On several occasions in past years I have suffered from pain in my shoulders or my hands. Two years back, when I had a painful wrist that kept me from work for several weeks, I found a book titled The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders, written by Dr. John E. Sarno, who presently practices medicine at New York University Medical Center. He describes what he has called Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), or pain caused by emotional stress.
Following the recommendations in his book, my wrist pain disappeared then, and I could resume working. Thanks to Sarno’s theories, many people have been cured from muscular pains in their backs, arms and legs.
Since January of this year I have been plagued with pain in my left hand and my thumb. At times my thumb can be very stiff and snaps as I flex it. It is a condition called Stenosing Tenosynovitis, commonly known as “trigger finger.” Two times I went to a hand doctor and she gave me a cortisone shot and suggested that if the pain came back I should have surgery.
In September, the pain returned and since then it had been worsening to the point that I was terrified of using the computer at all. I was seriously concerned for my financial future, let alone pursuing origami or any other activity that require the use of my hands. But the prospect of having a surgery, with dubious results, was not a route I wanted to consider.
I was holding out to follow Sarno’s advice, perhaps due to the unconscious desire that the pain can be resolved with a magic pill or cortisone shot. A couple of weeks ago I began to reread “The Divided Mind” and decided to pay attention again. Today I am not completely free of pain, but I feel well enough to type this entry to my blogs. Yesterday I was finally able to work a full day at the computer. I am confident that Sarno’s approach is the path to my full recovery.
“If it happens, it is required”.
I’m feeling hopeful. I’m learning to decipher the messages from my hands.