Mind-Body therapy absolutely works! In fact, after experiencing an amazing recovery from chronic back pain and years of “Crohn’s Disease”, I have become a passionate advocate of Mind-Body healing!
My journey began after college when I found myself getting sick all the time. Although I did struggle with anxiety and depression, I was more surprised that I was breaking down physically and becoming dependent on the healthcare system since I was a high level athlete in college. The first red flag came in 2002, after eating a piece of fruit, I experienced an intense pain in my stomach that was later diagnosed as “Crohn’s disease”. That started a year’s long battle with hospitalizations, doctors, medicine and special diets that stabilised the situation a bit, but I still found myself getting sick and the need to rush to the ER was always a concern.
The second red flag appeared when I was playing basketball at a local gym in 2005. Going up for a shot, I felt a pop and immediately felt it hard to breathe as I buckled under the basket and painfully found my way home to bed. Living 10 months at a 45 degree angle, I suffered constant pain and irritation as I cycled thru every traditional and holistic treatment available – multiple doctors exams, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, medicine, everything! After a series of x-rays and other diagnostics, the physician said I would most likely be diagnosed with a herniated or slipped disc on MRI and since surgery wouldn’t work in his opinion I should just do my best.
Luckily, during my entire ordeal, a friend had been recommending a book by a doctor named John Sarno MD, “Healing Back Pain”, and thought I should give it a try. After putting off his advice, and having no other option, I FINALLY ordered the book and started reading on my way to a work conference in Hawaii. (My other motivation was wanting to surf again!). Dr. Sarno, encouraging me to get back to a full life, regardless of the pain, got me to surf again in Hawaii, and although my back hurt intensely, I surfed every day and adhered to all his other recommendations.
Then, the first miracle happened. As a total coincidence, and almost unheard of at the time, a physician presenter at the conference, gave a talk about emotions and their link to pain. I approached the doctor with nervous anticipation and asked if she could recommend a book – and she said Dr. Sarno! I nearly passed out. In fact, her friend who was there, a nuclear medicine specialist, healed herself as well. It was meant to be…
Encouraged, and after reading the book a few times, SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED – at about week 3 there was a noticeable decrease in my pain. (I will admit, although everyone’s timeline is different, there were a few times I had a crisis in faith and almost gave up). But ultimately, my back pain improved from a 9 to a 3 on a ten point scale. Then, my same friend, recommended I visit a physician who is trained in the art of Mind-Body therapy to get a definitive diagnosis which further de-conditions one’s mind to fearing something is “physically wrong.” Upon a confirmation of the diagnosis, the physician gave me a journal which guided me daily to address a range of emotional issues. Over time, this took my pain from a 3 to a 1! And perhaps just as importantly, it empowered me to feel I had control of my health and taught me a lot about myself!
Now, there is something I have yet to tell you. Although generally a happy person to the outside, I harboured a certain amount of anger and regret about how I managed my life during that time – both athletically and in respect to my career. And I learned these powerful negative emotions, whether conscious or sub-conscious, were the source of my physical ills. But now having a better perspective, I therefore turned my attention to my Crohn’s. I realised every time I let my anger take over, and push myself to overachieve or be something I was not, I got sick (I call it passing my red line).
So, one singular day in 2008, I looked into my bedroom mirror, and vowed never to pass that red line again and immediately gave up medicine and returned to eating whatever I wanted (just like Sarno saying stop all exercises for your back pain). To this day, I have never gotten sick again and only remember I had “Crohn’s” when telling my story.
A couple of important notes:
- I still take medicine for anxiety and depression; although I think a breakthrough here is possible, just need to be careful.
- There have been multiple times I have crossed that red line since, but it never gets me sick. Like I did with my back pain, I broke the mind-body connection so one no longer negatively affects the other.
Since that time, I’ve dedicated myself to researching and advocating this amazing therapy that will reverse this epidemic of chronic pain and other issues debilitating our countries (there are obviously many great books and resources available – including Georgie’s!). Being a person who has ironically worked in healthcare for 15 yrs, I see firsthand how misguided, wasteful, and broken the system has become regarding the treatment of chronic pain and disease.
So, for anyone reading this testimonial, you are now on your own path to healing. Simply gain the knowledge and follow the “prescriptions” of Dr. Sarno and Georgie and you’ll be amazed. It’s going to revolutionise our understanding of health forever!
Good luck and God Bless!!!