Here are my thoughts on recent comments in this thread. (I've been away from the forum for awhile as it can induce relapse of symptoms for me.)
Sarno does not say that GERD would be caused by stress per se. He points to subconscious emotions. Anger and rage mainly, that are buried inside. The nice thing about his treatment suggestion is that, to begin, you only need to acknowledge that buried anger may be causing you some distress; you don't need to stop all stress or be all happy. This approach short-circuits the brain's whole reason for giving you symptoms. That is why some back sufferers experience almost instant relief.
This is similar to when you go to the doctor with, say, a pain in your ear and once checked out and the doctor says nothing is wrong, the pain goes away as you leave the office. I'm sure some of you have experienced this: once the doctor says, "don't worry," the pain disappears. It is weird, but it happens. The same can happen with a doctor saying, "oh my, you have a dangerous ailment," and your pain goes up. The condition has not changed, in these examples. Your brain's perception of the condition has.
When I read this forum I hear lots of woe and misery. How many people on the forum ever go see a counselor or psychologist (perhaps on your own nickel), to talk about your life, its ups and downs? I suggest that some of you give yourself a present and spend $300 on 3 $100 sessions with a psychologist and say, "I'd like to talk about my emotions -- anger, sadness -- because they may be affecting my health." Imagine doing that.
I hear people trooping to doctor after doctor, but how many of you ever troop once to an emotional or spiritual person? There is an epidemic in this country of chronic ailments. Some are related to environmental factors (mold, pollution, toxins), but some are related to our being out of touch with our body-mind world. We go see too many doctors and not enough shrinks. IMO.
Whether you go to a shrink or not, I suggest anyone who is sufferering alot read Sarno or one of the similar people (Amir, Sopher, Schechter).
At the same time, do work with a physician until you are better. Don't drop your meds until you have fully understood the Sarno method and even then taper them off. If I have a flare-up, I have found it helpful to meditate on anger/sadness once a day, take action to reduce new anger, if possible, get plenty of rest, good food and exercise. Once you feel better, celebrate with foods / drinks on the bad list, knowing that the bad list was probably more a mental trigger than anything else. Your body is tough. It will heal if you let it.
[Lest I forget, another nice book is by Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul: read the chapters entitled "Honoring Symptoms as a Gift of the Soul" and "The Body's Poetics of Illness"]
take care everyone and use what works for you !