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

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by paige1993, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. paige1993

    paige1993 New Member

    My Pelvic Pain Success Story

    I am a 25 year old female, and back in February 2018, I had a relapse of pelvic pain that hadn’t surfaced in YEARS. To put it mildly, I was beyond devastated. The pain came on so suddenly, and intensely, that I was a complete mess. I had had loads of doctor’s visits when the pain had first begun ten years earlier—and no doctor could ever understand what was causing the pain (the first sign that it was TMS, I was simply too young to understand at the time). I’ll spare you all the doc visit details for the sake of time but it all came down to this: not one of the DOZENS of medical professionals I saw (including a world-famous specialist gyno) understood why I had such intense pelvic pain.

    Back to the present.

    Since I had been totally pain free for at least five/six years, having it come up again at such a crucial time in my life (graduating college, major life changes etc.) was shocking. But there was something just TOO coincidental to the pain happening right now in my life. I had a ton of stress I was repressing, my body (specifically my pelvic muscles) were constantly tensed. Along with this, I had recently come out of an emotionally abusive relationship that lasted nearly 2 years.

    I discovered Dr. Sarno’s work—and then it clicked. That’s why no doctor could ever figure out my pain. I then began to saturate myself in TMS literature, especially how to eliminate pelvic pain permanently, and how closely related our physiology is linked to our psyche—especially our subconscious. The more and more I read, the more and more I believed my pain was emotional in nature. There were inconsistencies with the pain—it would be horrible and then suddenly drop to almost nothing when I was happy or excited about something. I began to trust my gut, which was saying “Keep going! You can beat this pain with logic.” And that’s what I started to do. What kind of real illness comes and goes based on your emotional state? Right before the pain began in February, I had been increasingly fearful of it coming back. I would have nightmares where I had the pain, but when I woke up it would fizzle away. And then, right at my peak of worrying about it, the pain starts up again? No coincidence.

    Now, 8 months or so after the pain came back, I am happy to say I am almost completely back to being pain free. I’m not at 100%, but I am getting close! I am elated. The mysterious pain that I feared has now been answered—constantly clenched pelvic muscles from unresolved emotions and stress bottled up for YEARS. It is a such an amazing feeling to conquer the pain, and to not fear it. I now wear jeans comfortably (which for any woman with pelvic pain/vulvodynia, this is a big deal!)

    This wiki is an amazing community, and it helped me during my darkest days. Aside from Dr. Sarno’s books, I want to recommend some real gems that will seriously help you on your journey to being pain free.

    1. The Great Pain Deception - Steve Ozanich // This book is full of incredibly helpful emotional tools to help you beat your pain—any kind of pain. Steve goes in depth into his own healing journey from being in constant pain for years to now being totally pain free. Full of helpful advice about the TMS personality, and how to address those traits.
    2. Mind Over Medicine - Dr. Lissa Rankin // Amazingly insightful book about how the brain was literally designed to heal us. Dr. Rankin delves into research the placebo effect, and how so many people have become pain free simply from belief. I noticed a significant drop in my pain when I began to read this.
    For those specifically with pelvic pain, I highly recommend searching the stories of Abigail Steidley and Lorraine Faendrich. These women conquered their pelvic pain through Sarno’s insights and their stories kept me going.

    I hope that this has been helpful to anyone reading it. This experience, while excruciatingly hard at times, has given me so many valuable tools that I will use for the rest of my life. I want to help others with pain—please do not HESITATE to message me with any questions, I am here to help you!

    You can conquer your pain, and in doing so learn things about yourself you never even knew existed. :)
    Lifetree, TrustIt, Hayley and 5 others like this.
  2. yogigirl

    yogigirl New Member


    Congratulations on your victory!!
    Your story is really hopefull for me, i struggle with vulvodynia for 2-3 years now.
    Went to pelvic physiotherapists, gyno's who gave me meds, nothing helped..
    Now i'm discovering TMS and hope this will work!!

    Did you just read the information to get 'cured'? Or did you do some journaling, yoga, meditation, psychotherapy??

    love to hear from you!
    paige1993 likes this.
  3. paige1993

    paige1993 New Member

    Thank you!

    I did a combo of journaling, yoga and simply paying attention to inconsistencies of the pain. What truly got rid of it was realizing that the pain was purely created by my brain, due to personal stress, which in turn created my very tense pelvic muscles.

    By inconsistencies, I mean I would notice over the course of my relapse that the pain would sometimes flucaute from very high, to almost not there. I concluded that no real issue would do this, especially because the fluctuation in my pain would usually be related to a negative/positive emotion I was feeling.

    To help with my muscles, I began to do a lot of yoga focused on stretching the hips.

    However, the yoga did not “cure” me, what did was paying attention to how the pain started and how it was very inconsistent yet predictable based on my emotions. I believe the yoga m eased my tense muscles, but what officially did the trick was positive thinking and realizing the pain was just a trick my brain was playing on me.

    Good luck in your journey, you will be pain free!
    Hayley, tshepherd121 and yogigirl like this.
  4. sarah555uk

    sarah555uk Peer Supporter

    Hi Paige

    reading your post made me very happy.
    I suffer from vulvodynia too. Can I just ask what your symptoms were? I have been battling my nerve pain since 2013, with remissions and relapse
  5. paige1993

    paige1993 New Member

    Hi there!
    My symptoms were what felt like localized nerve discomfort. Not pain, technically—but a sensation that was deeply upsetting. I just refer to it as pain because that’s easier to type out!

    Just remember, think logically about the pain, and that is the key to coming out of it. Pay serious attention to inconsistencies with it. The pain is only the mind distracting you.
  6. Allissa RS

    Allissa RS New Member

    Thanks for your post
    I'm working with urethra bladder stuff and pelvic pressure. And I notice so many inconsistencies! Thanks for making that point so I can continue to focus on that!!
    Also I have worried plenty on the tightness of my pelvic floor (have done some PT for that) so it's wonderful to hear that you worked with that also.
    So you found your muscles relaxed and relieved byby themselv as a by product of your brain getting the new message?
  7. Fabmat

    Fabmat New Member

    Hello everyone, how are you all?
    I‘m suffering from urethral pain/sitting pain .. it started in june 2019..
    I need some support!
    Thank you
  8. Hayley

    Hayley Peer Supporter

    Hi Fabmat,
    I have struggled with Pelvic pain (mainly vulvodynia) for many years and have found that the best way of healing is the mind body/TMS approach. I am probably about 80% healed and now have days with very few symptoms and sometimes days with none at all. I still have some healing to do and I am currently finding Alan Gordon’s pain recovery program brilliant, it’s available free on this site. There is also a structured education programme on this site which goes more into the emotional aspect of TMS. Reading the success stories on here is also a good way of letting your brain know that you can heal! Everyone is different and what works for some doesn’t alway work for another however a lot of people who are healing TMS find meditation/visualisation, journaling and education(reading books, articles, recovery programs) to be very beneficial.
    Wishing you well x
  9. Fabmat

    Fabmat New Member

    Hi Haley, thank you do much fir getting back at me.. I started reading Alan Gordon‘s program which I found very interesting, but reacting indifferent to the pain is sth I‘m struggling at lot with..
    Wow it‘s so good to know that people actually heal from vulvodynia, I find it very hard to live a happy life with these symptoms..
    How long have you been doing the TMS work and the journaling?
    Thank you, have a great day!
  10. Hayley

    Hayley Peer Supporter

    You’re welcome Fabmat,

    For many years I dipped in and out of the TMS work and about 2yrs ago I did Lorraine Faendrich‘s healing female pain course which was a major part of the reduction in my symptoms. Lorraine’s course is based on John Sarno’s work with a big emphasis on feeling the emotional sensations in your body, her website is called “radiant life design” and there are lots of very good blog posts on there that you can read. Link: https://radiantlifedesign.com/ (Radiant Life Design)

    I also joined the curable app about a year ago and this is when I started doing journaling/expressive writing - reluctantly I might add!! I find the writing absolutely tedious however I have had some good results from doing it so I can see it’s value. I have found that anything that helps my nervous system calm down, my pelvic muscles relax and helps me to get out of flight and fight helps to reduce my symptoms, so meditation, self hypnosis etc are also very useful. Link: https://www.curablehealth.com/ (Curable - The App for Chronic Pain)

    Everyone can heal and there is a good thread on here from Ezer who cured his pelvic pain.
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/pelvic-pain-healed.8680/ (Pelvic Pain - Healed)

    Take care x

  11. Fabmat

    Fabmat New Member

    Hi Haley,
    It‘s so kind of you to share your valuable information with me!
    Today the pain is so bad, I feel like I can‘t do this anymore... it‘s such a sharp pain..
    I‘ve heard about Lorraine F and Abygail St. as well.. I‘ve spent so much money on this, in march I bought a course by a very popular pelvic PT for over 700$ but I never finished it, I got so overwhelmed by the amount of exercises.. so I‘m a bit reluctant to buying yet another course.
    I keep relling myself that I sm safe but going to the bathroom f.ex always puts my pain through the roof, because I was told I had Pudendal Neuralgia and one of the symptoms is pain after urination.. another doctor told me I needed botox assp if I wanted some relief for my urethral pain..it‘s all linked to so much fear.
    I‘ve read ezer‘s story before, it‘s awesome.
    I have the curable app as well but I get overwhelmed as well ..
    Thx for the links, I will take a deeper look at Loreaine‘s work.
    Unfortunately I don‘t find many peple that recover from pelvic pain..
  12. Hayley

    Hayley Peer Supporter

    I’m so sorry that the pain is bad today, sending a big hug right back to you x
  13. Fabmat

    Fabmat New Member

  14. tmstraveler

    tmstraveler Peer Supporter

    Hey @Fabmat there are lots of stories of people who recovered from pelvic pain on this site. Check out this thread (mentioned above) and read through it: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/pelvic-pain-healed.8680/ (Pelvic Pain - Healed)

    That’s not the only example, but it has some great ones in there. Don’t give up. You’re on the right path now and it will take some time. I find that the regular somatic tracking exercises in Alan Gordon’s program—do them all the time at first—are a great way to start to move from fearing your pain to feeling more indifferent towards it. It’s a practice. It’s gradual. But with repetition you’ll find you can move your emotions there.

    That’s the first step. But I hear you. It seems impossible to feel indifferent about this crazy pain so take it in small bits regularly throughout the day and slowly you’ll find yourself less afraid.

    You can do it!
  15. paige1993

    paige1993 New Member

    Hi @Fabmat!
    Apologies for the late response.

    Echoing what @tmstraveler said, the more you feel indifferent to your pain, the less power it has, and you'll notice it decreasing until you simply realize you don't have it anymore. TMS pain/discomfort, pelvic or not, feeds off of fear. By eliminating this element, healing will come far easier than you think!

    When I was dealing with my TMS, what would help me get through rough days was looking forward to all things I'd be doing pain-free. This sort of positive thought process really changes the tension patterns in your body, thus leading you to heal.

    We're here for you! You're going to be pain free.
  16. Fabmat

    Fabmat New Member

    Hello @paige1993 and @tmstraveler
    Sorry I‘ve been so busy with the holidays lately, that‘s why I took me so long...
    Thank you so much for answering and for your valuable advice..
    I think I understand the concept of being indifferent to pain; but I‘m having a hard time implementing it.
    Also I have questions..
    -somatic tracking means „just noticing“ the pain without giving it meaning.. how do I do that?
    -surrendering and still „doing the work“- reading, journaling,meditating.. how do those two go together?
    If I do the work, I always feel like I am doing it to get rid of the pain.. I don‘t do meditations, journaling etc for the fun of it..
    Hope you both are well.. wishing you a happy and healthy New Year..
    Love Fab
  17. tmstraveler

    tmstraveler Peer Supporter

    Hey, Fabmat. Understanding is great, internalizing takes time. I still work at it but I can see how far I’ve come. It takes patience and more than anything, a willingness to commit to it without judging the outcome. At least not for a while.

    1) The somatic tracking sections of Alan Gordon’s pain program have recordings that lay it out pretty well. Also, in the comment sections, there’s some additional information from therapists at the Pain Psychology Center. Remember it’s a process and you’ll be bad at it at first, but you get better with trying. Essentially you focus on something like your breath, then shift over to where you are holding emotional tension (you’ll find it if you look, I tend to keep it in my chest), then back to your breath, then over to your pain, and so on. The concept is laid out well in those sections, but you are essentially teaching yourself to feel your pain with less fear. It becomes more reflexive the more you do it. Don’t expect a magical transformation right away. It takes time, but it’s a nice break from running around trying to avoid your pain (unsuccessfully) and hating every minute. It can actually be a little escape.

    2) I’ll be honest. I’m not journaling. Some people swear by it. It’s such an individual thing. I have a therapist. I’m exploring my emotions, but I have a sense of what drives my anxiety and need to do most of my work regarding my relationship to my symptoms. That said, by doing the work you ARE surrendering. You are giving yourself over to a process. Then you put it down and try to go about your day. All of this stuff, it’s a HEALTHY way to relate to your pain or your emotions as opposed to the unhealthy way you are currently doing it. It replaces unhelpful behavior with constructive behavior.

    Hope that helps a bit. Don’t worry about getting it “right.” What’s right for you might not be right for someone else. I can say that while I still am working on it, the tracking was the best way I’ve found to take my anxiety down to a manageable level so I could do more exposure. But it requires you to try it without judging. I mean, it’s not going to HURT you, so why not?
  18. Fabmat

    Fabmat New Member


    Oh ok now I understand the concept of somatic tracking a bit better, thank you!
    I guess I can find more instructions in the 21 days program, can I?
    I feel like I have still so much to learn.. and sometimes I get tired and start slacking on all the efforts it requires to make progress. Ironically I don‘t see difference in pain levels whether I do the work or not..and then I feel like maybe slacking sends the message to my brain that it can relax.. I don‘t know..
    I know my persisting pain is due mainly to the fact that I received several diagnoses, all ‚incurable‘, which set off my alarm system and kept it running for over 1 year.. I‘ve been an anxious person before already, on a constant fight or flight state.
    So like you I need to „unlearn my pain“.. and my fear.. but unsure how this is linked to repressed anger..
    I am very grateful for your support..
    How do you feel currently?
  19. tmstraveler

    tmstraveler Peer Supporter

    I’m okay, Fabmat. I’m very much still on my journey, better than I was but working to accept I have more to go. I can’t wait to offer advice as someone who is completely better but that timeframe is not up to me.

    The 21-day program is a wealth of information. The Pain Psychology Center is also a good place to contact if you want 1-on-1 support. Regarding your many diagnoses, I’ve seen people come back from near death with this approach—conditions that seemed as hopeless as it gets: in pain, bedridden, not able to withstand light! It’s truly amazing what our minds can conjure up.

    Keep at it. Be KIND to yourself above all. You are learning a new skill and that takes time, especially since you are replacing old habits. But you can do it. The Facebook group “Pain Free You” has daily videos from Dan Buglio that put a lot of these concepts into plain English. Not a bad thing to add to your diet.

    You’re on your own path, Fabmat. If you continue to walk down it, I know you’ll find your way to a healthy, happy life. But for now, we should accept that we are both on the journey. And that’s okay too.
  20. Abigail

    Abigail New Member

    Hi Everyone!

    I just wanted to pop into this thread and say that my name has updated from Abigail Steidley to Abigail Morgan in my coaching work. Didn't want to confuse anyone! Thanks for the references, everyone, to my story. I can't seem to get logged into the old wiki to update my story. I've been super busy raising my daughter so I haven't been here on the wiki much at all in the last few years.
    Fabmat, Forest and tmstraveler like this.

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