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Thread:
Giving up "remedies"
Hoolie, I have an interesting twist to your question. I discovered Dr. Sarno and the TMS Wiki three years ago, in September 2011. Prior to that, in 2010 and earlier in 2011 I was seeing an "alternative" MD who practiced cranio-sacral therapy. He convinced me, in November of 2010, to stop seeing my chiropractor of almost twenty years.

Now, I'd had neck muscle spasms since 1992, about ten years after whiplashing myself while downhill skiing, and giving myself a small crack in my C6 (or 7?) vertebra. The break was treated, but not the whiplash, and it came back to haunt me in my forties (1990s). It was my firm belief that I needed regular chiropractic adjustments to relieve my chronic neck pain and debilitating headaches, especially during tax season, when I saw my chiro once a week. She was a good one, I think - she didn't have me on a schedule, and she urged me to practice regular swimming and yoga because she said I was better when I exercised more - she also expressed a certain amount of frustration that she couldn't "heal" me, which I certainly found interesting in looking back.

And in 2008 I broke my hip in a bike crash (sports klutz?) and had that pinned up, so I'd had PT for that, and by 2010 was seeing a special orthotic/gait PT and had very extreme orthotics in my shoes.

This alt-MD not only didn't approve of chiropractic, he also said that I was perfectly capable of keeping my "A-O" joint in by myself. This was after a number of months of regular visits and cranio-sacral therapy which is really all about "talking to" and calming your body and accessing emotional sources of distress. Sound familiar?

So I did quit seeing the chiropractor - cold turkey. And amazingly, simply as a result of pure belief in what this MD said, I really did feel like I was able to keep my A-O joint in by myself. For years, whenever it went "out" anyone could feel this big hard lump off to one side of my cervical spine (my husband said it was creepy). The lump would be very tender, and it resulted in pain up into the occipital area at the back of my head, and often in severe one-sided headaches. I used to immediately run to the chiro for an adjustment. After the doc said I could deal with it myself, I would just kind of gently stroke it - not even as forcefully as massage - I would "talk" to it and suggest that it could move back over where it belonged - and the next day it would feel normal. I got through that tax season (2011) without ever feeling like I had to get an adjustment - after 19 years, that was pretty phenomenal.

I achieved this entirely through a belief in my own ability to heal myself. It certainly helped that a medical professional had examined me, and had convinced me that I could do it.

About six months later, the MD asked me to stop wearing my orthotics - also cold turkey - which I did. No repercussions whatsoever, except that I was able to start wearing some favorite shoes once more that didn't fit the orthotics.

Which was all well and good, but the one symptom the MD couldn't seem to help me with was dizziness (more like wooziness or brain fog), my anxiety was getting worse, and by the summer of 2011, I was having low back pain, shaky legs, brand-new shoulder pain, and digestive disturbances and what appeared to be growing food intolerances.

All of this was "Before Sarno". "After Sarno", I found significant relief from most of my symptoms, and I stopped seeing the (very expensive) alt-MD, because I totally got what he'd been doing for me, and I totally realized that I was capable of doing it for myself. And while I appreciated what he did, I was also a little miffed that in more than a year, he hadn't given me any self-help resources (he told me that he knew all about Dr. Sarno and agreed with his theories!).

I also stopped going to Physical Therapy and started working with a Personal Trainer.

My profile story includes a list of the many symptoms I was dealing with Before Sarno, as well as a list of favorite resources that really helped me.

I'm not totally symptom-free, but I mostly am. I can't remember the last time my A-O joint "went out", I can talk myself out of my few headaches and any hint of digestive upset, I eat and drink everything again, I haven't had shoulder pain or shaky legs since reading TDM, I only have a bit of neck pain when I'm really stressed out, I had one painful episode with a lower back spasm in 2012 that totally went away in a few weeks, and I am doing all kinds of weight lifting and squats and core stuff at the gym, under supervision, with no problems. At age 63.

I accept that TMS and its equivalents are wired into the human psyche, and it is something we need to live with and be able to deal with consciously and without fear or resentment whenever it comes up. I believe that those of us with anxiety have the hardest time with TMS, although many of us accept (per Dr. S) that anxiety IS a TMS equivalent. Anxiety is the hardest one for me to shake, but it's undoubtedly the one I've had the longest (I suspect I was born anxious). My relationship with anxiety and other symptoms that come up is totally different from three years ago, and I have my life back, thanks to Dr. Sarno and this community.

A little longer answer, perhaps, than your question was looking for ;)

~Jan