Harvard RSI Action (click to go to home page)
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The Mind/Body Approach: What is RSI?
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What is RSI?  -   Diagnostic Quiz  -   Progression of Symptoms  -   How to Cure  -   Resources
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John Sarno's work is an important counter-current to the structural hypothesis. His premise is that repetitive strain injuries are one of many pain syndromes caused not by any structural injury, but by a complex interaction of mind and body. He calls the painful syndrome which results Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). In essence, he argues that the pain exists not because there is a structural injury at the site of the pain, but because your brain has somewhere deep inside chosen to latch onto the pain as a mechanism to divert you from painful feelings that have been pushed deeper than your conscious level. He boasts a high rate of treatment success, and there are many Harvard students in the RSI Action Group who have been healed by his program (and they are available to talk to you). The following several pages have been adapted from a handout which the RSI group has produced about Dr. Sarno, and are a summary of Dr. Sarno's research on TMS. Much of its information came from an online document that can be found at this Premier Health Online website.

In particular if you have had RSI and/or back pain (or other symptoms) for a long period of time (i.e. more than a month or two), you should really take a long look at the work of John Sarno.

In April 2000 the RSI Action group held an information session about Sarno and his work. The info session started off with a summary of Sarno's theory, and then followed up with a panel in which five Harvard students spoke about being cured of RSI after reading Sarno's book and applying the concepts therein to their lives.

The handout from the session is available as a Microsoft Word document. There is also a tape of the session. Many people find it helpful to hear about the stories of others. If you would like a copy of the tape of this session, please email podolsky@post.harvard.edu. You will be asked to mail a blank tape and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Be warned that the audio quality of the tape is poor.

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