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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021), Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    About the best explanation of TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), what causes it, who gets it and why, and techniques for healing are all in a video lecture by Dr. John E. Sarno, M.D. of his book The Mindbody Prescription, Healing the Body, Healing the Pain.

    In a word, the video lecture is fantastic! Anyone in any kind of pain should watch the video. It is a 2-hour lecture with a doctor who is the closest to the friendly, caring doctor who used to make house calls years ago when I was a boy. But he has a new theory on what causes our back, neck, shoulder, arm, leg, headaches or other pain. It’s not caused by a herniated disc or anything else structural. The pain is caused by one or more of our repressed emotions.

    Dr. Sarno says most pain we feel is because of rage inside of us. People may say they aren’t angry about anyone or anything, and certainly are not in a rage. The good doctor says our conscious mind may not be aware of any anger or rage we feel, but our unconscious mind knows we have it. And, he says, rage is anger accumulated over the years.

    The doctor’s lecture is held before a group of about a dozen seated men and women. They all have pains such as those mentioned above, and most of them say their doctor examined them but found nothing wrong with them. “Then,” they ask, “why am I in pain?” Some says the pain is excruciating and chronic.

    In the first part of his lecture, Dr. Sarno explains the physical process of the pain. He asserts that the pain is not caused by any structural abnormality, but it is psychological. The pain we feel is called TMS which stands for Tension Myositis Syndrome, coming from emotions repressed in the unconscious mind.

    TMS is a painful condition in muscles of the back, neck, shoulders, and buttocks that may also involve spinal nerves and their branches up the trunk to the legs, knees, arms, chest, and a variety of tendons. The pain is because of reduced blood flow to a part of the body because of mild oxygen deprivation which causes muscle pain, nerve pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of reflex as well as tendon pain.

    The pain is very real, not imagined. But it is not caused by any structural abnormality. It is caused by repressed emotions.

    Some of those listening to the lecture ask why their pain comes only or mainly when they sit at the computer, or when they walk or stand. Dr. Sarno says that is because we tend to associate pain with one or more of those activities. We have conditioned ourselves to think that when we sit, walk, stand, exercise, or play tennis or basketball we will experience pain. The activity does not cause the pain, we have just programmed our minds to believe that. We need to de-program out minds that we will no longer associate any activity with being in pain.

    The unconscious mind wants us to associate our pain with something physical, but its cause is really psychological, from repressed emotions.

    In Part Two of his lecture, Dr. Sarno explains who gets TMS and why they get it.

    TMS can come to anyone just about anytime no matter their age or physical condition.

    It can show up as musculoskeletal pain disorders that many doctors often lump together into one term: fibromyalgia. There really is no such ailment. It is merely what many doctors call any pain a patient, more women than men, say they feel in their body when medical examinations find no muscular abnormality.

    Structural abnormalities are also liable to be blamed for pain. These can include spinal stinosis, arthritis of the hip joint, rotator cuff wear and tear, and minor tears of the knee cap. These are just normal aging changes which Dr. Sarno calls “gray hairs of the spine.” Gray hair as we age does not cause pain. Neither does arthritis of the hip, which he says is not a painful disorder like rheumatoid arthritis which does require medical attention.

    But TMS can cause pain, both severe and chronic. Yet, there is nothing wrong with the person’s back, arms, legs, or other part of the body. “Many of the structural abnormalities my patients have could not cause the amount of pain they are in,” says Dr. Sarno. “And the pain caused by TMS repressed emotions does no damage to the body.”

    We may think we’re injuring our back more if we walk, sit, bend over, or exercise, but we are not. Our activities do not cause any structural, muscular, or nerve damage.

    A woman attending the lecture said her wrists hurt when she sits at the computer for any length of time. A man said his sister complains that her hands hurt when she plays the piano. They said doctors diagnosed such pains as carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Sarno says there is no such thing. He says it’s a mindbody disorder that has spread in an epidemic fashion. It’s the “pain flavor” of the month, year, decade. It’s not caused by overuse of the hands or wrists while at the computer or playing the piano or guitar. It’s from our repressed emotions.

    It’s the same with so-called “whiplash.” Our head may get thrown back if the car we’re in is struck from behind by another car. It’s common today to feel pain afterward in the neck or shoulder, but in doing some research, it has been learned that “whiplash” pain may be common in the United States, but doctors in other countries such as Lithuania never get patients who complain of “whiplash” pain. They never even heard of it in many other countries.

    I was really surprised to learn from Dr. Sarno’s video how many physical and emotional ailments or pain are really not caused by any structural damage or aging but by TMS repressed emotions. Here is a list of the most common of these:

    Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and hives. A friend had hives on his honeymoon because he had been anxious on the wedding day. Another friend’s son had a bad case of acne shortly after his parents divorced.

    Cardiac palpitations. Dr. Sarno says this is very common and normal.

    Allergies such as hay fever, dust, and mold. The unconscious brain is using our immune system to give us these allergies so we will discover the repressed emotions causing them.

    Frequent infections such as urinary tract and vaginal yeast infections and head or chest colds. I used to get a cold every week or two until I quit the job I hated. That was forty years ago and I can’t remember having a cold since the day I quit.

    Other ailments caused by emotional tension and stress because of repressed emotions are heartburn, ulcers, colitis, constipation, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

    Dr. Sarno shows a chart that explain where the rage that is in our unconscious mind comes from.

    Anger that builds into unconscious rage can begin in our infancy and increase in our childhood. It can come from physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, rejection, poor parenting that can result in feelings of neglect or pressure to behave or perform to their high expectations, feelings of guilt or shame and inferiority.

    Rage in the unconscious mind also comes from our personality traits. These can be from perfectionism, compulsiveness, or being self-critical. Also, a desire or drive to be extra-good which can lead to a compulsion to please, a need for approval from others, or to do things for others. The latter is common among those who care caretakers, especially grown siblings who care for their aging parents but never feel they have done enough for them, especially after the parent dies. These are all self-imposed pressures that register in the unconscious mind and it sends us pain so we can deal with the problems that we may be repressing.

    The good thing, says Dr. Sarno, is that we don’t even have to resolve the problem. We just have to recognize that it is one we are repressing and by that act alone, our unconscious mind stops the pain. But if we can forgive and forget, so much the better.

    Realities of life also cause us pain because of TMS repressed emotions. These include our work, financial worries, family or friend or romantic relationships, arrival of a new baby in one’s life, care for children or elderly parents, and fear of aging and mortality. These can all be enraging to our inner self.

    Psychological equivalents of TMS pain include anxiety and panic attacks which are acute anxiety, depression, phobias including agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    What does it take to get over these symptoms. Dr. Sarno says we have to make our conscious mind aware of the rage that our subconscious mind feels. Then the unconscious mind believes the pain it sends to us is no longer necessary. We have made peace with ourselves and our present and past bad emotions.

    Dr. Sarno calls learning about the repressed rage and the reasons for it “Knowledge Penicillin.”

    What can we do to relieve our pain through TMS? Dr. Sarno suggests three steps to do this:

    1. Repudiate the structural diagnosis and believe you do not have a physical problem. Believe your back is normal.

    2. Acknowledge what is going on in you psychologically.

    3. Accept the logic of the psychology that this is normal.

    I especially found helpful some tips Dr. Sarno then gave in his lecture on how to heal from pain caused by TMS repressed emotions:

    1. Focus on the psychological, not the physical. Don’t think about the pain.

    2. Think about the emotions that could have caused it.

    3. Talk to your brain. Tell your unconscious that you know it is giving you pain because of repressed emotions and that you are thinking about what they could be. Talk either friendly or yell at your unconscious, whichever you choose.

    4. Make a written list of the pressures or stresses you are under. Put at the top of the list your personality characteristics. They will be the most important of the pressures you are putting on yourself.

    5. Follow the TMS healing techniques in his and other books on TMS. In Dr. Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain, they are the 12 Daily Reminders on page 82. Repeat them a few times daily. Repetition is important in helping to re-program the conscious mind. The steps also can be found in web sites about the doctor and his book.

    6. Resume normal physical activity such as working at home or a workplace out of the house. Do the house chores such as cooking, cleaning, despite any pain. See to the needs of children or adults if care giving.

    7. It’s okay to do moderate exercise even if it is somewhat painful. Start slowly, exercising a little at a time. Wait until the pain is almost gone before doing more heavy physical exercise.

    8. Believe you are going to cure yourself. You cannot hurt yourself.

    9. Set aside a half-hour to an hour each day to read and think about your personality and other causes of anger.

    10. If pain is severe, it’s okay to use some pain-killing medication because it can reduce the pain so you can concentrate on TMS healing. But do not use any anti-inflammatory drugs or tranquilizers. They can take away your belief that your pain is not structural but psychological.

    11. Don’t expect to be pain-free immediately. Most people will be cured in three to four weeks of practicing TMS healing. For others it can take two to three months, or longer if no significant healing is achieved and a person needs to consult a TMS-trained doctor. Try not to focus on how long it takes to heal.

    12. You don’t have to change your personality to get better, nor do you have to change your lifestyle. TMS knowledge is what it takes to get better. It only takes some adjusting to your personality and lifestyle and achieving perspective such as from putting yourself in the other person's shoes.

    13. Discard all fears, such as fear of having a structural abnormality like a herniated disc, fear or injuring yourself while doing any normal activity involving standing, walking, sitting, or engaging in any moderate exercise.

    Dr. Sarno concludes his lecture by emphasizing that the person in pain must not be concerned or intimidated by it.

    “Becoming pain-free is all about shifting your attention from the physical pain to the emotional issues causing it. The process takes time, so be patient and work at it daily, then you will heal.”

    It’s a new way for most people to recover from pain. Many doctors who practice traditional ways of dealing with patients’ pain still rely on medication or surgery, but a growing number, especially young doctors, are becoming followers of Dr. Sarno and TMS healing. This video lecture is an excellent way to learn about the doctor and his theories for becoming pain-free.

    You can also click here for a long thread in which people discuss the video. It was previously available on YouTube, but has been taken down and is no longer available.

    The web site for the DVD is: http://www.healingbackpain.com/dvd.html . People sometimes refer to the web site for the DVD as Dr. Sarno's Website, but this is not the case. Dr. Sarno's official website is http://johnesarnomd.com/ . On it he clearly states that "This is the only website owned and operated, or affiliated with Dr. John E. Sarno." From this, we may conclude that while healingbackpain.com may sell his video and use his name and picture, it is not "owned and operated, or affiliated with" him. At the bottom of the healingbackpain.com web site it says © 2011 Mumbleypeg Productions, Inc., so perhaps "Mumbleypeg Productions" owns that site.
  2. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Well, now I really need to watch this! Great review, Walt.

    I'm curious, for those of you who have watched the video, what was the most helpful thing you learned from it, or took away from it?
    kevinmichael likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    for me I think it was Sarno's explanation about rage being an accumulation of angers.

    And I liked the part where he spent a night with Sophia Loren.
    Or was that in another book, about the pope.
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Walt,

    Thanks for the summary. I have enjoyed watching the video. It all seems crystal clear to me now, with the exception of #12 below, about not needing to change your lifestyle. It seems like changing one's lifestyle is a big part of healing. Perhaps the good doctor means by 'lifestyle' that you don't need to change your job or where you live, etc. --the physical constructs of one's life. Whereas when I think of changing my lifestyle, I think of changing my way of being in the world and relating to people--my approach to life, which seems critical to my healing.

    Interested in others' thoughts on this.
    silentflutes and Becca like this.
  5. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Ellen, I agree with you 100%. To me, "change your lifestyle" translates fairly directly to changing my overall approach to life, and how I relate to myself and others. Given that definition, I also think changing one's lifestyle is an essential part of TMS healing. And, I think you're absolutely right in saying that Dr. Sarno's understanding of "lifestyle" is far more concrete than what you and I may think of. I suppose what I understood him to say here, then, is that you don't have to alter any daily routines, or set limitations activity-wise, etc. in order to heal. It doesn't require those external changes (though it certainly requires internal ones).

    I wonder if Dr. Sarno is making an unspoken distinction of sorts between the lifestyle changes that we may undergo in response to physical symptoms, and any changes we make in response to "thinking psychologically" (the first being changes he would call "lifestyle changes") . Maybe I'm overthinking it, though. Interesting stuff to ponder though...anyone else have thoughts on this?
    Ellen likes this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is awesome Walt. I'm going to print this and put it on my wall. I remember it took me a long time to memorize what you wrote above but I was so into it memorizing it was ok. No problem. I really like how you put here everything from the DVD and not just more of what's in his books . His books are awesome and I have learned a lot reading them. I knew the DVD as many who watch it had something more to offer. You went and made a great summary friend.

    PS- The most helpful thing to me was when he explained the difference between the unconscious and the subconscious

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
    kevinmichael likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Herbie. I agree that the Sarno video lecture clarifies more about the unconscious and subconscious minds.
    They're not the same, but for his books and other TMS practitioners, just unconscious and conscious minds are used.
    That's hard enough for most of us to understand.

    The great thing is, we don't have to know a lot of psychology or technical stuff to heal. The main thing is to
    believe in TMS all the way and find the repressed emotions.

    I'm not repressing an emotion today about winter here in the Chicago. I'm saying, "Enough, already!"
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    In another thread, @andy11 wrote a terrific review of this DVD that I thought was worth reprinting here. Thanks, Andy!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  9. DebraW

    DebraW Peer Supporter

    I looked on the website and it's 50 dollars to buy it, and I live in canada so then there's the exchange rate and then it's another 15 to mail it so I'm looking at close to 100 dollars which I sure can't do. I would sure appreciate getting a copy but not sure what is the best way.
  10. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    I don't mean to be a fly in the ointment, but I would be very careful who I recommend these videos to. They are better for someone who has already accepted Dr. Sarno's ideas and is looking for some additional reinforcement.

    In my opinion, they are not good for someone who is new or just inquiring about TMS. The somewhat hokey, stilted, 1990's presentation and the scripted questions might be enough to turn a newbie off. I remember my wife commenting on how hokey the production value of the video is.

    That said, for a Kool Aid drinker like myself, it was very cool to hear the gospel straight from the great man himself...:)
  11. DebraW

    DebraW Peer Supporter

    It's true I am a newbie but I really believe in TMS and trying to get every bit of help I can.:)
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  12. Richsimm22

    Richsimm22 Well known member

    Yes just take into account its very 90s and scripted. Very good info to learn very quickly about tms. Its like the whole book in 2 hours presentation.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just re-read my post on Sarno of a year and a half ago and it still rings true to me.
    Hope it does for others, too.
    silentflutes and Tennis Tom like this.
  14. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Just found this on youtube the full dr Sarno lecture!!! I bought it for around $100 last year and it was well worth it; reading the book is great but hearing the doctor speak is much better. I hope dr Sartno isnt losing any money by it being up there but I also know many people can benefit from it and cant afford it. Part 2 can easily be found once you go to part one.

    Forest if you or anyone else at the wiki feel this link shouldn't be here feel free to take it down or delete my post.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
    Markus likes this.
  15. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I want to comment on Ellen's and Becca's comments about needing or not to change your personality or lifestyle in order to heal from TMS. The healing I have accomplished came from knowing myself, not necessarily changing myself. If I thought I had to completely change my TMS personality, I would probably give up in trying to heal because I have a firm belief that I was not put on this earth just to be happy, but to make some real spiritual progress through this human life. That does not always include being happy. That said, my TMS journey has brought me into a constructive, accepting world view that I realize I did not have before. This is a really good question for which I don't have a really good answer. Any ideas?
    Ellen likes this.
  16. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Ellen, Chickenbone and others regarding the "change question:"

    In my case, starting the Sarno work I already knew so much of my inner life. I was aware of the vicious Super Ego I have, the self-rejection, my conflicts around my anger, my perfectionist personality, the way I push myself, my deep sadness, and so on. This was a result of 15 years of intense inner inquiry after a spiritual opening experience which shook me to the core. I can feel all this stuff in my body, and the emotional conflicts feel like varieties of tension.

    While there were several important elements in my cure like actually accepting the diagnosis, and having experiences that refuted the pain patterns, regarding changing the way I relate to the world, not so much. So in this I am like Chickenbone. For me it was simply connecting the inner life I was already aware of with the Sarno theory. To me, the psychological/stress/pressure knowledge was an important part of believing it was true. I knew it was a war zone "down below" with very powerful forces, so it made sense this could create pain. And I had lots of specific examples cited by Dr. Sarno.

    I think, however that Dr. Sarno said in his last book, that he felt the pain partly came from the imbalance between the "stress" vs "ease or relaxation" balance of accounts we have in our life. That if it gets too large, the "pressure" side of the account overwhelms the system and you get pain. I can't find that exact quote though. That may point to "making changes..." or not?

    Yet much of what he writes seems to indicate awareness (itself) that the stress/pressure is the cause, is enough to effect a cure.

    For my personality, I don't want to put more "shoulds," like"relax or you will be in pain." That just increases pressure on it. I think this kind of pressure to find the right way to stop the pain shows up in any number of ways where we can "use the work against ourselves."

    I think this question, how we each grapple with our lives and find a way through with Dr. Sarno's work, again points to the individuality of the "cure." I would like to hear more on this from others.

    Also, Ken Malloy who runs that Sarno video website was very generous to me with his time. He was a patient of Dr. Sarno's and began to work with Dr. Sarno to produce a set of media pieces. I plan on buying one video direct from the site. So thanks for the reviews!

    Andy B.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  17. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    Since really understanding Dr Sarno's work, several years, I now know that I was judging myself for some thoughts and emotions as unacceptable. I am still learning to accept them, whether I like them or not, as that is my truth. When I thought certain feelings were 'bad', I generated anxiety! I now accept the feelings, let go of the judgement, and am compassionate with myself. I don't have to pretend any more. Ego can't survive without judgement. I am loving myself, so I can love others.

    I think if this was taught to children, healthier adults would result. There would be no more "shame on you" statements.

    I am so grateful for Dr Sarno's paradigm, and his courage in sharing it.
  18. kyleisnowhere1

    kyleisnowhere1 Newcomer

    Man its down....does anyone know of anywhere else other than the website? They wont ship to where I live
  19. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    You could try Amazon. I know it's available from the US Amazon site, though I don't know if they ship internationally.

    Also, have you tried contacting the customer service line from the website for the DVD? The guy who produced it is a form patient of Dr. Sarno's named Ken Malloy. After producing the DVD he became a TMS coach. Perhaps if you contact him you might be able to work something out where he ships it to you.
    Mari and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  20. kyleisnowhere1

    kyleisnowhere1 Newcomer

    Thanks. Forest....will try that!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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