Three Stories to help eliminate back, hips, shoulders, neck pain: – Part 1


One Christmas, some years ago, I was Christmas shopping, something I no longer do but I understand that a lot of people like to do Christmas Shopping, in Charing Cross Road in London, a street known for its bookshops, when I came across a friend and colleague inside a shop.

We greeted each other and I remembered that she liked to go walking and as I was doing some walking at the time, I asked how her walking trips were going and immediately she answered me,

“Oh no I can’t do that any more.”

I was surprised and asked her why not.

“I’ve got Arthritis in the hip and I can’t walk any distance now”

She was wide eyed telling me this and then she said:

“They say it’s about anger, don’t they?”

I didn’t know and told her so , but as I had arthritis in my knee , she had got my attention.

She didn’t know any more about that and I started turning things over in my mind.


I was driving south to the coast where my parents lived and when I arrived as usual I asked my father how he was and he replied, hand on his hip, how bad his back was and I realised this was how he always responded, complaints about the pain in his back.

“Arthritis” he said. “the Doctor said it was Arthritis.

“How did he know that?” “Did he examine you or take blood samples?”


I then told him the story about my friend I had just met in the bookshop and what she had told me. I didn’t have any conscious intention to tell him the story for a therapeutic purpose but my unconscious took over in that moment and the story came out.

When I got to the bit, where she said “they say it’s all about anger”, my father immediately started talking angrily about his work. He said he had spent years walking on eggshells. Imagine the tension involved in keeping that anger repressed for years.

He got very emotional, and his anger surfaced while he was telling his story. The purpose of anger is to set up a personal boundary. I just listened, gave him the space to vent his anger, feelings that had been repressed for so many years. This is healthy anger and best expressed in a safe way. “The repression of healthy anger disarms the immune system” – Gabor Mate

The issue that caused this , he told me, was in relation to one of the Directors making a wrong and expensive move and my Father pointing it out. According to my father the Director had spent years trying to get rid of him, hence his walking on eggshells.

Two weeks later I went to visit him and when I arrived and asked him how he was he replied that he was OK and told me about some project he was working on to do with his fly fishing. He never said anything about his back and in fact never mentioned it agin and neither did I.


I was coaching on a NLP Program and a colleague talked to me about various symptoms she had, some of which were, at times, incapacitating. I asked a question and listened to what she was saying. She talked about supporting her father through his illness and her process of mourning after he died. While she was talking and listening to me she realised that she had been and still was putting all her attention on her father. I wondered if her illness was as a result of ignoring and repressing her own needs and we talked about that. I then told her the story about my Father and left her thinking about that.

This was many years ago and she is still in good health and has long been a successful pain free  Hypnotherapist.

Sometimes, we only need to hear about someone else’s experience and that, on its own can trigger healing for ourselves.

Denial of the syndrome is part of the syndrome.

Think emotional/psychological, not physical.

The cure is knowledge and healing is always possible.

Part 2

As I said in Part 1, I came across John Sarno’s second book on my bookshelf. I thought I had loaned out that one as well so I was pleased to come across it and immediately dived in hoping I could find a way of dealing with my back pain.

During my journey in search of treatments for injuries and improvements in my knee and back, I have experienced both hope and disappointment in equal measures and now it’s as if new ideas about the cause of my symptoms find me. I sort of stumble on them like when you search for something on Google and then in the following days and months you get bombarded by suppliers of similar products, i.e. ” We can cure your………” fill in the blank and that is Google’s algorithms swinging into action.

When you were very young it was probably not safe for you to express your feelings fully, particularly  those feelings of anger, because if you did that fully you risked jeopardising your attachment with your parents, who you depended on for survival so the anger is held in your system and your unconscious will cause you pain in some other part of your body. This explains why so many people, despite various treatments, are still in pain, even after surgery.

According to German and later Swedish investigators we are talking about emotionally induced physical disorders with oxygen deprivation in the muscle cells of people with back pain.

We have internal reactions to pressures in our lives and we will have physical symptoms in response to those inner feelings. Emotions are not separate.

Rage is the most important subject and we need to find the reason for it which may occur in the guise of training. In my case this would be in the religious training of the Catholic Church. For others it could be sexual abuse. or physical and emotional abuse or having parents who are drug users and abusers and/or mental health problems.

Symptoms may occur while you are engaged in some sort of exercise , as in my case, I was raking leaves off a lawn when a sudden severe pain in my lower left back, jolted me to a standstill and that pain has been there, on and off, for about 30 years and is natural to think that the activity is responsible for the pain but it is the repressed stressful emotions that are causing the pain.

The purpose of the repression is to keep feelings of embarrassment, anxiety, anger and rage out of consciousness and the purpose of TMS is to assist in the process of repression. The principle emotion is repressed anger. The pain is a distraction.


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