My Battle with NPD

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Dr. Sarno’s Observations

Dr. John Sarno is a famous physiatrist who described the “tension myositis syndrome.” (TMS) I had been familiar with his observations described in his best-selling 1984 book, Mind Over Back Pain. He felt that the nervous system was created muscle tension and inflammation. He also made the astute observation that anger or rage was a critical factor in the evolution of chronic pain.

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Meet Dr. Schubiner

Howard Schubiner is a pain physician who practices in Detroit, MI. He trained under Dr. Sarno. He has authored a book, “Unlearn Your Pain,” which addresses chronic pain as one of the symptoms of the Mind Body Syndrome, which is really just a new name for the tension myositis syndrome.

In March of 2011, he was one of the keynote speakers of a seminar I co-chaired, A Course on Compassion-Empathy in the Face of Chronic Pain.  He taught us that what we had been treating over the last ten years was the Mind Body Syndrome (MBS). I have chosen what I think is more accurate description of the problem, Neurophysiological Disorder (NPD). We had been both excited and perplexed how someone with years of chronic pain could become pain free. Now we understand. Discovering I had NPD

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“Unlearn Your Pain”

In chapter five of “Unlearn Your Pain,” Dr. Schubiner lists 33 symptoms of NPD (He uses Mind Body Syndrome). As I looked through this list I realized that at some point in my life I had intensely experienced many of these symptoms.

Why Am I Telling You My Story?

I tell you this for one reason. It is very difficult to get your head around the idea that your nervous system can create symptoms without there being another identifiable source. Your brain literally “short circuits.” I am hopeful that sharing my experiences will help you understand the severity and the reality of NPD. Treated incorrectly, the prognosis is dismal.

The Neurophysiological Disorder – Make the Right Diagnosis

As your nervous system is connected to and controls every cell in your body, the potential symptoms and combinations are almost endless. Mainstream medicine does not embrace these concepts and that would, historically, include me. I have both watched it and experienced it. Our medical culture has “medicalized” a neurological diagnosis. As the first step in being successful in treating any disease is making the correct diagnosis, this is a big problem.

My Experience with NPD

Here is the list of my symptoms of NPD. I will tell the stories in detail in later posts.

  • Migraine headaches
  • Migratory skin rashes
  • Severe burning in both of my feet
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Severe depression
  • Chronic tendonitis
  • Heartburn/acid reflux
  • Tinnitus
  • Insomnia
  • Back/neck pain
  • Tension headaches
  • Unrelenting itching
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations

Every one of these symptoms has vanished or is at a level that causes minimal interference with my quality of life. However, if I quit practicing the principles that I am teaching about NPD some of my symptoms will re-occur in about two weeks. These are permanent pathways. Failing well

It is my wish that you experience this level of healing. The treatment is simple but does take repetition and commitment. The outcome is consistent.

Welcome to your new life.

BF