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Truth or bologna? Mind over matter...

Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Dr Sarno. My cousin posted an article about this book on social media, so I looked it up. My question is, can you really tell your body not to have pain? I've seen my x-rays and MRI, my L4 is out of alignment. It is pinching a nerve. How can saying my body is fine, there is no pain, and it's all in my head stop the pain?

I don't look forward to surgery, but not sure if I should even consider this. Has anyone tried this for pain management?
Julie K
L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14


  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 04/23/2014 - 3:18 AM
    I've tried something similar. I think our mind does play a part in the level of pain, but if there is something physically wrong, it will not just go away if you tell it to. It's about being in the right state of mind to better manage it. That's just my thoughts. Every case is different so it really depends on the root problem.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • JulijacJJulijac Posts: 170
    edited 04/23/2014 - 3:29 AM
    I am of the same opinion as you, Lcochran4. I am just getting nervous about upcoming surgery, so grasping at straws. It is really too bad one can't look into a crystal ball and see what the surgery outcome will be. ;)
    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
  • I tried this "mind over matter" a few times, while in the hospital with pancreatitis, I found it much easier to do after the dilaudid was administered :-)

    Seriously, I think it is possible to do with a lot of practice. I think some people can master this technique just fine, I just don't think I'm one of them. I cant concentrate that long when I'm having serious pain & I have tried.
  • Hi ... agree with the others. You cannot argue with the X-ray ... However, a positive attitude helps recovery .... Hard when you are in pain. If you take the appropriate medication to help where it can, then at least it helps you make the most of the 'good' days. Some people find hypnosis tapes very relaxing ...
  • my father in law is a retired engineer whom one would think would be more linear based in his thinking. he is of the impression that the mind can do all sorts of things and if one tries hard enough you can cure diseases, pain, and just about anything else. his wife my wife's mother died of cancer about 10 years ago and he was telling everyone that she could have lived longer or even cure herself with a more positive mind and thoughts. i thought my wife was going to kill him over that. she did everything possible including hypnosis and positive imagery but she died within a year of the diagnosis. she also had chemo and surgery and alternative medicine, and positive mind imagery and nothing helped. when the big guy upstairs wants you, you will go. when it is your time it is your time no matter what, just in my opinion.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • when the big guy upstairs wants you, you will go. when it is your time it is your time no matter what, just in my opinion.

    "Very much agree with this"
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 04/23/2014 - 4:40 AM
    this is why i try to keep on his good side. i always say good morning and have a nice day to the big guy. i do the same with my wife, my son, and importantly my doctors. a am friendly to my students which is amazing because most i do not know personally and a lot of times students i do not know smile and say hi to me, open doors, or get out of the way for me. the kids are great. it is the teachers who are waco if it was not for the teachers and administrators and my back, i would keep teaching for a few more years. so all of the posters here, good morning and a big smile and have a nice day to all.
    oh i forgot, ron sandi, and the rest of the moderators, good morning with a smile also. can't forget them
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Well, good morning/afternoon to you as well, Jon with a big smile back :-) & I hope you are having a nice day also.
  • taren
    the big countdown to the big R. i have 3 more IEP's and one kid to test, tomorrow. and then do my job or whatever and then go to my son's graduation and then i am free thank god i am free. like i said , it is not the kids, it is the so called adults that are the troublemakers. i have to shop for a tux, get a limo, buy a corsage not for my son mind you, for his date take pictures and get him to get over the dreaded disease, schoolitis. when one has it, one becomes lethargic, doesn't think clearly, doesn't do work in school, and the worse symptom, thinks one can skate by the last semester. well ole doctor jon has seen this patient and told him for him to get better, he needs to clear up his schoolitis and come back to earth.
    no it is not the meds making me silly lately, it is my brain clearing up and not thinking about work.
    dr jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I agree with the other members. Your mind can help or hinder your progress
    from many things but sadly it's not always as easy as that.
    I have the book. While I do agree with some of the thought behind it I don't think it
    had the ability to change the fate of my spine.

    I will say that at nine weeks PO I think my mind is/was hindering my own progress at times. I was ( I'm
    truly trying to realign my thoughts in a more positive way!) really causing myself stress about the speed of my recovery and accompanying symptoms.

    I started a mediation program based on helping stress and recovering your health. I have to say I think it's helping.

    What surgery are you headed for?
  • Sciaticjenn - above is the surgery I'm getting for spondylolisthesis (barely a level 2).

    Terror and taren - I'm nice to people because I try to treat others the way I would like to be treated. ;)

    definitely believe in "Thy will be done," that's what calms me down when I get a little too nervous. O:)
    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
  • Imagine if we only COULD cure our ailments with our mind. Everyone would be buying the books. ;-)

    I had fusion surgery because of spondololisthesis in December and I feel great! I've had my ups and downs. I wasn't one of those people bragging about how good I felt 2 weeks after surgery (I'm looking at you, Mark, :-) ) Keep smiling, believe in and talk to the big guy in the sky and you'll do fine. We don't need no stinkin' books! LOL
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • There is quite a bit to the mind/body connection, more than just willing your pain away. On the CD at the end of each lesson there is a guided meditation. I used those quite a bit.
    The book also has an interesting chapter on geriatrics and how sometimes we cause our bodies to age because we believe we are getting old. He has a lot of research showing that we can at least slow down the process, very interesting stuff.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Jon, I'm counting down to your big "R" too...June 6th, right?? Oh dear, that means you will be here aggravating me more, I suppose, lol--AGAIN, I'm joking. Just no spitting on my basketball arena's or my football stadiums, ok?? Go Wildcats, Cowboys and Patriots...

    Mind over matter, I wish I could do it; I really do. I just can't concentrate like that. Like I said I have really tried. Sometimes, I can't walk and chew bubblegum at the same time, I just don't know how I'd teach my mind to cure myself. Like RubyTuesday said, it would be nice if we could cure all of our ailments but if we could do that, then there would be no need for doctors....
  • taren i have all of the paperwork in for teacher retirement and i was able to get some social security where i offically retired last june when i turned 66 and they paid me 7 grand for last year and then in june i will get about 450 dollars along with my teacher stuff. my son also got 3 grand back pay for my turning 67 and he will get 5 hundred until he turns 18. i also got 3 grand bonus for turning in paperwork early and i get 21 grand for extra work so i should be ok for a couple of years while the old ball and chain slaves and works to keep me in the style i am used to.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Ha Ha Ha, Jon, "Keep you in the style you are use to?? I picture you in a Hugh Heffner robe & ascot, wearing a skipper hat, while smoking expensive cigars, after you are retired!!!! You should change your avatar to Hugh Heffner lol!!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    But I will say that our minds are so very powerful and they can be a big part of our pain management process.
    I don't believe that our mind can mend an spinal problem. But I do believe that with our mind we can help dealing with the pain and discomfort that is associated with spinal problems.

    I've only touched upon what eastern medicine can do. The way I look at it, they have been dealing with problems for thousands of years, all without the need of chemicals. They use the body, the mind and work with it to help.
    It could be the use of aroma therapy, music and relaxation therapy, or meditation. All geared to help deal with specific situations.

    One of the more recent practices I have come across is Tapping I am very intrigued by it and have started to read up on it. The way I look at things, if there are ways to manage our pain, mend our bodies without chemicals or more aggressive treatments, why not give it a try?

    So people even go see people that can hypnotize you into not having pain any more. I dont know about that, but I will say, having an open mind does help
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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