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Excerpted from The Mindbody Prescription by John Sarno, M.D. Copyright © 1998 by John Sarno, M.D. Excerpted by permission of Time Warner, Inc. and Time Warner Bookmark.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"If most of these are psychogenic—that is, they originate in the mind (and it is my goal to demonstrate that they are)—we have a public health problem of staggering proportions."

Dr. John Sarno, 
The Mindbody Prescription,
Part 1

Pain, disability, misinformation, fear — that quartet has plagued the Western world for decades and the plague shows no sign of abating. Back, neck and limb pain are rampant, and statistics indicate that the epidemic is spreading. Disability in American industry from low back pain continues to increase year by year.

Industries that employ large numbers of people working at computers are experiencing great disability and health insurance problems because of a new pain disorder known as repetitive stress injury (RSI). Millions of Americans, mostly women, suffer from a painful malady of unknown cause called fibromyalgia. While gigantic medical industries have arisen to diagnose and treat these conditions, the plague continues.

This book is about that epidemic. It describes both a clinical experience that has identified the cause of the pain disorders and a method of treating them. Sadly, mainstream medicine rejects the diagnosis because it is based on the theory that the physical symptoms are initiated by emotional phenomena. Intelligent laymen in large numbers have embraced the concept, however, no doubt because they are not burdened by the bias imposed by a traditional medical education.

As if the pain epidemic were not of sufficient magnitude, a large group of physical disorders have been identified as equivalents of the pain syndrome, since they appear to stem from the same psychological process. These maladies have occurred commonly for years and, taken together with the widespread pain maladies, are universal in Western society. I refer to many of the headaches, gastrointestinal symptoms and allergies, as well as respiratory, dermatologic, genitourinary and gynecologic conditions that are the stuff of everyday life.

If most of these are psychogenic—that is, they originate in the mind (and it is my goal to demonstrate that they are)—we have a public health problem of staggering proportions. The medical, humanitarian and economic implications are obvious and will be enumerated.

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