Mindfulness I found help in being relieved of back pain by improving my ability to achieve mindfulness, which is another way to live in the present. It’s really simple: take deep yoga breaths, breathing air into the stomach, holding the breath for a few counts, then releasing the breath. I then say “Peace.” While deep breathing, concentrate on your breathing. If worries or troubling memories surface, get your mind back to concentrating on deep breathing. It’s good to do this anytime, anywhere, even while walking. We find calmness and peace in deep breathing. While practicing mindfulness with deep breathing, keep reminding yourself that any pain you feel is not caused by anything structural. It is all psychological. The sooner you firmly believe this, the faster you will be pain free. If you do feel pain while walking or sitting, think of something pleasant… lying on a sun-filled beach, being with someone you love. Think happy. Think being loved. I knew my back pain was psychological when I walked and felt no pain. My back could not hurt from anything structural or from aging (I’m 83 now) if it had stopped hurting when I walked. And it did. I just didn’t think about pain and there was none. If we believe that walking or sitting causes our pain, we are sending the wrong messages to our subconscious mind and delaying our recovery. Those messages of where our pain is coming from are what is causing our pain. We fear the pain, so it doesn’t go away. We tell ourselves it is psychological, not structural, and the pain goes away. Latest Helps to Heal In recent weeks I have found great help by following the TMS Recovery Program of Dr. Alan Gordon, director of the PainPsychologyCenter, which he offers free on TMSWiki.org. It is a two-part program consisting of suggestions and video clips that demonstrate them, created especially to help those (like me) who have or had difficulty lowering or eliminating our physical pain. The program offers a deep understanding of why we are in pain, how it keeps coming, and what steps can be taken to reduce or end it. The video clips are from parts of Dr. Gordon’s pain psychology therapy sessions. The program starts with accepting the TMS diagnosis of Dr. Sarno and others that the pain we feel is not from any structural abnormality but it is psychologically caused. This has been said often in this book, but it cannot be said too often because some people cannot accept it, at least not 100 percent. A video clip shows how we can overcome that remaining one percent, without which we may not be pain free. I was one of those doubters. I kept a small part of my mind believing my back pain was age-related. I finally got the truth of it… my pain was psychologically induced, from past emotional repressions which dealt with my boyhood and present anxiety and stress from financial difficulties. When I began to convince myself, and my subconscious mind, that those were the causes of my pain, it went away. When those psychological causes come back, I again convince myself they are causing my back pain and that is has nothing to do with aging or structural damage. If it did, I would always be in pain, and I am not, when I mentally condition myself as to why I feel pain, from my repressed emotions. One reason we may keep feeling pain is that we associate it with doing something such as walking or sitting. When we walk we may not feel pain, but we do when sitting, or vice versa. Dr. Gordon says we have developed a conditioned response to our pain, feeling it when we walk or sit or do something else. But our pain is not really caused by sitting or standing. We are merely associating it with those or other activities and thereby perpetuating the pain. To end the cycle of pain because of a conditioned response, we need to reframe what pain means to us. Some people do not feel back or other pain until they think about it. Others may not be in pain but fear it will come back. I strongly recommend spending some time with Dr. Gordon and his pain recovery program. You will see yourself in it in many ways and it will help you, as it helped me, and him, to be relieved of your TMS pain symptoms.