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--- Rachel wrote:
> hi X,
> Do you have any advice for me personally, trying Dr. Sarno's approach?
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 21:02:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: RSI cure
i'm really glad you wrote to me. the most important question next
is: 'have you read the book?' i'll assume you have.
the thing is, it's actually a very personal matter, how you
choose to respond to Sarno's ideas. most people balk at
the book at first, citing their myriad reasons for having
a physical ailment (oh, i type a LOT; oh, i lift weights;
i write all day at my job).
in my experience, this is often what really happens to many
"RSI" victims (as Sarno says):
they undergo some kind of emotional trauma, something so
painful (anything from stress from work to breaking up with a
boyfriend to physical abuse) that the mind creates a
physical manifestation to *distract* the person from the emotional
pain (which would be too much to bear if not *repressed*).
often the emotional source becomes occluded by the victim's concern for
remedying the physical.
so, my advice to you is to stop and think about your past, your recent
past and especially your long long long ago not-so-recent past. friends
of mine have even gone to psychologists to do this. the word
i use is 'excavation.' that's really what you have to do. think
about all the sources of pain and anger that have built up throughout
your life, and think of your taut tendons as their latent manifestation.
once i realized that i had not resolved a lot of emotional strife from
my past (things like failed friendships, spite toward harvard,
a lost girlfriend), i sought out the sources of that anger and hurt,
and i resolved them somehow (i wrote a letter to the girlfriend, i
accepted the faults i saw in harvard, i reconciled the failed friendship).
as i did this, i felt myself out-witting my own brain's evolutionary
mechanism (designed to shift mental strife to the physical). it
was like untying a knot. once i had out-smarted 'RSI,' the pain
no longer had a purpose (shrouding the strife), and it disappeared
almost instantly. i literally felt my tendons filling up with blood
you might think all of this is nonsense, and it might be to people
with REAL physical injuries (torn tendons from tennis or something,
or eroded bone from carpal tunnel). the pain from RSI is REAL pain,
but its source is NOT physical. i believe this 100%. and i think
i'm living proof.
i hope this helps you; feel free to pass this onto
anyone else who might benefit from it.
good luck and feel free to contact me at anytime. i live in
cambridge, so if you ever want to meet or ask me more questions,
just send an email or call XXX-XXXX.
all the best,
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 21:05:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: success story
Yup, that's the book. And I swear Rachel, it totally works. And there's
so much proof that it does. You just have to remember two things in
addition to being committed to his program -
1) RSI doesn't make sense. First of all, people in some states and
countries have never heard of it - and thus have never gotten it. It's a
mind thing, something that got lodged in our unconscious and keeps getting
2) Ignore the pain. Go back to being normal. Do eveyrthing normally. If
it hurts, laugh it off and do the thing harder. Go play tennis, go type
for an hour.
It will only go away if you believe in the program. If you do it
halfheartedly, it doesn't work. You can't frustrate the brain's strategy
if you focus on it - even a little bit.
It took me three weeks to get semi-better, and 10 weeks to get
permanently better. No pain, nothing. I'm 100%. And last semester, I had
to use voice activated software - I couldn't even write.
I'd be happy to meet up with you. I promise it works. Read the book over
and over - Sarno has it totally right.
(And come on - I'm sure you've done so many crazy things with your elbows
over your lifetime. Typing barely stresses anything. It doesn't make
sense. That's the key. It doesn't make any sense at all.)
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 23:47:29 -0400 (EDT)
just checking on you. how things going?
remember, the pain is nothing. it shouldn't bother you, it shouldn't
concern you. just laugh at it and go about your business. make your life
complicated. worry about what you're going to eat for dinner, etc. etc.
it'll get gradually better, promise...
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 09:32:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: hallo
part of my mistake was that i thought reading the book over and over was
part of the cure. you know, like "if i don't read 30 pages today, i won't
don't get stuck into that either. the whole point of reading the book
over and over is to find the little hints of meaning that you didn't get
before. little things that help you along your way.
if you buy the non-structural diagnosis, then you have to buy the
treatment, there's no other way.
and you totally are on your way. once you figured out that the pain
doesn't get any worse, that's all you need. now as you go about your
business and slowly forget about it - it takes time, really, just don't
force it and go about your life... it'll all start to fade.
think of it as a long-term project. you already got your life back. you
can do WHATEVER you want. ANYTHING. the only thing left to do is to get
rid of the discomfort. and that can take as long as it needs to. don't
stress about it.
let's do lunch again sometime next week. i'm glad to hear that you're
[[[[[NOTE the following one was because i complained of foot pain]
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 19:46:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: help
silly rachel. i've gotta go to south station tonight to pick up a friend,
so tonight would probably be bad. but give me a call tomorrow night
sometime and i'll be glad to talk to you.
just remember that the pain shouldn't be an issue. if you're hurting,
you're hurting. just fuggedaboutit. i'm sure it's not any worse really
than it has been before. it'll take time for the pain to disappear, so
don't even make that a goal.
just tell yourself over and over that regardless of what the pain's like,
you'll do whatever you want.
talk to you tomorrow,
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 20:06:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: your mail
oh - those are a little harder. i had allergies. you just ignore them.
you'll have them for a while. just laugh and bear with it. you can't be
like "oh, go away." you just have to laugh at it, really just say "this is
dumb" and hang on to a tissue pack at all times. just DON'T let it
distract you. the foot thing is funny - don't worry about it at all. i'm
so glad you're on your way back....