1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

How do you deal with pain when you're in the long middle of it?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Northwood, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    Hi, All, I learned about TMS and started working on my symptoms last January. I unearthed a lot of repressed rage and saw my low back pain ease up as well as the miserable cramping in my gluteus muscles. I'm dealing with some ongoing unpleasant emotions at the moment--depression and frustration--and am aiming to be honest about it all and bring it into consciousness. Insights come and go and I am continually having to confront a deep-seated sense of inadequacy, which may be at the heart of my pain. During this time I've been experiencing a great deal of painful tightness in my butt muscles and hip flexors. The cramping causes--or goes along with--shifting low back pain to either side. Sometimes I can talk to it and get it fade. Other times, it's like talking a brick wall. The whole process has been trying, time-consuming, and dispiriting. Have to work hard not to feel despairing and project into the future, etc. While in pain, I've recently resorted to using a couple of massage tools for relief. I've done this after doing all of the journaling and self talk, and meditating, etc. Am I correct in thinking this is a counterproductive strategy (and someone's going to send me TMS jail)? :O Maybe I just need to say to the symptom, Screw it, and just let it hurt and go do something(?) Have done that with occasional success. Just isn't clearing things up...

    I'm curious--do any of you have this sort of TMS symptom, this intense tightening of your glutes and hips? In my case some of it might be heightened by a foot injury I've been recovering from since last November (still can't walk properly) but I suspect it's primarily a TMS symptom. If you get this symptom and it sticks around for days into weeks, how do you deal with the actual pain (when it persists) as you are dealing with the condition of TMS itself? I'm all ears. Thanks!
    whitewatersmetta likes this.
  2. whitewatersmetta

    whitewatersmetta Peer Supporter

    I get similar pain and tightening in my right glute, hip, and lower back. It's improving over time, but not as quickly as I want it too :)

    You're doing a lot of the right things, but you might also find that self-compassion (as taught by Christopher Germer, Tara Brach, and Kristen Neff, for example) might be helpful. I also get a lot of improvement from somatic tracking (taught by Alan Gordon on this wiki). Finally, you might be on to something by just saying "screw it" and moving on with your life. Nicole Sachs has a podcast and she talks about this approach sometimes. Dan Buglio also talks about this approach in his youtube videos. I hope some of this is helpful!

    Oh, and something that Nicole Sachs says might be useful as well. She would say you are doing all the right things, but not to expect a miracle in the moment. So if you are expecting the pain to go away RIGHT NOW, you might be adding to the pressure and tension. That's just looping back to maintain the pain. Basically, do some self-talk and self-soothing but don't plan for it to work right away so just go ahead and move on. The self-compassion can be really helpful here. It can take a little while and that's ok.

    I don't know what to say about the massages. I do know that I personally had to give up all versions of physical treatment, but I DO do things that are soothing. So instead of massaging the tense area as if there is something "wrong" with that muscle that needs to be "fixed", I might gently rub my upper arms (google "havening") or stroke my face to help soothe my nervous system.
  3. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    Thanks for the leads. Several names I'm unfamiliar with. I do like to listen to Dan's YouTube videos. I'm going to revisit Alan's material as well on somatic tracking (and anxiety). I've found it helpful in the past.
    whitewatersmetta likes this.
  4. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    Nice angle to consider. "Havening?" I'll check out that term. I'm not happy about having used massage tools recently because of what I understand about reinforcing the problem. And the relief is definitely just temporary. Just sucks for that "old man cramping etc to malinger. Well, there it is! Your response gives me some cheer. Thanks. On we all go...
    whitewatersmetta likes this.
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    What you are feeling in your body Sarno called extinction bursts. The more bizzare your symptoms are, the more likely they are manifestation of TMS. How do you deal with the increase in pain? Some people believe that their method has to be purely psychological and all you should be doing is sit on the therapist's couch and look into your baby years. I disagree.

    Below is a new section for my book (unpublished and unedited yet second edition, so your feedback would be appreciated) that may answer your questions:

    Over-sensitized brains often need physical stimulation to calm down. There are many ways to do that, that’s why massage is often recommended by the mainstream doctors to their chronic pain patients. The difference is that the mainstream doctors accept the negative impact of chronic pain on the mental state of the patient, but they do not accept the same logical conclusion going in the opposite direction, that the mental state of the patient can cause a very real physical pain. Because of that fundamental logical gap, mainstream medicine views massage and exercise as a supportive therapy, but not as a way of addressing the root cause of the problem directly.

    Various Asian massage techniques, like shiatsu, acupressure, tui-na, etc., are based on the ancient Chinese medicine, which, if practiced in its true spirit - not as a mere physical act of piercing the body - does not separate body and mind. Those are passive approaches to body-mind connection, when somebody is working on you.

    Yoga is an example of an active approach, mostly physical initially, increasingly mental as the practice goes along. If practiced not as a pure physical exercise, but as a mental preparation for savasana (you are just lying on your back, relaxed). Turns out, it is the hardest pose to achieve, as it allows both body and mind to reach the perfect equilibrium of being a whole not disturbed by the external world. Yoga calms the nerves through rigorous exertion of the body.

    On the other side of the active spectrum is meditation. No physical at all. Mental 100%.

    Going back to the modern science, there are clinical studies suggesting that patients with neurological conditions improve if they meditate, or practice qi gong or yoga on a regular basis. The share of physical vs psychological is very individual. Open mind - is what you need to figure out your own path. Listen to everybody, try everything that looks reasonable, but chart your own way as you are the one who knows your body and has the best chance to understand your mind.
    whitewatersmetta likes this.

Share This Page