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Alan Gordon book and pain meds

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by hawaii_five0, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Peer Supporter

    Just finished reading the Alan Gordon book, The Way Out. One thing that seems different that I don't remember him saying explicitly on the online program here is about pain avoidance (pages 89-91):

    "When your pain is high it is pretty much impossible to have a corrective experience. So we're not even going to attempt somatic tracking. That's ok - we'll have opportunities for corrective experiences later. In the meantime we want to minimize setbacks as much as possible. So when your pain is high, you want to engage in avoidance behaviors. If you have to stand up every 10 minutes, do it! If you have to use a pillow or a hot-water bottle, do it! When your pain is high do whatever you need to do to feel more comfortable".

    (he then goes on to say if your pain is high that is also a good time to send yourself messages of safety like "This is temporary. I'm going to be ok"). He also goes on to distinguish when your pain is "high" from when it is "low or moderate", in which case doing somatic tracking is a good method.

    My question is: nowhere in the entire book does he talk about pain meds (except for a kind of general postscript about the entire medical system's reliance on opioids and that that is a bad solution). I'm extrapolating from the above that he would say taking OTC meds or even prescription pain drugs for short term or spot usage is ok. Wondering if anyone has any insight into what he and his group think about it, or generally what others think about it. Obviously nobody wants to take pain meds more than absolutely necessary as it is a Band-Aid. But still, sometimes you need a Band-Aid.
    Cap'n Spanky, BloodMoon and Saffron like this.
  2. Saffron

    Saffron Peer Supporter

    I'm really disappointed. No criticism or offence intended. This was my last chance. And yet again. As my pain is daily chronic migraines. I don't seem to understand or follow the process. is anyone trying this with chronic. And I do mean chronic migraines please. My head pain is so bad. I can't do anything. Now on daily triptans. Which is twice as many as allowed. But drs out of ideas. Welcome any advice. Please. So disappointed ☹️
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm sorry to hear that you aren't having any success in reducing your migraines by treating them as TMS. I know how painful they are and how frustrating it all must be.

    I think I've told you all this before, I apologize. I had migraines since age 4 and they became chronic in my 50's, though I had about 15 per month and not every day like you. I took more triptans than recommended, and I do think that added to the frequency of migraines, as it can cause a rebound effect. I think it took me about 18 months to rid myself of them entirely when I started doing TMS treatment. They went away gradually. I started having fewer and fewer until eventually I only had the ones that corresponded to changes in the barometric pressure (one of my triggers). I did a lot of research on whether or not migraines can be caused by barometric changes, and determined that they cannot. Therefore, it was a conditioned response (I had associated the two things). I had to unlearn this association and did so by telling myself repeatedly that barometric changes cannot cause a migraine, etc. The other important strategy that helped me was to do the following when I had the very first signs that a migraine was coming on (tingling in my scalp, some sinus pressure). I then told myself "Stop it, brain. There is no reason for you to have a headache now. You don't need a migraine. I am willing to look at all of my emotions.", or something to that effect. Then I just went about my day, and the next time I thought about it, I realized it never developed into a full migraine. I haven't had one in years now, and don't even get those early signs anymore.

    I used Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain book that has a 28 day program. I think it focuses more on emotions and early childhood experiences than Alan's program. It was not easy to complete, but it did the trick. I used the SEP and Alan's program for help with relapses that I've had for fibromyalgia and other symptoms, but haven't had a relapse for migraines.

    It is possible to rid yourself of migraines by treating them as TMS. It is not easy. I did it alone, but you may find working with a therapist helpful. Hang in there. You can do this.
    Cap'n Spanky, TG957 and Saffron like this.
  4. Saffron

    Saffron Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your response. I don't want the triptans. But the drs are out of ideas. Without them I don't even have my half life.

    The problem I face is. The migraines only ever come whilst I sleep at night. They wake me. I don't have the luxury of self talk. Nothing. It's every day now. And the pain is so bad I can't even think.
    I've done schubiners book twice. Again to no avail. I have no idea why I have migraines. There are none in my family at all. But now turned 70 and tried mind body for 20 years I'm losing confidence in it. And don't want to

    thank you.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  5. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I expect you've tried lots of treatments medically-speaking, but I came across this Migraine Trust webpage about 'hypnic headaches' (headaches/migraines that occur at night) which gives some treatment ideas, so I thought I'd post it up for you, just in case anything on there might be new to you https://migrainetrust.org/understand-migraine/types-of-migraine/other-headache-disorders/hypnic-headache/ (Hypnic headache - The Migraine Trust)
  6. Saffron

    Saffron Peer Supporter

    Kind of you. I am a past member of migraine trust. I don't fit the profile of hypnotic headache. I believe I have physical triggers. so many trigger points. I don't seem to understand. @the process ". It's not connecting for me. Thank you though.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    There's a lot of debate on this subject on this forum. I believe that as long as you know that medication is a temporary concession to pain while you are learning the ropes of TMS and you are not getting addicted to it, taking pain medicine is ok. I would avoid prescription drugs where possible, but taking whatever makes you comfortable enough to be able to deal with emotional work is, in my very humble opinion, acceptable. Have in mind though, that the longer you delay getting off the meds, the more work it becomes, so find your sweet spot!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  8. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    James - I agree with @TG957. There are times when we have to do... what we have to do... and meds may be a temporary fix. Sometimes we just need some relief. But long-term, they are part of the problem.

    I avoided pain meds in my early TMS work. But if my pain had been more unbearable, it may have been a different story.

    With chronic fatigue, I had cold and flu-like symptoms and sometimes I did take OTC cold medicines. It's kind of confusing, because sometimes I wasn't sure whether I actually had a cold or not. But ultimately, by sticking with the TMS work I got better and off the meds.
    hawaii_five0, TG957 and Ellen like this.
  9. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Tim. Yeah it is hard to give someone else advice on how to manage their pain, even someone who has written an entire book that is literally all about that. I never even really thought about the whole concept of pain previously but on some level I still find it kind of amazing, the very concept that pain only exists in your brain, what your brain is telling you to feel. And thus it is impossible to really know what someone else if feeling, unless you are some kind of saint or spiritual being or something.

    Actually one of the best and funniest rifs on pain is comedian Brian Regan's bit on his emergency room visit (YouTube). I somehow always can laugh at this. Also one thing I do appreciate about Alan Gordon's writing, he tries to get you to break your intensity I think by keeping some joy and humor in it.
    Cap'n Spanky, BloodMoon and TG957 like this.
  10. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a very good point. I do believe that being able to look at your own pain with a healthy dose of humor regardless of how desperate you are is in fact a kind of mindfulness that eventually gets you out of chronic pain.
    Cap'n Spanky and hawaii_five0 like this.

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