Q&A: "I have a lot of stress. Is is 'safe' for me to start a program?"

From The TMS Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


I've read Dr. Sarno's books and I believe that I have TMS, but I have so much stress in my life that I’m afraid to start any kind of treatment. I also can’t afford a therapist and, frankly, there’s none in the small town where I live. Is it "safe" for me to start a program? And if so, how should I begin?

Answer by Peter Zafirides, MD

An image of Practitioner Peter Zafirides
Practitioner Peter Zafirides

Who's Who page / Profile Page / The Invisible Gorilla and TMS / The Monkey Trap / Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (PPDA) Board Member / Website

This is a very good question. It is certainly a challenging issue when someone with TMS may live in a smaller town where the likelihood of a TMS practitioner close by is low. What we have to realize though, it is likely the amount of stress in one's life is directly related to the pain starting in the first place. Our body, and more appropriately our mind, will react in the way in any way it has to in order to protect us from too much stress. Often times, the result of too much stress can be emotional problems, depression or anxiety. But many of the physical problems we - as a nation - suffer is the result of too much stress.

I think the more appropriate way to look at your concerns is: Do you have too much stress in your life to NOT begin the program? Whether it is emotional or physical symptoms, our body will react to large amounts of stress. If your initial readings seem to have spoken to you I would encourage you to pursue further reading and treatment programs. A great book to look at next would be Unlearn Your Pain, By Dr. Schubiner. You can move through this book in the comfort of your own home over the next month. Many people have had "book cures" simply by reading this material. But there is an important point here to bring up at this time. The majority of the people who suffer with TMS will not have to have formal psychotherapy. For most people, simply being able to read about TMS and do some of the programs in self-study or meditation is all that most individuals will need to meaningfully reduce their pain.

I would encourage you to continue in your ongoing self-study and work along the available resources for TMS. If you find though, that despite the reading and work you have done on your own you still continue to suffer with significant pain, then it is reasonable to pursue a therapist. This may mean that you may have to travel to find one, but it is worth the effort. You really have nothing to lose but your chronic pain.

To everyone who is reading this: If it feels that you don't have the time or that they are too stressed to start the program, remember, your body is already telling you something by how you're feeling right now (emotionally and physically) because of the stress you are under. That is part of the problem. It is hiding right there in plain sight!

Never doubt a truly powerful your ability to make tremendous change in the way that you feel physically simply by taking the time to understand how your mind - and your body - deals with uncomfortable emotions.

You can absolutely do this! Never doubt how truly powerful you are!!!

Peter Zafirides


It is important to recognize that no information on this wiki can be considered a specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. Reading information here does not create a doctor/patient or other professional relationship between you and the answering professional. As always, you should consult with your physicians and counselors regarding new symptoms and any changes that you might make in medications or activities.

Our goal is to get multiple answers for each question so that readers can benefit from a diversity of perspectives. To contribute your answer, click here.

Other Resources

DISCLAIMER: The TMS Wiki is for informational and support purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. See Full Disclaimer.