You’ve Got To Feel To Heal

by Endorsed Coach, Meryl Feldman

Dr. John Sarno revolutionized the medical field with his radical approaches to healing back pain and other physical ailments.  He coined the term TMS, tension myostitis syndrome, to describe a circulatory constriction in blood vessels that results in pain in the body.  This is also know as Mind-body syndrome. To sum up what Dr. Sarno wrote (“The Mindbody Prescription”) and taught for over 30+ years is that the brain will cut off blood/oxygen flow to different parts of the body in order to distract the individual from recognizing and feeling emotions that they are trying to avoid.

This lack of blood/oxygen flow is the direct cause of pain. In order to get relief from the pain, a person will go running around to different doctors and googling the internet to get answers and diagnosis for help with pain relief, when the healing is within their reach and within their own body.

They just need to feel to heal.

This is not to say AT ALL that the pain is only in the mind.  The pain is real and the symptoms are real. But the healing comes from turning inward, getting honest about one’s emotions – especially anger, fear and sadness and allowing for emotional energy flow.  Sounds good, right?

But how to do this is the question especially when so many of us have the habit of ignoring these emotions or getting stuck in them.

It’s quite simple actually, yet needs to be exercised to get the brain to cease it’s tricky behavior.

Emotions are energy in motion. They show up as physical sensations in the body, starting out very quiet and subtle, almost vibrational. When ignored, they get louder and louder until screaming as a migraine, backache or some other pain or weakness in the body.

The key here is to notice as soon as possible and as often as possible what we are feeling, and this means being honest with ourselves.  This is where the healing begins.

Here’s an example: A friend shows up late again for a lunch date?  Do you ignore that slight irritation you feel in your body and just smile when she/he shows up? Or do you blast them with your anger and risk the friendship?

Neither of these options may be the best choice for your body’s health and for your relationship.

A Mind-body (Somatic) healing approach to the situation is the following: Your friend is late.  Put your attention inward. Wiggle your toes, take a deep breath in and out and NOTICE what physical sensation is happening in your body.

Does your stomach hurt? Is there a lump in your throat, a surge of heat welling up in your chest? Is your breathing shallower? Jaw clenched?

Whatever the physical sensation is, just be aware of it and allow it for ½ a minute or longer. You can even put your hand on that part of your body to keep your focus on it.

Breathe and know that you are safe in being in your body and feeling that emotion.  Keep breathing consciously, allowing that physical sensation to be the center of your attention. An emotion word may also come up for you – anger (irritation, annoyance, rage) or sadness (disappointment, hurt).

That is called letting emotional energy flow. You may notice that the sensation changes and morphs into another physical sensation in another part of your body. You also may want some privacy in doing this.

Great! Even better! Go into a bathroom stall.  Shake your fists around if you’re feeling anger.  Do a silent scream -opening your mouth real loud with no sound coming out (Barbara Sher writes about this). Bow your head, allow tears as well if they want to flow.

No one can see you.

The best part is that you body’s emotional message to you is being heard. The recognized energy flows so it doesn’t get stuck as a neck ache later on.

This is how you are taking care of your health!

And after this very physical allowing of emotional energy, your intuition opens up so that you can choose from a place of higher wisdom the action you want to take with this friend. Perhaps you will decide to say something, but it will most likely be with clarity and consciousness.

Perhaps you’ll just accept that this is your friend and you’ll make adjustments – no more lunch dates or you’ll bring a book, having a clear recognition that this is your friend’s personality and it’s not changing.  Or you’ll say something and end the relationship.

There are so many choices, but most times, because we are afraid of change, we ignore and suppress the emotional message our body is trying to communicate to us. When we choose to  feel, we allow healing.

According to Dr. Sarno, when we give the message to our brain that we are not afraid of our emotions, it won’t try to distract us by constricting blood/oxygen flow and causing pain.  We are freeing ourselves from the suppression – pain cycle and living a more vibrant, healthy life.


Miriam Racquel (Meryl) Feldman is a Somatic Healer and Certified Mind-body and Martha Beck Coach. She is a published writer and speaker based in Chicago. Integrating her knowledge of Kabbalistic Judaism, Somatic Healing, and Coaching, Miriam Racquel empowers women with clarity and peace-of-mind in their relationships, career and health.For more information, visit or email her at

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Legacy of a Legend – Dr. John Sarno

Dr. Sarno

June 23, 1923 – June 22, 2017

By Endorsed Mind-Body Coach Elaine Jeffy

In late 2011 I felt totally lost and discouraged.  It was one year after back surgery, and my agonizing pain and sciatica were raging out of control.

My neurosurgeon prescribed physical therapy for pain of “unknown origin.” After all, the surgery had corrected the structural issues that had “caused” my symptoms.

The physical therapy helped me build strength, but did not help relieve my symptoms. So WHY was I STILL in pain?

I spent a lot of time googling for an answer to my dilemma.  Most of what I discovered online only led to more confusion and right into victimhood – the plague of post laminectomy syndrome – or failed back syndrome.  I would NOT accept that this was my fate and finally found the work of John Sarno, M.D.

Dr. Sarno was Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, and attending physician at the Howard A. Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation MedicineNew York University Medical Center.

He authored four books: Mind Over Back Pain, Healing Back Pain, The Mindbody Prescription and The Divided Mind. Hundreds of thousands of individuals claimed that his books were responsible for eliminating or greatly reducing pain that had not responded to medical treatment.

Dr. Sarno’s words filled me with hope and liberated me from the unrelenting fear that had consumed my life. My fear subsided while reading about his theory that these physical symptoms are initiated by emotional factors that are almost universal in Western society.


Dr. Sarno’s career spanned over 50 years.  He found that many patients had severe back pain with mild or no abnormalities on X-rays or MRIs. And he noted that many people with significant or severe imaging abnormalities had little or no pain.

He also observed connections between emotional distress, adverse childhood experiences, and his patient’s personality traits (such as people pleasing and perfectionism) and the presence of back pain and other syndromes (IBS, tension headaches, etc.)

Through his clinical practice, Dr. Sarno came to the conclusion that tension induced reactions in the body create oxygen deprivation to areas of the body causing intense pain.  He believed that the syndrome originates in the brain rather than in a structural abnormality.

This pain is perpetuated and amplified by overly sensitized nerve connections between the brain and the body creating a vicious cycle of pain that can last for months, years, or decades.   Brain imaging studies show that physical and emotional pain both impact the same areas of the brain.

From Dr. Sarno in The Mindbody Prescription: “I told my patients there was really nothing wrong with their backs.  I explained that they had a harmless condition that must be treated through the mind, not the body.  Awareness, insight, knowledge and information were the magic medicine that would cure this disorder – and nothing else could do it.

…mindbody physical symptoms…do not imply mental or emotional illness or abnormaility… We are much stronger than we know, and have the capacity to influence what is going on in our bodies.”

Dr. John Sarno’s legacy is a powerful testimonial and inspiration. The day after his death a new documentary opened in New York City:  All the Rage – Saved by Sarno.  I hope you will have the opportunity to see this profound and potentially life changing film.

“The awareness of the power of the mind body connection- AND our innate ability to activate that power- is rising at an exponential rate in science and medicine.  It is no longer a fringe idea. The system is flipping. It is an exciting time.” Michael Galinsky, Director & Filmmaker, All the Rage.

Elaine Jeffy

I was trapped in a life of chronic pain and anxiety until I learned that I was not a victim – I was just disconnected from myself and my innate power to heal.

After decades of failed treatments and finally surgery, I discovered the mind-body approach to healing, and it transformed every area of my life!   I was led to become a coach as I yearned to help others unlock their truth and claim their own healing power.  I am a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, Anamsong Endorsed Mind-Body Coach and certified by the Whole Health Medicine Institute in California.

Now I am privileged to help others harness their body’s natural ability to renew, restore and repair itself as they find relief from chronic pain, gain more satisfaction in personal/work/family relationships, and make meaningful changes in their lives!




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