Tension myoneural syndrome is a newer name for Dr. Sarno’s famous condition, formerly diagnosed as tension myositis syndrome. The change in nomenclature makes tremendous sense, since so many patients are obviously affected by neuropathy conditions in addition to, or instead of, back muscle pain.
Acceptance of this diagnosis continues to grow worldwide as more and more patients use knowledge therapy to cure their chronic back pain and a host of other problematic health issues throughout the anatomy.
TMS was a huge step forward for a medical industry which was burdened by a vast prejudice towards purely Cartesian diagnostic principles. The theory of purely structurally-motivated pain is incredibly unenlightened and incorrect. This has been proven conclusively by widespread scientific research and even finds support from the horrific treatment results offered by the traditional paths of care used to battle these same structural diagnoses.
Recently, many international medical organizations released changes to accepted diagnostic protocols calling for doctors to stop diagnosing back pain based exclusively on structural abnormalities located on spinal imaging studies. While this is great news, it is no surprise. Doctors treating TMS in all its forms have been saying this for decades already. Finally, someone seemed to pay attention.
Tension refers to an underlying psychoemotional process enacting symptoms. Sure this is a physical tension, but its root causation resides in the mind, not the anatomy. Myoneural refers to the fact that most pain is experienced in the back muscles or nerves, not in the spinal structures, such as intervertebral discs or vertebrae, as is often misdiagnosed by medical care providers.
Dr. John Sarno has continually revised and expanded his TMS diagnosis to include an ever growing number of potentially psychosomatic conditions, ranging from back pain to headaches to depression and beyond.
Although myoneural represents a better name than myositis, both are grossly incomplete. Sarno himself admits that TMS can affect virtually any bodily process or system. Therefore, a specific name for this type of pain will really never do it justice. It is for this reason that I prefer to use an all-encompassing nomenclature, such as mindbody syndromes, psychosomatic symptoms or psychogenic conditions. Too bad Dr. Sarno is already so deeply invested in this name to ever consider changing it.
Dr. Sarno has taken a unique approach to treating TMS. He has purposefully avoided using any physical means or modalities in favor of a completely knowledge-based treatment. He insists that giving the misdiagnosed conditions any credibility by caring for them with the traditional means used to treat structural pain syndromes will only intensify and prolong the symptoms.
Instead, Dr. Sarno teaches patients to learn the facts about back pain and realize that many inconsistencies are involved in most diagnostic theories. Simultaneously, patients are put into a program of intensive self-analysis, journaling and emotional exploration to discover the true reasons why they have pain and why their symptoms do not respond to usual medical care.
This is the most controversial part of Dr. Sarno’s program, since so many doctors and patients alike simply can not wrap their minds around the idea of stopping all physical treatments for pain. However, I really do not understand this reluctance on the basis of ideology alone. After all, medical care for back pain is incredibly risky, be it the hazards of spinal surgery or the health consequences of pharmaceutical treatment.
Now if you consider the economics of medicine, then it all makes perfect cent$, oops, I mean sense. Dr. Sarno’s knowledge-based program has absolutely no risks. It does not have any side effects. It does not prevent any patients from pursuing any other type of care in the future.
What other treatment method can claim this? Ever?
Dr. Sarno’s program is so successful because it is logical and based on proven results rather than medical myth. Sarno is not afraid to revise his theories as new evidence is presented, unlike most traditional doctors who cling to antiquated and unenlightened medical fiction disproven decades ago in many cases. When it comes to results, Sarno has them all beat, hands down.
While the average back pain patient suffers despite escalating care and often eventual surgery, the average Sarno patient recovers from back pain completely, without any risky procedures, drugs or treatments. Best of all is that the knowledge therapy treatment is free for those with access to a library.
Of course, Dr. Sarno himself is not free, but there is almost never a need to be treated by an actual TMS doctor in order to recover. You can do the work on your own and find successful resolution to the most stubborn and chronic conditions in a short time frame.
I must point out that Dr. Sarno’s teachings on tension myoneural syndrome cured me of truly debilitating pain. I loved the years I enjoyed without the ravages of daily suffering and will always thank him for his contribution to this small piece of heaven.