This is the premise of Dr. Sarno. He believes there is a response that happens in our bodies to both conscious and unconscious emotion. It is a response that affects nerves and muscles and causes very real pain.
First, be sure if you are having pain that you get it checked out. I am not a doctor and certainly anything that hurts should be looked into. But maybe then read Dr. Sarno. Even if you are told you have stenosis or a bum disc. Maybe especially if you are told that. RSD, back pain, arthritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow… what if all you needed to feel better was to read a book? I have seen a difference in myself.
The following is from the blog linked below written by a man who was actually a patient of Dr. Sarno.
“Like many of the traders on Wall Street, I was at the time suffering from inexplicable severe lower-back pain. The doctors and chiropractors I had seen had provided me with all sorts of implausible explanations for my pain—years of jogging, or my swiveling high-back executive desk chair, or how I cradled the telephone was to blame…Sarno’s message was that in the overwhelming majority of cases, back pain was a symptom created by the unconscious mind as a distraction to aid in the repression of strong unconscious emotional issues. The hopeful message I took from his book was that there was nothing structurally wrong with my back and that I should resume normal activity as soon as possible….Two years later I developed intense shoulder pain. Within a matter of days, my shoulder went from being sore to being unable to move…Sarno was intrigued by the sudden appearance of my intense shoulder pain and talked to me about the “ping-pong” effect he had noticed in some of his patients. That is, once one symptom disappeared, another emerges as a distraction. Call it symptom substitution or moving symptoms or “the symptom imperative.” He examined my shoulder carefully and concluded that there was no structural injury that was causing my pain, no need for surgery. Within days, the pain disappeared—more than 15 years ago…Sarno believes that most people are incapable of accepting the notion that the cause of their pain is not a structural abnormality or an injury, rather their unconscious minds at work. Radical, costly and ineffectual procedures recommended by the medical establishment, such as fusing of the vertebrae of the spine, are, remarkably, preferred by the majority of patients over an approach that requires the patient to examine his unconscious rage.”