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Beat back pain, only to move it and I'm stuck!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by TomPNY, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    Hey folks.
    First thanks for all you do. I posted awhile ago and got some good feedback. Back in December, I had injured my back. Typical story you see here... L5S1 herniation, loss of calf use, no push off, sciatica etc. I did some PT, got moving,and through Dr. Sarnos book, got through it about 4 months later, and I've kept it away.

    Shortly after the back pain however came my arms falling asleep at night. It was a minor annoyance - pins and needles - but it got worse and worse. Now I've been experiencing it every night, and I wake up with dead hands. My joints in my hands and wrists and elbows are starting to feel arthritic, and it hurts to type and use a mouse. I have good days and bad days. I've been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and told that the blood and nerve supply is cutting off at night through my shoulders as I move my arms over my head or under a pillow. As a former success story with my back, I believe this is TMS. I was very nervous it was other things, but I got bloodwork back today telling me I am clear of Rhumatoid Arthritis, lupus, and autoimmune type things, so that's good. And that gave me the confidence to really look at TMS for this again.

    I don't know why I am struggling with accepting it so much in this case. I have read so much on the topic. Whole I believe that the pain that I have and the arthritic feelings in my arms is caused by thoracic outlet and not TMS - I believe tat the thoracic outlet CAUSING the nerve and bloodflow cutoff is caused by TMS. I have a lot of issue trying to accept it in my mind because the worst of it happens at night while I sleep. When I fixed mt back, I did it by consciously recognizing the pain and then telling it to go away. I can't do this when I sleep. I'm not awake enough to do it when I get woken up with dead hands in the middle of the night.

    Everything points to muscular tension. All of this does. I've had intensive massage therapy with body memory release where they've told me flat out that I am holding sorrow in my upper chest and back - the very areas that cause the tension that create the thoracic outlet syndrome that cause my hand and wrist and arm problems.

    Question: I know the secret to TMS therapy is full buy in that it is TMS and NOT something physicial. However am I wrong in accepting that something physical caused by TMS is the cause of my pain? Meaning - is it acceptable therapy wise for me to accept my thoracic outlet syndrome diagnoses as long as I also acknowledge that the TOS is caused by TMS?

    Another crazy thing. As my issue is sorrow, and not anger as most per Sarnos research - anyone have any tips on tapping in? I'm from a huge family, have elderly parents and a newborn son, and I'm the guy that always has it together. I was the first one called last year when my nephew killed himself. I'm the one that handles the logistics of moving both of my parents into a nursing home. I always have to hold it together. I was told I need to learn to cry. How do I do that? Any other people out there burying sorrow? Maybe that's a separate thread.

    Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you might be splitting hairs here. If TMS is causing your TOS, then it seems to me that your TOS is TMS. Medical doctors have given me the diagnoses of Migraine (among other things). I could say that TMS causes me to have Migraines, or I could just say that I have TMS. I'm not sure it makes a difference. Unless your symptoms are caused by a structural, physical problem, then it is likely they are caused by TMS, and therefore, you have TMS. Whenever something is called a "syndrome" I suspect TMS.

    Huxley and NolaGal like this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dearest TomPNY,

    Just like you I thought my main issue was sorrow and that I didn't have anger. Through journaling (I used Dr. Schubiner's program from the book "Unlearn Your Pain") I learned that I, indeed, had a great deal of anger, and even rage. It was a real "eye-opener" for me. I had lost touch with my feelings and had repressed them for so long that I couldn't even realize the anger was there. What you have written above is fertile ground for anger, and I can sense an undercurrent of it. As Dr. Sarno states, those of us with TMS often have anger about the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect and good. I suggest that you start one of the programs available on this site and begin to explore this. You will find healing there. I know I have.

    Best wishes...
  4. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the reply Ellen. I'm pretty stubborn, so I've done a number on trying to find a physical cause for this most recent manifestation. Sometimes I think it helps me further define what's going on when I say that TMS causes something - like TOS. but as I read what you said and type this, I realize that I'm still assigning it physical attributes - and it's distracting me from dealing with the mind issues. Thank you for helping define that.

    The anger thing.... I'm still not sold, but I don't have other answers. I have the unlearn your pain book. Ill need to circle back on that.
  5. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    I've started having this symptom. A couple nights now I woke up with my arms asleep. It's scary not being able to move your arms, it's like being paralyzed, fortunately the blood flow returns in a couple minutes, but the fear lasts longer. Again, good to know I'm not alone.
  6. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    I also have arm issues during the night. The brachial plexus is overlapped by the pectorial minor, which is underneath the pec major. As the piriformis overlaps the sciatica, the pec minor does the same to our arms. This muscle is very hard to stretch out, and it gets tight when we hunch our shoulders forward. When we sleep on our sides, we tend to round our shoulders forward ... the perfect breeding ground for mushed vessels that go to our arms. I sleep with a pillow on each side of my body so that when I roll one way or the other, my elbow is resting on it, which keeps my shoulder from compressing too much. It isn't a perfect system, but it does help. My knee also catches the bottom part of the pillow.

    TMS is a physical manifestation of pain. Tension is real, and compression of muscles against nerves creates real issues. The daily tension can do it, and how we sleep at night can make it worse. Consider how long we spend in bed ... I have trouble enough sitting still for more than 90 minutes.

    It is very scary to lose control of a limb. Prevention is important.

    Don't give up ... and believe in your own inner strength. And address the tangible, practical aspects, as well.

    Thank you for sharing this issue .. it always helps to know we aren't alone.

    With grace and gratitude,
  7. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Uh oh, I had almost forgotten about these symptoms and now I am worried just thinking about them will bring them back. But I will get to work on that as soon as I share that I also used to wake up with numb arms often and I had lots of numbness in my hands and arms that would move from one hand to the next and sometimes both throughout the day. Oh, and numbness on one side of my face and tongue and all kinds of places that made no sense to my doctor. This was the last ten months as I was obsessing on my chronic neck/shoulder spasm and occipital neuralgia. I had an MRI that showed ruptured cervical discs and that was very challenging for me to ignore. The encouraging news is the less I think about it, and the more I focus on the potential emotional causes of the TMS, the more I don't have any of these symptoms. For me, I had to really focus on outcome independence. The more I tried to solve and "cure" my TMS, the less cooperative it has been. And literally now I do not think there is an inch of my body left where I have not experienced symptoms at one time or another. Now when something flares up I try not to give it too much power and soothe myself with the knowledge that this too will eventually pass or move somewhere else and someday I will be pain free, even if I cannot predict when that day will be. So, when I notice that I am getting really worried or scared over some symptom, I try my best to divert my attention to either thinking about how I feel(without judgement) about some aspect of my life, past or present, or I try to engage in an activity that I really enjoy. This strategy has been working for me. I have more good days than bad days now and I am learning how to make the bad days more manageable. It sounds like you have a lot of responsibility, like I do, and at first I felt this enormous pressure that if I acknowledged how sad or angry I was with someone or some situation, that I then had to fix it as well, find a solution. The truth is, just noticing, acknowledging and really allowing yourself to physically feel these scary and sometimes seemingly unacceptable emotions(how can you be angry at a child or aging parent?) is enough. If a solution or decision needs to be made, its really much easier once you allow yourself to feel things fully. It happens when it needs to. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to turn your attention away from these scary symptoms and the reason that it is hard to believe this time, with this particular symptom, is the very nature of TMS. As this one passes, another will take its place until you learn to disarm it by not feeding it with attention and fear. There have been moments when I am feeling things fully that I have thought to myself "ah, ha, now I know why you were trying to distract me TMS!"
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tom, I too wake up once in a while with numb hands and arms and am in the process of eliminating my TMS induced lower back pain and sciatica. My numbness started when the back pain had almost disappeared, so it seems like it's a classic illustration of the "symptom imperative" and "symptom substitution" phenomena where new, often disturbing symptoms appear as a substitute for the original TMS pain symptom. Notice how they grabbed your attention and sent you off to the docs for blood work? Phew! Not lupus, not RA, not AI disorders. Big relief, right? But apart from this TMS theory stuff, I should probably tell you that my numbness and tingling in the arms at night disappeared when I didn't pay too much attention to them or become overly concerned. They're gone now, but your post reminded me of them. I should probably add that after the numbness of one arm or the other had disappeared, a rash broke out on my left forehead. Then, when that went away, I got a strange soreness in my left wrist that seems to be going away as I ignore it the same way I ignored my other symptoms out of existence.

    This is just the way TMS healing typically unfolds for those of us who don't get instantaneous Dr Sarno "book cures". You seem to have weathered this first episode of the "symptom imperative" but that means, based on my own experience, that you should probably be on the look out for any new sneaky TMS symptom that's trying to alarm you and make you anxious. I know when I had the rash on my left forehead last week, I immediately started thinking "skin cancer"! Better check it out with an M.D. pronto! Then, I started thinking about how Dr Sarno says in Healing Back Pain that rashes are often if not 90% psychogenic in origin. Then, a little light bulb went on in my head and I recognized the rash as one more of a series of diminishing TMS symptoms after my initial success with back pain and sciatica (although they aren't completely gone yet, but soon will be at this rate of improvement).

    I'd humbly suggest that you look at the big picture of your symptoms in terms of the "symptom imperative" principle and not get fooled by your tricky TMS. Steve Ozanich, author of The Great Pain Deception, told me a little while ago that he thinks that those who take longer to heal, heal better than those who have instant "book cures" because they process their psychological baggage more thoroughly, which means they really get the job done right and, as a result, won't have relapses. Sure hope that's true in my case!
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    BruceMC, I like the way you mention the symptom imperative. Its good to talk about what we go through as veterans so others can know our journey. Its often the same in each of us I've noticed. I too have had many imperatives in the last year, although they come and go very fast mostly ive had some symptoms set for a week before leaving.

    Also we often don't acknowledge these symptoms much and the reasons are were not focused on those things like a sore knee anymore. Its just not so important to us anymore to talk about what we know will be leaving very soon if we don't give it any focus ya know. That's one of the great secrets to healing all the way is getting our attention off the body.

    Ive lost so much focus on the body that I used to give it. That's a very good thing so I can focus more on my life and living it to the full ya know. I noticed the other day as I mentioned on the show about how I started running again and this pain tried to shoot in my heal. I ignored it of course and it went away. We know that's a huge tool to know is the ignore method or just not focusing on the body at all.

    I like the way Steve put it in his book. The Great Pain Deception. When you get up to do things act as if your just carrying your body with you. In other words " Don't focus on the body"

    I do notice with it being over a year and a half now into my journey that if I want to think of the body more now I can without to much carnality coming back to me in the form of pain but I still keep to the tms knowledge and stay with the rules. Its called maintenance in my book and that maintenance has served me well.
    PKat likes this.
  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep, Herbie, there are little symptoms you have to attend to all the time. But you can't sweat the small stuff. Learning how to ignore them is also an important TMS healing skill.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, TomPNY,
    You got medical results that you're structurally, physically okay.
    Too bad you had to go through all that, but the good thing is you can now
    believe 100 percent that your remaining symptoms are TMS from
    repressed emotions.

    But that can be the hardest thing for some people to accept.
    Steve Ozanich says we have to believe 100 percent in TMS or
    it won't work for us. It's "All or nothing," he says.

    I believe him. I withheld about 5 percent in healing my back pain]
    and it didn't go away until I gave in on that and believed 100 percent.
    I hope you will work on it. It sounds simplistic, but is really profound.

    Practicing TMS healing leads us into self-discovery, learning about
    ourselves, and also to learning about others and how to react to and
    live them. They most likely have TMS too, and we learn how to accept
    their motivation for how they deal with or treat us which in turn can
    add more TMS to us and to themselves.

    TMS is a fantastic journey and I'm so glad I'm on it, and
    that I'm on it with so many people I've met on the TMSWiki forums, \
    like you.
  12. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes it is a learned skill, learning how not to sweat the small stuff. There was a good book written yrs ago with that name and I really took to it- just not literally. See What I think is happening BruceMC is that when we see rules like don't sweat the small stuff we instantly think in our minds yea I know that one. I've done that a million times before. In reality the person with that thought (used to be me) isn't any where even aware of what that statement means.

    They might think ok ill not worry for 10 minutes and think it’s about that ten minutes that's supposed to help them get better when in all truth it’s about turning those ten minutes into a lifestyle all the time. No one’s perfect but we can learn to walk in peace if we so wish.

    I think we are human and we will always get a crunk or a crank now and then, we did when we were children and before we ever got tms and we will now. The main difference is now we realize - that focus we used not to use all the time has become a habit to the tmser and it keeps them in pain due to worries, fears and focus.

    The main job to heal is to know you are the one in control and no matter how long it takes you can recondition to knowing that not sweating any stuff is the absolute truth to the cure but it has to be done on an un-conscious level - Second nature, hence not sweating at all.

    Folks tell me it’s impossible Bruce; well I know it’s not impossible because I've learned to do it. And I’m not talking about just not worrying at all because it'll always be in the unconscious of a person not trained in tms healing and I’m not talking about just positive thinking because I did that for over 13 years and I still got a big dose of tms, it’s the balance in between Ya know. The Balance.
  13. fridaynotes

    fridaynotes Well known member

    Even though this is an old post, I just came across it because I have been suffering from night numbness in arms and legs~ that keeps me awake or wakes me up. Of course, it causes panic and dread, and that increases the discomfort level. After having worked successfully with TMS concepts and healed A LOT of pain in my body, I’m pretty convinced this too is TMS related. Everything points to a pinched/compressed nerve symptoms, but I it seems to patently TMS that I realize I need to get back to journaling and focusing on the root causes. It’s an ongoing journey- especially with the symptom imperative!
    Oscar B. likes this.

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