The Mind-Body connection

In December 2019, after many months of expensive medical treatments and hospital tests to diagnose and treat my chronic back pain I was no better off. My pain was unresolved and unexplained. It was then that I came across a podcast in which the interviewee spoke of her debilitating back pain and how she had been cured by reading a book called ‘Healing Back Pain’ by a Dr. John Sarno. I was intrigued.

It was thanks to Dr. Sarno that I discovered the condition TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) and my journey to healing began. At first I was sceptical, but the more I read about the mind body connection the more it made sense. Here is my story….

My Story

In December 2019, the symptoms of my chronic pain were as follows:

  • Lower back pain every day since August 2019
  • Occasional stomach ache
  • Tingling in feet and toes
  • Sharp pains down right leg
  • Shoulder pain
  • Stiff and painful neck
  • Stiffness between shoulder blades
  • Isolated tingling in little toe of left foot
  • Vertigo/dizziness

Previous symptoms:

  • Hip and neck pain (resulting in diagnosis of arthritis)
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shoulder tendonitis

Childhood symptoms of TMS:

  • Frequent stomach aches and being bent over double in pain (suspected appendicitis)
  • Eczema (mild to severe)
  • Hay fever (steroid injections around the age of 14)
  • Back pain (age 15)
  • Chemical sensitivities (proplyene glycol, butylene glycol)
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ): a condition that causes painful clicking, popping, or locking of the jaw

* Chronic pain is also referred to as: TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome or Tension Myoneural Syndrome), mind-body syndrome, stress-induced illness and psychophysiologic disorder (PPD).

Traditional treatments and diagnoses:

Anti-inflammatory medication, pain killers and ibuprofen gel – none of which worked and none of which I was happy using as I was concerned about the side effects, plus the idea of needing medication just to function.

X-rays and MRIs on my hips, neck, shoulder and back. The findings were: arthritis, tendonitis, inflammation, herniated discs, disc generation, ‘flat back’ syndrome and a curve in my spine to the left.

Osteopaths, chiropractors, podiatrists and physiotherapists on and off for several years, costing me a small fortune and some of my sanity! I came to realise (after some small successes that fizzled away to no relief whatsoever) that these ‘adjustments’ that were apparently so necessary were not really helping me; I began to ask myself the question: will I have to live the rest of my life having weekly adjustments just to be able to function? Just how quickly does my pelvis ‘fall’ out of alignment and how can he/she possibly know when another adjustment is due? Just how long am I walking around ‘wonky’ and misaligned? Am I even misaligned at all?

For example, one podiatrist had told me one leg was 1.5 cm longer than the other and a second podiatrist had told me that my legs were equal in length but that my pelvis was misaligned. Who to believe? Who to trust? How to justify all this expense when nothing seemed to be working?

Funnily enough, once I lost faith in my chiropractor (after two months’ of treatment) any relief I had felt from our previous sessions was gone and I was back to square one. I came to realise that I had been experiencing the placebo effect.

placebo effect noun

  1. a beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.

I no longer believed he could help me, and realised I needed to help myself. Also that I had to trust in myself – I was the only person who knew what my body was capable of and what it wasn’t capable of, and it was capable of a hell of a lot more than some people were trying to tell me! So many so-called medical specialists advised me to stop running, but running was the only time when I felt pain free!

And so began my journey to heal myself through learning about the mind-body connection.

I can help you to heal yourself, without wasting years dealing with expensive medical costs, the stress of figuring out what treatment might be right for you from the modern medical model and the fear of ‘Am I broken?’