Mind-Body Medicine | David Schechter, MD
Sarno’s diagnosis of TMS (tension myositis or myoneural syndrome) has led me to develop a clinical program, written materials, a workbook, a web site, an audio program, an online course, and help develop, a non-profit Research Foundation (inactive) under whose auspices I did research for several years about this approach. Regardless of your problem, I believe that having a doctor who understands the mind-body link is a big plus.
(updated Nov. 2021) At its essence, mind-body medicine is the understanding that our experiences, our traumas, our joys, and our sorrows affect the body. You could call this brain-body medicine as well. You could describe it as psycho-physiologic medicine. If we are stressed, it usually goes somewhere. This can be a headache, anxiety, back pain, an expected cold, jaw pain, depression, pelvic pain. The split between mind and body is artificial and false. Mind-Body medicine brings these body parts back together into the unified whole that is more consistent with science and with our actual experience of living.
The good news: we can learn to manage stress better. We can understand how emotions affect us and we can get better. Journaling is a tool I use (see The MindBody Workbook below). Another tool is meditation. Another one is psychotherapy. Another one is learning/education– for example, my books and those of my colleagues and mentor.
Reading, studying, online videos, online courses, podcasts are all important . Starting with a diagnosis from a doctor who knows how to exclude medically serious issues– structural, biochemical issues, for example– and guide you on the healing path is crucial. I can help you benefit from the mind-body connection as well as understand how it can or may have made you unwell. Chronic pain is a major focus of this work, but other symptoms and issues are also caused by stress.