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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wonderful course by Dr. Schubiner and Alan Gordon

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by MindBodyPT, May 10, 2017.

  1. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi all,

    I attended Dr. Schubiner and Alan Gordon's 2 day course on TMS/PPD diagnosis and treatment this weekend and it was amazing! I learned so many strategies for ruling in TMS, educating clients on it and helping them through the process of changing their beliefs (including lots of research and evidence for it), and various ways of helping people through the process of getting rid of their pain. It was so great and i'm happy to share information with anyone who is interested or has TMS questions.

    Interestingly, one discrepancy was brought up that differs from Dr. Sarno's theories. Sarno posits that TMS symptoms occur as a distractor from unconscious rage. Dr. Schubiner and Alan Gordon instead believe that this ascribes too much intentionality to the brain and doesn't make sense evolutionarily. They believe that our brains process physical and psychological threats in the same way neurologically, and the brain creates pain when a psychological threat (like rage, fear etc) is perceived, as a warning sign (the same way pain is a warning sign when an injury occurs).

    I thought this was interesting...really it's the same result (emotions and stress causing pain in the absence of structural injury) but different underlying mechanism or explanation. Curious to see what people think of this.

    Anyhow if anyone wants to hear some of the things I learned this weekend let me know! Lots of good studies were cited and some methods of doing emotional work and mindfulness and such.
    Elijah Lynn, plum, Everly and 2 others like this.
  2. Jackhammer

    Jackhammer New Member

    Hello MindbodyPT!
    I wish I had attended that seminar and am very interested to hear what techniques you have come away with for dealing with TMS.
    I have been slinking around here since February, have read Gordon's and Shubiner's works, among many others, and have found Monte's suggestion to just relax and not dwell on the pain and a "cure" the most helpful for me so far. I have only put effort into believing that it is TMS, and the pain is not harming me ( just annoying me!!).
    I look forward to your posts!
    jaumeb likes this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Interesting. What are the differences in the treatment approach if pain is not a distraction from repressed emotions, but rather a warning sign of a psychological threat? It seems the goal is the same--for the rational, conscious brain to convince the unconscious brain that the threat is not real. Either the threat is that the unconscious rage will be displayed if I'm not distracted from it, or that the psychological fear is real (e.g. social isolation will occur because I'm judged not good enough by my peer group).
  4. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen- You're right, the goals are the same! It's just a different explanation for the same phenomenon. The psychological fear may or may not be "real" but is usually one/all of the feelings of fear, anger, guilt or sadness for various reasons. The treatment techniques discussed are ones you've probably heard of including journaling, role-playing to let the client release the emotions as if they were talking to the person they're directed at, mindfulness strategies, self-compassion and some others.

    Jackhammer- there are several phases of TMS treatment we talked about, TMS education and strengthening your belief as you've been doing, and strategies I mentioned above for addressing the underlying emotional causes of the pain. In the end those are the two main components of the treatment. You must fully be convinced that you're safe and there is no structural harm occurring and then address the cause of the pain.
  5. livlive

    livlive Peer Supporter

    Thanks for sharing about your experience, MindBodyPT! This makes a lot of sense to me. Dr. Schubner’s book has resonated with me as has Alan Gordon’s postings.

    I have a lot of current stressors in my life, and I feel that for some who have already explored a lot of repressed emotions (including rage), past experiences etc, over the years, that it could be that those are not the primary explanation for their pain.

    It is not to say that I don’t have those types of triggers, but I feel a lot of my issues are about learned neural pathways, and associating pain with certain activities. That coupled with my body tensing up while dealing with current stresses makes for a bad combo, because those tense muscles trigger the same nerves to send out signals over and over.

    Jules likes this.
  6. Eugene

    Eugene Well known member

    That sounds very plausible, and I feel better describes how/why I have the pain that I do. Thanks for sharing that.
  7. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I think you're right and that central sensitization could be the hair-bringer to this whole mess. I highly suspect I have this, as I've been doing TMS treatment for almost five years and am not cured yet. I think my autonomic nervous system is haywire and keeps sending danger signals to the brain, which in turn turns on the pain, so as to protect me. I've had this for 20 or more years and at this point, I don't know if I can be cured by just TMS knowledge and/or treatment. Basically, my brain has become hypersensitive to the sensation of pain.
    Boston Redsox and plum like this.
  8. Eugene

    Eugene Well known member

    I can see what you mean. But if that is the case what is the solution, if not TMS? Kinda scary
  9. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Yeah. I do believe I can retrain it to not be so sensitive, and I'm working on that now. Don't get me wrong, I still believe I have TMS, but it's not just TMS. I think there are other elements at play, as well.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  10. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    It's so great to see folks like Dr. Schubiner and Alan Gordon carrying on this important work and taking it to a new generation. And not only that, but building on the foundation that Dr. Sarno created.
    plum, shmps, MindBodyPT and 1 other person like this.
  11. livlive

    livlive Peer Supporter

    Hi Jules,
    I think you're not alone in that. I've been listening to Dr. Claire Weekes and her incredibly insightful take on anxiety. She talks of the highly sensitized person ( and I know I'm in that category! ) so it's been a helpful way for me to frame not only my anxiety but also my sensitized physical body.

    I had a big back surgery that really knocked my body for a loop and I'm guessing since I was already a sensitized person, TMS reared its head in my recovery.

    But don't lose hope, Jules. Maybe it's just a matter of finding a different approach. Although I think the basic premise of TMS is universal, I do think different strategies work better for some than others. I know it must be so tiring after feeling like you've been dealing with it for so long. But maybe there is something that will resonate with you. And self-care is so important with a sensitized system. Being kind to yourself, getting enough sleep, maybe a hot bath or shower with nice smelling soap or some flowers around the house.

    I think it's trying to walk a line between accepting where you are right now, accepting that you are in pain, but coupling that with the strong belief that it doesn't have to stay that way and you won't stand for it staying that way! A strange paradox I guess! That's where I am right now anyways :)

    Good luck and sending healing thoughts.

  12. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    Thanks for sharing. It's left me a little confused though....

    Why would sarnos theory not make sense on an evolutionary level? Maybe I'm missing something obvious!

    Also, if physical and mental pain cannot be distinguished from each other, why do I not get pain when I just think horrible thoughts or am in a state of fear. So often pain seems to be much more random, which makes more sense if you attribute it to subconscious activity which we aren't aware. Again I may have missed the point! Maybe we are still talking about everything in a subconscious level?

    It seems like the most fundamental part of Dr sarnos theory, and it's a bit of a shock to try and accept it's something totally different!

    Between this and the fact nobody seems to agree that oxygen deprivation is definitely the cause of pain I can feel a bit lost with tms

    Be glad to hear any replies
  13. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Evolution is not linear, one good volcanic eruption like Krakatoa, an asteroid hitting planet earth or some other unforseen occurrence like North Korea or Iran shooting off an errant nuke or suit-case bomb and the dna of the gene pool gets bent out of shape. Evolution is a response to the whims of the environment--mother nature and father time.

    Pain is a weird thing, usually a useful warning to not touch that hot stove again, but also some misfires like phantom limb pain or TMS as a distraction from facing emotional pain head-on.

    O2 deprivation is just one of an infinite mechanisms that can create TMS distractiors--it's been proven scientifically on single cells in the test-tubes of Scandinavian laboratories, but has been long super-seeded in Dr. Sarnos later writings as only one of many possible autonomic mechanisms that can create pain. He says not to get hung-up on the mechanisms of how TMS pain is manufactured, the gray matter is too dense to possibly ever figure out in our lifetimes--he said if he had to explain all the symptom spots that TMS can create, he wouldn't have time for anything else.
    Boston Redsox and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  14. chris_mom

    chris_mom New Member

    Hi, can you tell me where/ how to get information on Dr. Schubiner's training courses? I have a friend who is a family physician in Ohio and is interested. Thanks!
  15. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    There is some info here: http://www.unlearnyourpain.com (home) you can email Dr. Schubiner for more info, there is also a link to register for the next course in January 2018.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  16. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for the update on the training, PT and this tidbit. I am so glad you made it to this.

    The next question for me is does this difference in theory make a difference? Apparently not in terms of basic treatment approach. One way it might make a difference is in patients accepting or rejecting the theory. Some might find the "warning sign" explanation more acceptable than the "distraction" explanation. The core element is acceptance, in my experience.

    For my clients, I would suggest either or both, because this gives more possible traction to the idea ---if it isn't rejected because of "lack of certainty" on the theory.

    Can you address any more implications of this difference in theory that the participants/leaders discussed? In what ways can this change be helpful or not?

    Andy B
  17. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    I'd like to hear much more from these guys about this new theory. It's a huge fundamental difference, it would be nice to know a bit about it if that's what they are teaching on their courses? I wonder if they could post something on here, maybe worth asking in the 'Ask a therapist section'. I also wonder if Dr Sarno would agree with it.
  18. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    I don't think it makes a difference in treatment...it's just the origin of why TMS occurs. It depends on how the person likes to think about it. In a way, a "warning sign" could also be a distraction. I personally identify more with the warning sign idea, but practically speaking you treat TMS the same way. I think the distraction idea came out of psychoanalytic theory and the warning sign idea is more from the neural pathways explanation.

    There weren't really any different practical implications discussed, this was actually a question from another participant in the conference. They still discussed lots of different ways to address repressed/unresolved emotion. I just found it interesting as a way to view things as a clinician, and as an alternate way to explain TMS to someone. I've actually used it with a couple of people so far.

    Robodelfy- its a definite difference in theory, Alan Gordon might be able to speak to it. Dr. Schubiner's theories around TMS are all neural pathway based, its an extension of Sarno in a slightly different direction theory wise but really the treatment is the same.
    plum likes this.
  19. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I disagree with that. Thinking that way will lead one to believe they have to change what they are doing to fight their TMS. According to the OP, he found it a "discrepancy". It's not a new theory and not a huge fundamental difference. To think so will send people down another path which will likely result in a dead-end.
    Dr. Sarno uses the terms psychosomatic and TMS interchangeably. He does not pretend to have invented the science of psychology. In his books he gives full credit to its founders, Freud, Jung, Maslow, Adler, etc. The cure is the same, acceptance that the source is the mind due to emotional issues and re-conditoning the sub-conscious to overcome the misinformation it accepted from the collective meme to breakthrough the pain.
    plum, MindBodyPT and chris_mom like this.
  20. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    TMS, pain, and most disease by and large come from confusion ("dualistic turmoil," personal mind vs. mind, psychological conflict, divided mind. etc.), a distinct lack of harmony within self by attempting to hide fuller aspects of the Self. There seems to be attempts, for some unknown reason, to take Dr. Sarno's work and to redefine it. But for what end? The new definitions, intellect, subdividing, etc. are the causes of the suffering that got us this low in medicine and healing. Healing does not come from these things, anyone who does this work should see it clearly. Healing is about feeling again, loving self, forgiving, letting go of self images. The melting of the frozen self through anti-intellect.

    As a TMS practitioner I directly observe these "re-definings" harming people through further confusion. What's the difference between "warning sign" and "diversion?" It makes no difference in healing. The entire process of determining what does what, and which does that is again taking the problem deeper into intellect and away from feelings, creating more suffering.

    It's tedious answering the questions about diversion, pathways, warning signs, etc. The larger question is why would anyone take something that's working virtually every time and re-label it, only to create more division/confusion/conflict? Is it to keep it under the banner of furthering science? Science is the problem! As Jung insightfully stated "nothing inhibits feeling like thinking." Daily, people contact me asking about this and about that. When I can get them to stop thinking in that manner they heal. It's called intellectualization; the use of intellect as a defense mechanism to block emotions. The mind is not as divided as the head and the heart will always be. Pity Me.

    Dr. Sarno hoped that his life work would be expanded upon and clarified. But it's going backwards, not forward. Intellect is the step that gets us to the threshold of letting go as all knowledge dissolves into love. Surrender and heal.

    Scientific studies are the problem, they only reveal cause and effect, never Truth.

    Boston Redsox, Ookami and chris_mom like this.

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