Dr Sarno’s 12 Daily Reminders For Chronic Pain

Post-it note reminders for healing from chronic pain.

What do you think of when you hear Dr Sarno’s 12 daily reminders for chronic pain?

Rules? More rules? Really?

I hear you.

Life is full of countless things we “should” be doing; spend more time with friends and family, eat healthier, exercise more, progress your career, give your kids opportunity.

So do we really need a list of 12 more “things” taking up precious brain space?

This is especially challenging for those of us who struggle to get through the daily grind as it is.

I would counter this way: rules give us freedom and structure. Rules look to something that is beyond us, and more powerful. This is all important as we navigate the chaos of a life disrupted by pain.

Rules help you to recover from chronic pain.

Why did Sarno Develop This?

These rules are the essence of the “Sarno Method” so to speak. They are the culmination of his career spanning several decades as a rehabilitation physician at the New York City Medical Centre.

Sarno treated many patients with chronic back and neck pain, and was frustrated by the poor efficacy of state-of-the-art pain treatment. Instead, he reasoned that maladaptive and unconscious emotions can cause physical pain.

And yes, it really does hurt!

He coined the term “tension myositis syndrome” or TMS. This is a harmless psychosomatic condition in which the brain triggers a temporary and reversible loss of blood flow to a nerve. This results in a burning, tingling, or zapping sensation, i.e. pain!

He developed these reminders to slowly but surely unwind the impact of TMS.

They are for people who have consulted their doctor who has ruled out anything life threatening or acute such as a cancer diagnosis or soft tissue damage, yet still suffer from chronic pain.

Here they are:

Dr Sarno’s 12 Daily Reminders For Chronic Pain

1. The pain is due to tension myositis syndrome (TMS), not a structural abnormality.

2. The direct reason for pain is mild oxygen deprivation.

3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my repressed emotions.

4. The principle emotion is my repressed anger.

5. TMS only exists to distract my attention from the emotions.

6. Since my back [substitute area] are basically normal there is nothing to fear.

7. Therefore physical activity is ok.

8. I must resume physical activity.

9. I will not not concerned or intimidated by the pain.

10. I will shift my attention form pain to emotional issues.

11. I intend to be in control – not my subconscious.

12. I must think psychological at all time, not physical.

– Dr John Sarno
Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection

So What Should I Do With These Rules, You Ask?

Reread them again and again.

Write them down on paper.

Print them out and stick reminders on your fridge.

Dr Sarno’s 12 daily reminder for chronic pain should not be kept to yourself. So speak them out loud. Tell them to your friends and family. Share them with others.

Learn them off by heart. Speak them when you are doing great. Speak them after a bad day. The goal is to trust and believe them – but don’t force it. Some might be able to understand them immediately, others may take more time.

Post-it note reminder to unlearn your pain.

Simple right?

I am a big believer that knowledge is power when it comes to persistent pain. Dr Sarno’s 12 daily reminders for chronic pain were developed from years of clinical practice, research, and experience. For example, 1,000’s of patients have benefited from them.

Now isn’t that something to be excited about?

Bring on tomorrow I say.

Get started on your recovery from chronic pain pain now.

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