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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The end of insomnia

About five years ago I descended into major insomnia.

I would go to bed and have a panic attack within seconds of drifting off.

This led to intense sleep deprivation which, in turn, led to total hell.

I lost my medical practice. I lost my life.

I feared at times that I would never find my way out of what was a continually downward spiraling hell.

In an effort to get out of all of this I sought help from many quarters.

Going all over the map I sought out practitioners whom I believed could help me.

They were good people and I did get help from them in many ways but the sleeplessness persisted.

I went on medications which helped me to deal with the anxiety and other symptoms.

Because of my philosophy regarding healing and life I really resented having to take these medications but I couldn't find any other way to sleep.

And without sleep I knew I wouldn't last much longer.

Most of the nights, by my own calculations, I slept about 3-4 hours with frequent stretches of just lying awake in bed.

I would never have believed that anyone could live on 3 hours a night of sleep.

I am living proof that it is possible. I lived this way for years.

However, it was not a life worth living.

A colleague whom I really like and trust told me that I would be on these addictive medications for the rest of my life. I was very angry when she told me that. I don't want to live on addictive medications forever.

In the meantime, my life went on.

I got up each morning and drove to work to help my patients.

Then I crashed.

Many years ago I came across the work of John Sarno, MD, who works at New York University Medical Center.

Recently, I revisited his philosophy.

I decided that I would take my own medicine to see how it worked.

If I could cure my own insomnia then anything was possible.

In brief, Dr. Sarno discovered that the unconscious mind speaks through the body and mind ( emotions).

However, the degree that this is true with everyday disorders was something I had never realized.

Most of these disorders are misdiagnosed as physical problems or psychological issues.

Many of them are, in fact, primarily physical and emotional and respond to appropriate care.

However, many are not mainly physical or emotional.

Many stem from a misunderstanding of the role of the unconscious in our lives.

This is Dr. Sarno's major contribution, I believe.

There is nothing wrong with many of these patients. They need to have this confirmed by a physician who does a thorough exam and who understands the role of the unconscious in our lives and how to help such patients to realize this and obtain full healing, not just live on medications and go from doctor to doctor.

By following this philosophy I have totally overcome my insomnia.

I now sleep quite well.

I awake refreshed which I haven't experienced for five years.

I am so happy that I want to scream.

My patients tell me that I look better than I have in years.

At least two over the last few days have mentioned, " You look like you are sleeping really well."

They are right.

In a few days I shall be off the last bit of the medication.

The same medication that I was told I could never live without.

Thanks, Dr. Sarno.

I am very excited to share what I have learned with others.

This is now becoming an important part of my practice.

In March I will go to UCLA where the second annual conclave of TMS (tension myositis syndrome - the name Dr. Sarno gives this condition) practitioners will take place. I am very proud to be known as a TMS doctor.

There are fewer than 30 TMS doctors in the world, mostly here in the US.

It is exciting to be part of what I believe will be a major revolution in medicine.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

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