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A few months into TMS treatment, need some clarifications

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by PunDefeated, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. PunDefeated

    PunDefeated New Member

    Hi everyone. I've been suffering with Hand pain for the last 16 months or so. About 2.5 months ago, a doctor told me my condition was likely psychosomatic, as all tests I've done have come back benign. The next morning, the pain in my right thumb cleared up COMPLETELY for about 2 weeks, and my average pain level decreased notably. Since then, I've read Mindbody Perscription, Healing Back Pain, and Think Away Your Pain. I'm about 10 days into Schrechter's "The Mindbody Workbook."

    I'm progressing but there are some concepts and situations I'm struggling with, so I'm hoping to get some advice and clarifications here.

    1. When I work on a computer and use my hands, the pain I feel increases and "builds up" through the course of the week. If I then take a few days to not use my computer, the pain goes back down. Does this fit within the TMS model? If the pain is from TMS, why does additional use make it worse?

    2. My hands almost always hurt to some degree. I struggle to "Think psychological, not physical at ALL times." Sometimes I need to stop an activity because it hurts too much. Sometimes I need to ice my hands to relieve the pain. Is that acceptable, or "against the rules?"

    3. When I'm at the office and in pain, I'll go over the evidence I have suggesting the pain is TMS, and try to figure out the emotional trigger. However, I do need to work, so whether or not I find the answer I'll stop after a minute or two and continue my tasks. Is that the correct strategy?

    Please let me know if you have advice or answers. Thanks in advance!
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi PD, some short answers... you already experienced hard evidence that it is psychosomatic, so stop worrying about the exact mechanism of how TMS works. ;)

    1. Yes. You can go different ways with why it happens, but in the end it simply does. Mechanically, you are putting strain on tissue that is oxygen deprived. Reduced blood flow will make those muscles wear out sooner and recuperation takes more time, so the slow build up and reduction explains that. Psychologically you can go many ways too...

    2. You're only human and we tend to make mistakes.... just don't kick yourself for making them, even when you do it over and over again. The thought behind the advise is that you stay convicted that something is or WAS psychological. So you might temporarily fall in the trap of thinking physical, but later on don't forget to change that to psychological. Slowly you will find out that it starts to become easier to think psychological when pain appears. See it as retraining your brain, and the idea behind training is that it you learn from making mistakes. Pain relief is fine, sometimes enough is simply enough, just don't let it stop you from thinking psychological.

    3. I think it is. Why not take notes before you continue and evaluate them after work. I think it is wise to set a limit on how much time you spend thinking psychological on a day, because otherwise it becomes a distraction in itself.

    hope it all makes sense, good luck
    PunDefeated likes this.
  3. PunDefeated

    PunDefeated New Member


    Re: #1, I had kind of put that together on my own but it's nice to hear that someone else had the same explanation.

    Re: #2 and #3, Taking notes and evaluating late seems like a good plan.

    Thanks for your help!
  4. PunDefeated

    PunDefeated New Member

    I guess I have another question.

    Due to my hand pain, I have a few accessibility tools that I use for work. Mainly, I use dictation software to do a lot of my typing. I'm scared to give up my dictation entirely.

    How do I bridge the gap and get to the point where I'm ready to use my hands for all computer work? Will my pain decrease over time and help my confidence? Or will I have to take a leap of faith and hope that I'm not damaging my arms and hands? How will I know that it's time to put the microphone away and get back on the keyboard?
  5. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Patience and taking occasional leaps of faith; some of them will end in a plunge into the abyss, but most will bring you to the other side.
    I haven't heard a story so far of somebody who has really damaged their arms from applying the mindbody theory. You can injure yourself, just like healthy people can, but those injuries are not lasting and will heal again.
    Just don't strain yourself too much in trying to heal. Time is your friend, not your enemy, although that might sound weird. If you make it your enemy, I guarantee that it will work counterproductive. Only a handful of people heal within a couple of weeks, most of us take months if not years to retrain our brains to not fear pain and to work on issues that bring on symptoms. By analyzing the onset of symptoms and linking them to emotions, thoughts, situations, activities etc., you will slowly discover how the mechanism of TMS works for you personally. And don't forget that you will be susceptible to TMS-symptoms for the rest of your life, the big difference will be that symptoms will be less intense and rarely stick around, because you will slowly become a master at thinking psychological. Even Dr. Sarno frequently has symptoms, but they never go anywhere because he identifies them early on as TMS.
    PunDefeated likes this.
  6. PunDefeated

    PunDefeated New Member

    It's refreshing to hear you say that most people take months to heal. Most of the stories in the books go pretty quick, it's hard not to compare myself to those success stories.

    As for timing, I'm working on balancing patience and the desire to get better ASAP. I feel like I'm so close to being free of the symptoms. It's difficult not to try just pushing through, and forcing myself to take it slow.
  7. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah, I know, like I said, just take a leap of faith once and a while... good luck to you
  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Many have been "cured" of chronic TMS pain, who've suffered for twenty years or, more including authors of TMS books. Much of it depends on how badly you've been NOCEBOED by the medical/industrial complex and if you were fortunate enough to stumble onto TMS by searching further after other vood00's have failed or serendipity.
  9. PunDefeated

    PunDefeated New Member

    What is NOCEBOED?
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    NOCEBO is the opposite of PLACEBO.

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