This Tuesday (May 27th) the call-in discussion group will be discussing “Eric's Journey – Chapter 7” and “Walt's Journey – Chapter 7” in God Does Not Want You to Be in Pain by forum members Eric "Herbie" Watson and Walt Oleksy. The recorded discussion will start at 9:00pm Eastern Time. Phone lines will open about half an hour early for folks to talk beforehand, off the recording. Connection details are as follows (for more detailed instructions, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/connect ): If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 201-479-4595 and when prompted enter the pin code 18311499 followed by the pound symbol. If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to http://fuze.me/18311499 and follow the instructions from there. For more information about the discussion group, and to listen to all past recorded discussions, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Call-In_Peer_Discussion_Group. Eric’s Journey: Chapter Seven – I Get Clobbered Again (pp. 158-172) Eric opens his chapter with an account of his experience fighting the potentially deadly Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever. The tick bite causing the fever, Eric writes, was real, but TMS was certainly a factor. At the time, Eric was dealing with feelings of sadness due to his father's death. After reading that 3-5% of patients die from Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever, Eric began to fear death - the work of what he calls "the worry bug, which can be as fatal as the tick bug." Using positive thinking, affirmations, and belief in TMS healing (as well as antibiotics) Eric was able overcome the terrifying and potentially deadly disease. Positive thinking is a major theme in this chapter. To "prove the healing effects of the mind with TMS techniques" Eric shares a story about Stamatis Moraitis, a man who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in his 60's but who lived until 102. Eric attributes this to Stamatis's choice to spend time with friends and family, feeling and seeking happiness and joy, and strengthening his spiritual relationship with a higher power. Building off of that story, Eric encourages us to live in the present and to stop worrying about the future. In the next section Eric shares some positive affirmations that help show how the mind can heal the body. He also talks about the importance of breaking conditioning and reconditioning. Eric also cautions against worrying as it can cause us to enter "the law of negativity." To counteract worry thoughts he suggests thinking of being relaxed and happy in order to actually become relaxed and happy. He lays out 10 "Good Thoughts to Navigate Healing" which are based on understanding that we have power over our minds (and therefore our bodies). These thoughts include awareness, positive thinking and affirmations, and believing in the TMS diagnosis. Eric also emphasizes that small steps are what get us to being fully healed. He writes that "we can change anything we want to change." Negative thinking is powerful, but positive thinking is just as, if not more so, important. Visualizations and affirmations are tools to help reinforce positive thinking. Meditating, Eric writes, can keep the Autonomic Nervous System, or ANS, under control. The ANS acts as a control system functioning mainly in the unconscious and affects heart rate, respiratory rate (breathing), sweating, and other visceral functions. Similar to meditation, breathing and yoga help regulate the ANS. Eric writes he meditates three hours a day and practices diaphragmatic breathing. Eric encourages us to allow for mistakes, which helps decrease self-criticism and self-imposed (and external) pressures. Having faith in ourselves is healing in itself. He also lists watching reactions, learning to control tensive thinking, learning forgiveness, practicing reconditioning, practicing peaceful thoughts, gaining confidence and courage, being patient, and being persistent as essential aspects to TMS healing. Eric concludes his chapter with excerpts of posts from this forum. He closes with thoughts on anger and the benefits of transforming anger from something negative to something positive or useful, a skill that may take practice but helps process feelings of anger while simultaneously dealing the emotional response to it. Walt’s Journey: Chapter Seven – Tapping, Flipping, Matrix Reimprinting, Meditation (pp. 173-181) Walt opens his chapter with an example illustrating the power tapping and deep breathing can have over anxiety and back pain. He then introduces a different tool called Matrix Reimprinting. This practice involves taking a negative thought and changing it into something positive. Walt has found that meditation, tapping, and Matrix Reimprinting all work well together as they all help reveal repressed emotions. Walt discusses these three tools in his chapter. Tapping The tapping Walt describes stems from a form of energy psychology known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Tapping is a way to implement the TMS approach, as it "tells the unconscious mind you are ridding yourself of the pain or bad emotion." It combines the general concept of acupuncture with affirmations or positive statements, such as "I feel calm and relaxed," "I forgive myself and everyone," "I have no pain," and "I am strong and healthy" to name a few. Walt outlines how to practice tapping, encouraging continual tapping until pain or the memory with a negative emotional charge is gone. The relief felt from tapping, however, is not always permanent; rather, complete pain relief comes from addressing the root cause of TMS symptoms. Tapping while also focusing on a specific issue (i.e. a recently discovered repressed emotion) can help achieve long-term relief, but Walt cautions that tapping alone without discovering and dealing with the repressed emotion causing TMS pain will not generate permanent relief. Walt also includes some of the content from from Eric's Journey: Chapter 4 on "swishing," a practice based in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). (Read more about this section here.) Matrix Reimprinting Though Matrix Reimprinting also uses tapping, it differs from conventional EFT. While tapping on meridian points, Matrix Reimprinting aims to remove emotional intensity from a memory, transforming the memory either to change the image associated with or change what happened. Essentially, it involves changing reactions of past events by taking a negative memory and a positive one and "collapsing" them. The positive prevails over the negative. Meditation Meditation is an important skill in TMS healing. Walt suggests six steps to improve meditation skills: Meditate at least twice a day. Early morning or before bedtime may be best, before the day’s distractions arise. Sit or lie down. Breathe deeply, to relax the body’s muscles and focus the mind. Stretch to loosen muscles and tendons. Focus your mind and look at one object such as a lighted candle or close your eyes and imagine an object. Feel the parts of your body. Start with your feet and work your way up your body including your internal organs and go on up to your eyes and the top of your head. Soothing music can help, especially to drown out other sounds. Walt also spends time in this chapter discussing the power and importance of positive self-talk and positive statements or affirmations. He encourages practicing positive self-talk daily, both on their own and in response to negative thoughts that pop up throughout the day. Having a mantra may help; Walt uses "Every day in every way I'm getting better and better." He continues to list ways to reduce stress, including spending time with friends and doing enjoyable activities such as watching a good movie or reading a favorite book. Walt also suggests practicing deep breathing to relieve stress. He concludes his chapter with only one word: "Peace."