Discussion in 'Mindbody Blogs (was Practitioner's Corner)' started by yb44, Apr 2, 2012.
I submitted the following question to Alan Gordon, LCSW recently:
This is a really great response. Anxiety is something that I think a lot of people are afraid of or think of something that is to difficult, tough, big, to actually address or overcome. That's why I like seeing it as as TMS-equivalent. One reason I don't worry about pain is because I know that its just TMS, and I know that I have the tools to overcome it if/when I ever have symptoms. Maybe by viewing anxiety as just a TMS equivalent people will be able to overcome the fear assosicated with it, and know that the same simple tools that helps them overcome TMS will also help them overcome their anxiety. I would love to hear how other people were able to overcome anxiety by using the TMS approach/tool kit.
This is certainly true for me - I find myself in a circle of back pain & sciatica
In the 'changeover' between the two I sometimes get a mystery condition where my face, head and feet feel like they're burning hot but there is no redness or fever. I also get a strange sensation in my mouth. I had loads of blood tests for various things including thyroid, diabetes etc but all the tests were clear.
My cycle is this:
March/April every year : back pain and sciatica starts
September/October : It eases
November: Hot face etc starts - this causes me anxiety wondering what is wrong which in turn leads to my anxiety about death, illness etc...which then leads me back to
March/April : back pain and sciatica
And so on
Lol - I had never thought about this cycle until I found Dr Sarnos book and starting posting on this forum
Very suspicious methinks!
Amanda x, my first question is, "What happens in March/April that triggers the onset of your back pain/sciatica cycle? Does the spring coincide with any traumatic or emotionally charged event that took place in your life at around that same time?" Nice to be able to see whether the onset of your physical symptoms correlates with some kind of internal symbolic clock in your psyche. Then, you could start the TMS deprogramming process based on this new knowledge. I believe Howard Schubiner has some written exercises at the start of Unlearn Your Pain that do just that.
On looking back I suffered my first panic attack in March or April in 2007 after a particularly agonising toothache I couldn't shake off. I had never experienced panic before and it was awful. I felt completely overwhelmed and helpless and that is what started my road to anxiety...I think there may well be a connection there.
Yes, an injury or pain episode like your toothache can get embedded in the limbic area of your brain so that any experience that reignites the associated emotion will bring back pain or its equivalent, like anxiety. Ought to ask Howard Schubiner about your experience because he has the anatomy of the brain involved in such episodes charted out in his Unlearn Your Pain book. You could ask him here on the Ask an Expert Forum (I'm sure not; I've just read a lot and observed my own case). For instance, I caught a cold out of the blue at the start of March. Was in great shape. Getting stronger. All of a sudden out of the blue it came on and just kept getting worse until I had to go to the doctor and take a run of antibiotics. However, the cold started to subside when I just happened to check a death certificate: My cold began on March 9th, which was the same day my father died in 1997. In fact, the symptoms began almost at the exact same hour that the hospice called and told me the bad news. Your unconscious mind, as Dr. Sarno and others note, remembers everything, even old injuries and old emotional hurts.
I did notice that when I was first doing the exercises in the Structured Program on this TMSwiki that one of the first changes I experienced were attacks of anxiety after journaling. It seemed that the more I wrote about my repressed emotions and brought them out into the light of day, the more anxiety and fear came to the surface too. Like Allan Gordon says above, pain and anxiety seem to be two sides of the same coin. I guess it's easier to deal with TMS pain than it is to deal with the anxiety, fear and repressed emotions from which it's distracting you. I realize that's a gross oversimplification, but it has some truth to it.
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