Mind Over Matter?

Several weekends ago,  I was working at my computer when the pain started.  It  radiated through my fingers and up my wrist.  It was so severe, I stopped typing.  Immediately my mind leapt to the worst.  “Nerve damage.  Carpal tunnel.  Surgery.”

Admittedly, I am a hypochondriac.  I come from a long line of them.   An innocent comment will start my mind spinning–like the time just a week or so ago when I heard a co-worker say, “I caught it from my grandkids.  I was sick for days.”  My mind worked feverishly.  Sick with what?  Was she still contagious? I wanted to take a step backwards, politely excuse myself, and liberally douse my hands with Purell.

But this pain was real.   For hours I was consumed with it.  It worsened as the hours passed.  In calmer moments, I reminded myself that this had happened before.   So, I pulled out the book that I always turn to in times like this–Dr. John Sarno’s Healing Back Pain.  Yes, back pain.  Dr. Sarno is a world-renowned expert in TMJ–Tension Myosis Syndrome.  He stresses that the pain is real, but it has an emotional, not physical root cause.  From his research with thousands of patients, he can state that this sudden and severe pain in various parts of the body originates from repressed emotions.  Now, before you start thinking he’s a new age quack, let me tell you he is a professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine in New York.   I read through Dr. Sarno’s book that night and within a few hours, I had identified the emotional root cause of my pain.  Soon, it started to ebb.  When it flared up again, I sent my mind back to my emotions.  Later that night and through the next day, the pain had largely disappeared.  From time to time, when it flared, I asked, “What is really worrying me?”  When I pinpointed the answer and thought through it, the pain ebbed.

Perhaps you are skeptical, but curious about the mind-body connection, like I was.  Perhaps you have tried traditional medicine and you are still in pain.  Perhaps your pain limits you and makes you fearful.  If so, I have a wonderful resource for you.   The Winter of Wellness is hosting a series of 45-minute talks on the mind, body, and spirit throughout February and March.   These talks are free and can be accessed for a week after the original broadcast.  All you need to do is register with the Institute and they will send you a link to the daily broadcasts.  Here’s the registration link:  http://winterofwellness.com/   If you decide to listen, let me know your thoughts.  Are you still skeptical or are you convinced?  I’d love to hear what you think.


2 replies »

  1. I totally agree; severe headaches were bothering me – which felt like forever – so I turned to my tai chi training. I focused the pain leaving my head region and it worked:)) Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)


  2. Hi Jon. It’s great that you found your own solution to the headache problem. I keep thinking that the history of modern medicine is relatively short and we also need to explore these treatments which are thousands of years old. Thanks for sharing.


Don't Be Shy! Drop Me A Line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.