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The Mind-Body Medicine Center

Welcome to the Mind-Body Center of Providence!
Dr. Howard Schubiner is a compassionate, caring physician.  He has successfully treated patients who felt there was no hope of being their normal, healthy self again.

Specializing in the treatment of disorders with significant psychological components


Dr. Howard Schubiner, Mind-Body Medicine Center, Providence HospitalMind-Body Center of Providence
22255 Greenfield Rd., Suite 410
Southfield, MI 48075
Phone: 248-849-4728

Director: Howard Schubiner, MD

 

What are “chronic symptom complexes?”

Chronic symptom complexes that are likely to have a significant psychological component include:
Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Neck pain, Whiplash, Fibromyalgia, Tendonitis, Tension headache, Migraine headache, Insomnia, Non-ulcer dyspepsia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and others.

Studies show that 70 – 80% of people with these symptoms improve significantly with this type of treatment.

Who is likely to benefit?

Patients who are likely to benefit from this service include:

  • Those whose symptoms wax and wane over time, particularly in relation to stressors, weekends, and/or vacations.
  • Those whose symptoms tend to “alternate,” i.e. back pain recedes when insomnia or headaches worsen and vice versa.
  • Those whose symptoms began during stressful periods, even if the person did not feel particularly stressed at the time.
  • Those who do not recognize any relation between stress and symptoms may still benefit because the stress causing the symptoms is often unconscious and therefore not recognized.
Program elements

The program consists of an individual assessment followed by group workshops. Approximately half of the costs are billed to third party payers.

Contact Dr. Schubiner at 248-849-4728 for questions or appointments. He is willing to discuss this program to help determine if this treatment might make sense for a particular individual prior to making an appointment.

Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)

Specializing in the treatment of Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)

What is TMS?
TMS is the actual cause of pain and disability in many cases of chronic pain.  Many people with chronic back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, repetitive stress injury and other pain syndromes actually have TMS.  TMS is a condition in which the brain causes a lack of blood supply to certain muscles, tendons or nerves leading to pain.  However, this condition can be reversed through changing the underlying conditions in the brain that cause the changes in the blood supply.  We now know that pain can be “learned” over time by a subtle conditioning process between the brain and the body.  Sometimes this conditioning is fueled by stress and psychological distress, while other times it is mainly due to a misunderstanding of the actual cause of the pain.  Once people understand that their pain can be cured, they are on the road to recovery.

How do we diagnose TMS?
TMS can be diagnosed by ruling out conditions that will cause pain in everyone, such as fractures, infections and cancer.  Research has shown that minor changes seen on X-rays or CT or MRI scans can occur in people who have NO pain.  Therefore, if bulging discs, arthritic changes or other minor “abnormalities” are present, it is often wrong to assume that this is the cause of pain.  In order to exclude conditions that are not TMS, everyone in this program will have an individual consultation with Dr. Schubiner to make sure that the diagnosis is correct before proceeding to treatment.

How do we treat TMS?
  TMS is treated by a six-step program developed by Dr. Schubiner. 

The steps are:

  1. Recognizing the true disorder through thorough review of the medical history, examination and test results.  Making sure that the correct diagnosis is clear before proceeding to treatment. 
  2. Reading books and articles about TMS to educate the patient about TMS to begin to alter the way in which one thinks about the disorder and/or the pain.
  3. Writing exercises are prescribed to help change the underlying brain chemistry and alleviate psychological distress.
  4. Reflections are used (via a CD developed for this program) to alter the signals sent by the brain to the body and to alter the signals received by the brain from the body.
  5. Reprogramming the brain to change the neurologic pathways that keep the pain or other symptoms present.
  6. Rebuilding the lives of patients by gradually increasing activities and decreasing fears of recurrences.

The program consists of an individual consultation with Dr. Schubiner followed by a 3-week course in a small group format.  The consultation is billed to medical insurance carriers, however the 3-week course is not covered by insurance.

Please contact Dr. Schubiner directly at 248-849-4728 if you would like more information or you would like to discuss your situation to see if you might benefit from this program.  Studies have shown that approximately 70% of people with TMS benefit greatly from this type of treatment program.

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Real-world stories

1. The immediate cure: A 48-year-old woman developed pain the left gluteal area with some radiation down into the leg. There was no significant precipitating event. She works as the CEO of a software company, is married without children. There were no significant stressors identifi ed initially. She saw an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed her as having pyriformis syndrome and referred her to a physiatrist. She had physical therapy, trigger point injections, massage therapy, and manipulative medical therapy to no avail. Despite excellent compliance to recommended therapies, the pain persisted and progressed to the point where she had to step down from her job. She could not sit down for any length of time and therefore could not ride in cars or airplanes. Approximately, 18 months after the pain began, she read one of Dr. Sarno’s books,The Mind-Body Prescription. The book explains that chronic pain syndromes in many people are actually caused by unrecognized stress and emotions. She recognized that she was angry at her husband for retiring and moving to Florida, leaving her to run her company by herself in a cold climate. The evening after reading this book, she went to a concert and was able to sit without pain through the whole concert. Within a few days, she was pain free.

2. Cure requiring a few weeks:A 35-year-old man was involved in a “roll-over” motor vehicle accident. Doctors in the emergency room found no fractures, but he had many bumps and bruises. He began to recover from the assorted aches and pains, but about a week later began to have neck pain. His physician diagnosed whiplash syndrome and prescribed physical therapy and a cervical collar, but the symptoms did not improve. The pain gradually worsened to the point that he was unable to perform his usual activities and was frequently disabled due to pain. He was referred to a mind-body medicine program and began to learn techniques to deal with underlying emotions and triggers to pain. Within 3 weeks, the pain had subsided and has not recurred for several years.

3. Cure requiring months:A 38-year-old woman with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and insomnia was referred to a mind-body center. She had been treated with pain medications, sleeping pills, vitamins supplements, and herbal remedies. The program set up for her included reading to understand the relationship between emotional stress and physical symptoms, refl ecting on the issues causing stress in her life, writing exercises to express long-held emotions, and gradual increase in physical activity. Over the first month, her symptoms persisted but she had occasional episodes of mild relief. Following the initial series of workshops, she started psychological counseling with an emphasis on identification of stressors and the relationship between those stressors and her physical symptoms. After approximately 10 months, her symptoms began to subside and although she continues to have some pain, it is manageable without pain medications and she is able to sleep and perform daily activities.

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  Other patients would like to share their experiences...FINALLY, relief with the assistance of Dr. Howard Schubiner...

1. Sue from Novi, age 46, recalls:   Three years ago I changed to a more physical job and immediately began to have hip pain.  Physical therapy did not help and the pain continued to worsen. Within six months my back and joints ached everyday, I could barely walk a flight of stairs, and I was exhausted by midday. Four specialists and three courses of physical therapy later, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I began to understand the emotional stresses that contributed to the hip problem.  I had been in a difficult marriage for years, moved out of state, lost my mother suddenly, and then experienced a divorce. That led to parenting two boys on my own, financial concerns, moving two more times, and resuming a full-time professional career.  I continued to search for recovery.  The medical management of the symptoms helped, but did not alleviate the persistent pain and exhaustion.
   Dr. Schubiner's one night informative session on chronic pain caught my eye.  At this session, he had some very convincing statistics about Tension Myositis Syndrome and theories about why pain may be so persistent. I signed up for his Mind Body Medicine program and at the initial individual consultative session, we investigated the widespread pattern of pain. He helped me understand how my thought patterns were helping to keep a chemical cycle of pain going. I began to experience a lessening of headaches and joint pain immediately. Following two more sessions focusing on meditative practices and journaling to express anger, I was feeling 'lighter' and less tired. I understand now how much I was contributing to the ongoing symptoms and what I can continue to do to feel physically 'normal' again.  Dr. Schubiner's workshop was probably one of most important pieces of work that I did to regain my health and energy. Thank you Dr. Schubiner!!

2.  From Oak Park, MI, age 58, NL's experience:   Before I was referred to Dr. Schubiner by my regular doctor, I was nearly incapacitated.  I was “diagnosed” with interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, vulvar vestibulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, trochanteric bursitis, back problems, all of which caused PAIN—PAIN—PAIN.  I was feeling that my life as an active, productive human being was over.  The PAIN as well as the medications (Darvocet, Vicoden, etc.) made me so tired, I could hardly function.  Truly I had “chronic fatigue” and I was somewhat depressed and homebound.  I was afraid to go off the interstitial cystitis diet, afraid of re-injuring my back, afraid to be “too active,” afraid! I even had to have care from my long term home health care insurance for over two months.
   After I met Dr. Schubiner and read Dr. Sarno’s book (The Mind Body Prescription), I began to have hope.  After the physical exam when the diagnosis of Tension Myositis Syndrome was confirmed, I was determined to help myself through the class. The seminars were very informative and interesting. I worked hard at doing the homework (the reading, the writing exercises and listening to the meditation CD). After the second week, I began to see improvement. I learned that there was no danger in trying new food, walking, shopping by myself, etc. I continued to attend my Recovery, Inc. weekly meetings and they also teach that there is no danger. Slowly, slowly, I began to regain mobility and “joi de vivre.” After a while, I even danced at a wedding, and have done so twice more.  Hoorray!!  Appreciating every improvement is part of the cure.  I thank you for giving me a good part of my life back.

3.  JD, age 59, Commerce Township, MI shares her story:   I am a 59 year old woman who is generally in very good health. However about 2 years ago, I developed pain in my left upper hip that continually woke me up from sleep during the night.  The pain was excruciating and scared me a great deal. I saw my regular internist who took several X-rays and did not find the source of the problem. Then I took Dr. Schubiner’s Mind Body Medicine class and after starting the meditation and writing techniques, the pain disappeared and has not recurred. I highly recommend taking this class for people who suffer from painful conditions for which no medical therapy has been found.

4.  MC, age 68, of Northville tells:   In the spring of 2005, I came to a point where I knew I could no longer sit and wait for a “cure.” I needed to take action! Coincidentally, I had just received a brochure from Providence Hospital that gave a brief description of the TMS program: the Mind Body Medicine clinic.  After I attended an introductory lecture and an interview, I knew you were offering me a solution to the chronic pain I had experienced for the past 32 years. 
   After a serious fall in 1983, I had three painful back surgeries. During the course of the last 32 years, I have tried massage therapy, physical therapy, myofascial release, shots, medications, etc., etc., etc. However, after the first two classes in the Mind Body Medicine program, I began to feel 100% better.  By using the breathing exercises, medication, and learning to refuse to accept pain in my busy life, I started to heal.  Also, recognizing the hurts and fears of my childhood have contributed to my feelings of well-being. Thank you so very much!!

All ages can benefit from this workshop and program, teens and adults alike. For more feedback on Dr. Schubiner's program and results, Mind-Body Center Program Testimonials.

Contact Dr. Schubiner at 248-849-4728 for questions or appointments. He is willing to discuss this program to help determine if this treatment might make sense for a particular individual prior to making an appointment.

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