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Believing … or not

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Meu-retired, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Hello: Im having a back pain situation (not too much pain now) with great fear of bending and I cannot resume jogging for I am afraid even though the good doctor did say “you cannot hurt yourself”. My thoughts are that even if my hernia is NOT the culprit, jogging cannot help but make a hernia worse right? Should I only swim? Jogging will not hurt me? In any case it wont help the hernia right? Im stuck there … afraid to harm myself.
    Best to you all.
    Calvin87 and RittaZoe236 like this.
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    No. It will not. I was told that I risked being paralyzed if I ever jogged again....23 years ago. I have been running ever since.

    Part of this journey is unlearning all of that structural BS
    Meu-retired likes this.
  3. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Dr. Dan Ratner has a series of podcasts on crushing doubts regarding TMS. In this interview I explained how I crushed my doubts about becoming fully active. Hope it helps.

    TG957 and Meu-retired like this.
  4. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Thanks Fred, both of you, but I cannot do much right now. I am at a really low point … for some reason I get these weird spasms, quick electrical shots in my lower back which take my breath away. It happens when doing very simple things, moving around in the kitchen doing normal stuff and that leaves me terrified, and of course I am thinking this MUST be a herniated disk because what else could produce this pain bolt by just lightly tilting my body? Please i need to hear I am Ok. Should i go to a doctor? In the past I've had MRIs and nothing exceptional has shown there. I cured myself in the past thanks to reading dr Sarno but this time it seems like a live wire is connected to my back. I am afraid to make the slightest movement so I don't trigger this spasms. How do I go back to where I was a month ago? I seem to be going downhill and need to stop this pain/fear cycle. It is so tempting to blame a structural damage for I am tired of fighting this TMS monster which comes back when you least expect it. What is wrong with me? God bless you for listening. Any advice will be so appreciated.
  5. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    I see here a number of issues all of which go back to trying to remedy feeling insecure on a subconscious level.

    Also, if your mental habit is to worry a lot, very common among TMSers, then focusing on your symptoms is a good way of worrying a lot.

    You can use this TMS questionnaire to figure out which negative mental and emotional are running your mind’s operating system. Knowing what they are and working on developing more positive mental and emotional habits can help you overcome doubts and fears.


    Having clear exciting goals and a concrete plan for a healthy, exciting future can dispel doubts and fears as well. I explain those in more detail in my book and video series.

    And keep in mind the power of words. Is it TMS monster or TMS mouse? Funny but it makes a difference what you call it and how you see it.

    See yourself minute after minute as a conqueror and TMS as a little mouse, you have a much better chance of recovery than the other way around.
  6. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Hi Fred: Ive got your book on back pain but I cannot apply your techniques, or cannot seem to find how. How can I challenge the bending issue?When I do I Immediately get a spasm/shot that leaves me breathless… Cannot ignore it. If it was just pain I could test it, challenge it, slowly, bit by bit. But being a spasm I don't know how to challenge it. I totally avoid all movements that could trigger it. In the meantime I use a heat pad to try and relax my back muscles and yes, I am taking anti inflammatory (over the counter) meds to buy time and strength. This is sooo challenging. Yes I am a worrier and yes I still see TMS as a beast. I Will keep trying, I have no other option if I want my life back, but I am at a very low point now. Thanks for listening to me.
  7. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Oh those spasms! I remember when my back pain had begun, my parents called to come form out of town for a visit. Usually that meant a lot of tension. Well...as I was cleaning the house and putting the toys away, suddenly I had such a bad back spasm that i dropped to the floor and could not get up. That's the power of TMS. As you read in my book, I had spams all over my body, including the bottom of my feet.

    The way to get rid of them is to win the battle mentally. To quote from my book,
    "Since TMS pain originates in the brain, the first step, of course, was not just to get mad at my subconscious, but to wage an all-out war on it for all the suffering it had caused me. I imagined myself as a boxer who, after many defeats, had suddenly discovered his opponent’s weak point. Now it was my turn to attack the subconscious and win back my health. Previously, every time I thought that a treatment would work, the pain returned with a vengeance and beat me to the ground. But now I was Rocky the boxer, determined to win. I imagined picking up my subconscious and throwing it to the ground over and over again. I threw it so forcefully that the ground shook and made a loud noise; every time I imagined this scene, I felt more powerful, stronger, and victorious. I created so much positive emotion as a result of visualizing this image that it gave me goose bumps.

    I also began launching imaginary missiles toward my subconscious and imagined that these missiles—some of them nuclear—were breaking down and destroying the defense barriers the subconscious mind had built to protect itself. These missiles were launched every few minutes for the first day and made me feel powerful and in charge. By the second day I had improved so much that they were no longer necessary."

    So to overcome spasms you need to win the war in your head first. Do as the Olympic athletes do: visualize and self-talk yourself to victory.

    Take a look at this video on Rapid Recovery Mindset. You can beat TMS.
  8. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I’m sorry for your pain, and I understand it. This happened to me! Last year nail biting anxiety and electric shocks. I had three MRI’s and I’m so thankful the neuro-Surgeon found nothing which should cause this pain (and there were all sorts of normal-abnormalities!). That helped me realize the anxiety was probably contributing. I had been doing some TMS work (meditation and journal), but learning to do Somatic Tracking has been a huge help with anxiety. It took time to see any results. I also meditated daily. Learning long slow exhales a few times a day, then once that was comfortable trying to take relaxed deeper breaths to get out of neck breathing. Many meditations will guide you through gentle breathing (emphasize gentle). Take it easy. You are doing your best. I struggle with all of this too.
    I watched Fred’s video above yesterday. It’s weird but boy do I look great in a Super Woman costume Silly as it seemed later in the day I was able to sit for two meals and do a chore or two! I’m in a flare up (again). Thank-you Fred for a fun way to beat TMS!
    If you are really struggling and can afford support - get some! Many coaches offer single sessions or packages of sessions. I’m so greatful for the support.
    Wishing you a relaxing a day.
    Calvin87 likes this.
  9. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Congrats on sitting more and doing more

    Yes, beating TMS can be really fun. If you see beating TMS as a game, an adventure, a fantastic learning experience, a race to win, and whatever else makes you feel curious, excited, and enthusiastic about recovery and life in general, you can expect a much easier and faster recovery.


    It is about thinking psychological not physical. It's about overcoming TMS in your mind first with a positive, winning attitude. Once you do that, the physical part can become much easier. So do what you can to become and remain positive and excited for the next few days, even if it means watching Rocky training a few times a day and training with him in your mind. LOL.

  10. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Thanks! I really appreciate your work. Keeping the faith up is tough, my hands are sweating when I face TMS and try to move normally. I did your exercises and tried carrying myself strong and upbeat but I am still in fear, I had butterflies in my stomach, afraid to move, but I will win this battle since I have to gain my life back.
    Since 2015 Ive had great months and relapses and at the end is always Dr Sarno who gets me through but every time it comes back I fall back on my structural doubts and lose momentum. But Ive done it before and MUST believe I can do it again. I ask for strength and determination, trying to find it deep inside me.
    So jealous to see Rocky exercising, I used to be able to do that until I turned 60 and the trouble began … my mom died, I took early retirement, it was a tough year and my back issues began.
    When I beat this I will write you a note to let you know. I live in Marbella/Spain and I should be out enjoying the beautiful weather and instead here I am, in pain. My greatest fear/rage I feel is getting older (66 now) and seeing friends and relatives getting older, sicker and some dying (lost 3 close friends due to covid). So I guess I know where the pain is coming from but still cannot shake it for good. Will do so, with gods help
    Wish you the best. Regards
  11. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    You are on the right track. Just need to work a little on your negative thoughts and beliefs. This is also common among TMSers. That’s why in Vanquish Stress I specifically explained how to conquer these negative mental habits.

    Negative beliefs regarding aging is quite common. As I was approaching 60, I wrote the following post titled, “60, 40, or 20 Years Old.”

    Focus on the many examples of older adults that are living active lives. See here how this 97 year old is participating in races and winning.

    You can do it too!

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  12. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    One more thought: how do you carry yourself during the day? Do you project power and vitality when you sit, stand, and walk?

    It makes a world of difference.

    Take a look at the research done at Harvard Business School on how your posture can increase testosterone, reduce cortisol, and lead to better outcomes. It helps when dealing with TMS too.

    NCGal and Meu-retired like this.
  13. Jeslme

    Jeslme New Member

    I can relate to this electric bolt spams. I am a 31 year old male and have experienced this on and off since my initial bulging disk diagnosis 4 years ago. This type of spasm really can put you in a dark place because it makes you feel disabled. It's not ordinary back pain but rather a lighting bolt that makes you just want to avoid doing everything. When the spasm hits me I begin to sweat and feel exhausted on the spot as if I just ran a marathon. Since I found dr sarno and have dug deep into Dr Howard and Allan gordans work I have learnt to reduce my fear around the spasm when it hits me which would result in the spasm not lasting as long as it usually would. My mri result showed a minor l5/s1 disk bulge which to me made no sense how I could be in so much pain all the time until sarno put everything together for me. I haven't read about much people experiencing this electric jolt type pain so just to let you know you are not alone. Be easy on yourself and know that you are not damaged.
    Meu-retired likes this.
  14. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Hi, I felt like crying when I read your note. When you said “It's not ordinary back pain but rather a lighting bolt that makes you just want to avoid doing everything. When the spasm hits me I begin to sweat and feel exhausted on the spot as if I just ran a marathon”.
    Well, I had your same diagnostic, L5-L1 bulge which doesn't sound so horrible right? But when the electric shots happen I am devastated and all my beliefs are shot to hell. How ca I not believe in structural damage? I am seriously considering getting a surgeon to operate on me and reducing that bulge. Am I crazy? I had being doing everything right and for a year I had no pain and suddenly now I’m getting three or four bolts a day, and even though afterwards I am not horribly contracted or in pain, I am in constant fear of movement. You know something? Since I had the first incident 5 years ago I have not bended at the waist, I always squat or get on my knees, that’s no way to live a life. Dr Sarno has helped me live some pain free months, or was it just a coincidence? Im starting to believe the damage has always been there but when my muscles are more relaxed there is no pressure on the bulge and I don't get the bolt but if I tense up or make the wrong move then all hell breaks lose. I am afraid to get an operation and then find myself back to where I started or worse. These are really trying times, I seem to have lost direction and hope.
    And there doesn't seem to be a pill that can help with this either. I keep thinking “are bulges there forever? Don't they reduce size or shrink or stop being active? My MRI was 6 years ago, is this bulge still the culprit?
    What works for you? Has there been a time where you get this bolts several times a day? It really leaves you exhausted and worried sick, its impossible to navigate this with mind body beliefs, ir so it seems.
    I might get better like in the past but I fear I will never recover normal moves like bending at the waist for this pain is so sudden and paralyzing that it is impossible to challenge.
    At times I say to myself “are you crazy? Stop trying to heal with mind body approaches, this must be operated on”, however the surgeon said to me to hang on and that it would get better and that small bulges like mine only got operated on if they became too active and made my life impossible, well perhaps this is the time.
    Unless I find a trick or method that works better for me than journaling and reading the books… I am at my wits end. Please share any findings/tricks.
    Thanks for listening. God bless
  15. Jeslme

    Jeslme New Member

    I completely understand what you are experiencing. I think u have to firstly really believe that the pain is not coming from the so called disk issue shown on the mri. I still do experience this spasm and it really gets to me till this day. We have been so conditioned to believe that a disk bulge is the culprit of back pain/nerve pain that it becomes so difficult to undo this way of thinking. This electric jolt spasm doesn't give warning sometimes.. it just hits....no stiffness or back pain prior to its rude arrival. The fact remains that tms effects nerves and if you have been diagnosed with tms then it is tms despite our fears and doubt.. Dealing with your fears around this spasm is key and not obsessing about it even tho it's hard not to because it's so painful.
    Meu-retired likes this.
  16. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Well, to give you all an update: yesterday my MRI report came back and it shows NOTHING! Even two small hernias that I supposedly had in the 2016 MRI had shrunk or disappeared…! WTF? I never thought that was even possible. Nevertheless my mind now tells me that if it is not structural its got to be a soft tissue/muscle/tendon issue which is very possibly TMS right? Ive got to convince myself and take that and only that route. Even though the electric shocks make me go nuts when they happen.
    BTW @Calvin87 what do you mean when you say you started medicating? What are you taking? Im taking an over the counter anti inflammatory and a valium 10 at night. Will do so for a week to try and relax my tense muscles and then I will try to go back to the Dr Sarno method and see if I can win this mind/body struggle. Sans medication. Or so I pray
  17. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    That’s great news. You can now put your worries about your spinal to rest.

    Yes, give yourself a break from the pain. There is a supplement that increases blood flow and can reduce pain by doing so, whether it’s TMS or an actual injury.

    It is the amino acid L-Argenine. It’s discovery led to a Nobel Prize in medicine. Here’s my post about it.

  18. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Thanks Fred. Yes, I should be able to slowly not think about the spinal damage anymore …

    Never heard about L-Argenine, definitely worth a try. How long do you take it for? Only for the duration of the crisis? Or is it a daily supplement? Anything to increase blood supply to those thirsty muscles. Thanks for the tip!
    best rgrds
  19. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Ah, one more thing, whats your personal dosage use?
  20. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    I take 1000-2000 mg per day. Some take more as a pre-workout supplement. Just start with a low dosage and increase gradually and see.

    For pain, one dose of 2000 mg seems to work best to start. Of course, it also depends on the brand.

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