Thursday, October 13th, 2011

By Jeff Galloway

Dr. John Sarno is an orthopedist who practiced traditional medicine for years. Then he discovered a condition called Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), with methods of treating it. This dramatically improved his cure rate for those with debilitating pain to over 93%!. I recommend his books The Mindbody Prescription and Healing back Pain because they have helped thousands of people manage or eliminate chronic pain and get on with their lives.

When the subconscious reflex brain senses that stress is too high it triggers a constriction of blood flow to areas of the body that have some damage. In most cases studied the damage was not enough to cause the pain. But the reflex wants to reduce stress and pain forces a slowdown or stoppage of activity, reducing stress. Sarno and others have found that it’s not necessary to eliminate the stress to eliminate the pain–but one has to cognitively recognize this to shift control into the frontal lobe. By using a logical strategy, you can move from one step to the next, gaining control over the subconscious brain, opening up blood flow.

As an exerciser starts a workout, it helps to identify sources of stress and “talk them out” or just vent. As you’re moving down the road. Dr. Sarno says that you don’t have to resolve an issue to mange or cure the pain—you just need to be aware of it, and then take some conscious action to move control away from the reflex brain.

Massage helps. By increasing blood flow and stimulating endorphins, the Human Touch massage chair helps to reduce stress and to stimulate positive attitude. The time on the chair allows one to focus and get into the conscious brain.

Sarno explains how inner stress buildup activates Tension Myositis Syndrome or TMS. The reflex brain receives the continuous information flow through the peptide network, which identifies the areas of the body that have been damaged.
Each of us has certain “weak links” that tend to hurt more often than other areas. When total stress level rises significantly for the individual, the reflex brain reduces blood flow to these areas, dramatically increasing pain. But when patients take conscious control over the reflex brain by deciding to do things like make conscious statements, the blood flow can be restored and there can be a re-programming of the reflex brain.

“I know what you are doing, reflex brain, and I won’t allow it”.
“Open up the flow in my________”
“I’m in control here”
“I’m not going to let the reflex brain control the blood flow”.

Note: Not all aches and pains are due to TMS. Before exercising, when there is pain, get guidance from your doctor to ensure that some running/walking will not make the condition worse. It’s best to be under the care of a doctor who understands TMS and wants you to run if you can.

For more information on the forces behind TMS and how they apply to running, see MENTAL TRAINING available, autographed at

2 comments so far

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  1. Hi I’ve been having lower back pain recently what I did was I bought essential oils at and let massaged my back a little bit and it helped. :D

  2. Wonderful to hear. Essential oils are a great addition to a massage therapy regimen. Thanks for sharing.