• Luli Faber

Understanding Pain and Pain Treatments - The Mind Body Connection


This is an excellent video by a doctor called Howard Schubiner, who treats patients with pain from an emotional stance. Dr Schubiner was a student of Dr John Sarno, a medical practitioner in the States who has treated thousands of patients and cured them of chronic pain, by educating them about the emotional underpinnings to their pain.

Dr Schubiner has continued that work (as you can see on his website here: www.unlearnyourpain.com), and in this video he describes the scientific, medical and emotional background to pain, and the approach that he takes with his patients at his clinic, where he has excellent results treating patients with chronic pain, by educating them about the psychological basis of it.

Dr Sarno, Dr Schubiner and others have termed the psychological underpinnings of chronic pain and other related physical problems, such as irritable bowel syndome, fatigue, anxiety, depression and fibromyalgia as "tension myositis syndrome", or "mind body syndrome".

Dr Schubiner has also written books called "Unlearn Your Pain" and "Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression", in which he has developed a program to help patients through the process of coming to accept that their pain has an emotional cause, coming to recognise and experience their emotions through emotional awareness techniques, emotionally expressive writing, and re-engagement in previously avoided activity (which patients have often been recommended to avoid, to prevent structural damage).

The following video by Dr Schubiner outlines the pathways that underlie the emotional generation of pain:

Scientific publications

In addition Dr Schubiner and colleagues, such as Dr Mark Lumley, have recently published a number scientific articles reporting the improvement in patients in both chronic pain and depression following education about the emotional causes to pain, and the above practices. An example publication is the one below.

In the above article, Dr Schubiner and colleagues describe how;

"In this non-randomized, uncontrolled case series, we found that a relatively brief intervention that focuses on attributing pain to psychological processes, emotional awareness and expression, and engaging in desired activities despite pain leads not only to statistically but also clinically significant improvements in pain intensity, interference, depression, and distress, which last for at least 6 months. These improvements are considered “very large” by conventional standards.

Perhaps more persuasively, approximately two-thirds of the patients reached the standard clinical improvement criterion of 30% reduction in pain and other symptoms, and fully one-third or more of the patients reached the very stringent criterion of 70% improvement. Half of the patients had pain at or below 2.0 on a 0 to 10 scale after 6 months, and some (6.9%) were fully pain-free. After just five sessions—one individual consultation and four group sessions—these durable improvements appear to surpass substantially those obtained by standard CBT or acceptance and mindfulness-based psychological interventions for chronic musculoskeletal pain."

The pdf of this paper can be downloaded here.

Wiki site on tension myositis syndrome

More information on this topic can be found on this wiki site: www.tmswiki.org/ppd/An_Introduction_to_Tension_Myositis_Syndrome_(TMS),

On this site there is a program designed to cure symptoms associated with TMS: www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program

#TMS #chronicpain #backpain #neckpain #placebo #emotions #anxiety #depression #irritablebowelsyndrome #fibromyalgia