Wednesday, February 12, 2014



This book is specially meant for those who suffer from pain and who are interested in knowing and understanding the major causes of pain. Contrary to the general conception of pain, the author Steven Ozanich explains what pain really is and that the causes of pain are rarely physical in origin. This is something very startling to the reader who always associates pain with physical causes. Ozanich has written from his personal experience of having gone through unsuccessful conventional treatments for back pain attributed to structural abnormalities of the spine and having seen his wife paralyzed due to an unnecessary invasive procedure. He was indeed very lucky to have been introduced to Dr John E Sarno’s book –“Healing Backpain-The Mind-Body Connection”. It was an eye-opener for him as he became aware of TMS (Tension Myoneural Syndrome) or The Mind-body Syndrome (TMS). His pain ceased once he accepted Dr Sarno’s diagnostic premises.

The author explores the area of mind-body medicine in this extensively and well researched book. There are very exhaustive reviews of mind-body causes and cures of TMS. Having suffered pain enormously for nearly thirty years due to incorrect diagnosis, the revelation to the author of the role of psychological factors in physical health brought about self-discovery and self-healing. Stress is often the only cause for a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Psychology affects physiology.

TMS concepts are applicable to patients of all ages. The author argues that though modern medicine has greatly improved our understanding of diseases and offers many fascinating therapeutic options, it has also created a myth to explain the reasons for so many aches and pains in the human body. Those professing alternative therapies like chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy etc. have done no better. Those people who do not find mainstream medicine as a cure for their problems have turned to these options for a permanent cure. Unfortunately, these branches also though may provide temporary relief, lack a proper understanding of human physiology. On the contrary, TMS offers simple knowledge. It is all about psychosomatic medicine or mind-body medicine.

Pain is seldom the result of structural abnormalities. Pain comes from a reduction in oxygen flow to the muscles and nerves due to unconscious tension as a result of unknown, unfelt and repressed anger. The author was repeatedly advised that to stop his back pain, he needed spinal surgery. Once he started following Dr Sarno’s advice and healing process, his pain started disappearing.

The book can be divided into three parts. The first part is about how the author fought his suffering and his ultimate victory. The second part starts with an excellent chapter on what you need to understand to heal and what is TMSing. It also narrates the actual experiences of some who suffered excruciating pain. The third and last part dwells on acting on the new knowledge gained and healing. Aptly titled as a philosophy on life, in this part, the author explains how one can free oneself from pain, the importance of setting of goals, visualizing and imagining being healed, communicating and laughing. There is a very useful TMS checklist in Appendix B of the book. Putting the knowledge into practice makes all the difference.

The book is highly recommended for those suffering from chronic pain. The system of healing recommended is not available in any other therapeutic technique. The author repeatedly articulates that pain has rarely anything to do with the structure of the body. Most of our health problems are due to hidden tensions within the mind-body due to various demands on our lives. It is a book which shows the path to healing without surgery, injections or drugs. It challenges our current beliefs on pain and formation of diseases. The medical profession only treats the effects and not the causes. The key to good health is understanding the mind-body connection. Once you make that connect, you become energized and revitalized.


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