I wanted to share again a technique that has been quite helpful to many people I've worked with in the TMS community and hope that it's an added weapon in your arsenal to not just combat TMS but understand it as well. My hope is that this technique can become a staple of the growing interventions people use to address their TMS.
The exercise that I wanted to share with you today simply asks: What is my TMS trying to tell me? Many of you are already familiar with a number of journaling techniques in relation to the work of Sarno, Gordon, Schubiner and Schecter. This technique is one more journaling exercise that can expand awareness.
1) Sit down to journal and imagine your TMS in your mind's eye. You can close your eyes to do this but some of us prefer to keep our eyes open. When you imagine your TMS, allow your mind to explore freely and see if it takes a form beyond the pain, the symptom itself. Is it anthropomorphic? Does it take the shape of a person in your life or an animal, a place, an entity? Allow your imagination to run wild. One client of mine imagined it as a bear that was crushing her body with it's paws. She had a significant amount of Neuropathy all over her body.
2) Write out a description of the TMS at the top of your paper. Try to describe what it looks like, sounds like, feels like here.
3) Start a dialogue on paper with the TMS. What does it say to you? What do you say in return to it? What does it want? What does it need? How does it feel about you? How do you feel about it? Whenever you feel lost in this conversation, close your eyes again and review the description at the top of your paper.
This exercise is a unique opportunity to explore the underlying characteristics that feed your TMS. People often find insight into deep patterns of self-loathing, fear, lack of self-care, and discover direction towards taking action in life. This last piece - discovering direction - can be important as sometimes there are nagging issues that need to be addressed in some way (not necessarily eliminated) to affect change in TMS symptoms.
If you're open to it, I encourage anyone to try this and I would love to get feedback on how the experience is for you.
If at any point the exercise becomes too activating, please stop and contact your doctor or mental health professional.
Best of luck in your healing journey,