Found in 12 comments on Hacker News
dottjt · 2023-11-10 · Original thread
I don't remember it was such a long time ago, but I think it might have been this book

Interestingly, I got the idea from a coder on his blog detailing how he literally tried everything for his RSI, and wasn't until he tried this approach that it all went away.

Some people (like myself) must fail every single way before finding the solution (because we're stubborn) but this also keenly describes the idea of "the solution is the problem". It's not until we give up, do we actually find what we're looking for.

I think this is what RSI represents for a lot of people. It's such a shitty experience that they literally pour all their effort to try and resolve it, not realising that it's actually making it worse and only until they let go, will it be resolved.

Scaevolus · 2023-02-18 · Original thread
Have you tried a book on the mind body connection of pain? It helps some people with RSI:
aas1957 · 2022-08-03 · Original thread
Highly recommend this reading as quite often particularly back pain is a mind body issue with some form of stress such as financial or relationship.
kevtastrophe · 2019-09-13 · Original thread
I haven’t had it quite as bad as you, but I’ve struggled for sure. Someone on HN recommended a book called Healing Back Pain[0] - I found it really helpful. Might be worth picking up a copy.


tugberkk · 2019-05-04 · Original thread
I would like to recommend something different: Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection

This book shows that almost 90% of back pain is psychosomatic.

Here is Amazon link, feel free to read customer reviews:

piecu · 2018-12-27 · Original thread
Someone wrote it in a similar thread, I benefited from it so I want to write it again, for future readers.

I heard about someone (and then more people replied) that read "Healing Back Pain" book by John Sarno [1] and finally got rid of back pain. However strange it sounds, it seems to work. I didn't finish it yet but I already see the benefits.


I was fortunate enough to have started directly with an emotion-based treatment and the changes from last year to now have been huge. Very incremental and I have no idea when they happened, but I feel so much better now.

> I'm now comfortable suggesting that this approach is overlooked by mainstream medicine to the great detriment of many people suffering chronic illness

If people are interested in this, checkout

ambivalents · 2018-05-23 · Original thread
I had a severe L4/L5 herniated disc. After several months of agonizing pain I was just about ready to get on the surgery schedule with an orthopedic surgeon (Microdiscectomy). I had tried everything -- PT, prescription pain meds, acupuncture, supplements, bed rest.

The same day I saw the surgeon to schedule my surgery, I figured what the heck, I'll try anything before I get my back cut open. I went to a great, well-reviewed chiropractor, who gave me a thorough assessment and promised improvements in the next 2 months, such that I would not need surgery. I was very skeptical, but went along with it. Her adjustments and analysis did end up helping me a lot, and alleviated a lot of the pain coming from the sciatic nerve. But more than anything this bought me some time.

During this time, I read Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno [0]. Many people recommended his work to me, but again, I was skeptical. I had an MRI scan showing very real structural damage to my spine and I truly didn't believe that thinking my way out of the pain would help. I read the book anyway, and I swear, the pain began dissipating. I began to adopt a new mindset -- my back is fine, the pain is arising out of my stress and awareness of the injury, not the injury itself-- and it truly worked. It's been over a year now since reading the book, and I feel leaps and bounds better. I'm back to doing the things I love (cycling, lifting weights, running), and I'm about 90% pain free. I still have some off days and I listen closely to my body when they happen. I stretch a lot, don't sit for hours at a time, and do basic mobility work every day -- these are things I want to be doing anyway, but my disc issue is even more impetus to do them.

If you're seriously considering surgery, do yourself a favor and read this book first. If you're anything like me, you'll be wildly surprised and completely grateful you did.


eric_b · 2017-09-16 · Original thread
This article doesn't have one mention of TMS or the work that John Sarno did? That is borderline irresponsible.

Read "Healing Back Pain: The Mind Body Connection" by Jon Sarno.[1]

I lived with chronic knee pain for over 8 years, and would routinely have "carpal tunnel like symptoms" with my wrists.

Literally within a week of reading that book my knee pain was gone, and my wrists have not had any issues since. My personality type is exactly that described in the book, so it might not work for everyone. But boy howdy it worked for me.


Edit: As it relates to the article - Dr. Sarno attributes most of the pain to your brain and unconscious emotional rage. It sounds kind of quackish, but he lays out excellent explanations of how your brain works against you to cause this chronic pain. I was a skeptical as well (I won't give away spoilers but the treatment plan is HILARIOUSLY simple) but it has really worked for me.

transreal · 2017-07-04 · Original thread
Anyone suffering from back pain who really wants to recover should read Dr. John Sarno's work. Here's a link to his book:

I was skeptical at first, but just reading his book and thinking through what he presented healed my lower back pain.

fucsia · 2016-02-10 · Original thread
Did you read any of Dr. Sarno's other two books? I'm wondering how they compare.

Besides challenging the mind over matter, this work also challenges the idea of what to believe and pursue when scientific evidence is relatively lacking.

bithive123 · 2013-08-08 · Original thread
I read his book ( expecting to have a similar reaction. While he doesn't make the strongest scientific case, you are not doing his proposition justice. It's more about people who injure themselves maintaining unconscious tension in areas which leads to stiffness and pain well after the physiological healing has finished, because they fear re-injury.

I found some of his advice helpful insofar as it suggests that mindfulness meditation can help ease tension-induced back pain (which I have found to be true for me) and that there is a mental component in overcoming the fear of re-injury and allowing yourself to resume your full range of motion without subconsciously tensing up.

As someone who struggles with anxiety from time to time, I can even believe his statement that he's referred some patients to therapy before attempting to treat their back pain.

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