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The benefit of an evidence sheet

Discussion in 'Alan Gordon TMS Recovery Program' started by Forest, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    Hi, all...

    At the beginning of Part 1 of the Alan Gordon TMS Recovery Program, Alan provides some tools for accepting the TMS diagnosis. One of those tools is an Evidence Sheet, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

    I think that the real benefit of having an evidence sheet like that is not for when you are writing it, but rather for when you need it in an emergency. Dr. Sarno taught us that accepting the diagnosis is key to healing and that we need to think psychological rather than physical. This is no good because when we think physically, we tend to get scared, and the TMS has us in its grip. One of the benefits of thinking psychological is that it helps us overcome our fears.

    When symptoms increase (which they do because TMS healing isn't linear) or if we are just having a bad day, this also can be very scary. The trouble with fear is that when we are afraid, it makes it hard for us to think rationally. From the perspective of brain science, what happens is that the amygdala, a fear center, shuts down our prefrontal cortex, where our more rational thought happens. However, you don't need to know all of the brain science to know that when we are afraid that our TMS may never go away or that our pain may be physical, we can panic a little bit - get all revved up - and then it can be hard to think clearly.

    This is where the evidence sheet comes in. When you are having difficulties accepting the diagnosis and might be starting to think physical, you can always review the evidence sheet.

    Here's one way that this helped me: for two years I had TMS symptoms in my right knee. I developed a conditioned response so that whenever I ran or even walked, I would have pain around my right kneecap. Frankly, it terrified me because the more I walked, the worse it got, and it never seemed to get better. Would I ever be able to walk freely again?

    Well, when I first discovered, TMS, one of the things I did was I started walking more. Sure enough, the pain got worse. But I kept walking anyway, and, after a while, it stopped getting worse and even got better. Now I can walk wherever I want. I even joined a broomball team that one of my friends started. I ran around on an ice rink in tennis shoes like a maniac (unfortunately not like a ninja) and while I was very out of breath, my knee was fine. As before, it got worse at first, but then it died down completely once I overcame my fear.

    Well, I live in a city, and periodically I have to run down a hill for a subway (usually, I'm late [​IMG]). When I do, my right knee begins to hurt again. Logically, I know that it is just conditioning, but the old fears of injuring myself pop up, and it's easy for me to start worrying or thinking about my body, which I think is the kiss of death for TMS. Instead, I use that broomball story like an evidence sheet. I remind myself that I am perfectly healthy, that my body is strong. When I played broomball, I ran much more than this, so I know that I have nothing to worry about. This allows me to get back to living my life and enjoying whatever I'm doing, which I think is the key to TMS healing. The symptoms don't scare me at all because I know it's TMS.

    Having the evidence from the broomball team at my disposal helps with this. I won't say it's a massive effect, but it gives me a tool that I can use when I need it, which helps me stay positive. And once you get your mind right with TMS, your body will follow. It's just a matter of time (though it does take an awful long time for some people - to anyone reading this, don't worry if that's you. It's just the way TMS works.).

    Has anyone else tried using an evidence sheet? Did it help?
     
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I started keeping an evidence sheet a few weeks ago and I can already tell that is going to be an extremely useful tool for me. It is just so encouraging to see the evidence sheet grow. And when I start a downward spiral I can pull it out and go "now wait a minute, what about this?" Its important to remember to write things down on it because even though I look at it fairly frequently, its easy to forget all the details. And now they are there when I need them the most!
     
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I started my evidence sheet yesterday and already it bears fruit. Such a simple tool yet so powerful. TMS may be a tough nut to crack but this personal list of exceptions is a nutcracker extraordinaire. I love it.
     
  4. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    I can really relate to that. When the fear strikes any rational thought seems impossible.
    But I also started writing an evidence sheet, it's even an excercise book, so I have plenty of room to write in.
    The first page is filled already and it helps me everyday, just to think about having this. I don't even need to
    look into it, because it's somehow like an external memory for me, only with the good stuff.
    I hope it helps me through worse times as well.
    I think this kind of evidence is what people like me need.I think to analytical for the journaling,
    but I can't deny what's written by me once.
    It can also help against the classical "What ifs". Because somewhere in the future the answer to any
    "what if" is already in that booklet.
     
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest)- Well, when I first discovered, TMS, one of the things I did was I started walking more. Sure enough, the pain got worse. But I kept walking anyway, and, after a while, it stopped getting worse and even got better. Now I can walk wherever I want. I even joined a broomball team that one of my friends started. I ran around on an ice rink in tennis shoes like a maniac (unfortunately not like a ninja) and while I was very out of breath, my knee was fine. As before, it got worse at first, but then it died down completely once I overcame my fear.
    Eric)- Man forest that is an awesome story of how you used your evidence sheet or reminder that you do got tms under control
    its awesome to know all these different styles'-
    what you said in the above paragraph is a great way to know when not to fear the pain and to go on with your physical activities
    I remember helping coach a friend and they told me how when they would go for there daily walk , they could hear the
    bones cracking and squishing in there feet- now something from my experience and learning not to fear the tms alerted me to tell them
    to journal more and take it easy more till they could have the pain reside more ya know-
    it wasn't like the pain would occur as they walked, the pain was there 24/7- so after doing more Sarnos work and thinking psychological
    getting a grip on the fear and loosing the focus,
    he had the tension and strain in his foot reside beneficially- then when he went for the walk the pain as it tried to come on wasn't to be feared and now hes
    doing great-
    your nail in the coffin statement about thinking physical is so true, I believe sarno said that way of thinking is actually worse than the pain
    when it came to keeping the tension and strain intact-
    you have a great story of resilience and how to hang in there by remembering past victories-ala an evidence sheet
    a great post forest- inspiring
     
    Floweringsoul likes this.
  6. Floweringsoul

    Floweringsoul New Member

    I just started the TMS Recovery Program and am working on my 'Evidence Sheet'. I 'found' Dr. Sarno years ago and was doing good but the pain is back (in my back!)! I was debating about doing Michael Brown's 'Presence Process' again when I remembered this program! The instructions for the sheet include the statement, "Do you possess the personality traits that are common with TMS?" I remember from Sarno's books that I do. I remember this was a huge part of my believing that I had TMS because at first I was telling myself, "This guy is nuts! It's NOT all in my head! I was injured!" But I matched the traits and I KNOW the power of the mind! Thanks for this wonderful program!!
     
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you Flowering soul
    nice to see you on board, you should do just fine
    as you've recovered before, all we got to do is just go back over the fundamentals
    and start to really love life again, enjoy the journey- and make it a lifestyle change
    its simpler said than done I know but with a name like Flowering soul
    you should prosper very well
    Bless you
     

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