1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern U.S.(New York) Daylight Time. It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. Celayne is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern (now US Daylight Time).
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Newbie overwhelmed and confused

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by lyonsden10, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. lyonsden10

    lyonsden10 New Member

    I'm brand new. Really confused and wondering how to proceed. Dr. Sarno, with his original vision, seems to have a clear vision developed over decades for healing TMS and a step-by-step treatment plan (I'm currently reading "The Divided Mind"). It seems simple (not easy, of course).

    But then, when I look around, it seems like there are so many doctors and authors presenting their own version of the treatment, some more complicated than others. Even in this group, there are two treatment programs.

    It's overwhelming. Why wouldn't someone just read Dr. Sarno's book (I also have the Healing Back Pain DVD with his lecture) and follow his plan?

    1. Is there something essential missing from his treatment plan that has been incorporated into others?

    2. Or is it just that different people respond to the way different authors explain the same material?

    Granted, my issues are chronic dizziness, gut pain, and other non-back issues. But wouldn't his program, as it stands, address those as well?

    Just wondering how to keep it as simple and effective as possible. :)

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
    HattieNC and Saffron like this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi lyonsden, and welcome!

    These are great questions, which I'll try to address.

    Dr. Sarno's work is definitely the basis for understanding the TMS mechanism, and this wiki and forum were developed in his honor. Most of us are also dedicated to spreading the word, in whatever way this might be, about the condition that we still call TMS, but which, over the years, and especially with constant developments in neuroscience, really has come to encompass a more wide-reaching understanding of the mind-body connection. Another more general, but somewhat technical term being used by many practioners now is PPD - psycho-physiological disorder.

    We love the work of the many doctors and other practitioners who have followed in Dr. Sarno's footsteps. Some of them studied under him, and others developed their own theories and practices on their own.

    The thing is, just as there are many different teachers, authors, and theorizers in any other field you can think of, including medicine and psychology, never mind the liberal and theological arts, so it is with mind-body practice! That's human beings for you - always trying to find the "one best way", right?

    We perfectionists dream of knowing for sure what that "one best way" is, but I'm here to tell you that the first key to your recovery is letting go of perfectionism.

    1. Dr. Sarno himself said that some people need more than just the knowledge of TMS that he provided. My personal belief is that many people will experience a short-term recovery with that knowledge - but that our sneaky fearful brains won't allow that to last. I believe that you have to change your entire way of thinking, come up with daily techniques to counteract our negative brains, and to practice, practice, practice until they become semi-automatic. There is no such thing as a 100% cure - but we can achieve a very high level of recovery, and incorporate knowledge and techniques into our lives so that we quickly recover from setbacks.

    2. And there's that, too. Which kind of takes me back to one of my first points - we want to spread this knowledge and awareness any way we can.

    You mentioned the fact that we have two programs. When I started doing this in 2011, we only had the SEP, developed by our founder Forest, and a few other early volunteers. Alan Gordon was one of our professional/therapeutic contributors, and I personally achieved a couple of major milestones and turning points thanks to his early audio programs. It was only about two years ago (? I haven't kept track) when he very graciously donated his new online program to the wiki/forum, for which we are eternally grateful - and it's been a big success.

    The SEP is a good starting point for most people, particularly for anyone who is fearful of time commitments, or of emotional turmoil. It's easy to follow, with small daily incremental exercises and a gradual build-up of knowledge, and it's a great place to experience different techniques and writings and find out what appeals to you.

    Alan's program is more open-ended, and probably also touches on emotions faster, and deeper, than the SEP - because getting to your deep emotions is the thing that Alan does brilliantly, which I was able to experience in his audio programs back in 2012 or so, before he developed his program.

    There are no hard and fast rules here. You could do the SEP, then Alan's program, or do some of the SEP and switch to Alan's program. Whatever works for you.

    The only thing that I urge people to do is be aware of when your negative brain resists doing the work, and to fight back, whatever it takes.

    plum, HattieNC, Ellen and 2 others like this.
  3. lyonsden10

    lyonsden10 New Member

    Hi Jan, This is so funny as I was just reading your story and posted how astonished I am that your symptoms are so similar to mine! I'm 63.Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm reading all your stuff! Susan
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