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Daniel L. 5 questions about RSI

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by SwirlSwirl, Sep 25, 2014.

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  1. SwirlSwirl

    SwirlSwirl Newcomer

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hello. I've had RSI in both arms for nearly 3 months now. My pain started in my wrist a few hours after using a drawing tablet on my laptop. I was nearly at my wits end as I've tried everything (rest, splints, massage, medicine) to treat it and it only got worse as it spread into my shoulder. I had to skip my college semester this year because the pain was so bad. Then I came across TMS and decided to learn more about it. It makes a lot of sense to me since my wrist pain started in my left wrist even though I'm right-handed. I've always wondered why that was.

    So anyways

    1) The muscles in my fingers, wrists, and forearm have a habit of tensing up when use my hands. The pain also radiates to my back sometimes What could I do to over come that? In terms of my thought process?

    2) In regards to the steps, is it necessary I do the steps in order? I'm trying to type again first after avoiding it for 2 months, but I haven't completely addressed to emotional repressing part of my TMS.

    3) Is reading a TMS book absolutely necessary? Can I just use the tms wiki/structure program and learn all I need to know and still recover? If I buy the book online I won't get it for a couple of weeks. And I want to start treatment right away.

    4) My body seems to get nervous as I use my hands for repetitive motions like drawing or typing even if I'm not having pain (sweaty skin, pins and needles sensation, lump in throat). Is this a normal body response?

    5) How do I go about writing in a journal? Do just write about unpleasant past experiences? Times I was unhappy? Or just any event that comes to mind?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Wow those are a lot of questions rolled into one! Let me see if I can answer them each individually. Before I do that, however, I’d encourage you to look around the wiki, because almost all of your questions can be answered either within this forum or in other areas of the site. The wiki is an invaluable resource!

    1) The muscles in my fingers, wrists, and forearm have a habit of tensing up when use my hands. The pain also radiates to my back sometimes What could I do to over come that? In terms of my thought process?


    Here’s the trick – challenge yourself. When the pain started, it scared the crap out of you. If you continue that cycle of fear, then the pain will most certainly stick around. I encourage you to read some of the other questions on this forum, as many of them deal with the exact same thing.

    2) In regards to the steps, is it necessary I do the steps in order? I'm trying to type again first after avoiding it for 2 months, but I haven't completely addressed to emotional repressing part of my TMS.

    There is no necessary order. Overcoming TMS is largely a process of overcoming fear. Beyond that, exploring the emotional side of TMS takes some time to explore and is often times easier done with the help of a therapist. That said, it is my experience that you can get out of pain by tackling the fear head-on.

    3) Is reading a TMS book absolutely necessary? Can I just use the tms wiki/structure program and learn all I need to know and still recover? If I buy the book online I won't get it for a couple of weeks. And I want to start treatment right away.

    No, reading a book is not necessary. But I would encourage you to read as much as you can. Diving into the world of TMS will help with your confidence in the diagnosis and will help you in your progress.

    4) My body seems to get nervous as I use my hands for repetitive motions like drawing or typing even if I'm not having pain (sweaty skin, pins and needles sensation, lump in throat). Is this a normal body response?

    Totally normal. It’s anxiety! Of course you’re anxious – you’re worried about pain. Don’t let it bother you. Have confidence in yourself that you don’t need the pain and you can do all of those motions without pain. Right now you’re telling yourself that the pain comes because of those motions, when that’s incorrect. The pain comes at the same time as the motions, but not BECAUSE of the motion. Your anxiety, fear, etc. are causing the pain. Remind yourself of that. It’ll take some time for that to sink in, but have confidence. You can do it.

    5) How do I go about writing in a journal? Do just write about unpleasant past experiences? Times I was unhappy? Or just any event that comes to mind?

    Journaling is a useful exercise to help us focus on the emotional side of ourselves instead of the incessant focus on the physical. That said, journal what feels right. TMSers are always asking me “how do I know if I’m journaling right?” as if there is a correct or incorrect way to journal. I personally am not a huge fan of journaling, but some people absolutely love it. If it works for you, then keep doing it. If you hate it, don’t stress yourself out by making yourself do it.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Swirlswirl. Dan Lyman has given you great advice and I suggest that if you don't read books on TMS,
    spend time reading the forums. They will give you advice and encouragement toward healing.

    Dan is right that fear is something that holds most of us back from healing.
    I watched the Ken Burns television biography of The Roosevelts and especially liked what
    Eleanor Roosevelt said, in the darkest days of World War II:

    "Courage is more exhilarating than fear."

    It can apply to our TMS pain as well. If our mind through repressed emotions thought ourselves fear,
    our mind can heal us. I use imagery as a way to relax and be happy... I imagine myself in the favorite place
    with my favorite person and dog. It brings me peace and calm.
     

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