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CALL-IN Tuesday, Oct. 22. Steve Ozanich book Chapter 10

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Walt Oleksy, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    This Tuesday, October 22, the call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 10 (The Symptom Imperative Phenomenon) in Steve Ozanich's book The Great Pain Deception starting at 9 pm Eastern Time. It lasts an hour, sometimes a little longer. Phone lines will open half an hour early so you can talk to hosts and early callers. Here's how to join the discussion (for detailed instructions, visit http://go.tmswiki.org/connect ):
    · If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 (347) 817-7654 and when prompted enter the meeting number 18311499.
    · If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/app/48fb7aa8/18311499 and follow the instructions from there.

    For more information, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Call-In_Peer_Discussion_Group .


    The Symptom Imperative Phenomenon

    A short but significant chapter in TMS healing that involves what Dr. Sarno calls “the symptom imperative” (SI). Steve explains in this chapter that it is a psychological condition that requires “continuing symptoms.”

    It's all about why pain can move around from one part of our body to another.

    An imperative is something that demands attention or action. But our conscious mind knows that is being observed, so it changes how we react to shifting symptoms.

    This phenomenon should be of special interest to those who have posted on TMSWiki asking why their pain moves around their body.

    Steve says that as long as there is an unresolved conflict, the mind will continually shift symptoms to keep fear alive, as a purposeful distraction. The symptoms bounce around in our body to keep us feeling that we have suddenly developed a “real pain” or a “real injury.”

    The brain scans our body until it finds an area or system that we are most fearful about. Then it induces a symptom there and lingers, waiting for our response to it.

    If we don’t fear that area much or don’t pay much attention to that particular symptom, it will then shift to another area until it can grasp your attention again somewhere else. It does this to keep you from tending to your emotions.

    Steve calls the symptom imperative “a hunter, preying on fear.” There it stays, until you realize you’ve been fooled by your own brain. Then it quickly shifts again, repeatedly, as long as the underlying psychological conflict remains.

    He says most of the remaining chapters of his book, The Great Pain Deception, go into why the symptoms become imperative. He believes it all begins with early separation anxieties, and possibly later trauma or multiple “little traumas that lead to an obsessive, compulsive, intuitive, colorful, and highly creative personality.”

    The symptoms bounce around in our body for two reasons. One is to keep the conscious mind focused away from the threatening emotions. The second is to send messages of discontent from the unconscious mind back to the conscious mind, to be resolved.

    So it seems to all go back to really spending time considering what our repressed emotions are that are causing the symptoms, which may not just be pain, but pain equivalents.

    How do the symptom imperatives move around our body? Steve says these are some of the ways:

    Your hip locks up. An hour later, or even a few days later, you feel chest pains. You worry you’re having a heart attack, but the chest pain leaves and lo and behold, your elbow or shoulder locks up or “freezes.”

    Or, under hidden stress, you develop an ulcer, so you go to a doctor and get some medication for it. The stomach pain then goes away and you think the medication cured it. But then your blood pressure rises. When you meditate or just slow down, that goes back to normal, but your back starts to hurt. You may worry about that so you see your doctor and you wind up having an operation that you didn’t need.

    Or, your heart flutters then you feel like you have heartburn. Maybe you take an antacid pill and the heartburn goes away, but then you have a migraine headache.

    You have back pain and may get an epidural injection. The pain then shifts to a migraine or skin problem. Your back pain then returns and you get a back operation. Then your knee begins to hurt and you get knee surgery. Your doctor and hospital are getting rich with you under the knife, but none of the operations were necessary. Your brain is just making you a victim of the symptom imperative.

    The solution, says Dr. Sarno and Steve, is to discover what the unresolved conflict is in you… what repressed emotion. “The pain,” says Dr. Sarno, is the symptom imperative at work… an indication of the power of the unconscious conflict within.”

    One of the best ways to solve the mystery of that conflict is in journaling. You may have to spend some weeks or more on it, but eventually you will uncover the repressed emotion. Once you convince your unconscious mind you know what it is, or they are, you begin to heal. Maybe instantly, maybe gradually. But you heal.

    I hope you will join the call-in next Tuesday to share your experiences about the symptom imperative in your life.
     
    Rinkey likes this.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    That seems to be one of the crux questions in TMS "studies", Walt: Whether the symptom imperative is driven by repressed emotions, like anger, sorrow, or anxiety, or whether it is the result of deep seated emotional conflict? Or are these two motivations really the same thing? If the repressed emotions are at the root of the symptom imperative, it would seem that digging deeper would uncover the hidden emotion and stop the symptom imperative process in its tracks. On the other hand, if TMS and the symptom imperative are due to deep seated unconscious emotional conflict, then bringing that conflict into the light and resolving it sounds like the way to stop TMSing. Very hard to distinguish between the two motivations, isn't it? Or is this all so theoretical that it gets in the way of healing? Maybe the TMS patient has an ongoing emotional conflict because of an unresolved issues stuffed down deep into his/her unconscious mind? The chicken and the egg again!

    Appendix A of Steve's book, incidentally, has long lists of symptom equivalents that can appear in a TMS patient due to the symptom imperative process. This appendix expands on and supplements what Steve has to say in Chapter 10 of his book.
     
  3. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Just a reminder that the discussion group is tonight! Like always the lines will open up 30 minutes or so beforehand, but remember, the official discussion will begin at 9pm (ET), so please, hold your comments about the book until then so those who cannot attend the discussion live (such as myself) can have access to all of your wonderful insights via the recording of the discussion (by the way, you can easily access past recorded discussions by going to the wiki page for the call-in discussion group). Feel free to log into the text chatroom at www.tmswiki.org/chat as well. Should be a good one, folks :)
     
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    The Symptom Imperative.
    So many folks wonder what this means.
    Even after they understand- it can creep in and get em.
    So itll be very informational to know the tricks and style of this phenomena.

    I remember when my back would let up then id hurt in my shoulder
    then when my knee would let up id hurt in my neck.

    So even though often in the distant past id think I had a grip over
    these body pain issues, they had just moved to another body part.

    Im really glad I learned about this imperative and the discussion group
    should be very excited on this one - we can really get to the bottom of a lot of issues ya know.

    Like BruceMC said above, Steves got a whole list of Symptom Imperatives in Appendix A of his Book.
    This should be a really - really good discussion.
    A lot of what we think is just issues are really another form of TMs, hum. Cool.
     
  5. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Hey folks,

    Here's the recording from Tuesday's discussion on the Symptom Imperative. As always you can listen to the discussion using the audio player below, or you can download it as an mp3 by right-clicking on this link (or on the link below the audio player) and choosing to save it to your computer. Check out Walt's thread CALL-IN TUESDAY, OCT. 29, CHAPTER 11, OZANICH BOOK for information about next week's discussion, and for a fantastic summary of Chapter 11 in The Great Pain Deception as well as Walt's own wisdom. Enjoy!


    Click here to download the mp3
     
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    So true, so true, Herbie. But the symptoms imperative - if you go over Appendix A of Steve's book - can be even more subtle and insidious than a sore shoulder or a stabbing pain in your knee, can't it? For instance, after doing 3 or 4 days of the Structured Education Program, your back pain recedes into a shadow of its old self, but then you get a tight feeling in your throat just before you have to write some checks to pay the bills in the a.m. Or as your back pain goes away, you wake up with an attack of anxiety or depression. My litmus test for determining whether a new symptom is related to TMS (and this is by no means infallible) is whether it occurs on the same side of my body as the original TMS pain symptom. For example, if my lower lumbar pain and sciatica always occurs on my left side, a new symptom on the left side is probably an example of the symptom imperative at work. Thus, TMJ on the left side of my jaw, CTS in my left wrist, a stabbing pain in my left knee are probably due to the symptom imperative relocating the pain in my lower left lumbar region to a new area. The purpose of the shift, though, seems to be the same as the original TMS pain symptom: as a way of distracting me from a repressed emotion or an emotional conflict I'd rather not confront and deal with in my conscious rational mind. Subtle mysterious stuff! Read about a whole list of them in Appendix A of Steve's Great Pain Deception and you'll become aware of all the nasty tricks your psyche is playing on you all the time. Makes you realize that even people without TMS are developing addictive behaviors all the time to avoid peering too deeply into the dark areas of their psyches.
     
    hecate105 likes this.
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    BruceMC)- if you go over Appendix A of Steve's book - can be even more subtle and insidious than a sore shoulder or a stabbing pain in your knee, can't it? For instance, after doing 3 or 4 days of the Structured Education Program, your back pain recedes into a shadow of its old self, but then you get a tight feeling in your throat just before you have to write some checks to pay the bills in the a.m. Or as your back pain goes away, you wake up with an attack of anxiety or depression.

    Eric)- This is so true Bruce , How many of us think of a tight feeling in our throat as tms or even being depressed out of the blue? Most people would think there body is just getting nervous from like their coffee or something like that, yes- the symptom imperative is so tricky BruceMC. I still have to catch these miner instances like a lose of concentration could be a tms imperative since I have a hobby to read books ya know. That just dawned on me, WoW. Such a good thought BruceMC.

    BruceMC)- Or as your back pain goes away, you wake up with an attack of anxiety or depression.

    Eric)- I believe this imperative has taken us all for a ride Bruce until we learned its wiles ya know. Such an enlightening knowledge to know.

    BruceMC)- My litmus test for determining whether a new symptom is related to TMS (and this is by no means infallible) is whether it occurs on the same side of my body as the original TMS pain symptom. For example, if my lower lumbar pain and sciatica always occurs on my left side, a new symptom on the left side is probably an example of the symptom imperative at work. Thus, TMJ on the left side of my jaw, CTS in my left wrist, a stabbing pain in my left knee are probably due to the symptom imperative relocating the pain in my lower left lumbar region to a new area. The purpose of the shift, though, seems to be the same as the original TMS pain symptom: as a way of distracting me from a repressed emotion or an emotional conflict I'd rather not confront and deal with in my conscious rational mind. Subtle mysterious stuff!

    Eric)- Very interesting Bruce, I never thought of that pattern on the left or right side of the body. You got me really thinking now. Do you know of any Drs that have found this to be in a lot of other folks? like if I hurt in my right hand, then the imperative might be moving to my right elbow if I can get it to know im onto it and start to recondition myself ya know. That would be the only way to be aware of the process id assume.
    That's a great theory, im going to start watching for that in any thing that might pop up. Some good thoughts to ponder:).
    Thanks Bruce
     
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, Eric, if you're into that right brain-left brain split stuff, it seems like TMS symptoms on the left side would start in the right brain. So, if the central nervous system is at the root of your TMS symptoms, every symptom on the left side would refer back to something going on in the right brain. However, I've heard that the prefrontal cortex interacts with and moderates the operation of both the left and right sides of the brain. We're getting into areas that aren't covered in the brain science manuals, at least not yet! This TMS stuff is definitely new non-standard knowledge that operates outside the box! At this point, all we have to go on is our own experience, which, as we all know, is highly variable from individual to individual and hence very subjective (i.e. unscientific). I do know that in 2001-2002 back when I had my so-called herniated disk between L3/L4 on the left side, that as my lower lumbar pain diminished, I developed CTS on my left side and when that went away, I started grinding my teeth (TMJ/bruxism), also on the left side. Seemed like all the left side symptoms were different manifestations of the same general process in my central nervous symptom. Of course, I also remember that when I started using a foam roller on my right side, my right hip started getting sensitive. So, TMS symptoms can migrate and move around outside that left side/right side rule. However, it does seem like all my TMS symptoms are invariably more intense on the left side, like that's where the problem originated and seems to persist longest. But all Sigmund Freud did was start taking down notes while talking to his patients!
     
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yea its cool stuff man, Freud thought of repression and Sarno related the pain to it.
    This is stuff that to me is the highest level of healing ya know cause its a cure instead of something to
    just treat the symptom.

    I still wonder about that left and right side phenomena though, that's pretty radical that you can remember how the
    imperative actually works by remembering its been on 1 side of your body.
    That shows Bruce that you are on top of your game knowing that mi-nute details.

    This is how folks heal.
     
  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Right thinking/Right knowledge:

    They free you from obsessing about your TMS symtoms.
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Right thinking/Right knowledge:
    That's the whole truth.
     
  12. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    God Bless You, it is starting to work for me. Nancy
     
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nancy I am so glad it starting to work, its your perseverance and dedication that do the job
    You've been super and I really believe your faith in the tms is great.
    Just keep at your program now, practice it at least 5 days a week and you should be fine.
    Your doing a super job
    Bless you
     
    BruceMC likes this.

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