The vindication of John Sarno

A while back, I spent a lot of time on this blog discussing the theories of Dr. John Sarno. Sarno argues that a lot of pain, specifically back pain, is psychologically induced. This argument is obviously contentious and goes against the conventional wisdom of back doctors. Being a fan of Sarno’s ideas, I was intrigued […]

Damasio, Jaynes and Sarno

In past writings I’ve mentioned my excitement when I first read Antonio Damasio’s neuroscience tome “Decarte’s Error.” In that book Damasio laid out his observations that emotions are really physical sensations, particularly sensations of our internal body: guts, lungs, circulation etc. If you take away the physical sensation of an emotion you take away that […]

Letting the Id speak

Lately I’ve been doing a kind of journaling based on the ideas of the recently deceased Dr. John Sarno (whom I have discussed in the past.) The basic concept is that, while writing, you are letting your subconscious speak, letting it vent and rage and cry. You are releasing the steam valve on all these […]

Fear of success?

Many years ago, when I was in Seattle, I took a class at the community college on public speaking. In this class there was an older guy, kind of white trashy, who seemed almost functionally retarded. He would constantly interrupt the teacher with totally asinine comments which she responded to with either mild amusement or […]

The placebo effect

Keen eyed readers are doubtless aware that I’ve written quite a bit on the topic of mind-body medicine over the past year, and that I’ve also been been interested to see some discussion of this topic drift into the mainstream media. The current New Yorker has an interesting article on the placebo effect e.g. the […]

Wall Street Journal on mind-body medicine

I’ve talked extensively about — and probably bored many people in the process — of my readings on the topic of the mind-body connections to pain. Of particular interest is been the work of Dr. John Sarno. His books, and others in the same vein, indicate that tens of thousands of people (at least) have […]

Doctors are scum, continued

There’s an interesting article in a recent issue of the New York Times exploring whether MRIs tend to encourage incorrect analysis of pain symptoms. This doesn’t surprise me; there’s actually quite a bit of research on this topic. Books by the often mentioned Dr. John Sarno referenced the fact that people without back pain who […]

On getting old and worthless

For the most part, we tend to think our happiness is tied in with our individual well-being. For instance, I get a new job, or I get a new hot girlfriend, and I get happy. On the flipside, if I discover I’ve got cancer, or my leg gets bitten off by an alligator, I’m unhappy. […]

Western neurotics and the four-hour erection

A while back, I mentioned some historian who was theorizing that as little as 3000 years ago, humans had no consciousness. This is obviously a pretty controversial assertion, made more difficult by the fact that very few people can really agree on what consciousness is. But it did get me thinking about the idea that […]