“All the Rage” – a Film about John Sarno & His Work on How We Express Unresolved Emotional Pain
“All the Rage” – a Film about John Sarno & His Work on How We Express Unresolved Emotional Pain as Physical Pain
Dr John Sarno was a doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and, from 1965 to 2012, practiced at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center.
He started out his medical career in the usual way, offering the standard pharmaceuticals and surgeries to his patients, until he came to understand that medicine had gotten it all wrong, that many types of people’s chronic pain, particularly back pain, are caused by repressed emotions that produce stress on the physical body, leading to chronic pain.
At this point, his thinking did a 180 – toward focusing on what FUNCTION chronic pain serves for us. And from this vantage point, he developed a radical approach to rehabilitation medicine, advising his patients to look into how their minds and bodies are connected and, by doing that, decrease and often completely stop their discomfort through recognizing their repressed emotions – especially their repressed angers – as the source of their chronic pain.
Sarno’s mind-body understanding of pain was viewed by his colleagues as radical, which it was only in that it was at odds with medicine as practiced by his peers, who focused on trying to alleviate symptoms with surgeries and drugs. Most of his colleagues regarded him as a charlatan.
Sarno’s first books, Mind Over Back Pain (1984), Mind Over Back Pain: A Radically New Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Back Pain (1986), and Healing Back Pain (1991) were greeted as godsends by people in chronic pain and were translated into many languages.
His third book, The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain (1998) was similarly welcomed and was issued in nine other languages.
His final book, The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders (2006) came out in four foreign editions.
“ALL THE RAGE: SAVED BY SARNO”
And now there’s this fascinating documentary film about Sarno and his ideas, All the Rage (Saved by Sarno).
Watching it may change your life.
“ACCORDING TO THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE, OVER 100 MILLION AMERICANS SUFFER FROM CHRONIC PAIN. PAIN IS A BIG PROBLEM. CHRONIC PAIN IS CRIPPLING AMERICA. THE CURRENT COST OF TREATING CHRONIC PAIN HAS SKYROCKETED TO CLOSE TO A TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. THIS NUMBER DWARFS THE COSTS OF CANCER, HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES COMBINED. CHANCES ARE THAT YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING SOME FORM OF CHRONIC PAIN.
“He changed shock jock Howard Stern’s life. Veteran Senator Tom Harkin was inspired to campaign for his cause, and he gave comedian Larry David “the closest thing to a religious experience” he’s ever had. Dr. John Sarno’s bestselling book “Healing Back Pain” was first published in the 1980’s, and when co-director Michael Galinsky’s father read it he was cured of chronic whiplash. The book – which connects pain with emotions rather than structural causes – put Sarno at blunt odds with the medical system, which shunned his unorthodox approach. Many years later, when Michael was immobilized by excruciating back pain, he met with Dr. Sarno and was put on the mend. Thus began a 12-year odyssey to chronicle his personal journey of healing with the story of Dr. Sarno and his work. This artful and personal film, “All The Rage,” braids Galinsky’s universal story of pain and emotion together with the story of Dr. Sarno’s work, connecting the audience to both the issues and the emotions at play. Featuring interviews with Howard Stern, Larry David, reporter John Stossel, Dr. Andrew Weil, Senators Bernie Sanders and Tom Harkin, and other luminaries, ALL THE RAGE offers a profound rethink of our health care.” (Rumur, Inc., 2017)
Others interviewed by filmmaker Michael Galinsky in the documentary include author Jonathan Ames and Dr Gabor Maté. Galinsky’s feature film Battle for Brooklyn was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2011. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013. The official trailer gives the flavor of the film:
Screenings of All The Rage: Saved by Sarno can be arranged in your city through alltheragedoc.com/host-a-screening. You can also check that site to see if there’s already a screening planned in your area.
COMMON METAPHORS FOR MIND-BODY PAINS
We acknowledge the phenomenon of expressing our emotions through physical pains in expressions like:
“He’s a real pain in the neck.”
“She’s such a pain in the butt.”
Both refer to a person or situation we find chronically irritating, aggravating, or obnoxious.
A MIND-BODY PAIN WEBSITE
I was poking around the net looking to see if I’d missed a way to get a copy of All The Rage (Saved by Sarno) and came across this useful mind- body pain site: The Tension Myositis Syndrome Wiki. They also host The Mindbody Syndrome (TMS) Discussion Forum.
In memory of John E. Sarno, MD (June 23, 1923 – June 22, 2017) for his great contribution to medicine and quality of life. He retired from the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University in 2012 and died at 93 – just one day before his 94th birthday and the release date of this documentary about him. 7/13/2017 UPDATE As far as I know, this film isn’t available now on Netflix, anywhere else online, or for purchase as a DVD. There’s another, completely unrelated movie also called All The Rage that came out in 1998. And there are a few books with the same title – also unrelated to this documentary about Dr Sarno. 7/15/2017 UPDATE I’m told that joining DVD.com, an affiliate of Netflix, will allow you to rent a physical DVD of this film. You get an initial trial month for free if you sign up for any of their plans: Starter plan costs $4.99/month. Standard plan is $7.99/month. Premier plan is $11.99. You can see details of each plan on the website. My deep thanks to Ellen Saltonstall for many things, including bringing this film to my attention. REFERENCES