Is Back Pain Contagious?
After a session with my Port Arthur friend Nick, he said, “I’ve been to both a doctor and a chiropractor, and they couldn’t fix my back, but you did. My pain is completely gone.”
Tears came to my eyes because Nick was a close friend.
Later, hanging out with the Boden family in Port Neches, my back went completely “out,” as the expression goes.
What was I doing when my back pain started? Watching television — not exactly a strenuous muscular activity.
Back in Houston the next day (I was a student at the Texas Institute of Reflex Sciences), I had a session with Adano Ley.
He told me I sympathized with Nick’s pain, and it transferred to me.
Empathy is all right, according to Adano, but sympathy isn’t.
Empathy is soothing a seasick friend while he’s vomiting over the rails.
Sympathy involved both of you vomiting over the rails at the same time — a disagreeable form of RESONANCE.
The same time my back pain disappeared, Nick’s back pain returned.
Thereafter, anytime I taught a Reflex Sciences workshop, I took an entire hour explaining how to protect yourself from “engram contamination.”
John E. Sarno, M.D. (Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, 2001, 2016) wrote …
“People often report that at the moment of onset, they hear some kind of noise, a crack, a snap, or a pop. Patients often use the phrase ‘My back went out.’ They are sure that something has broken. In fact, nothing breaks, but the patient will swear that there has been some kind of structural damage. The noise is a mystery. It may be that it is similar to the noise elicited by a manipulation of the spine, which is a kind of ‘cracking the knuckles’ of the joints of the spinal bones. One thing is clear — the noise indicates nothing harmful.
“Though the low back is the most common location for an acute attack, it can occur anywhere in the neck, shoulders, or upper and lower back. Wherever it occurs, it is the most painful thing I know of in clinical medicine, which is ironic because it is completely harmless.”