Boulder Back Pain Study, by Alan Gordon, Howard Schubiner, Christie Uipi and others...


Staff member
Hi everyone,

Four years ago, there was an Indiegogo fundraiser to raise money for a groundbreaking study. It was important enough that, for the first time, I sent an email blast out to everyone who had ever registered for my original forum at The TMS Wiki.

Anyway.... if you were around then, you might remember this fundraising video: (Howard Schubiner is on the left and Alan Gordon is on the right)

That money funded a study that was just released in a prestigious, peer reviewed medical journal.

The best way to get an overview of the study is probably to read the press release from The University of Colorado, Boulder here: (How therapy, not pills, can nix chronic pain and change the brain)

Because this is a Randomized Controlled Trial, and because the results were so strong, this is a big deal for helping to get the word out about TMS.

The outcomes were stunning for just four weeks of care. Pain intensity (on a standard scale of 1-5) dropped dramatically for the PRT group but not for the group that only received a placebo or received "usual care:"

(PRT is the technical term for Alan's form of treatment - it's the form of treatment in the free Multimedia Pain Recovery Program on this site and it's what any of us would recognize as TMS treatment.)


As you can see in the diagram above, the improvements persisted, even in a 12 month follow up↑

In the following diagram, each dot represents an individual patient. The height of the dot represents whether the pain got worse (higher) or better (lower). You can see that some of the usual treatment patients got worse. In contrast, the grey dots for PRT are much lower, and many people receiving PRT had a 100% decrease in symptoms:


Specifically, more than half of the blue PRT group had less than 1% of their original pain, even after a year:

For conventional pain treatment, these results are unheard of.

This gives the TMS doctors some powerful ammunition in spreading the word about TMS and more people making progress in overcoming their pain.

You can read the full paper here: (Effect of Pain Reprocessing Therapy vs Placebo and Usual Care for Patients With Chronic Back Pain)

At a certain point, the campaign earned enough money to fund the research study, so as a stretch goal, Alan found a filmmaker to document the study. Funding that project became a stretch goal for the Indiegogo. That film should be coming out soon. More details here:

To help build enthusiasm for the IndieGogo, Alan donated the free "Multimedia Pain Recovery Program" that grace's the TMS Wiki's Forum's home page. The first two paragraphs of that program's first day used to read,
To help raise awareness around the TMS Study/Documentary Fundraising Campaign that Dr. Schubiner and I are overseeing, I am putting together a 21-day TMS program with the most up-to-date theories, tools, and techniques.​
Every day (Monday - Saturday) for the next three weeks, I'll be posting another step in the recovery process.​
He followed that very plan and while it is a wonderful resource, I suggest that everyone read his book first!

(This thread includes text from an original thread at the TMS Wiki.)