Archives for: June 2006, 16
Because of my frozen shoulder, I have been interested in the variety of treatments and ideas in the "torn rotator cuff" thread on the Forum. Dr. John Sarno, an MD who treats people for back, shoulder and neck pain and has written several books, has been mentioned several times. In early June there was a spirited debate about the merits of his philosophy. Several things in my past made me curious to know more about him.
Then by strange coincidence I kept coming across verses in my Bible study that linked the state of mind with the health of bones.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Psalm 51:8
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs15:30
For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed. Psalm 31:10
These are not isolated verses - a concordance finds many more.
So I checked out "Healing Back Pain" on CD from my local library.
Sarno does not say that there is no such thing as a back injury. On the contrary he insists that his patients have a medical evaluation before they come to him, and he urges readers to have a thorough physical exam before starting his program.
He does not say that back (or shoulder or neck) pain is imaginary. He says that it is very real and has a physical source. He says it is caused by oxygen deprivation. His is not a mystical program.
He says that it is illogical to believe that an injury, once it is healed, should continue to reoccur year after year after year. He does not accept the idea that a relatively minor injury could do so much physical injury that it leads to debilitating pain. (He uses frozen shoulder as an example of this point.)
At the risk of oversimplifying, he says that rather than confronting anger, stress and fear, the subconscious mind will create a diversion or distraction in the form of pain.
There are several things that I have no control over, that make me angry. Because there is nothing I can do about the situations, I squash the feelings back inside. Is it a coincidence that I have had shoulder pain three times in less than 10 years?
I am finding many of his ideas to be extremely helpful. I also have one disagreement with him. I'll write about that next time. In the meantime, go to the library or bookstore and get his book (or CDs). You may well see yourself in his examples more often than you expect.