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TMS Pain While Sitting

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Steve Ozanich, May 10, 2014.

  1. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    When the cheeks hit the chair, there's nothing but(t) despair.

    Several people have emailed me about their pain when sitting.

    When you decide to take your life back you’ll no longer fear your pain, and vice versa: when you no longer fear your pain, you’ve decided to take your life back. Pain will appear, you’ll notice it, and then you’ll go ahead and do whatever you were going to do: never fearing that your pain will go anywhere. “The decision to heal” is the first step of courage; the action is the second step of courage. Taking action means that you are ready to heal. Healing takes courage, it involves a decision to heal, and then an action.

    Your deeper brain wants you to fear, to hold back, to procrastinate, to be afraid of your pain. That's how TMS works. The more you fear your pain the better that your brain's strategy is working to keep you obsessed and worried, and therefore emotionally un-aware, afraid to move, even sit. Perhaps the most meaningful thing Dr. Sarno taught me was, “One has to confront TMS, fight it, or the symptoms will continue. Losing one’s fear, and resuming normal physical activity is possibly the most important part of the therapeutic process.” That statement by the good doctor began my action of courage. It said to me, “get back to living again….you’ll be ok.” And he was right, of course.

    If you have TMS, then there's nothing wrong with your body. And--sitting is such a harmless act that it could never produce pain. So here you are. You have a body that's healthy and fine, and sitting isn't hurting anything. So what do you want to do? There's comes a point when you get tired of your brain using you, and you decide to take control instead of being controlled.

    However, we know about the conditioned response of the brain. The more you fear the conditioned reaction the more power your deeper brain has over you, as a weapon of doubt. I reigned in my domineering brain by teaching it that there would not be any dire consequences of sitting, by proving to it that all was ok. I sat down one night and refused to get up until my pain was gone. I hyperventilated, swooned, and panicked…but my sitting pain left forever, in one night’s sitting. I took a leap of faith. This is unusual, but it can and does happen. It wasn’t the best action to heal, it was more like letting a bull loose around the good China. But it worked! I was ready to heal, I took an action.

    However, I've learned through experience to never directly attack pain because that can be considered TMSing, since it's close to physical therapy. But there comes the rubicon-point where you need to decide if you want to sink or swim. In order to cross any threshold you have to leave one point behind and enter the next point; something has to be 'let go'…and that thing is fear.

    I'm talking about fine lines between physical therapy and living again. You make the distinction by how your deeper brain sees the act. Is it challenging pain by attacking it? Or is it returning to normalcy by the benign act of just sitting? There's nothing wrong with your body, so just go sit. Don't build up a mountain of fear and tension, and then attack your body with sitting. Just live today how you want to.

    Several folks have told me they tried what I did on the "bucking night" and they healed, like I did. Others have said they tried it and nothing changed, but this is good! They didn’t get worse. This is proof that it’s TMS, and that healing will come.

    It's more efficient to do it right, and that's within the fine line of not attacking, but by calming yourself with relaxation and soothing; that all will be well. It's much like drowning in a pool of water that's only a foot deep. If you convince yourself that the water is deep, you begin to panic and struggle. But if you know ahead of time that it's only a foot deep, then you're calm as you go in; your brain doesn’t fear and create wild scenarios, increasing tension. So what's the difference between the two? It's the initial knowledge that there's no danger ahead.

    So if you've convinced yourself that you're damaging your back, or that you are going to feel great pain, then the pain comes, through the Law of Attraction ("I attract to my life whatever I give my energy, focus, and attention to, whether wanted or unwanted"). The difference is in the degree of confidence that you actually have TMS, just like the degree that you're sure the water is only a foot deep. It's in the degree of belief.

    Through the Law of Attraction you bring on your pain. You prepare for pain, you brace for it, you tense-up, you shorten your breathing, you excite every cell beforehand through fear and anticipation. You send signals to your cells to send you pain. You build the stage for your pain, and your play runs, successfully (to a sitting ovation).

    When you do decide to sit again, you will not brace, you will relax your body, you will breathe and smile, and think of something other than your body. You will begin the transformation of your brain by creating new molecules of emotion for that particular event. Each thought (internal word) creates a neurotransmitter sending it to the matching receptor cell to create that particular experience. Create a new sitting experience by shifting your awareness to life, and away from body. Build new neurotransmitters of calm and relaxation, knowing ahead that all is ok, and will be ok. Send signals of light.

    I can tell you that this works, just like Dr. Sarno discovered. You can sit any way you like for as long as you like, just like me. TMS is harmless.

    But--remember to also keep working on the psychological. Breathe more deeply throughout the day from the belly. Soothe your being. See joy in things. Talk to people about how you feel, express yourself. Walk or run to burn tension, to regulate the ANS and release endorphins into the system. Perform an SMT. Laugh from your belly. Let go of fear.

    Fear does not save you in most instances, it usually destroys you.

    Your personality has gotten you here to TMS. “The key word in tension is personality.” Become more aware of how you see your daily life. This is a transformational process, it doesn't always happen in one night of sitting, unless your brain is finally ready to give up its strategy. When it is ready, your day will come. But you will never know the hour that you actually heal--because you will have stopped paying attention to what your body is doing each day. Some days you will have pain but you won't fear it, worry about it, assign meaning to it, or pay attention to it. This will render it useless as a distraction, and it will eventually stop trying to fool you.

    The good days will become more and more, and the bad days less and less. We will always have an occasional bad day; we are emotional beings, but the good days are so worth it. We are only high because we already understand low. Each emotional state is incumbent upon another.

    You will have transformed when you can see the value in the bad days, when you want to learn from those bad days.

    No harm will come to you by sitting, nothing bad will occur. Take action and just do it. Your pain cannot hurt you as ironic as that sounds. All you have to do is believe in yourself. How deep is your water?

    Last edited: May 10, 2014
    Bluemoon, Kellso, donavanf and 15 others like this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm sure glad I can sit without pain. I spend about 6 hours at the computer, not all in one sitting,
    but that's still a lot. I do get up and take breaks. And I practice deep breathing while on the computer.

    Steve's right about fear. Don't let worry or fear stop you from doing whatever you want to.
    If either enters your mind, laugh them away. Do what you want to do and say, "I can do this, it's a piece of cake!"
    douggie, Sienna and nancy like this.
  3. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! This reminds me of the analogy of the monster under the bed, which I think of when I am overwhelmed. In those moments I ask, why am I allowing myself to become paralyzed by something imaginary, something that doesn't exist. Once I can reaffirm this in my mind, I am ready to do exactly what you described, go forward with life, unafraid and unchallenging. Thank you so much for your insight Steve, your book and your audio and text postings on this forum have been essential to my healing. Thank you really doesn't cover it. You and the other wonderful, amazing people on this site have changed my life.
  4. PaulBlack

    PaulBlack Peer Supporter

    Good informative post Steve, thank you.
  5. tigerlilly

    tigerlilly Well known member

    I can't even express how important and helpful this information has been for me. Steve has helped me to muster up the courage to sit in a chair - I'm one of the ones who tried his "bucking night" method but it did not work for me. BUT (BUTT!) - what I did learn, was that even though it was, and still is, very painful, I was able to sit there for 1.5 hours and the pain only escalated so much. It was very empowering to see that it only held so much "power" over me and could only do so much. I sat there and was singing Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" to my brain. I remember Claire Weekes saying that "success is on the other side of fear." So it's a good starting point to taking control and getting my life back, however long it might take!

    Thanks SO much, Steve. Your words of wisdom are invaluable!!
    Free of Fear likes this.
  6. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Yup, sitting is surely harmless. When I had bad back and butt pain, it was agonizing to sit. I remember Dr. Sarno saying "it is not the chair or car you're sitting in" !

    "cheeks hit the chair" good one! :)
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tigerlily, when you sit and it hurts, maybe keep a sheet of affirmations close at hand,
    near the monitor if you're on the computer, so you can look at it.

    Or keep a photograph with you where you sit, especially while sitting when on the computer.
    A picture of someone you love can be a pleasant distraction from pain. Or a picture of yourself
    on vacation.
    MissShamrocks likes this.
  8. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Thanks for the kind words painfreefuture. I hope you feel better and that my book helped in some way. Also think about your screen name and how powerful it is... to what you are right now. These things are guided images, magnets.

    It always reminds me of a Kung Fu episode, Superstition, 1973, where Master Po has young Caine walk across a railroad tie over water. He does it with ease of course. Then Po takes him to a tie over an acid pit with skeletons lying in the acid below. Young Caine starts across the beam but his tension is so high that he falls in. The pool was full of water of course and Po was laughing at him for building such fear in his mind.

    Rumi wrote, "why do you stay in prison when the cell door is so wide open?" This is my point with pain and sitting. The only harm comes from your fear of pain.

    Maybe Forest can edit this clip down to the one small scene for TMS in pop-culture, he just loooooves it when he gets more work. I suggest everyone send him things to do, long detailed tedious things, not easy things, he hates easy stuff. Did I say hate? I meant loves.

    Painfreefuture likes this.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Steve. A terrific video from Kung Fu. Those Chinese can teach us a thing or two.

    Fear of pain can cause so much damage. We can fight pain by not fearing it. Easy to say,
    but it can be done. If we fear doing anything, a good reminder could be to do it, "It's a piece of cake!"
  10. tigerlilly

    tigerlilly Well known member

    Thanks Walt - I actually do all of those things. Sometimes the pain is so intense that all I can do is try to float through it. I keep a picture of myself when I was a child on my desktop (or a picture of my husband and myself) - that is helpful. And keeping the affirmations close in mind ("I let go of all fear and doubt, and life becomes simple and easy for me!")

    4ef039f9e371be24505af0c27fd5dde6.jpg 621e8ad83359b951a190ddf73e88eebb.jpg
  11. Dani

    Dani New Member

    Thanks, Steve for the post and for everyone's comments.

    For the past two years, I'd been unable to sit for more than 10 minutes due to lower back and hip pain. I found out about TMS only a couple months ago, right before I left for a month-long vacation where I was sitting for long periods of time on boats, trains, and planes, including an 11-hour flight. I'm happy to say I was 90% pain-free the whole time.

    However, as soon as I got back home and sat in my regular desk chair, my back/hip pain came back instantly. Before I found out about TMS, I probably would have blamed the construction of the chair and started looking for a new one (I'm on my third). This time, I decided to stay in the chair and ponder the fact that I was okay in all those other sitting situations and that perhaps it had something to do with conditioning and/or the work I do while in the chair. And yes, I also spent some time yelling at my pain. That does seem to help sometimes.

    I'm happy to say that after two days of sticking with it, I can now sit in the chair for long periods of time without pain. This is another life-changer for me (one of many since accepting that I had TMS) as I'd been unable to work at my desk for two years and had to do all my work laying down with my laptop.

    Thanks to Dr. Sarno and everyone on this website. I feel I'm getting close to understanding what's going on and getting back to the way I was before all this started.
    Tassie Devil and Seraphina like this.
  12. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Thanks for informing us Dani, People have randomly contacted me about refusing to stand up from sitting, and their sitting pain problem got much better, of left. It's good to see you post it for people to see.

    That was pretty cool that you found out about TMS right before your vacation. I bet you did a lot of thinking on that vacation. So your vacation was somewhat of a vacation from worry.

    Dr. Sarno changed the world, but the world doesn't know it yet.
    Tassie Devil likes this.
  13. Dani

    Dani New Member

    Yes, my vacation allowed me to get away from my everyday stress and, not so coincidentally, the pain also took a vacation. If I had any remaining doubts about TMS before, they are gone now.

    I still have a lot of mental work to do now that I'm back home dealing with the everyday stress and remaining pain, but it's with a different perspective and a lot of optimism. I'm actually looking forward to working though all the suggestions on this site to see if I can figure out what triggered this. It's like looking for a hidden treasure (or perhaps a Pandora's box) in your mind.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dani, that's the way to go. Keep trying to discover what triggered your pain.
    You know now that it's from TMS.

    Just don't over do it and spend too much time on learning the repressed emotions
    or personality traits like perfectionism. Find time to do things you like and keep your thoughts happy.
  15. Dani

    Dani New Member

    Thanks, Walt. I will try to find the right balance between living a happy life today and figuring out what's going on in my head so I can make the pain go away. I'm already so much happier than I was a couple months ago. I feel as if I have my life back and can now go back to doing all things I thought I'd have to give up forever.
  16. tigerlilly

    tigerlilly Well known member

    This is inspiring to me, Dani. My husband and I are daring to go on vacation to the beach for a week - between his foot pain and not being able to walk much, and my not being able to sit much, it should be an interesting adventure. I welcome the opportunity for the pain to take a vacation - it will be so therapeutic!
  17. Dani

    Dani New Member

    Tigerlilly, I'm so glad you are going and not letting the fear of pain stop you. We made our vacation plans long before I learned about TMS, but it was for a special occasion, so I was willing to suffer through the pain during the flights and other forced sitting situations. I'm not sure how the trip would have gone had I not found out about TMS, but it was such a confirmation of the diagnosis when I found I could sit for hours while on vacation but not for five minutes when I got back to my normal life. That cannot be a structural problem!

    So now, whenever sitting triggers the pain, I remind myself of how I was able to sit for long periods while on vacation and it helps the pain go away.

    Best wishes for a great vacation! Let us know how it went.
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi. Tigerlilly. A week's vacation at the beach sounds wonderful. Maybe you and your husband will find, like Dani,
    that neither of you will have any pain while relaxing.

    Dani, that sure proves your sitting pain is not structural. You're doing great with TMS. Too bad it can't be bottled
    or put in a pill, then everyone, including TMS doubters, would "swallow it."
  19. Dani

    Dani New Member

    I have some questions about sitting. I went back into my work office yesterday for the first time since vacation. My employer has been very supportive of my struggles with back pain and I have a sit/stand station at which I have been only standing because of the pain when sitting. Since beginning, my pain is usually triggered by sitting and relieved by lying down or walking. Standing is okay for awhile.

    Because of the success I had in forcing myself to stay seated at my home office, I decided to try sitting much of the day yesterday at my work office. I did okay for awhile, but it started to hurt more and more. Then, last night and this morning, I've been in severe pain like I was before I knew about TMS. You know from my post above that I was generally fine while on vacation where I was sitting much of the time.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Why is sitting at my work office different than sitting at my home office? Is is purely about conditioning?
    2) If this is related to being in the office, why can I stand in the office without as much pain as sitting?
    3) If this is related to the work I do, why can I do my work all day lying down without any pain?
    4) If the mechanism my brain is using to cause the pain is oxygen deprivation, why aren't the muscles being deprived regardless of the position my body is in?
    5) Why does the pain continue to increase at night and the next day, even when I'm no longer in the situation that triggered it?

    I'd be happy for any insight anyone has.

  20. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Dani. I'm not a doctor so I can't give medical advice,
    but from my own experience with back pain and others I've read about,
    even if you have a structural problem with your back such as a bulging or herniated disc,
    that doesn't cause pain.

    I wouldn't try to understand what you ask about if the brain is causing oxygen deprivation why aren't
    the muscles being deprived regardless of whether you're sitting or standing.

    I would just focus on TMS healing and that means journaling and discovering your repressed emotions
    or personality such as perfectionist or "goodist."

    Your unconscious mind has fixed on you having pain when you sit, so you have to tell it you know
    it's not structural but psychological, from emotions or personality.

    Your unconscious may even finally be getting it, that you believe in TMS, 100 percent, and is
    keeping the pain going to test you. Keep believing in TMS. You're going to heal and soon.

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