1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM DST Eastern U.S. (New York). It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. BruceMC is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern.
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An Introduction

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Ftaghn!, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Ftaghn!

    Ftaghn! Peer Supporter

    Hello everyone!
    After a year and a half of a variety of chronic pains, I decided to do something about it, and joining the TMS community is, I believe, an essential part of it.

    Some quick info about me, I'm 22, currently an economics major and freelance online writer up in Canada, and have been undergoing mysterious moving RSI for quite a while. As life would have it, this RSI pains me when doing what I have to do most in college -- write essays. It hasn't stopped me so far(Dear brain, this is not a challenge). I have read The Mindbody Prescription, and I am currently going through The Divided Mind. I have not yet found relief; I am naturally skeptical, and that has been a major obstacle for me, even though I experience clear symptom imperatives.

    I have long browsed through the TMS communities without ever posting, so I figured it was time to contribute. I'm currently working on a short presentation on TMS from an online marketing perspective, which I hope will help clarify the obstacles that stand ahead of the TMS diagnosis in the age of information.

    All in all, glad to be here! :)
  2. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Welcome Ftaghn! We are also glad that you are here with us. Yep! you are in the right place and we so look forward to your contributions.

    We are a community of diversified international strangers. And, as Forest has said we became united advocates in adversity in this amazing sojourn. We advocate healing through awareness of a psychological strategy that sometimes can render us riddled with all kind of symptoms. And yet, we stand positive in the hope that 'we shall overcome these symptoms'. In the process we gain personal development, friendships and the company of many when the going gets rough! The beauty of this place is that we are all students and masters of spiritual alchemy. Sometimes we are the students and sometimes we are the masters. We just take turns and we do not even realize it. How much fun!

    Have a great day!
  3. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome Ftaghn! It takes a while for the new idea of TMS to really sink down into your unconscious. For most of us it has been a process that didn't happen overnight (although some people do get better just from learning about TMS)

    Sounds great!
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there Ftaghn! (I can't even type that - would love to hear where/what it derives from!)

    So I was one of those who started with the Divided Mind, which gave me some instant relief of a couple of symptoms - which I thought was pretty amazing - but I really wanted my problems to be self-solving, so I was primed to hear what Dr. Sarno had to say. However, what really helped me was the Structured Educational Program on the wiki. I didn't even finish it all the way (it's on my to-do list, but I got involved in the wiki transition and then the new forum, and then tax season.... blah blah blah) but basically, it's guided self-therapy, and it was quite revealing what I managed to uncover from my childhood, and from current stresses. All of a sudden, a number of weeks later, I suddenly realized that I was experiencing a significant relief from my symptoms. Some had gone away entirely (lower back pain, shaky legs), and even the worst ones (dizziness and neck pain) were much less, much of the time. I'm not 100% free of all symptoms 100% of the time - and there are periods of relapse - but my relationship with the symptoms is now totally different. I haven't seen any type of health practitioner other than the dentist since September, and I now go to a personal trainer every week in addition to other regular exercise (she had me press 45 pounds on Tuesday - she says I did seven, and man, my pecs were SORE when I woke up today!)(BTW I'm 5'4" and 61 years old and have never done any weight training before).

    Okay, to get to the bottom line: reading Dr. Sarno and other practitioners is a great start - but I believe that to really progress and make life-long changes, you have to "do the work" as we like to say around here. Check out the Structured Ed Program on the wiki . It's free! And you don't have to complete it in 35 days - it usually took me 3-4 real days to complete one SEP "day" and as mentioned I never did finish it all the way ;)

    Good luck on the journey - and welcome to our wonderful, supportive, positive community!


    PS - Please keep us posted on your marketing presentation idea! We are all about the challenges involved in changing the mindset of the medical establishment. I think we've got some forum and/or wiki pages that are devoted to discussing that very topic, I can try looking those up for you if you like. - J
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiya Ftaghn and Welcome to the Wiki!

    Your story sounds pretty similar to mine. I had RSI and could barely type on a keyboard. I also tend to be a skeptical person, especially when it came to my pain. This was probably because I tried so many things that did absolutely nothing to relieve my symptoms. The biggest thing that helped me break through the skepticism and fully accept the approach was reading people's success stories. If you are having doubts I would encourage you to read through a whole bunch of stories, especially the RSI Success Stories. You should also check out Brian's Story. He developed RSI while in college and was able to recover. It is at Rapid Recovery from RSI.

    I tend to think our doubts about this approach are based on the past treatment failures. The difference though is that this approach is fundamentally different. Instead of trying to treat the symptom itself, it looks to treat the cause. I had chronic pain for 18 years, and am completely pain free now. If it worked for me, it will work for you.
  6. Ftaghn!

    Ftaghn! Peer Supporter

    Thank you all for the warm welcome, it's incredibly comforting to see such a close knit community!

    Thanks for the recommendation Jan, I'll be trying out that program! My name comes from a H.P. Lovecraft story -- it's hard to explain, but if you enjoy a good horror read, look him up!

    Forest, I actually saw your YouTube videos before I came to this site, and it was very inspiring to see! On skepticism, validity was my first concern regarding your videos(or any other success story for that matter), and my initial feeling was that you were a publicist, but further seeing so many success stories made me go back on my first reaction. Perhaps you have that fresh salesman look :D ! It's good to be able to relate to those who had similar issues and in similar situations. I imagine you were also told it's wear'n'tear!
  7. brianleejackson

    brianleejackson Peer Supporter

    Hey Ftaghn, glad you found the site and Forest's videos :) I was 22 when my pain started too. I thought it was RSI as well. Feel free to read my story: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Rapid_Recovery_from_RSI,_by_Brian_Jackson I am now 25, just graduated from Walla Walla University last weekend :) I literally couldn't have made it through without stumbling across this site and discovering TMS. The people on here helped me get through the roughest points and explain things. If you are religious, I highly recommend reading "Pain free for Life" by Scott Brady. Sarno's books helped me alot, but I made more of a connection with TMS through Brady's book. http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Pain_Free_for_Life.

    Feel free to ask questions! Like Forest said, "If it worked for me, it will work for you..." I had tried every other avenue and nothing worked until I discovered TMS.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ftaghn! that cracks me up! I don't think Forest has seen it yet, 'cause I don't think he knew what we were talking about on the chat today :confused: I read it early this morning on my phone, before we went online.

    But seriously, as I mentioned there, Forest is the #1 first, best, and utterly tireless advocate for TMS theory. We wouldn't be here without him. So I guess that does make him a publicist on some level!

    It was great to have you in the chat today - keep posting and let us know how it's going!

    Forest and Beach-Girl like this.
  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Ftaghn:

    I wanted to welcome you to the community. It was nice to see you in the chat room. I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress. Forest and Brian really are the "RSI Guys" around here, so I would follow their advice and listen carefully. Both are out of pain now. That sounds like a lecture, but I am very fond of both. And I admire their success.

    Welcome and keep posting.

  10. Tori

    Tori New Member

    Hello, My name is Tori and I'm trying desperately to get up to speed with all of this.

    A bit of background----I am a registered nurse....quit working as a nurse due to lots of back pain. Hard to work when you can't lift patients. And fortunately, I'm married and my income was not essential. After I had two children, I returned to school to get Master's in counseling degree. This was always my first desire but family did not think it a good "fall back job". In retrospect, I was always interested in psychology because I had much childhood trauma and did not know how to deal with it. Plus, I just wanted to help others. After about 5 years in the field, I quit because---well, I lost faith in the profession. During all this time, I've struggled with one repetitive strain injury after another. They come, they inflame, they swell, they linger for a number of years and just as mysteriously disappear. But then another crops up. It's so discouraging. I don't know anyone who tried harder to be healthy than me.

    Actually, that should be my epithet: she tried harder. I've tried harder at everything and feel like such a failure now. I don't know if I have TMS or not. It sure sounds like it. But of course, there are the MRI's and everything out showing real physical inflammation and such. The latest is Bechett's disease. Anyone heard of that puppy? Well, it looks like my adult son has it and I may have a less intense version. I'm skeptical. In my heart of hearts, I think it is is TMS and that makes me feel like even more of a failure. For God's sake, I have a Master's Degree in Counseling. Shouldn't I be able to deal with this?

    I'm so tired of trying to figure it all out and trying harder and harder. I really just want to quit.
  11. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member

    Welcome Tori!

    I hear that you've tried very hard and I totally get that you are feeling frustrated. I am sure everyone here has felt that way at one time or another. You are not alone! I have had some recent recovery from reading Dr. Sarno's books and watching his DVD. All the best, and I wish peace and compassion to you in the middle of your discovery process.

    Healing and peace,

    Livvy ~
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tori, you're really brave for reaching out in your pain and sadness. You've taken the first step, which is to find out more in addition to reaching out. While most of us aren't medical professionals, we are here to offer support and hope on your journey.

    I strongly believe that learning about TMS and especially about the power that our brains have over our physical symptoms, is something that can be applied even when there is a known pathological condition, in order to reduce symptoms. I already thought this might be the case before I read one of the "Thank You Dr. Sarno" success stories by someone who has MS - and who said that TMS theory has reduced his MS symptoms. Now, isn't that something to be encouraged by? I'll find the link to these success stories before I end this post. Many of the members of this wiki and forum have contributed to that project.

    I'd certainly never heard of Behcet's (had to figure out the spelling!) What's interesting is that it's been known outside of the US for some time, but it's one of those "mystery" diseases for which the cause is unknown, and which seems to be an autoimmune disease. The one thing I know about autoimmune diseases from two people I've known with lupus, is that the symptoms get worse with stress - and this means that maybe TMS theory could help with some of the symptoms, just like the guy with MS.

    The great thing about accepting the TMS theory is that it can't hurt, because it's just psychotherapy with a twist. That is, as long as you're also taking care of physical symptoms that should be treated (it sounds like some of the Behcet's symptoms can get pretty nasty). Dr. Sarno advocates giving up all forms of treatment for pain, but that may not apply to something like this. I'm sure I don't have to tell a nurse this, but it does need to be said, especially in a public forum.

    As you read more about it, you'll see many many stories of people with TMS who have had years of various types of counseling and therapy with no relief from their physical symptoms. The "twist" is that extra knowledge about the power of the brain, so please don't beat yourself up about that aspect of it! We have ALL spent many years and many dollars on treatments that were not effective, because they weren't appropriate.

    Almost all TMS literature is about muscle pain. I personally have never experienced the crippling pain experienced by most people with TMS. My symptoms have always been those "equivalents" that Dr. Sarno and the other docs mention on the side. So whenever I am reading about TMS, or MBS (mind-body syndrome) or PPD (psycho-physiologic disorder) I simply replace the word "pain" in my mind with whatever my symptom is (dizziness is the symptom that was threatening my normal life).

    You can read all of the amazing success stories and thank-yous that were published in a book that was presented to Dr. Sarno upon his retirement in April, at http://www.thankyoudrsarno.org/ . The great thing is that almost all of them describe the years and treatments that they went through before discovering TMS. I sincerely hope that they will give you hope.

    Please keep posting - we're here for you!

    Forest and Beach-Girl like this.
  13. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome, Tori!

    I think most TMS doctors and therapists had TMS themselves so go easy on yourself!
    Forest and Livvygurl like this.
  14. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Welcome Tori:

    I hope you'll find some support here on the forum. Certainly sounds like you've had a rough time. My "bff" is a therapist (not mine) and has an auto-immune disease as well. She is trying to use her skills in a new way. I am pretty sure she is a TMS'er too, but isn't interested right now. Please continue to post questions and check out some of the articles on the wiki.

    Education is key here. No matter HOW much you've been educated already. I agree with Veronica's statement. Go easy on yourself and be open to a new journey.

  15. Tori

    Tori New Member

    Thank you to everyone for your kind replies to my rant suffered at the end of a long and trying day! I think I even posted in the wrong place in the midst of my frustration. I am going to continue to investigate TMS because it really resonates with me as being a valid and totally appropriate issue that definitely applies to me. Thanks!
  16. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Perfectionism. Self-criticism. Rebuke. Lack of self-love and self-respect. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? *hands in air*

    It's not you that's talking, it's the TMS.

    Beach-Girl and JanAtheCPA like this.
  17. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Again, not you, TMS that's inspiring the "quit" attitude. Obsessiveness is a TMS equivalent. Perhaps one of the hardest.

    Your post seemed tinged with FEAR. Again, part of the TMS gremlin. It's not Tori. Tori is buried underneath all of the Tori-issues, but Tori will dig her way out.

    veronica73 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  18. Susan

    Susan Peer Supporter


    I resonate with so much of your story and struggle. I have only been a true TMSer for a little over two weeks and knew immediately upon reading about it that it was me. Trust your instincts. Every time my perfectionism, obsessiveness, super achieving self tries to cast a net of doubts into my process with the Structured Ed Program, I now recognize what is going on. These traits which so many of us have can really interrupt our progress. I start journaling about what I am feeling and continue to tell myself to think psychologically. It is beginning to work.

    Please let any of us listen to you and support you as you begin the TMS journey. As Jan says, following the program can't hurt you. The more you take your emotional temperature and do the work, the better you will understand what is going on.

    I, like you, have an advanced degree and spent two years in a formal Gestalt training program which included extensive individual work on myself. All of that is still no guarantee that any of us know what is going on with our repressed emotions. I am over 60 years old and still have emotional work to do on myself.

    We are here for you!

    Livvygurl likes this.
  19. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    This is right on. Thank you Shanshu for this short statement that sums it up nicely.

    Shanshu Vampyr likes this.

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