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Battling Extinction Bursts

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Paigeee, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Paigeee

    Paigeee Peer Supporter

    Hey guys,

    During this current flare I find myself in, there have been numerous instances where my pain drops dramatically, if not completely disappears. I find that more often than not, it drops when I have been thinking positively about TMS and not negatively. I get so happy and think "Yes! The flare is over." I get relieved and happy, and then--BAM! A few hours later or the next day the pain is back, just as bad as it was before. After reading Alan Gordon's post on Extinction Bursts, I realize that this is what these relapses of discomfort are. Even though I can logically observe that these are extinction bursts, I still find myself so bummed out and sad that the pain has returned. I feel like right now I'm stuck in this cycle of the TMS dissipating and then popping back.

    I'm sure this is very common with TMS--and I would really appreciate any tips on how to not let the extinction bursts affect the healing process in a negative way!
  2. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    This has been the pattern of my back/leg pain for the last 8 years or so. I’m not saying that what you are experiencing is not extinction bursts of course but just that this pattern is more like a standard presentation for me.

    I do have a structural issue which may or may not be generating pain but I can safely say that I experience so many discrepancies which make me believe TMS is the likely culprit. Very similar to you I experience pain flares which can last for 2 hours or 2 weeks and as soon as the flare disipitates my attitude then changes to optimism and relief...it’s literally like a bi-polar thing.

    When I’ve found is that applying the TMS work is a constant 24/7 thing...you really need to be on the ball with it. It’s all too easy when you are not on a flare and relatively pain free to become a bit free and easy so to speak and allow your old thinking and behaviours to creep back in. I’m of the opinion that the best opportunity to defeat TMS is in those times when you feel good and pain free and not necessarily when you are chucking everything at it in desperation when on a pain flare.
    Paigeee likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm sure this is very common with TMS--and I would really appreciate any tips on how to not let the extinction bursts affect the healing process in a negative way!

    Interesting comment here Huckleberry. I like that you're suggesting engaging with ease and success when it is available. This is probably a much better alternative to worrying/obsessing/self-criticizing when the symptoms are "up."

    I think too, Paigeee that you should know that the "extinction burst" experiences you are having won't throw you off into losing your recovery. You know what is happening, and this is powerful medicine. So I suggest you simply observe, know that there is nothing which has to be done about changing symptoms, and know that what you're going through is a good sign. I suggest that although the symptoms may create fear, don't worry about the symptoms or the fear.

    Durga, Paigeee and MWsunin12 like this.

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