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Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by amarie133, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    After a 6 month battle with “tendinosis” I am now 95% with all activities no pain, and winning the battle. I couldn’t be happier. It took a while to accept TMS, but am so happy that I had to make a choice—to put faith and courage in myself and intuition, and let go of what the doctors have said.

    6+ months ago, while I was working on a massage client, I felt a sharp pain in my right forearm. The anxiety and fear around the pain increased, as half of my income was from working as a massage therapist. I tried working through the pain, but it only intensified. I sought out two doctors and an MRI, which revealed nothing. A third doctor diagnosed me with tendonitis/tendinosis of my thumb and forearm extensors.

    I was devastated, depressed and anxious. A few months prior to the injury, I had just graduated from a 5 year master degree program and was just starting my practice and business. From this injury, I lost all of my massage clients, and half of my income. The anxiety and depression, as well as the shame that I couldn’t heal myself was hard.

    I did PT but many times just felt worse afterwards. The only thing that helped was wearing a wrist brace, and I wore that pretty consistently for 6 months. I also tried acupuncture, massage, herbs, ultrasound, tens/estim, cortisone, and finally found Dr. Sarno. His theories made sense to me. 10 years prior to this, in my mid 20’s, I had constant medically unexplained throat pain for 2 years, then followed by unexplained shoulder, wrist and ankle pain for 8 months. Finally my doctor at the time sent me to a Mind Body Stress Reduction course. Thank god. It was my first exposure to mindfulness and meditation. Eventually the throat and joint pain cleared. Needless to say, Sarno’s theories made sense to me with this bout of forearm pain, and I wanted to believe badly, that this “injury” was psychological in nature because recovering from tendinosis would be incredibly difficult according to research, and the doctor and physical therapist told me I would never be able to go back to doing massage therapy.

    In my mind, I switched back in forth between this being a physical injury and a mind-body, or psychosomatic condition. Once I would convince myself it was psychosomatic, I would go a few days totally pain free. Then I would push myself too much, do a lot of forearm and thumb extension and “reinjure” myself. The pain would flare up again and I would return to the battle in my mind, and the wrist brace.

    A month ago, the night of my birthday, I woke up at 3 am with bad shoulder pain on the left side of my body. I couldn’t lift my arm or bend my elbow without a lot of pain 7/10. The doctor quickly diagnosed me with biceps tendonitis. Even I was convinced it was, as the pain had showed up a few weeks prior while swimming (though when it first appeared I was convinced it was TMS because I had read about the moving of pain in Sarno’s books, and would tell the pain to go away and it would.)

    Finally after battling with this pain in my left shoulder for 3 weeks, and at some point reinjuring my right forearm again and not having any use of my arms for about a week, I realized something. The night my shoulder pain really started and persisted, my preteen stepdaughter chose not to wish me happy birthday. I tried to tell myself that it was ok, and just let it go, but inside I was deeply hurt and disappointed. I made this realization at night, and by the next morning, the shoulder pain was completely gone. 100%.

    After this, I am now mostly convinced my forearm pain, RSI and tendinosis is TMS. It’s been hard to 100% accept because there is no TMS doctor in Hawaii. I started seeing a psychologist about 2 months ago at a chronic pain clinic, because of the inkling this was a psychological issue, but he continued to focus on my “physical” injuries and helping me cope with that. My intuition told me otherwise, and as I gain the courage within myself to not rely on the doctors, physical therapists and psychologist for a TMS diagnosis, I find myself growing stronger everyday with more and more pain reduction. Right now I’m at about 95%. (But believe me, a week ago, taking off that wrist brace for the very last time caused quite the pain flare!).

    I’m not pushing myself to be 100%. It seems counterintuitive. I would love to get back to massage but am accepting myself where I’m at and in this process. I am actually thankful this happened, because as an acupuncturist and massage therapist, I now have a deeper understanding of the mind, the spirit and the body. I would agree with Sarno that what is commonly diagnosed as physical injuries in the body are just manifestations of psychological pain and suffering. I see it so much in my own patients I treat with acupuncture and am saddened I cannot approach this subject with many of them. So now I just need the tools to be able to do so… I think I will be going back to school to get my master’s in mental health counseling :)

    I will check back in soon and let you all know how I’m doing. Take care and be strong everyone!!

    Aloha, Andrea
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  2. Physio Guy

    Physio Guy New Member

    Great story. This is a much bigger leap for health practitioners such as physios and massage therapists.
    amarie133 likes this.
  3. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Physio Guy. If it weren't for my own personal experience, I would focus on the physical too. Something I've discovered as a practitioner this week... the subconscious is so powerful. This last week I saw a patient who went to a chiro, he told her that her back pain levels should be worse after a series of bike accidents the last few years. Within a week her pain levels went from manageable to 8/10. She told me "wow, he was really correct with his diagnostic skills." Ahhhhhhh! Lesson learned, be mindful what you tell your patient.
    This week I've spent unlearning everything the PT and doctor told me not to do... and succeeding :) good thing the brain has the wonderful ability of neuroplasticity!
  4. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    awesome story Andrea!
    you are so right. the Unconscious and subconscious are incredible aspects of our minds.

    It just takes an extension of current medically accepted ideas to encompass TMS. it isn't even that big of a stretch but the infrastructure that has grown up around treating pain will make it a challenge to have it accepted.
    JanAtheCPA, amarie133 and Physio Guy like this.
  5. Physio Guy

    Physio Guy New Member

    Yeah you can never underestimate the power your brain has Amarie133. I noticed that the more I downplayed an injury and re-assured, the better people got. They don't even realize this is a form of treatment. It might not be great for business initially, but in the long run it's much better.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    Yeah, to examine the mind, emotions and spiritual aspect of a person and how these relate to dis-ease within the physical body is beyond the focus of mainstream medicine. One of these days, there will be a shift :)
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  7. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    What's good for business and what is ethically right are not always aligned! Lol. But maybe you'll be the PT that got them better quickly... word of mouth is excellent for business ;) I always noticed with the various PT's I went to, the more upbeat and positive they were and focused on other things besides the "injury" and pain, I'd leave feeling much better.

    Do you ever see transference of symptoms physio guy? I recently had two Acu patients... #1 we got rid chronic migraines and then shortly thereafter this person developed a bleeding stomach ulcer. #2 golfers elbow, pain and weakness of forearm flexor and thumb. I told him 6 treatmentS to get rid of. He literally had persistent symptoms until the 6th treatment, then it all released. He went bowling 4x's that 6th week pain free. But came back because he then developed persistent back and leg spasms. I don't even know if I should be writing this! But it's the truth.
    If only we truly knew how powerful our minds are. It only took me 6+ months to learn, but today I'm 98% pain free.
    IrishSceptic and Physio Guy like this.
  8. Physio Guy

    Physio Guy New Member

    Yes, I frequently see a collection of patients that suffer from what we in the office unofficially call "transient pain syndrome." They present with pain in one area, are treated in a few visits, and then return weeks or months later with another "mystery pain."
    amarie133 likes this.
  9. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    This is such a great story! I am an acupuncturist too and see it ALL THE TIME with my patients. I'm curious how you go about talking to them about it. I try with nearly all my patients, but it's definitely an uphill battle that they don't understand.
    amarie133 likes this.
  10. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    Hi COgirl,
    So 4.5 hours of massage this week and I am completely pain free. It was incredibly scary to do that initial massage but I told myself this is TMS and it cannot hurt me. And it didn't!! I feel so much more free and courageous.
    Approaching patients about Mind/Body symptoms is tricky. I know what you mean about seeing this quite a bit. I think it's important to first build trust with your patients. Also, ask them if they notice if their pain flares when they are stressed. If they say yes, that may be a good opening. I've used myself as an example when talking to my patients recently who I think could benefit from some guidance in this area. If they seem open, suggest one of Sarno's books, and tell them how much it has helped you and other people you know.
    The tricky thing is, we are not MD's and therefore do not diagnose western disease nor are we licensed therapists or psychologists that provide mental health counseling. But is easy to notice if a patient is highly stressed out, with shen disturbance and has a history of chronic pain and other imbalances. So we do what we know, provide local points for pain AND points for the mental and emotional part.
    Overall, everyone is on their own journey. with lessons to be learned on many levels. Sometimes we cannot remove people's pain and imbalances for them and their blockages will remain until THEY can move themselves forward.
    I hope that helps. KIT!

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