Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain every year. There’s physical therapy, chiropractic care and painkillers but it almost seems as if there’s no way to heal the pain permanently. For decades, Dr. John Sarno was a physician at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in New York. For Dr. Sarno, he believed that the mind and body were connected. He called this condition Tension Myoneural Syndrome, or TMS- the idea of any ongoing chronic pain being caused by repressed emotion. All the Rage, a documentary from filmmaker Michael Galinsky, is not only about Dr. Sarno but also about TMS in general. With TMS still not being recognized by the mainstream medical community, All the Rage makes a great case as to why this should be looked into.
The documentary mainly follows two people: Dr. Sarno and Galinsky. With Dr. Sarno, you’ll get to know about the man and hear him speak. Overall, the documentary does a great job at showing us who Dr. Sarno was. Even if you know about the man already, the documentary presents it in a way that’s effective to both people familiar with Dr. Sarno and people who are not. Watching the movie, you can get an idea as to what kind of person Dr. Sarno was. Dr. Sarno passed away shortly after the movie was screened last June, which makes his scenes some poignancy: the man stayed true to his work until the very end.
On the other hand, we have Galinsky. It’s sometimes risky when the filmmaker decides to put himself/herself in a movie like this. Fortunately, this works as Galinsky is interesting and relatable enough to serve as the movie’s TMS sufferer. Galinsky’s TMS began around his early 20’s, which he was able to heal from by reading Dr. Sarno’s books. When the pain came back in 2004 and 2011, Galinsky had his camera with him. Galinsky’s scenes are relatable as we watch him struggle in healing himself, making for some of the documentary’s most emotional scenes.
Throughout the documentary, you’ll get to hear from other experts in the field. While Dr. Sarno is the person associated with TMS, other doctors have continued his work. All of the doctors and therapists interviewed for the documentary bring in some great insights on the mindbody connection. Throughout the movie, there are several helpful visuals that give a better understanding as to how TMS works. The graphics and visual aids used here in the documentary are very helpful and top notch.
The documentary was also able to nab interviews with a few celebrities, who were able to heal by reading Dr. Sarno’s work. This includes people such as Howard Stern, Larry David and 20/20 reporter John Stossel. Their appearances are brief but they too provide some insight- especially Stern. Stern helped spread the word around about Dr. Sarno after Stern was able to heal from his pain. With this, many people have cited hearing about Dr. Sarno through Stern’s radio show. If the documentary has any flaws, the pacing and structure can feel disorganized at times. Others might find Galinsky’s presence in the documentary distracting. While Galinsky could’ve distanced himself from the final product, I think his presence is needed as the audience should be able to see an example of a TMS sufferer.
Overall, All the Rage is a very good documentary. While it isn’t without its flaws, it shouldn’t really matter: there really hasn’t been a movie made about Dr. Sarno and his work. Now that this movie exists, it’ll likely generate interest in viewers who were unfamiliar with Dr. Sarno and/or TMS before. If you suffer from chronic pain of any kind, I highly recommend that you watch this movie.
All the Rage is currently on Vimeo On Demand, where it can be rented for $5.99. For more information of the movie, please click here to visit the movie’s official website.