The Master Practice
Published and Distributed by runningpain.com, 2009
In The Master Practice, Monte Hueftle expands upon his TMS treatment approach that he has discusses at length in forum posts and his runningpain.com updates. Monte experienced severe pain for over 20 years. After he learned about Dr. Sarno's approach most of his pain went away. However, he still suffered from piriformis and sciatica. Monte began to develop a new approach to TMS treatment when he encountered other individuals who, like him, had success with Sarno's treatment, but still experienced some pain. In this book Hueftle seeks to help people who have had some success with Sarno's approach, complete that final step and become completely pain free. Hueftle offers three distinct practices that if incorporated into a person's life, will lead them to a pain free life.
Monte's Three Practices
- Think Psychological: If TMS pain is caused by repressed emotions, Monte suggests that it is vital for a person in pain to examine their psychological state when they begin to notice pain symptoms. Begin to ask yourself questions about what's going on and how you feel emotionally. Monte urges people not to think about physical causes of pain. This includes resisting the urge to ask questions such as, Have I overtrained, Should I do more stretching exercises, and Have I been slouching. These questions reinforce the belief that there is a physical causation, when in fact the reason for the pain is a person's repressed emotions. By focusing on the psychological, and asking questions about what is going on in one's life, a person can uncover the true cause of their chronic symptoms and begin to be healed of TMS. Monte demands that the reader stops all physical treatments for their symptoms. This includes stretching and chiropractic exercises as well as visiting TMS message boards and incessantly re-reading Dr. Sarno's books. Behind all of these things is an attitude of finding the cure something outside of yourself. Monte urges us to take responsibility of our treatment and that the only cure is to focus on our emotions, and begin to change our thought patterns.
- Think Clean:
- Practice Root Lock: Many TMS patients have had success in practicing yoga. Monte suggests that the Root Lock practice can help a person release inner tension and re-balance the nervous system. This chapter teaches the reader exactly how to practice this technique and how to incorporate into their treatment program.
Reviews of The Master Practice
Enrique.Pasos is a member of the wiki and posted the following on a thread in regards to the treatment ideas put forth in The Master Practice:
TMS is a funny thing. After my marathon in July last year, I felt pain in my left knee and left achilles whenever I ran. My doctor (who does not know about TMS) told me that humans are not built to run 26 miles and prescribed 8 weeks off with high dosage of Naproxen. Gee, thanks doc. That was no help at all.
For the most part, I disregarded his comment, frankly, because I've come to know people who run 100 mile races with no lasting injuries. In any case, I did rest quite a long time and didn't really run again until December. I did other cross training in the meantime. When I returned to running, the achilles pain came back immediately. I thought it might be TMS because I had let so much time pass for this to heal up. I didn't let my mind think that it was a real physical injury. However, I reached out for a second opinion to firm up my belief and emailed Monte Hueftle from runningpain.com. He agreed that given the time that has passed and my prior experiences with TMS that it probably was TMS again. He told me to believe it and that I'd see big huge gains once I realized this. The next day I went for a run and I felt a little pain, but kept at it. Within a week, I was running again with no pain. I did feel like beating myself up for letting TMS pain back into my life, but it woke me up to the fact that I must be vigilant with my thoughts. I bought Monte's book, the Master Practice, and have been practicing many of his suggestions such as thinking psychologically and thinking clean. Those two things have really helped me especailly now that my volume of excercise is really picking up. I get little pains here and there, but I just thank my subconscience for alerting me to some potential emotions that I'm not dealing with and then tell it to stop alerting me. Invariably, the pain goes away.
How People Avoid Emotions
In one section of The Master Practice, Monte explains seven different ways people avoid and repress their emotions. By understanding how we may repress our emotions we can recognize areas where we need to change our thought patterns and begin to think clean. These seven avoidance techniques are:
- Low Self Worth: Having low self worth can make a person try to please everyone and try to accomplish and be successful at everything. It can result in perfectionism, and can create an unsustainable amount of pressure in a person
- Anger: Monte says that an angry outburst like slamming a door is a "defense mechanism that is repressing the feeling. Instead of really experiencing the feeling, you divert your energy to an angry outburst, allowing the emotion (energy) to be stuck, create a blockage or be stored in the tissues of your muscles and nerves.
- Perfectionism: Some people feel like everything has to be perfect. Monte suggests that in trying to correct every fault in one's life, family, career, a person is actually repressing their emotions and failing to live life in the present. The result of this is the creation of tension and stress that causes chronic pain.
- Ideal Role Playing: Like perfectionism, ideal role playing is an action that seeks to create the perfect ideal life. This action involves changing who you are to fit an image that you think a good parent, spouse, employee, etc. should be. It means that a person is not allowing themselves to express their real emotions, but instead they repress their emotions.
- Judging: Monte argues that by judging people, one is seeking to ignore their own feelings and present situation. By focusing on someone's faults one is repressing how they feel about themselves and not expressing their own emotions.
- Power-Manipulation-Control: When a person attempts to control someone or something else and have it do what they want, the person is actually seeking to change what the present moment is. Instead of accepting current circumstances they seek to alter them, which usually involves the repression of their emotions, which leads to tension and the onset of chronic pain.
- Waiting and Searching: While several of these avoidance techniques involve a person seeking to change a present situation themselves, waiting and searching involves the opposite. Here people wait and search for something outside of themselves to change their present situation. They look to other people and other things to change their lives. Primarily this results in denying one's current situation and emotions.
Monte Hueftle's Runningpain.com Updates
- Main Article: Archive of Monte Hueftle's Runningpain.com updates
Monte Hueflte has allowed the TMS Wiki to post his RunningPain.com updates which can be found here. Monte's updates explore the main practices suggested in this book. They serve as an elaboration of The Master Practice. TMSWiki member TryPP said the following in response to one of Monte's updates entitled Energy Circuit:
I tried this out and found it really helpful for figuring out what I was worrying about. If you think about it, energy spent on worrying is completely wasted. Worse, it closes me off and gets me fighting what is going on instead of accepting, which leads to more pain. If I relax, open up and just allow things, I'm much more open and happier. Really, what is the point of worrying?! And I know this is much easier to say than to do and I know that I'm anything but perfect, but it sure rings true that energy spent on worrying is completely wasted and even makes things worse. Thanks for posting!
I particularly liked the idea of visualizing all of those wasted energy circuits as looping back to me and feeding me their energy rather than letting the energy flow away to feed dysfunctional patterns.
About the Author
- Main Article: Monte Hueftle
Monte Hueftle has been a TMS consultant for more than 6 years and worked with over 250 patients in treating their TMS. He has written three books and made three audio programs that are designed to help individuals overcome their TMS.Monte has said he "suffered with TMS for more than 20 years and have now been pain free for the past 8 years. My TMS consultation practice focuses on helping people reverse this pain disorder by learning their unique behaviors and thoughts and the way that they generated inner tension and repress their emotions. Many of Dr. Sarno's patients state that my information is the "missing link" that has helped them understand the psychological strategy of TMS." (Source) For more biographical information about Monte Hueftle click here.
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