June 21, 2008
Letter to Dr. Schubiner from Paul Mazzafero, Davie, Florida
I first suffered excruciating back pain in 1984 as a 20-year-old young man. I had searing back and calf pain. I eventually had surgery in 1988 to remove a synovial cyst off my sciatic nerve. However, post surgery the pain was still there. I was scared I would be like this for life and was in pain management. I eventually picked up a book by Dr. Sarno and read it. I went to the Dr. and he assured me my back was fine. I was so emotionally damaged at this point I did not know what to do since I had already been to 21 doctors and had every test, steroid, epidural, etc. I eventually said, “I am fine and this is psychological”. I proceeded to workout like a madman and eventually the pain left me for 16 years. In fact I went on to compete as a boxer and was very active.
Fast forward to 2004, when I was throwing 100 pound logs and felt the dreaded pop and searing calf pain. “Uh oh,” I said and went to my GP and he ordered an MRI which was negative. However, I still had the calf pain. P.T. did not work…..Epidurals did not work……Massage did not work….Chiropractic did not work….Books, exercises, you name it and nothing worked. I was on prednisone and gained weight. I stopped working and contemplated ending it all. I am a vociferous reader and came across your program and within doing the 1st night of journaling I felt relief, not 100% but I felt like a layer was being peeled off an onion. I realized I was in a miserable job when this happened and that I am a perfectionist and I could understand how these factors played an important role in my back pain. Anyways, long story short: within 3 weeks of doing the online program, I was feeling 90% better but still skeptical a little. However, after 6 weeks, I have been pain free 100%. Dr. Schubiner’s course was an introspective look at what makes me tick. I do not think the pain will come back. In fact the 1st week when I started to feel better, an old neck injury and pain mysteriously returned…..I laughed out loud. When I am stressed, I pull out my notebook and read my journal and sometimes re-watch the videos.
I feel very light after journaling. Unburdened if you will. Explored things that have never been addressed my whole life. I also have learned to be nicer to myself where before I was a hard charger and a no excuse type guy. I have loosened the grip on life and live in the now. I also have gone from being a power athlete 5’10” 215 pounds to being a lean athlete 185 lbs. I believe there is a huge connection between the body and the mind. Your course was an eye opener for sure. I was in chronic pain for 4 years and am pain free as we speak.
Having this kind of severe pain is a helluva a cross to bear. You can use my name. I have nothing to hide. In fact I am almost thankful for my pain. If not for it I would never be able to know me……continuing to hide layer upon layer. It has also led me to places I never knew I could go or dare to go. I am a much better person for it. I am probably simpler than most I have seen on the forums. I certainly have issues as we all do, but I take things as they come and do not over analyze things too much, which I think can make you paralyzed in living. I have a friend who is that way. Instead of just enjoying or letting things happen sometimes people always need to know the why. I think we become hypersensitive to issues and to our pain and it sets the TMS into over-drive.
Thanks Dr. Schubiner. You are a godsend. You are truly a blessing for many of us who thought life was over. I really mean that. Your course is worth every penny.
Paul A. Mazzaferro
It can be incredibly frustrating for people who have had excellent results in the past to Dr. Sarno’s approach, when they find themselves suffering again, but not able to break the cycle using the tools that they used the first time around. This story attests to the importance of being persistent, of continuing to examine oneself, and of using new and different techniques. Simply “journaling” may not be enough for many people, which is why I attempted to include a variety of specific and targeted writing techniques into this online program. These techniques are designed to give one more insight and understanding about one’s life, experiences and emotional reactions. Paul was able to do this and therefore began to break through the layers that kept him from his true self. He was also able to take a somewhat “lighthearted” approach to this work. This is difficult to do for many, because of the severe pain and uncomfortable symptoms. However, being able to laugh at certain symptoms, see the irony of certain reactions we have, and realize that the mind can produce such a strange set of symptoms can only help us to let go. I have seen many people “over-analyze” their symptoms and their emotions. It is great to see Paul be able to simply realize that he has TMS, learn to understand why, and then most importantly move on with living. Thanks for the courage to tell your story and the courage to look at your life and to heal.