Back pain, TMJ and fibromyalgia in a 75-year-old woman

I have had chronic health problems for over 30 years. I have had a history of Crohn's disease, back pain, TMJ and fibromyalgia. I have seen many doctors and tried numerous disciplines. I tried every treatment, every doctor recommended - physical therapy, traction, spinal adjustments, muscle relaxants, pain medications, steroids, TENS treatments, myotherapy, acupressure, acupuncture, hypnosis, novocaine injections, and prolotherapy.

My pain was especially bad at night causing poor sleep. Even sitting around in the evening watching TV or reading was painful. I feared any illness requiring bed-rest, because I couldn't lie on my back for any length of time.

I then read Dr. John Sarno's book, "Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection". It became clear to me that my physical pain was a result of emotional issues. It was a relief to me to learn that I could have pain and not have anything physically wrong with me. I read his book repeatedly and practiced his "daily reminders" for several months, but the pain persisted.

I was very excited when I heard about your Mindbody workshops, because I knew I was on the right track and need more guidance. Your TMS workshop provided the additional help I needed to get well. It enabled me to face my emotions, and that has made all the difference.

I am in much less pain and feeling better than I have in years. I feel much better, perhaps 75%. Some evenings, I am even pain free. It took me a long time to develop the pains I had and I feel it will take time to completely erase them.

I am able to begin a walking program. Not strenuous yet, but I was unable to do much more than wander once around a mall, and even then with pain. Now I feel I can walk more vigorously, several times around a mall and I'm confident I can build on this fairly quickly.

In the evening, I am in much less pain as I unwind from my day, reading or watching TV. My sleep has improved, not as broken up because the pain made me change positions all night long. I now sleep straight through for about 7 hours and doze off and on for the last hour. I used to toss and turn every half hour or so. I would say my sleep is 90% improved.

Overall I feel more energetic. I feel I can play with my grandchildren, work around the house, enjoy my life and retirement more fully; the way I thought I would enjoy my golden years. I still have trouble laying on my back, so I plan to continue with your CD reflections and writing exercises to keep the pain under control. It took many years to develop my health problems, so I know it will take time to alleviate them totally. I know this is a work in progress.

I wish to thank you for your help in my recovery. Your workshops have given me new hope for the future, and a pathway to move forward pain free for the rest of my life. Thank you again for all your help. I feel like a new woman. Thank you so very much!

Connie M.

*The personal stories are from actual course participants and are used with permission. The names and photos have been changed to protect confidentiality.