Educational Program Day 20

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You are coming to the end of the third week of this program. Feel good that you have kept with it for this long. Some people may be experiencing a lessening of their symptoms. While you may be seeing some progress, it can always be difficult to return to physical activity. This pain syndrome can take over our lives and it may be difficult to overcome the fear that TMS creates. Throughout today, think of ways that you can overcome this fear, and move past the cycles that attributed to your symptoms.

Educational Activity: Having a clear understanding of the steps needed to overcome TMS is pivotal in battling this condition. In an article for Where the Client Is, TMS psychoanalyst, Dr. Frances Sommer Anderson, discusses the necessary steps a person should take in order to get better. Her insights are especially significant for individuals who do not have "book cures" or are become dramatically better in a couple of days. Dr. Anderson gives her expertise in working with individuals who have had lengthy recoveries which can help other people understand that overcoming TMS can take time. Dr. Anderson worked with John Sarno at the Rusk Institute for over 12 years. Click here to read the article.


Journaling
Gaining understanding and insight into the current stress in our lives can lead to overcoming TMS and the thought patterns that lead to the creation of pain. For today, you will do a cluster write about your current stress. Cluster writing is an effective method to make connections about current events and situations with our chronic symptoms. The technique is relatively easy to do. This is a form of brainstorming that gives a person a quick path to self-discovery. It consists of putting an issue or topic in a circle, or nucleus, in the center of a piece of paper. Then one writes 1-4 word phrases about the nucleus topic. (you can always revisit this technique at the topic Cluster/Spider Writing on the page How do I journal?).
  • Begin to write down your thoughts and feelings about the nucleus topic in 1-4 word phrases. Draw a circle around these thoughts and connect them to the center nucleus by drawing a line to it.
  • From this point on a person can write about any circle on the page. Either write about the nucleus or another circle connected to it. After writing a new thought about a circle, connect that thought to the circle that prompted it.
  • Continue this process until the five minutes is up. The page should be filled with circles or clusters that make the page look kind of like a spider. If you run out of room on one side of the page, just connect your next thought back to the center nucleus or get use another sheet of paper. It is important to not worry about making spelling errors or filtering your thoughts. Write down anything that comes to mind.

Q & A with an Expert: One question that is common among people new to TMS is how do you tell the difference between injury (overuse) and TMS. Understanding this question can help people overcome fear of of overuse and fear of injury. Dr. John Stracks gives a response to this question. While the answer should not be considered as medical advice, it can help you understand the difference between an acute injury and TMS. Click here to access Dr. Stracks's response.


Question To Ponder
If you could change one thing about your life what would it be? What steps could you take to make this change? If you feel comfortable sharing, then post your response in a thread in our Structured Program forum. We would love to hear from you.








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