Books on TMS

There is a very comprehensive section reviewing all the TMS books and DVDs currently available on the TMSwiki here

Dr Sarno has written some of the most well known and popular books on TMS and the mindbody syndrome:

Healing Back Pain

The Divided Mind

The Mindbody Prescription

There are also now a large number of other fantastic books on the topic of mindbody healing:

To Be or Not To Be Pain Free by Dr Marc Sopher

Unlearn Your Pain by Dr Howard Schubiner

The Great Pain Deception by Stevan Ozanich

Chronic Pain Your Key to Recovery by Georgie Oldfield

Following the Amazon links you will find hundreds of positive reviews about how these techniques changed people’s lives.  Below are a very small selection from some of the Dr Sarno books (this page was originally written in 2010 so these are a little dated, but there are many many more recent ones now online!):

My experience as a physician, January 1, 2010.  Harold Goodman.  5 stars

I have worked as an osteopathic physician for 17 years. In that time I have seen many thousands of patients. Previous to this I did three years of postgraduate training as a resident at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington, DC. My specialty, like John Sarno, was Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Over 90% of the people who come to me are referred by friends and relatives or others they know. I believe that my results compare favorably with those of many others in my field but like all physicians I know that many people are simply not helped by what I was trained to do in school and my residency. Early on it dawned on me that the psychological dimension of the problems were being ignored.

[snip for copyright, you can read the full review on the website]

I have no reservation to recommend his program ( reading the book or watching his lecture and doing the homework which is outlined in this book and in the little booklet which accompanies the DVD) to anyone who has had the potentially serious causes of pain ( cancer, infections, etc.) ruled out by a competent medical practitioner.

There is an excellent chance that you will be helped greatly by what he teaches.

AMAZING BOOK! AMAZING RECOVERY!!!, December 4, 2009.  Heidi Martin.  5 stars

I was in severe, unexplainable pain a few years ago. When I saw a Physiatrist, he told me to read this book.

After applying the concepts in this book I was practically pain free in less than two days. How we think and how we breath is so important. I recommend this book to ANYONE.

The TMS concept has legs… it has at least shown me the way!, November 20, 2009.  Jdan.  4 stars

Im 28. In the last 18months I have experienced trigemminal nerve based headaches, unexplained right foot pain, tendonitis on in both knees and elbows, unexplained groin pain and GERD. Why so many unrelated ailments in such a short period of time? The TMS hypothesis seems to fit so well. Furthermore I have experienced significant improvements on all/most of the problems just by reading and re-reading the book (I think it probably helps to obtain a followup book on concrete tactics for conditioning your subconcious though – which i have done).

This book gets 4 stars as it is light on the concrete steps it might might take to beat your pain – however it IS fundamentally important you read this book as a starting point. After which explore other books regarding TMS recovery- if only because multiple views on the same subject will enable you to obtain a deeper understanding with the concept and the more convinced you are the easier you will find recovery.

I am not 100% cured (maybe 80% in 4 weeks), but I feel I have come so far so quickly that it is probably just a matter of weeks or a few months.

Worked when surgery did not!, October 28, 2009 .  Tess.  5 stars

I had been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Was in horrible pain and finally had the carpal tunnel release surgery, which worked somewhat for a couple of months. Then it all started coming back. I was sure I was going to have to quit my job. Was searching on Amazon for another wrist brace when I read some reviews for this book and in desparation decided to try it. What did I have to lose? I was amazed. This is like a miracle. I can work on my computer all day at work and can easily manage any symptoms that crop up from time to time. I ordered several more copies for family and friends. This should be required reading in medical school!

Opening our powerful minds, October 19, 2009.  LV.  4 stars

The best thing about this book is Dr. Sarno’s evident compassion for his patients and people in chronic pain. It is also clear how brave he has been in sticking to an approach that deals with a fluid interpretation of things, the psychological influences on the genesis of disease.

Chronic pain sufferers already have a good amount of guilt to deal with, by having many times to depend on others. Dr Sarno makes it very clear that the somatization of strong emotions is not a voluntary action, but an automatic reaction of the brain. Ahh, good to know. Life keeps teaching us on and on to not judge people, and judging sick people is especially cruel.

[snip for copyright, you can read the full review on the website]

Was this book worth reading? Yes, absolutely. Would I consider it the ultimate book on the matter? No. now I am looking for others with a similar view but more recent data. But that is me; I like to dive deep. If you have chronic pain, buy it, it might help. It might be exactly what you need. If I lived in the States, I would make an appointment with him and discuss my questions in person.

If you have someone who should have supported you and has instead undermined your pain, buy another and send it with a tissue, so they can wipe their faces after the truth has been rubbed on it…he he he. Gee, I am angry- now, was this the cause of the disease or consequence of how people reacted? More mysteries of the mindbody connection. Good luck.

Excellent!, September 13, 2009. Joe. 5 stars

My wife had back problems (severe enough to have to go to the ER @ the local hospital) and couldn’t get relief. Well, Dr. Sarno’s book did the trick! She has highlighted the parts to go back to whenever a twinge or downright pain occurs. Works every time!

Outstanding, September 12, 2009 Run4fun..5 stars

This book is full of pertinant information for anyone interested in learning more about the mind body connection. I personally used the information to overcome carpal tunnel syndrome. I highly recommend it to all who will read it with a mind open to learn…..

Great book, BUT DON’T BUY THE DVD OR VHS, July 29, 2009.  Copygal.  5 stars

This is an excellent book which helped me immensely with my various TMS related issues.

Yeah, Right, Like This’ll Work!, May 21, 2009 .  Sky.  5 stars

If you’re like me, you’ve heard about Dr. Sarno’s book and his philosophy on healing certain pains and disorders and you said to yourself with much sarcasm, “Yeah, right, like this’ll work!” Well, I’m here to say, yeah, indeed right…this works!

In these tough times I’ve been under a bit more pressure at work, and pressure at work means often that the stress comes home with me. A huge mistake that of course only adds to the tension I am so trying to eliminate. So my philosophy was try not to think about the stress, and things will be fine.

Then suddenly a few months ago I started developing a pain in my upper back and lower neck. I’m thinking, geez, I must have pulled something or I’m just getting old. The pain persists and gets worse. Some days I strain to even move my head. I’m thinking that I better go see a doctor, but I know the outcome of that: MRIs, catscans, maybe physical therapy, maybe pills, even surgery???…All expensive and undesirable alternatives.

So for years I’ve had a friend that has sworn by Dr. Sorno’s book and the philosophy of self healing through thought. So for under 20 bucks for the book I figured what have I got to lose? On the contrary: I had everything to gain.

After applying the principles that Dr. Sorno discusses in The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain, I live a different life.

[snip for copyright, you can read the full review on the website]

Bottom line: Within a very short period of finishing Dr. Sorno’s book…I believe my life is better…on several levels. And I thought that the only people that say that kind of thing are, well, cuckoo. Okay…I may be cuckoo, but I feel great! Buy this book. Its principles apply to a lot more than just back pain. I was just lucky enough to have back pain in order to be led to this book.

From Mike Warren, May 9, 2009. 5 stars

This book has brought me more relief from my back pain than the surgery I had a couple of years ago.Physical therapy and rehab were a waste of time.I got no relief what-so-ever.I felt hopeless.My Dr. suggested this book to me and we discuss it on a regular basis.It’s working.I will not claim it a cure all but the tools I’ve learned from the book have been very useful to me.Thank you Dr. Sarno for writting this book.

Scroll through any of the reviews on any of his books and you’ll see this is pretty representative of the comments.  Now, I wouldn’t say that reading one of Dr Sarno’s books is essential for recovery from TMS – all the information you need is available free of charge online (here and on the TMS wiki for starters).  But equally, I bought both the Divided Mind and The Mindbody Prescription and found them really useful.

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