1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

A Plea for Guidance

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by ShaneM, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. ShaneM

    ShaneM Peer Supporter

    Hello to anyone who is courteous enough to read my story and offer any advice on my situation; I am desperately in need of it. I have been engaging in the TMS recovery program for almost a year now with only minimal progress. I am posting this thread with some general questions that I hope to gain insight on; I'm looking for anyone that can determine whether I have RSI or TMS, and what measures I should take accordingly to heal.

    This is my story: Back in my Sophomore year of High School (2012), I begin to experience a slight pain in my right hand as I was playing an online video game. I had experienced minor aches and pains in my hands prior to this moment; so with haste I blew it off assuming the ache would fade in a few minutes. The ache did not fade, and as you may have guessed it remained throughout that night. It wasn't a strong pain, however my hands meant the world to me (I actively played an online video game for many hours a day, I played guitar and was a busy student) so I begin to frantically panic. I researched what could potentially be the problem; and as many of you may have already assumed - I found the notion of RSI. The notion of RSI simply scared me to death, so I discussed it with my mother. I wanted to skip school and take a complete weeks rest as is recommended for those who first contracted RSI; however due to excessive absences I was not able to take a week off. I decided the best I could do was dedicate my right hand to school; and I would use my left hand for anything computer related - with this I believed it could heal. The next day the pain had not faded, it was a pain only in my right hand around my pinky finger area. Sleeping had practically gotten rid of the pain, however there was a bit of pain still left. The pain surged when I returned to school and begin writing; and throughout the day the condition got progressively more uncomfortable, and I begin to panic more about RSI.

    After school had ended I returned home and logged back into my online game. I decided I would compensate with my left hand, because the game was a prominently a click-based game, and therefore my left hand had seen very infrequent use prior to that moment, so compensating should not cause it much problems. I frantically searched for information on the internet regarding RSI; any quick fixes or ways to heal it while working, and there were none. It made me quite uncomfortable and I panicked a fair bit. I continued for 4 days with this same routine, using my right hand for school and my left hand for the computer; and each day I would search up facts about RSI for hours upon hours. After those 4 days, there was a moment where I went to discuss the problem with my mother. She had found a website that discussed the potential of RSI spreading to your left hand if you begin to overcompensate. Within a day (maybe even hours) my left hand begin to experience pain similar to my right. The pain spread through both hands and slightly into the forearm area. It turned into a dull aching and burning pain; and when they were not in use they would let up and pain would not be present. After a few more months it came to a point where my hands were constantly in pain, whether I was using them or not. Whenever I would be in a state of rest my hands would feel like aching dead weight; and it's an absolutely horrible feeling.

    I had found the prospect of TMS a few months after this, and decided it was the recovery plan that I would invest my faith in. I have lived with severe anxiety, paranoia, OCD, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome for most of my life, far before RSI flared up - and I am also very much a perfectionist. I fit the bill far too well to pass up TMS; because RSI simply seemed implausible. (Question #1: What do I likely have, RSI or TMS? Is it possible for RSI to spread from one hand to another within a matter of days after overcompensating, or is that logically impossible? Information such as this would be extremely helpful!)

    Now I am here. After following the TMS recovery program I have not seen viable improvement. My hands do not burn anymore; but they are still in pain whenever I use the computer and they still feel like dead weight when I'm resting. I have not done the journal work involved in the TMS recovery program; however I have tried many many times to address any unresolved emotions of anger within myself. If there is a part of the program that I am missing or not quite understanding; please do share it with me. Also, could I truly have RSI? Should I seek out medical evaluation to determine whether I have RSI (Is there even a test for this?) or should I invest all my faith into the TMS approach? (Question #2: What is the best approach for me to heal?) I'm making a plea for any help, because I'm only 18 and going into college soon, I simply do not want to live my entire life in pain; that's too sad. Thank you so much for any help and insight! Have a good one. =)
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello. Since you have been working on the TMS on your own for a while now, I would recommend that you skype with a TMS therapist or get into some kind of program that also has someone that can give you direct guidance and support. The reason I say this is because it is not just the hand pain you are dealing with. As you mentioned:

    " I have lived with severe anxiety, paranoia, OCD, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome for most of my life, far before RSI flared up - and I am also very much a perfectionist."

    You might resolve the hand pain only to have some other thing come up. This is what I went through the last twenty years. I would fix one thing, sometimes with the help of doctors and surgery, and then something else would appear. I didn't realize it was all TMS. I have been working on my TMS with the help of therapists for a year and a half and I am only now starting to truly recover. It doesn't always take that long, but sometimes it can. I would give it some more time and work with a TMS therapist.
    tarala and Tennis Tom like this.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Shane, I agree with Ann's assessment of your issues which appear to be TMS as you are beginning to understand. Straight from Dr. Sarno's books, the answer that comes to my mind is he wrote that at the turn of the previous century, typists keyboarded in secretarial pools for long hours, at MANUAL typewriters, and RSI did not exist!

    It seems going to school fuels your TMS, as you mentioned by your many absences, and that it worsens at school and improves when you're at home. A concern I have is that you and many other young people spend hours daily playing virtual computer games rather then experiencing any real exercise. Shane, do you perform any aerobic physical exercise for your overall BODYMIND health such as running, walking, swimming biking, etc.?

    Shane, you're lucky you've stumbled on Dr. Sarno's TMS theory and perhaps it will prevent you from experiencing any more psychosomatic symptoms and vastly improve your MINDBODY future.

  4. ShaneM

    ShaneM Peer Supporter

    I used to get little to no exercise; back when my hands begin to first show signs of something being wrong. It's been two years since then, however. I now actively go to the gym every other day, and I bike/run/walk (yes, I actually do all 3) for around 3-4 hours each day (depending on the heat.) - I've found that computer isn't nearly as enjoyable anymore because of the pain and exercise helps relieve the pain; so I turn to it most of the time. Where could I potentially get in contact with a TMS therapist; and would it be an in person procedure, or over the internet? Thanks guys!
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's GREAT Shane! And, there's a feature at this site that helps you find TMS practitioners, I'm getting sleepy now and I'm sure you can find it.
  6. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    It really depends on where you live. I live in Texas and I worked with a TMS therapist via Skype. I thought it was just as good as being in the room. I'm pretty sure there is a list of TMS therapists on this site. Also, there are things like Dr Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain and I believe he has an on-line program in which you can get some support.
  7. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm awake now from my BBC SEGMENTED SLEEP, here's the info from this site's home page index box (found on the left hand side) listing TMS practitioner's contacts, how to find and choose one:
    There's also a new feature here, thanks to Forest's hard work, where you can get free advice from TMS therapists:

    G'luck Shane! Keep up with the exercise it will give you mindbody strength to deal with the challenge of TMS JOURNALSPEAK as Nicole Sachs coined it. It will help keep your TMS reservoir of unconscious rage from overflowing by keeping a lid on the tension, lessening your current TMS symptom pains and preventing new TMS SYMPTOM IMPERATIVES.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
    Anne Walker and Ellen like this.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    A couple of things jump out at me when I read your post.

    You haven't mentioned "knowledge therapy". Are you reading and rereading TMS books? Listening to Sarno audio books? This is a critical part of TMS healing.

    You are still thinking physical/structural about your pain instead of psychological. You devote several paragraphs to describing your pain symptoms, but only one line to your emotional/psychological issues. As recommended above, a good TMS therapist can help you with this. Also, journalling is a good tool, but it needs to be done in an effective manner. I suggest reading Steven Connena's book, Use Your Mind to Heal Your Body. It is a very straight forward, concise description of TMS and healing techniques, and I especially like his method on journalling. It's not just about discovering your emotions, but the inner conflict that is causing you to repress them, and the origins of that inner conflict, e.g. childhood experiences.

    For most of us, TMS healing takes time, effort, focus, and commitment. But the good news is that it actually works if you stick to it. You can do it, and enjoy the rest of your life without pain.

    Best wishes....
    Seraphina, tarala and Anne Walker like this.
  10. ShaneM

    ShaneM Peer Supporter

    Thanks everyone for the replies, they are quite helpful! With that said; I'm seeking guidance from anyone who has experience RSI/TMS to try to assure myself of the differences; I feel that I will have trouble putting my entire faith in the TMS theory if I have not convinced myself that is what I have. A few questions that I've been looking to have answered are: Is it possible, if this was RSI, for the problem to have spread from one hand to another within only a few days of compensating? And also, I notice that with a good nights rest my hands recover exponentially; and they feel much better the next day (they still hurt and feel overused, but better) - if the problem was physiological wouldn't they feel the same before and after sleep? Also, I noticed that when running my hands under hot water they feel a fair bit better for the following 20 minutes or so; is this an element of RSI or TMS? Thanks to anyone who answers, it helps a lot!
  11. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello. If you look for this sort of predictable pattern with TMS, you will not find it. Your subconscious creates the pain in order to distract you from something emotional/psychological. In what sort of pattern or where your subconscious creates the pain is as sophisticated as our minds are. The pain is designed to distract so if you are investigating in a physical way, there are endless possibilities. We always encourage you to see doctors and explore whether you have a medical condition that needs to be treated. It may not be possible to self-diagnosis by eliminating the possibility you have TMS by comparing your physical symptoms to others. I can say that if you do have TMS, it is currently distracting you and you are monitoring your physical symptoms in great detail.
    Ellen likes this.

Share This Page