Working Out Again and my new Zit

Once upon a time, in a land far, far a girl named me woke up and said, “You know what? I am going to put my gym clothes on tomorrow. Not today, tomorrow and I’m going to walk to the gym.” It’s about 7, 8 blocks from my apartment.

“I’m going to walk to the gym and I’m going to touch the door and I’m going to walk back home.”

Nina Mathews
Nina Mathews

For that next day, that was my fitness goal to suit up for the gym, walk to the gym, touch the door and go back. I figured, it’s not quite going to the gym and it’s not quite sitting on the couch. It’s like right in between. I actually ended up going in and doing 9 minutes on a treadmill just for the sake of saying, “I did it.”

The wonderful thing for me is when I go to the gym today, I feel like in the next couple of days, “All right, I got to get back. I got to get back. It’s been 2 days. It’s been 3 days.” If I’m just not going, then I don’t care but if you go today, you will feel like you got to get back there. You’ll just need your fix.

I don’t even have a membership to a gym or anything. I’m just working so many long hours, it feels impossible but there’s no way I can’t squeeze in a little bit of exercise.

If I was going to do nothing else for my fitness, I would just go for a little 20 minute jog 2 or 3 times a week. I’d do something 2 or 3 times a week for my abs, whether it’s Ab Ripper X from the P90x series or YouTube and typed in “Ab routine,” and I found some really cool videos. Just doing a little 20 minutes of jogging twice a week and abs twice a week. That’s really all a body needs to maintain some level of health and fitness.

Honestly. If you get a little cardio 3 times a week, you’re doing better than 99% of the population. That’s an enormous improvement over doing nothing. That’s great.

That’s enough to start getting back into shape and creating a healthier lifestyle that will change your health and your longevity. Even just 20 minutes on a little machine. It can be life changing. If you don’t even have access to a machine, I used to just roll out of bed.

You can go running or just taking some stairs somewhere. Do some jumping jacks or get on your bike and ride.

Instead of leaving your house to do 20 or 30 minutes of exercise and then coming back and getting ready for work, make the time to leave for work 20 or 30 minutes early and walk that day. Boom, there’s your cardio. There’s always a way to work it in.

If I work 60 hours, it’s the least I’m working. It’s crazy. I’ve never worked this much in my life. It’s insane. Luckily, I’m not sitting at work all day. That is good. I am running around and picking up heavy children. They’re not fat or anything. I didn’t mean to say it like that but they are not as light as they were. When I first met them, they were 4 pounds each. They are no longer 4 pounds each.

Acne Treatment

I have a monster zit basically living deep, deep, deep … You know those ones that it’s not even out. No one can even see it but I can feel it. The cherry zit. Like a pit under the skin.

After you wash your face or after you get out of the shower and your skin is all warm and the pores are open, just take a drop of the Medieval Oil and just dot it right on top of your blemish and then clutch the sink as the pain will sear through your face.

It works, people. It works.

I’m just on this health kick lately. I don’t know if it’s proven, but there’s a lot of thought that if you rub Medieval Oil into the soles of your feet like at night before you go to bed, it does a lot to really boost the immune system. I do it when I’m sick. I’ve been doing it all week.

The feel of flames.

Flames on the side of my face, heaving, breathless, heaving breathes, heaving.

No reason to worry

In the present moment, there is no fear. In the present moment, there’s no pain. In the moment, I have what I need and I’m taken care of but when I start to freak out about, ‘Wait but what happens when .. what happens after this year’s over? What happens when I move out of this apartment and what happens when I no longer have so-and-so or such and such.’ That’s when the pain and the fear and the freaking out starts to come and the anxiety. It just creates more and more and more anxiety.

In all of these situations, if you just take it a day at a time, then you might find by the time you get to that later date, you can just worry about getting through that day on that day. You’ll get through that day swimmingly or maybe on that day you’ll have to compromise but the next day is a new day. You can just get on with it. If you’re setting up your life like dominoes or like a house of cards, you’re building it up in your mind to be his huge obstacle that is going to defeat you when you get there.

That’s the one thing. Just take it a day at a time. If you’re vegan today, great. Stay vegan today and do what you can tomorrow. Lastly, you have to eat whatever the catering haul brings you, great. I’m going to guess the catering haul is only serving animals because they think that’s what everyone wants. You know what? You’ll make it through.

The thing to say in this instance is, “Can you just make the vegetarian option vegan? Because people do need a vegetarian option. If it’s vegan, then everybody’s satisfied.”

The same thing goes with your cafeteria.

The magic words to unlock the secrets of the universe, I’ve always found are … Here they are. “I need your help.” When someone approaches me like, “Hey, I need your help,” my first reaction is, “I want to be helpful. What can I do for you?”

What can I do? Exactly. That’s all I have to say about that.

If you need some inspiration or encouragement to keep going with a vegetarian diet, I recommend that you watch Vegucated. It’s free on Hulu right now to watch.

I’ve met one of the documentary subjects, a few times. She really had the same struggles many new vegans face. She has the family struggles. She has the back and forth with the, “Well, maybe it’ll just be easier for me to be vegetarian.” She really struggles with doing the right thing. It’s the right combination of inspiration and information and entertainment and reliability. I think it energizes you.

Watch Vegucated. That’s your homework. I assign that you watch Vegucated.

Forks over Knives is another good option. That one literally changed my life, too.

Don’t be hard on yourself. I know you’re doing your best. You’re amazing.

Junk Food

It might not be the healthy …. First off, I don’t want to recommend a vegan junk food book of recipes, bit if I’m either going to recommend vegan junk food or cheese pizza, I wouldn’t feel too bad recommending the vegan junk food.

Strawberry Ice Cream Cone
Strawberry Ice Cream Cone

I wouldn’t say this book is vegan junk food but PETA sponsored the vegan college cookbook.


I know from having worked at a Walgreens, you can buy just a glass tea kettle that’s not electronic. You can buy a little hot plate, like a little single burner. You can get a little mini fridge or whatever they have available to you. You can get a stick blender. I am a big stick blender advocate. I travel with a stick blender.

When I went to Iceland I couldn’t believe they didn’t sell tahini. I decided I will take these toasted sesame seeds and my stick blender. Boom, guess how made tahini? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The Vegan College Cookbook is a cookbook with 275 easy, cheap and delicious recipes for people who are in a dorm and need to stash a whisk in a bowl in the closet or get a stick blender. It’s stuff that you can make easily in a dorm room or a closet. It’s called the Vegan College Cookbook for a reason. It’s stuff that you can make in your microwave. It’s real easy.

Here it is. 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School.

Looking at these recipes, it’s not necessarily junk food but it also gives tips on how to stock your kitchen, your mini fridge, and things like that. I covers things you can have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, there’s a lot of things that you can make with the gorgeous Vitamix.

I make things like almond milk and I make nut butters myself but I was making those things back when I only had a $10 stick blender and a mesh bag to strain things in. You can make your own nut milk. You can make your own nut butters without any kind of technology, really other than a stick blender which you can get anywhere. If you can’t find it, Amazon or eBay.

Lastly, 1 thing that I find so cheap and easy lately is to stock up on dried beans and lentils. If you can just get a little pot and a single burner if they don’t already provide you that, then once, twice a week, you can soak and cook some beans and you’ll have a ton of beans and lentils. It can be really easy.

Another thing to get in bulk is fantastic and it would be fabulous with beans is nutritional yeast because everything tastes like cheese. It’s awesome in that it’s the cheapest “cheese product” you can buy. It’s protein and I don’t even know what all is in it. I just know I love it. I eat it all the time. I put it all over my kale. It would be amazing. It’s totally something to keep in a jar right next to your beans.

Ellen Jaffe has a cookbook idea is that Eat Vegan on $4 a Day,

Regular kale is 99 cents. Organic kale, I guess, because that’s what I usually am buying. It’s $1.63. If you’re buying that, you’ve got maybe $5 out of your pocket for the week. You can freeze it, if you have a mini freezer. It’ll keep it longer so you don’t have to go back to the store. I freeze it and then you just pop it in the pan and serve it. I used to serve frozen kale all the time and put it in my smoothies, too.

Freeze your kale. If you’re worried it’s going to go bad in 2 days and you don’t have time. Or, you’re not going to be able to eat it. Just chop it up or just wash it off and pop it up in the freeze for a little while.

Vegetarianism at Family Dinners. Fun Times.

My dad is an avid hunter. It would be a work of miracles to convince of the benefits of a vegetarian diet. I don’t know what it would be like for my family if they stopped eating meat. It’s my dad’s staple food for supporting his life. He’s a hunter. Hunters do not understand, nor do they support what I do which I totally get. It can be hard when you feel like you’re constantly defending your choices, explaining yourself and making a scene.


You may not be eating gourmet, but as long as you’re getting the right nutrients in and able to make it work, you’re heading in the right direction. There’s just ways to make it workout, I guess. I found them myself.

There’s so many different many angles to diet and variations on vegetarianism. Some people continue to eat seafood—which is obviously an animal. Others go completely vegan. If you want to eat vegetarian for a while, or maybe just not label yourself as anything and just say, “This is my goal, to eat completely plant-based and if I am at a place where I have no food, I have no money and the cafeteria has cheese pizza, I’m going to eat it.”

No one should come down on you for that. The whole point of being vegan is being healthier and to help the animals and the environment. It’s about making a positive change. So, none of the attempts should be perceived as negative. My whole goal is that people feel accepted and know that they’ve got support, regardless of what happens.

When I first went vegan, I was vegan at home but when I went out, I let myself be vegetarian because I was worried it was going to be too restrictive to be vegan while I was out.

In New York City, especially the way I lived, I was out all the time. What I remember is finally, 1 day, I was like, “Okay. I’m going to try to be vegan all the time now. I’m just going to see what happens and if I can’t be, I won’t be.” To this day, I’ve been able to do it.

It’s interesting. Once you make that decision you never go back. If I can’t be vegan, I will cut myself a break and I will let myself be vegetarian. I have not had to do that to this day but it hasn’t been a problem.

If I ever get to a point where I have to eat animals just to stay alive, okay, I will, like the desert island scenario. People will say to me, “If you’re on the desert island with a cow…” I say, “Well, if I’m on the desert island with you, I’ll eat you too if I have to survive.”

Citizen Radio

I’m a big fan of citizen radio. They do a lot of vegan advocacy. They get a lot of listener mail. One young college student, said, “Look. I’m trying so hard to be vegan but sometimes, all I can find at school is the popcorn and the French fries. It’s all they have so that’s all I’m eating.”

If really the only food you’re able to put in your mouth is popcorn and French fries, then eat the cheese pizza and drink the milk and do what you have to do. It doesn’t mean you can’t go back to being plant-based once that’s possible for you. It doesn’t mean that that was your choice. You have to live.

You have the animals in your heart and in your mind. You’re not going to forget about them because you had a slice of cheese pizza.

A Question from a Reader

Every once in a while I enjoy answering questions from you guys. Here’s another.

I’m a 17 year old senior in high school. I have been vegetarian for almost 2 years and vegan about 9 months. I am a dancer and I do barre, so I’m very conscious and knowledgeable about what I put into my body. I chose this lifestyle for the ethical reasons. The health benefits were just a bonus. I don’t know why, but these past two weeks have been really hard for me. I know that I could never go back to eating meat, but I have been getting the feeling that I need to just be vegetarian now instead of vegan.


I love being vegan and I think of it as something that defines me but lately, I have had that little voice inside my head telling me that it would be so much easier and more convenient for me to be vegetarian. I’m going on a school trip next week and I know it’s going to be hard, if not impossible to eat. Prom is also coming up and everyone eats dinner from the catering company at the dance. I am going off to college next year without a car and without much money to buy food, so cafeteria food is basically my only option.

Please help me with my doubts. I am forgetting what it feels like to love being vegan and I don’t want to stop. I just feel like I’m so restricted and need some answers. Also, can you explain more in debt how being vegan is beneficial for the animals and for the consumers. Sorry, this is a bit lengthy but thank you so much. You guys are inspirational. Lots of hugs, vegan hugs. Kayla.”

I too did dance and barre from age 5 to 22. I did dance 5 or 6 days a week and barre at least 3 hours a week. That’s the reason my degree in college was going to be in performing arts instead of chemistry. I understand the challenges that go with being very conscious about what goes in your body. You become aware that what goes into your body is closely connected to how well you perform.

When there are a lot of outside forces dictating what you can eat, it’s not always possible to maintain a strict diet. This can happen in school. It can also happen out of school. I know someone who travels for her job as a life coach and she’s very concerned about her diet. When she’s on a plane or speaking at a convention, she doesn’t have a kitchen or place she can go to get the food her body needs to be healthy. It’s a major source of stress for her.

I haven’t been in her situation, but speaking from experience, you have to decide what’s right for you at this moment. If you really want it, you’ll find a way. If you’re not in the right place in your life, vegetarianism might not be right for you at this time.


For example, being in school without a car, could you use a bike instead? If you have a bike, you have a lot more options for finding food for your preferred diet.

I feel like there’s always a way to do it, if you’re determined enough to make it work. You need to be careful and make sure you’re soliciting the advice of a certified nutritionist, because it’s easy for vegans and vegetarians to become deficient in vitamins and minerals. Iron deficiency and anemia is one of the most common. Anemia also makes workouts ineffective. You can’t build muscle or increase stamina when you don’t have enough red blood cells to supply the energy for your exercise. A simple blood test can determine if you are iron deficient or anemic.

The reader also mentioned that her family doesn’t share her view of fitness and nutrition. It must be so discouraging to share your home with people who don’t support you, or don’t take health seriously.

The message I hear is, “Oh, I’ll just be vegetarian because maybe it’ll be easier.” In her particular case maybe it would be. It might also be healthier if food sources aren’t in her own control. No one should be made to feel badly or like a failure when they aren’t in a position to control their diets.

Look. I have a good job and I make good money and I live right next to San Francisco. I can go to a vegan restaurant if I want to but I do technically rent a small space where I can have a mini kitchen. In my home, I really just have a microwave and a mini fridge. I have to say, I have not had any challenges being vegan without a way to cook. You would think that would be a major challenge but I’ve found a way to overcome it.

I decided to make it work. In fact, it never even occurred to me that it would be a challenge. I was like, “I’ll be fine. I’ll work it out.” And I have worked it out. It hasn’t been a problem. You just have to believe that you’re going to make it happen, that it’s going to be fine because it is.

Workouts and Protein

I know what I do is a little different than what the average person working out does. I think that the most important thing is making sure you’re getting enough nutrition at the right time, in the right amount into our body. That can mean different things to different people. For example someone lifting weights is going to need a lot more protein than someone doing serious running.


There’s going to be differences, but essentially we all need the same vital nutrients. A huge part of that is knowing your own body. Regardless of your workout, a protein shake afterwards is almost always a good idea.

On the other hand, I know plenty of people who do workouts without protein afterward. Actually a friend of mine who is into whole foods would never drink a protein shake because it doesn’t come from whole food. Instead, he juices a lot. He doesn’t use protein powders, just real food and he looks great.

I don’t want to say everybody should go with the mix, but some form of protein is a must.

There is so much to know and so much to learn. I think for someone who just wants to get started working out, a simple shake is an easy way to get into it. Most people starting out just need encouragement. They need to know they’re not wasting their time at the gym and that everything they’re doing is effective toward achieving their fitness goals.

Where can you go online for this information?

A huge source of workout and nutritional information is the website. That’s where I got started on my workout education. Surprisingly, the Whole Foods grocery store carries several magazines that are specific to nutrition through fitness and eating well.

You can usually find recipes and interviews and things in those magazines from all the major competitors. You also get examples of key workouts and examples of effective diets. A lot of serious bodybuilders have websites or Facebook pages. Those can also be great sources of information when you’re getting started.

In the next post, I’m going to answer questions I commonly get in email or from Facebook. I get loads of questions, so I can’t possibly cover them all. But, when I find one that speaks to my fitness and health audience I will try to answer it for everyone’s benefit.

Stay tuned

Gatorade and Coconut Malt

First, Gatorade

I went through a long and bad habit of picking up a Gatorade every time I went to the gym. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it got the point where I felt like needed the Gatorade. It got to where I had to have something sweet to sip on during my workout. I see it as putting sugar back into my body, so the muscles can start use that to replace what I’m burning.

Gatorade Cocktail

The rule of thumb that always works for me is to take a scoop of protein powder in water, or just put it in the Gatorade. I find that if I’m sipping some protein during my workout, I don’t have all the pain the next day that I normally would. If I ever forget to do it, bam, I have pain the next day.

My personal trainer insists that all the sugar in Gatorade is on par with drinking a soda during a workout.

Eventually it led me to start drinking homemade Gatorade. I’m a huge fan of certain recipes. When I first read about someone making their own Gatorade, I thought “That’s a fantastic idea because mid way through my workout, I’ll get tired. I’m exhausted.” This is such a better alternative to branded Gatorade which is mostly sugar. It’s not natural and you’re putting artificial chemicals in your body.

Homemade Gatorade is super easy. Just pit 14 dates and soak them in water overnight. The next day, throw the soaked dates into the Vitamix. They’ll blend up really quickly. Then, just take that in a little shaker bottle or a little cup that you take to the gym and sip on that during your workout, you’ll get the fiber and the sugars will keep you going without the crash and it’s good for you. If you want, you can add some protein powder and you’ll be set for your all natural workout.

Real Gatorade is full of chemicals. The more I learn in my chemistry classes, the more I realize that everything that comes in a bottle is bad for you. In order to have shelf life, bottled beverages need to have preservatives. Natural foods don’t last for weeks in the fridge, because they are organic and natural. They are meant to be picked from the tree and consumed. If you want to eat healthy, you have to be willing to put in the effort to make your own food.

I’m now trying to wean myself off all packaged foods, ingredients, and drinks. Especially the blue Gatorade!

Homemade Gatorade is amazing. It’s super good and good for you. No chemicals. Enough said.


Coconut Malt

If you’re looking for another amazing little drink to make, try coconut malt. You just use coconut milk. You can get the coconut milk from the canned version, which is obviously higher in fat than the boxed versions of milk. You’ll need to add pitted and soaked dates, coconut milk and a dash of sea salt. I prefer pink Himalayan sea salt. (As a side not, Himalayan sea salt is an electrolyte refueler also.)

If you want to add a protein powered, you can spice it up with some vanilla flavored mix. It complements the recipe very nicely.

I would use the above recipe during a workout in place of Gatorade. If you choose to add the protein mix, it will work as an after workout drink as well. It can help reduce the sore muscles that can come with a huge workout.

If you’re working out on a regular basis, it’s vital to make sure you get protein in your system within 30 minutes of working out. That’s the window when our bodies need protein the most. Our muscles need to heal and recover. In order for that to happen effectively, we need to get the protein in there as soon as possible. Sometimes even if we were to eat a high protein meal immediately after leaving the gym, it may or may not even hit our system because it takes longer for a meal to be digested. That’s why protein shakes are so imperative for those that are working out.

When in doubt, add dates. Dates are seriously my best friend. I don’t know what I would do without dates. There’s so many amazing things you can make with them. So good. They’re also really great if you’re not trying to eat all the chocolate in the world. You eat dates instead. They are so healthful.

For instance one of my favorite cookbook authors, Dreena Burton,did a caramel apple recipe where you make the caramel with dates and cashew butter. Amazing. It tasted just like a traditional caramel apple. It was incredible.

Alternatively, you can use coconut butter or the coconut fat in place of cashew butter so you end up with a coconut caramel instead of a traditional tasting caramel.

I’ll never want a caramel apple not made with dates ever again. It’s so good.

Question of the Month

I get so many emails asking about diets for athletes. So I want to cover what it’s like to remain healthy and strong as a college athlete. You might remember that a long time ago I talked about the, they had a contest. I think it was or ironman magazine or something along those lines.

I don’t recall.

Some muscley magazine had a contest to, “Be the body builder 2013, be on our cover.” At the time, college body building was really trying to get people to vote for a college body builder so we would have college students on the cover.

It didn’t end up happening but we still want to learn more about what kind of muscle mass you can build without eating mean or even any animal products whatsoever. Two days ago, I did a major lower body workout. I thought, you know when you’re working gluts and you’re like, “You know what? I was going to go a little extra hard and really work out the gluts,” because you can’t feel the damage you’re doing at the time, it’s easy to push yourself too far. The next day is hell.

You try to sit down. Or you try to stand up. You’re in pain throughout your lower body.

I was recently reading about a woman who is a lifelong dancer, body builder and a practicing yogi. She is passionate about health, animal welfare and spreading the healthy lifestyle message. She is currently pursuing her degree in science to become a registered dietitian and plans to complete the Colin T. Campbell plant-based nutrition certification this summer at Cornell.

I tried to contact her and ended up having a lot of correspondence with her. She was just so kind so it was flattering for her to tell me the same thing back so I’ll definitely be doing that again next year. Maybe we’ll have even that much more vegan support next year.

How does one end up becoming so focused on nutrition and fitness?

In my own case, I’d have to describe it as a chain of events, really. It was in 2009, when I competed in the same show in Bend, Oregon with a fellow athlete. It was my first competition. He was at the back stage and he was really nice and just not like the other athletes in the competition. He’s just really down to Earth, likes to workout and super smiley and happy and running around with his long, blond ponytail shining.

We chatted briefly backstage about how to get the best cross training workout. Later, we connected Facebook when we both became interested in hardcore abdominal exercises. I started looking into diet and what would be best to lose weight and gain muscle mass.

What’s this all about?

I’ve been pretty health conscious all my life, but I didn’t know really about specific nutrition for specific fitness goals. After I started learning more about what I should and shouldn’t have in my diet, I became really interested in diet.

That was the initial start. Then, in early 2009, early 2010, I was sick for the last 5 months of 2009 into the early 2 or 3 months of 2010. I had bronchitis, pneumonia back to back. Then, finally went out with a bang, so to speak, with the H1N1 and was in bed for 36 hours straight. It was just terrible.

I finally got better from that. I got a kidney infection shortly thereafter. At that point, I thought, “Gosh, there must be something I’m doing wrong.” I opted to go to the doctor. She looked at me very sternly and said, “No more gluten and no more dairy.” I was like, “Okay. I can do that.” The gluten was honestly the harder part which now, I can actually have gluten and I’m fine but I dropped the dairy like a bad habit.

It was really pretty easy honestly but last thing to go was eggs. That was just because they’re in a lot of products. I wasn’t really aware of it. In 2014, I was officially on a new diet.

I honestly think my body was mostly just really upset from the egg and the dairy that was still in my diet at that time. At one point in 2011, I went over to my friend’s house for dinner. They’re vegetarian. They’ve been vegetarian for years. Usually, she’s really good about knowing what to cook for people with other dietary restrictions. She knew what mine were.

My friend ended up making these tacos. I was eating it and I was like, “Okay, so what is this meat?” I thought it was Gardein, the little groundless beef or whatever they have. They were like, “Oh, it’s some brand we found at the market,” and they got the package.

Immediately, I was like, “Oh, no.” I thought it was fine for me to eat, but it had egg in it and I ended up getting so sick. Really honestly think that the majority of my issues were stemming from my diet. Now, I can have gluten. I don’t have it all the time but if I have it, it doesn’t ruin me either. I’m not down for the count.

Publishing Health Information

Believe it or not, book covers make a big difference on Amazon, which I still find amazing. This is what happens when you get your book to that tipping point, and it starts to sell a lot of copies in a short space of time. Not only was it number one there on the list in direct marketing. It’s now it’s showing up in three different places on the same page. It’s a hot new release, and it’s one of the top rated books in that category. This doesn’t happen to books with bad book covers.

VictorBezrukovAndNinaMathewsAnybody coming to that page looking for book covers for the best marketing, is going to see my book covers three times, effectively being endorsed by Amazon. That generates lots and lot of sales and that’s one of the great things about the system, about getting a lot of sales in a short space of time. It leads to organic sales through Amazon it’s very powerful. Then the second case study. This is when I ran the free campaign. Okay, we’ll talk about the free campaign it’s part of the six steps that’s just one of the six steps by the way. Published in March during the free giveaway, it was downloaded 15,700 times in five days, which is pretty solid for a nonfiction book among a slew of gorgeous book covers and a book cover creator.

Now, I wasn’t building a list for this book because it’s not although I had written a book, this is the one by the way I wrote in 2004 and couldn’t get it published before I updated it and then published it on Kindle. I wasn’t building a list in this space but if you were and if you just got a 10% optin rate, you are looking at 1500 people on your list within five days. It’s really powerful. It hit the number 37 on all of Kindle so it’s up there in the Kindle top 100 as the 37th most popular free book because it competes well among the other book covers. It was a number one bestseller in four categories. Around the five day promotion and then switched … here is a slide just confirming that. You see number one in weight loss weight management. 

Back Pain Follow Up

After the recent post, I received several comments about Dr. Sarno’s treatment and diagnosis strategies for chronic back pain. The feedback was all over the map. I must admit several people expressed extreme gratitude for the help they’ve received from either visiting Dr. Sarno in person at his clinic in New York, or from reading one of his many top selling books.

A few folks offered some suggestions for other unconventional treatments for back pain that have been helpful to them, including something called movement therapy. This looks interesting and is likely something I’ll want to write more about on the blog. The premise of movement therapy is quite simple–and in some ways similar to that of Dr. Sarno. Movement therapy suggests that the area has had no blood flow, and as a result has become stiff and painful. Much of the problem can be remedied simply by getting moving and getting the area healthy again.

This approach, though different than we discussed previously, shares some common ground with the Rusk Institute Approach. One of the required activities for treatment includes getting back to your old activities and not be afraid of the pain. Many patients find that, indeed, when they start moving it may hurt initially but doesn’t seem to get any worse, and eventually they’re able to move much more than they previously thought they could.

Additionally, a few asked where you could go see Dr. Sarno. He practiced in New York and though the clinic is still there, he is retired. The man is afterall in his 90’s. While you can no longer see him in person, you can read his books, or you can see other doctors around the country who handle chronic pain the same way. Many actually studied under him to learn how and many had pain themselves that was cured the same way.

For those looking for more information, you can find a great online course here. There’s also a website called TMSWiki that has all kinds of great resources on TMS–it’s quite impressive really. There you can also find a doctor near you and read interviews and even take a course they have for free on the website that was created and donated by a doctor.

Recently, we came across an on line program in the UK that’s for treating all kinds of stress related illness, but mainly pain. It looks really promising and we’ll report back to you once someone has had a chance to sign up for it and see what it’s all about. At nearly $300 USD, it’s not cheap, so definitely something we want to look into before recommending.

In the mean time, we confidently endorse the MindbodySchool program.