Blog #28: Report on a Mind Body Syndrome retreat at Kripalu Institute

Written by Dr. Schubiner on October 19, 2009 – 7:38 am -

About a year ago, the New York Times ran an article about the Kripalu yoga and health retreat center in Lenox, MA. The article’s theme was that Kripalu took chances and tried new ideas for health and healing. Those of us who are working with people with Mind Body Syndrome (MBS, or Tension Myositis Syndrome, as named by Dr. Sarno) are continually trying to find better ways to help our patients. I developed a comprehensive and structured 4-week program designed to uncover and address hidden emotional reactions that are linked to a variety of chronic painful and associated psycho-physiological symptoms. Maybe there would be some benefit from an intensive retreat format for getting people started on this work or to help them get unstuck in their progress.

I submitted a proposal to Kripalu, thinking that it would be a long shot. To my knowledge, no one has ever conducted such a seminar based upon the particular model initially proposed by Dr. Sarno. I didn’t hear from Kripalu for several months. One day, I mentioned the proposal to a close friend. Serendipitously, his sister, Annie Price, had just started working there and he called her to see if my proposal was being reviewed. She pulled it out of the pile and within a few weeks, I got an email asking if I could arrange to spend a week at Kripalu leading this retreat. Read more »

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MBS Blog #27: Joe’s story: A journey towards wisdom

Written by Dr. Schubiner on October 6, 2009 – 3:36 pm -

Everyone has a unique story to tell and often the paths that lead to healing are also quite different.  I received the following email the other day, and I was very touched by the authenticity and depth of what Joe had to say. He describes a journey that he has taken and continues to take.  This journey is slow, but steady and it has lead him towards a self-acceptance that is a powerful step towards health, both in mind and in body.  Everyone with MBS should read his story as it will inspire many to persevere despite continued pain.  Through having MBS and by dealing with it over time, Joe has learned to see his pain as a teacher; something that teaches him all he needs to know in this life and all he needs to understand. 

Here’s his story as told in an email to me:

“As far as my pain goes, I cannot report any miraculous change in symptoms; however, I continue to experience a very subtle phenomenon that I have dubbed an “erosion of tension.” Like the tide coming in and out, eroding the beach, it seems like my tight muscles are very, very slowly beginning to loosen. Then they contract again (or feel contracted), but when each time this happens (each time being like one back and forth of the tide), the tension in the muscles seems just the slightest bit less than before – so slight a difference, however, as to seem non-existent for the first few months that this was happening. Now, it has been long enough and steady enough that I believe it is happening, but doubt still lingers because of how subtle it all seems. Nonetheless, I am convinced of the MBS diagnosis. I do think that I am a particularly tough case, though. When I read about people who are totally healed by reading Dr. Sarno’s book one time through, I can get very envious, and also, sometimes, filled with doubt about whether I have MBS at all. But I am beginning to settle into the knowledge that I do. Read more »

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