Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Back in Control

Shoshana Schwartz

Dr. John E. Sarno is convinced that you can heal severe back pain and other body aches without surgery, physical therapy, or even medication. His theory: Emotional pain causes physical pain. The cure, then, isn’t body-based remedies, but rather techniques that release anger, stress, and other negative feelings. A closer look at his mind-body approach to relieving pain.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

For years, I had back and knee pain. I tried just about every treatment: chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, reflexology, kinesiology, bioresonance therapy, magnets, you name it. Sometimes, when my back and knees felt okay, my ankles hurt. Or my wrists. There always seemed to be aches and pains somewhere in my body.

Two years ago, my knee problems escalated to the point where I required knee braces. Physiotherapy and leg-strengthening exercises seemed to help, and the pain began to wane. But the respite was brief — before long, my back started acting up. The pain grew so severe that I could barely walk. That’s when someone introduced me to the book Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Dr. John E. Sarno (Grand Central Publishing).

Dr. Sarno asserts that at the root of physical pain is emotional pain. The cure, then, isn’t drugs, surgery, or other body-based remedies, but rather techniques that release anger, stress, and other negative feelings.

Within a few weeks of practicing the strategies in the book, my back and knee pain were gone and I ditched the knee braces. Within six months, my ankle braces, orthotics, compression socks, and orthopedic pillow followed. I no longer have to sit “just so,” and I play basketball three or four times a week. Best of all, I no longer live in fear of the pain.


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”