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John E Sarno MD

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Dr John E Sarno MD, developer of TMS treatment

"Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologise for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time.  If you are right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, speak the truth." Ghandi

The TMS (Tension Myoneural Syndrome) concept was developed from the early 1970’s by Dr John Sarno, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. Unfortunately due to existing medical beliefs, despite continually demonstrating the highly successful outcomes of his patients, he has faced great resistance. Changing widely accepted beliefs is always going to be challenging though. e.g. something that faced great resistance even after the evidence was found was the fact that washing hands could dramatically reduce mortality rates of new Mothers after delivery and of soldiers with wounds that needed dressing.

In the 1970’s Dr Sarno began asking himself the type of questions I had been asking myself for years, including why conventional approaches for chronic pain were not more successful. While taking patients’ medical histories he found that 88% of his patients already had symptoms that many people recognized to be caused by stress, in other words, emotionally induced. These included conditions such as ulcers, heartburn, IBS and tension headaches. Dr Sarno began to recognize that chronic pain had the same underlying cause and over the years developed his own unique approach to chronic pain, demonstrating exceptional results for conditions that many people believed to be incurable.

The pioneering work of Dr Sarno over the past 4 decades provided the basis for my own work with what, for simplicity’s sake, I now call Stress Illness. The SIRPA Recovery Programme has grown from this work and now includes a large amount of information, advice, tools and other self help exercises that is helping people accept and recover from Stress Illness, TMS or even PPD (Psychophysiologic Disorder) as they now call it in the US.

To read numerous recovery stories of people Dr Sarno helped, go to  The stories were collected by the TMSwiki to produce a retirement gift which was presented to Dr Sarno on his retirement in April 2012.

Your Key to Recovery

 'Chronic Pain: your key to recovery', by Georgie Oldfield MCSP, the first UK-written book about this cutting edge approach.

Find out more about how you could recover from chronic pain and other persistent health problems and the click through to buy from Amazon.

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Professional Endorsements

Member of the Royal Society of Medicine