite from virtually the entire medical profession--and at odds with what our society believes about health and wellness. So don't expect your local doctor or just about anyone else to agree with his theories and accept his patient success. In a nutshell, Sarno believes that pain throughout the body, and especially to the low back, shoulders, neck and knees, is caused not by anything organic but by one's thoughts and emotions.
So the national low back pain epidemic, for example, has nothing whatsoever to do with herniated discs and everything to do with emotions like anger, rage and resentment. A lot of our negative feelings stem from childhood. Sarno's views can many implications for runners; your injuries may not stem from physical reasons but from emotions. Certain personality types are particularly vulnerable to what Sarno terms TMS: Tension Myositis Syndrome.
But anyone can be affected, and almost any part of the body can be affected. "The Divided Mind" contains chapters from a number of doctors in different specialties who believe in Sarno's ideas and treat their patients (those who will let them) with this mind-body approach. Read the book. In my opinion, it's the best and most important health book ever written.
Sarno's ideas could have a tremendous impact on our society and the ever-growing health care crisis, if only more people and health professionals would try to learn from him."

Because of the difficulty in performing clinical trials to prove or disprove Dr Sarno's hypothesis, it is unlikely mainstream medical science will completely adopt his methods any time soon. Still, Dr. Sarno's methods are worth investigating for those who have learned through experience the undeniably powerful role the mind plays in healing the body.

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