Promoting TMS Awareness
Many of us who have recovered, or are in the process of recovering, from TMS or a PPD are keen to spread the word to others. This page is for sharing tips on ways to do that.
There are several activities that members of the wiki have been engaging in that have helped in promoting TMS/PPD Awareness. These activities have covered a wide range of areas including individual support for people who are recovering, to organizing TMS/PPD related meetings for professionals.
Members of the wiki have held two TMS/PPD Live Panel of Success Stories Conferences, modeled after the "Alumni Panels" held by Dr. Sarno. These conferences lasted approximately two hours, and consisted of 4 panelists who shared their TMS/PPD story. The main organizer of these meetings was wiki member MatthewNJ.
In addition the TMS Wiki has been organizing Peer Supervision Groups for TMS/PPD therapists for over one year. The group meets every other month, and has had a number of guest speakers.
As shown in this thread, the wiki has been active in reaching out to media sources in the hopes of gaining coverage of TMS/PPD. Members of the wiki have developed a Public Relations Strategy and created a section of the wiki designed for the media.
Have a Success Story?
- If you have a quick post, go to our extensive forum on success stories, the Success Stories Forum and post it there. By reading your story, others will be encouraged to try Dr Sarno's method and/or persevere if they are having doubts. If you're short of time, even a short post will do. You can always go back to it when you have more time.
- If you have a story with a specific symptom or diagnosis, you can add it to the relevant Specific Symptoms & Diagnosis pages, so that people who have TMS that is similar to yours can find it more easily. You can get help in this by contacting Forest or other members of our technical mentoring group.
- If you want to contribute a poem, or other art form, we'll be happy to post it!
- If you really want to go for it, make a video of your success story, since there is something undeniably powerful about being able to see and hear as someone explains how their life was transformed by TMS. For example, see this and this, two very short videos (maybe the only two free video success stories so far). Videos can reach large numbers of people, and we could help get your video success story seen as widely as possible. For example, if you wish, the video could be posted to YouTube and similar sites (with catchy keywords), or could be linked to the TMSHelp success stories forum. It also could be embedded in our our own video gallery, or on the success stories page, or on your wiki profile page, or on the relevant Specific Symptoms & Diagnosis pages. Forest knows a little bit about video production and knows other people who know more about, so if you can get access to a video camera (or live close to Boston) and are interested in doing this, you should contact him
Tell Your Friends!
Your friends can see first-hand that you are better: they are bound to be curious how you recovered. Tell them!
Some are going to respond negatively, because they've had years and years of conditioning. But even if they do, don't be discouraged. It may be the first time they've heard of such a thing, and some people need to hear/see things from a few sources before to considering it seriously. Help disabuse them of their ideas.
Be a TMS Ambassador at a Non-TMS Online Forum
There are many online support groups of people who may have TMS, but, unfortunately, who have never heard of the diagnosis, or how the correct diagnosis could help them. For example, look at this list of non-TMS forums designed for back-pain sufferers. By telling your own success story at these sites and linking to TMS resources, you have a great opportunity to reach people who otherwise may have never heard of TMS.
Some ideas to bear in mind:
- Encourage readers to ask for advice on the TMS Help Forum or one of the three TMS Yahoo Groups: rapid recovery, or TMS Support, or The Mind Body Syndrome.
- There are a number of pages on the wiki that might be especially helpful to link back to. If you are on a general forum, or the members seem interested in a more general topic, then linking to the So You Think You Might Have TMS and An Introduction to TMS (which includes the the 20/20 interview with Sarno) pages may be especially helpful as an introduction. If you on a forum dealing with a specific symptom or diagnosis, then the success stories from theSpecific Symptom & Diagnosis pages for the diagnosis that the forum is about may open the eyes of the members of that forum.
- Try to be as polite and tactful as you can. For example, remember that you are a guest, so try not to bombard the board with messages. Instead, be patient. Likewise, recognize that many people may be very resistant to the idea that there may be a mind body connection. Emphasize that their pain is real and let TMS success stories speak for themselves. Mention that the approach was developed by doctors. Don't diagnosis or recomment specific therapies, rather open their eyes to the possible mind body connection.
- Try to make your post as personal as possible, emphasizing your own experiences and the commonality between your experiences and your readers' experiences.
- Be patient. Many people won't be ready to accept what you say, but if you can help just one person, none of that matters. What matters are the people you do reach--people whose lives may be transformed by what you are doing.
Tell Your Provider
A personal letter can go a long way in opening up a doctor or other medical professional's mind to the idea of TMS. Better yet, there are several sample letters that you can use or customize to save you from having to write your own.
- David Schechter, MD, has written a letter to doctors that you can bring with you to appointments with doctors to give them a concise overview of the condition. Because it is written by a doctor for doctors, it may be a good compliment to a more personal description of your own success story.
- Pandamonium has shared a letter that she has written to her doctor. It includes some information about her own condition that you could replace with information about your condition.
- HilaryN has also added a letter she wrote to her doctor.
- Here are some tips on writing a letter
Write to your Health Insurance Company
Tell them how the cost of your cure compares with the cost of other cures you have tried.
Write to Newspapers and Magazines
Local papers are probably more likely to respond at this stage. See also TMS in the Media
Write a Blog
This will raise the profile of TMS on the Internet.
HilaryN writes: "Being a former RSI-sufferer, I and others give talks at my local RSI Support Group and also at the National RSI Awareness Day. Here are the notes and handout for the talk I give. I also sometimes go along to the RSI Support Groups meetings and talk to people individually."
Find out if there is a support group for your condition and see if you can go and give a talk, or go along and talk to individuals about Dr Sarno's books. A talk can reach more people, but sometimes people respond better when you talk to them individually and have a conversation with them because it's easier for them to ask questions. If you feel nervous about giving a talk in front of lots of people, this could be a better option for you, too.
Raising Awareness and Funds for Research
Peg suggests holding fundraising events such as a bike ride, walk,or gala in order to raise the needed funds supporting the TMS research.
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