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There are three CDs in the John Sarno "Healing Back Pain " audio book. I was fascinated in the first two CDs as he gave example after example of people he had helped. I was reminded of people I have known who have spent many years and huge amounts of money to be free of pain. I was eager to get to the third CD and find out his solution to the anger that he says is at the root of back and other pains.
I was disappointed. He doesn't deal with anger at all. He writes that 80% of his patients become pain free by realizing that their pain is not a structural problem. The other 20% he sends for psychotherapy. If someone's pain returns he puts them through a group refresher course where they are reminded about TMS basics.
His techniques are undeniably useful. I once blogged about a high school knee injury that would periodically return to haunt me. It has all the characteristics of TMS, and is already showing improvement.
However as a Christian, it bothers me that I have enough subconscious anger to cause physical symptoms. It seems important to me to deal spiritually with that anger. When Sarno deftly skipped over that part, I turned to another book ""Competent to Counsel" by Jay Adams. His section on anger and resentment have given me a lot to think about. Here are a few quotes:
"Christ did not allow his anger to turn into resentment. He, therefore, was angry but did not sin." â€¦ "Ventilating sinful feelings is simply unbiblical." â€¦ "Christians must not allow one single day to pass with unresolved anger stored in their hearts. The principle is clearly set forth: Do not let the sun go down on your anger. In other words, every day Christians must handle the problems that have arisen." â€¦ "All he can do, all that God requires him to do, is to confess any known sin, ask for forgiveness, and earnestly seek to make restitution wherever necessary and possible - all in order to bring about reconciliation."
There is, of course, a lot more than those few quotes to what Adams says about anger, just as there is a lot more than my brief summary to what Sarno says about pain. If you are dealing with painful back, shoulders, or knees, I would recommend you get both books and read them side by side. I am indebted to Dr. Sarno for focusing my attention on areas of unconfessed sin that had both spiritual and physical significance.
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