The Accidental Author! (Part 2)
For part one of this story please click here,
Finally, an Answer
After months of searching and reading, the answer to my questions came in the mail. Yes, in the mail!
That’s how I learned about the work of John Sarno, MD, a professor of rehabilitative medicine at New York University. He too had been disappointed with the failure of common treatments and had realized the need for a new understanding.
When he looked deep into the medical histories of his patients, Dr. Sarno discovered that 88 percent of his patients had histories of disorders that often have a psychosomatic component, such as migraine headaches, colitis, stomach ulcers, hay fever, asthma, or eczema. These disorders are strongly suspected of being caused by chronic repressed anger, anxiety, worry, or frustration due to stress or tension. Dr. Sarno wondered whether, in the same way that chronic anger, anxiety, worry, or frustration can cause physiological changes leading to these disorders, back pain could also be a physical manifestation of negative emotions.
So he put this new diagnosis to work and began treating his patients accordingly. At first most of his patients felt there was not enough stress or tension in their lives to cause their pain. Many of them believed that they were handling their teenage children, problems at work, and marital problems effectively. They didn’t realize that these difficult situations were creating a great deal of anger, anxiety, worry, or frustration, causing pain in various parts of their bodies.
Dr. Sarno named this diagnosis tension myositis syndrome (TMS). Once he treated back patients for this new diagnosis and not for some structural abnormality, his patients began to recover. In fact, 98 percent of his patients with confirmed cases of herniated discs recovered without surgery—certainly a much better result than the 1 percent success rate experienced with surgery.
What was my reaction to intense negative emotions causing all my pain and severe disability? Not me! Being a calm, positive person who rarely gets angry, I was skeptical about whether Dr. Sarno’s findings applied to me. It is well known that stress and tension can aggravate back pain and many other disorders. But could stress and tension be the actual cause of pain and disability? I figured I had nothing to lose by keeping an open mind and learning more. At the very least, maybe what I learned could help someone else.
As I learned more about Dr. Sarno’s explanation of the pattern of pain and why the pain moves around and becomes chronic, I found convincing answers to all my questions and more. I began to see why so many people between the ages of twenty-five and fifty, facing career and family responsibilities, suffer from chronic pain; why, unlike a broken bone that heals, back pain can become chronic and last for years; why we do not see an epidemic of disabling back and leg pain among Olympic and professional athletes who put tremendous pressure on their spines; and why, because the mind/body connection is so often neglected, the causes of as much as 85 percent of back pain remain unclear. Dr. Sarno’s explanation makes it obvious why surgery and most treatments directed at correcting “spinal abnormalities” fail to help most people.
My Rapid Recovery
With this new understanding, I combined his treatment program with my knowledge of psychology and many years of personal experience with the workings of the mind to design an effective recovery plan, which I later dubbed the Nine-Step Recovery Plan. This plan enabled me to begin my journey to a pain-free and able life immediately. Employing techniques used by Olympic athletes and high achievers, such as visualization and goal setting, I began to create a massive amount of positive emotions, such as joy, excitement, and enthusiasm, and reverse the physiological changes that caused chronic pain.
My improvements could be seen daily and astonished those who knew how disabled I had been. Within the first hours, I was able to sit, stand, bend, and sleep comfortably. The next day I was able to walk without a limp and go shopping at the mall. The climax of my recovery was when, less than two weeks later, I was able to carry both of my children, each weighing more than forty pounds. This I had not been able to do for more than two years due to pain in my arms, back, knees, and legs. It felt wonderful. And in four weeks, I began taking karate lessons.
But there was more. I had suffered from hay fever for seventeen years and had taken antihistamines to control my sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. But with my new understanding that hay fever is one of the many disorders caused by tension, by using the strategies in the Nine-Step Recovery Plan I was able to eliminate it quickly—same was the case with my gastritis and heart murmur. They went away as well.
Then, during a routine eye exam, the ophthalmologist told me that my eyes were fine and I no longer needed the reading glasses I had been wearing for the past fourteen years! I was so surprised that I sought a second opinion. The second ophthalmologist confirmed the diagnosis. I discovered that tension plays a key role here too. In fact, decades ago noted ophthalmologist William Bates recognized the relationship between tension and nearsightedness and other changes in eye refraction. He designed a program for reversing the effects of tension on the eyes, thus eliminating the need for glasses.
Needless to say, at times I was amazed and overwhelmed by these improvements in my health in such a short time. I was also so excited about my discovery that I began sharing it with everyone I knew—and they too recovered rapidly!
Becoming An Author
In order to reach more people, I taught seminars and workshops and explained my proven system in my book Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain: A Proven Nine-Step Recovery Plan. By the grace of God, I have received emails from readers around the world who have recovered rapidly by reading my story and applying my plan. To read their stories, please visit http://www.fredamir.com/testimonials.
So what were the causes of anger and tension in my life, which were the real causes of my pain? They had to do with my marriage and my parents. They were nothing out of the ordinary. We all experience problems and tensions in our relationships with our parents, spouses, children, friends, and co-workers; what is important is to realize the limitations in our capacity to please others and to know how to cope with chronic stress.
As calm and in control as we might feel on a conscious level, there is a part of us all deep within, the subconscious, that might resent certain aspects of a relationship or situation, be it at home or at work. Unless those troubling issues are resolved through mutual respect and good communication, or through positive changes in our circumstances, physical manifestations of the repressed anger, anxiety, and tension can show up in the form of bodily aches and pains.
After my recovery I searched for better ways to deal with stress and tension so that I stay healthy and pain-free. Thus, in last chapter of Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain I share the results of my search. It includes nine proven steps for establishing good communication and resolving conflicts, eleven effective strategies for coping with stress and tension, four simple steps for immediately improving a marriage, and a three-step plan for raising well-disciplined, goal-oriented children with high self-esteem. These strategies have resolved the issues that were chronic sources of anger, anxiety, frustration, and tension in my life, and have made me much happier and healthier. I believe they can do the same for you.
So that’s how I became an author!