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Brilliant re-post from 2009!

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by njoy, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    This is amazing. Originally posted by "Sarita" years ago and found and re-posted by "abundance72", it is long but it's full of wisdom:


    I've don't think I've read anything better about what TMS is and how to take it out.

    I even agree with her (?) about most journaling. For me, I just spewed "rage on a page" for years until IFS taught me how to go deeper. Journaling is great stuff if/when it works and now it does work for me.
    tigerlilly likes this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, those posts have been around forever and keep getting reposted. It's actually a collection of posts written by a guy who came to one of our first webinars as a listener. He had healed previously and really knew his stuff. It's awesome stuff and definitely worth reading.

    I'll repost the complete text here, along with my commentary. I won't edit the original text, and all of my text will be in italics, so you know who said what. The only exception is that I'll bold some things in the original that I think are especially important. There is no formatting in the original, so if you remove all the italicized stuff (that I wrote) and then remove the formatting from the remainder, you will be back to the original.

    this is something some guy wrote, i think he is brilliant. its long...i read it and was helped.
    it will make you think.

    Your past will always be with you. I myself had a very traumatic childhood. Most all of my therapists I've ever seen agree that I had one of the worst they've heard. But I visited the demons only enough to acknowledge how I really felt about it, and then moved on.

    But from what I have seen, reliving negative experiences is not the solution. People who even suffer PTSD, (like I did when I was a child)will nopt ease it by 'talking it out'. The perceptions that the said 'trauma' caused to go off base, are the things that need to be changed.

    Trauma changes people by altering their response to the world and their response to their own thoughts. It's my opinion that once you acknowledge the anger you feel about a past traumatic event or 'bad childhood' you NEED TO get busy on changing the cognitive patterns that you have NOW, in the PRESENT.

    The 'inner child' stuff is played way too much. The emphasis on this part of the Ego is overblown. To revisit it in journaling over and over and over again , to the point where you relive it everyday...does what?

    We all feel the way we do mostly because of the NOW. This is not a mimic of an Eckhart Tolle type mantra, this is just logic. You only have the 'now' to deal with your thoughts and how they effect you.

    I could have seen someone I loved killed in front of me as a child. And hell yes that's going to affect me as a child for years to come. But after I revisit that memory in some therapy session, and acknowledge what it did to me, then what?

    YOur past needs to be put in it's proper box. If someone did you wrong as a child, you need to eventually accept that bad things happen to children or young adults, and that no fault of it was yours. There eventually needs to be a place where it does not define you.

    Yes, you can heal from TMS without journaling about your past. TMS is seeded much more in the 'NOW' than we are taught to believe, IMO.

    TMS gains most of it's power from our daily responses to it, than any ruminating of past events could ever do. You could have a great childhood, great past life where nothing bad ever happened, and have full blown TMS....doesn't that make you wonder?
    I agree with this 100% and it is a topic that I try to reinforce frequently. The unconscious tension (fear/rage/shame/loss/whatever) that drives our TMS takes place in the present. It isn't ancient anger that has been with us since childhood. Rather, for most people, the tension is created and maintained primarily in the present.

    What causes this anger or shame in the present? Often, for people with chronic TMS, it is our worrying and conflicted feelings about our TMS that continues to refill our reservoir of rage. For many people, including myself, it is our fear about our symptoms that make our symptoms worse. My TMS went on for 18 years, and my worry about my symptoms was one of the worst factors in perpetuating them.

    So what is one to do? Forget them completely. That's easier said than done, I know, but I am always amazed by how successful people are at doing this. It's a slow process, but a truly beautiful one to behold. The stuff in the post, below, will help you do it.

    Other sources of tension also play out in the present. Whether we are catastrophizing, ruminating, beating ourselves up, feeling abandoned or whatever it is that gets us hyped up and triggered, it all plays out in the present.

    But, to be clear, it isn't that the past doesn't matter at all. On the contrary, the patterns that create the tension are generally set deep in the past. For example, in my case, where did all of that worry about my symptoms come from? Well, it came from my childhood, in which I faced more than my share of anxiety provoking events. In my childhood, I had very good reasons to worry, and that taught me how to worry very very well. As a result, I became a worrier and worried about symptoms, creating vast tension and fueling my TMS.

    To summarize: Childhood experience ----> chronic patterns that create tension ----> tension ----> TMS

    The key thing to recognize in the summary above is that the creation of the tension plays out in the present. Therefore, it is in the present where recovery can happen. If I journal, over and over, about my bad childhood experiences, that won't help. Rather, I need to catch myself worrying and catastrophizing in the present and stop myself. The solution is found in the present - in the "NOW."

    Journaling can provide a great foundation for understanding yourself better but it doesn't have to become a lifestyle. The lifestyle worth living is one of enjoying and embracing the present.

    ... Okay, now that we've established that TMS plays out in the present, how does it do this? It does it by distracting us. It does it by getting us to fixate on our bodies and on our problems. It gets us to obsess over things and beat ourselves up. As you read the following, think about how each thing gets you out of the present moment and gets you to worry and be unkind to yourself. Can you just feel the tension rising?

    From what I have seen, TMS is a

    1) conditioned way of seeing pain, as a response to avoid present or near present perceptions, fears, angers, stresses, and anxieties about life.

    2) Given power by making it part of your identity.

    3) Can easily go from a 10 in intensity to a 0, with just one 'aha' moment.

    4) Thrives on 'what if' thinking. Examples:

    a)"What does this mean, this new pain".
    b)"Will I be like this forever?"
    c)"What if I get a flare up if I am out in public or at work or the movie theater,etc"
    d)"What if I don't beat this now, does this mean I really have something structural?"
    e) "What if I won't be able to provide for my family"

    5)Thrives on the ANXIETY caused by rehashing past regrets, seeing your life in a "I should have been this person" lens, or believing you 'should be' somewhere.

    a) I should be pain free by now
    b) I should be able to run a mile
    c) I should be healed like so and so is.
    d) I should be a Millionaire right now if it weren't for TMS getting in the way.(ahhh gave it power?)
    e) If it weren't for TMS, I would be able to be such and such and so forth.

    6) Loves when you berate yourself.

    7) Loves when you attain self hatred or any negative self view.

    8) Loves when you fight it and say things like "Get out of my body you %#$^! I will Bleep you you bleepin son of a bleep I'm so sick of you you bleepsucking motherbleeper(you get the picture)

    9)TMS ABSOLUTELY LOOOOVES you to distract yourself with the subject of........TMS. It loves to be talked about on forums and boards. It has a life after all.

    10) LOOOOOOOVES for you to mentally 'scan' your body to see "where the pain is now, is it moving? Is it, is it, is this good uhhh oh no it's in my foot, ahaaaa now it's in my back,.....ahhh it just moved to my ears...ahhhh.What does this mean? Why me, whyyyy, what's going on panic panic"

    All this while you are talking to someone on the phone! :/

    11)Loves for you to think you are ACTUALLY sick.

    12)HATES when you are present and conscious of what's happening now. It loves when you worry about tomorrow. It cannot allow you to enjoy a moment, or be thankful for even the smallest joy.

    13) Thrives off of thinking that "life sucks and this existence sucks"

    14)TMS Luuuuhhhuuuhhhhhuuuuvz when you fight it. It wants a boxing match with you. That way, you don't have to face the world "outside". It's like a woodpecker on your shoulder that keeps you safe from feeling anything bad. Problem is, it just replaces all those bad feelings you might have about the world, with pain and bad feelings about being in pain. What a ****ing opportunistic asshole TMS is. But he/she thinks she's doing you a favor.

    15)TMS wants you to get mad at it. It likes when you think you have control. But try releasing all control one day. Try actually laughing at it and doing exactly what YOU want to, without regard to it. Watch it go into a panic, it's hilarious.

    16)TMS loves when you think you can 'outsmart' it. It loves when people think they can beat it if they just 'dig enough' in their little journals. As if talking about a life event for the millionth time will one day 'jolt' TMS. "You'll show TMS this time kid"(shakes fist in the air). What a joke, definition of insanity.

    17) TMS loves when you are predictable and try to counter it with 'methods' and 'approaches'. It hates when you just give up and stop fighting. TMS after all, needs drama and action, lights, camera. Anything to be alive.

    In closing. TMS is a ghost that thrives off of having it's own life and keeping you out of the PRESENT. It does NOT want you to FEEL. It wants you to THINK. Stop thinking. 95% of the thoughts that are running through your conscious mind are COMPLETE GARBAGE.

    So, TMS thrives on your attention and draws you into activities that inflate your internal tension. These activities are addictive because part of you feels like you are helping yourself. But you really are fueling your TMS.

    What do you do? Accept it. Float beyond it. It is giving you a message that some parts of your life need to change. You can thank it for that message, follow that advice, and then, otherwise, completely forget about the symptoms.

    How do you do that? You need to lose your fear of it. You need to call it's bluff. You need to realize that even if it were with you for the rest of your life, you could live a happy and fulfilled life. Once you can look forward to that life, with or without symptoms, the symptoms will no longer have any purpose and will slowly (ever so slowly) disappear (if you're reading this, it is probably because you are one of the people who heal slowly. You may never know why and the more you fight it, the longer it may take, but that, too, is okay. You can still live a happy and fulfilled life).

    But there is a catch and a surprise too. This will blow your mind, as it has me.

    While my TMS is 99% gone, my thinking is still mostly the same in everyday life. I really haven't changed my views of much. I really am not a 'better person".

    The key is my view of TMS, that changed dramatically.You don't have to change the way you even view life, that may just be a side effect.

    When you change the way you see the pain, what the pain means to your ego, what the pain means to your supposed 'future', what the pain is, what the pain can teach you, you will beat it.

    TMS has nowhere to run once you realize it's fake. It's a symptom that thrives in distraction and thrives in the fact that it has GOT YOUR ATTENTION.

    Want to see TMS get scared as hell?

    Imagine yourself having it for the rest of your life (worst case scenario). Sit there and meditate on it. Imagine your life and all those years passing by with chronic pain.

    After that, make a deal with TMS. Say "If this is what you want, so be it". And then go outside and accept the fact that you were promised nothing....and live your life. With the total acceptance that life is what happens and you will do what YOU can, while this event has other plans. Accept that TMS is with you and in you. Thank TMS for showing you that you needed to change. Be aware of every moment you don't feel pain(these moments will turn into days).

    Accept and move forward.And you will see how truly small TMS is. You will wake up and understand that the battle is won when you stop fighting.

    1)Scaring TMS actually(from my experience) causes it to stop, in a smoother way. Have you ever done journaling to the point that the pain 'moves' around like some of the TMS books say it will? That 'moving' is not the key. The moving just means you hit something and TMS got uncomfortable, so it's finding another place to go.

    From my experience, this isn't the end of TMS. When TMS is truly 'scared' it leaves. You can sense it getting bored and you wake up one day and you notice no stiffness, no tightness, no needle sensations, etc.

    It's way different than the "oh it's moving now so that means it's going away".

    2)I don't think you have to have 'faith' that letting go will cure TMS, in order for it to work. For me it was just an "aha" moment. "Letting go" and accepting actually breaks the TMS cycle. It has no power anymore, and TMS thrives on your constant worry. It always wants to be an issue. If you truly can learn to let go of the "what ifs' that TMS causes to ruminate in your head all day, then TMS loses it's power.
    After a while , it's just lets go itself.

    If you can't imagine what letting go and accepting feels like, I can't really demonstrate it or describe it.

    I think it has to be a personal experience that someone has.

    I also think I was motivated to let go because nothing was working. The usual journaling and constant talking about TMS wasn't doing it for me. So I gave up out of total exhaustion. And it was at that point that someone posed the question to me "Who told you that you were promised anything in life?"

    The most profound yet simple question I've ever been asked. It hit my EGO, the part of me that saw myself as being something I obviously wasn't, a sufferer of TMS.

    You need to accept TMS and that you have it before you can deal with it. If you are constantly fighting TMS on a minute by minute basis, you are already saying to yourself that you would rather be SOMEONE ELSE and SOMEWHERE ELSE, rather than be HERE.

    How can you start to tackle life's problems if you are not HERE, and not accepting of what is happening NOW? You might as well be dead. If you are wishing your whole life to be this 'other person' you feel you deserve to be, you might very well suffer with TMS forever.

    Many of us gladly accept that we SUFFER from TMS , but we don't really ACCEPT that we HAVE TMS.(read what I said again...repeat)

    Many of us gladly accept that we SUFFER from TMS , but we don't really ACCEPT that we HAVE TMS.

    Many of us gladly accept that we SUFFER from TMS , but we don't really ACCEPT that we HAVE TMS.

    This is a big step.​

    I don't have anything to add here, accept that this is all about equanimity. If you accept that you have TMS and that it is a part of your life, then that diminishes your tension. If you struggle with how to implement this, start reading about mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. It teaches you how to feel something, briefly acknowledge it, and then let it go.

    Summary: Acceptance ----> Less tension ----> A virtuous circle of healing from TMS.

    3) LOOKING for the pain free moments can get you into trouble. Making a mental note of the pain free moments reinforces that faith that TMS is a mental state dependent syndrome and not structural. It also reminds the brain that it can attain a normal state of being. A "theres more where this came from" reminder. The brain also knows that once something is achieved on a small scale, it can be achieved as a whole.

    The idea is not to become OBSESSED with pain free moments. Just be aware of them and move on. TMS has it's best successes when you acknowledge>>>>>>>>>>>>>appreciate>>>>>>>>>then move on.

    Appreciation is different than fixation. If you find yourself fixated with TMS symptoms, you are already losing. What if you put yourself in a state of mind where you woke up everyday saying, " Okay TMS,I KNOW that today you are going to give me pain. There is nothing I can really 'do' to make you go away for now. So whatever new pains you bring me is totally expected. Nothing is really new with you. So do your best, but in the meantime I'm going to go (fill in the blank)"

    Do you think with this new outlook that TMS will have more power or less? I'm not saying that TMS won't try real hard to get your attention by kicking and screaming. I'm talking about POWER here.

    If TMS knows that it's M.O. is expected and predictable...how would any new symptoms 'scare' you or make you think 'uh oh ' anymore?

    4) Thank TMS for making you aware that your way of life, thinking, perceptions, rationale, fears, levels of anxiety....are not in line or consistent with a 'healthy' person.

    We have TMS for a reason. I'm not saying we are crazy or outcasts. But we are not, as a whole, 'WELL' people. If we were, we would not be here. Now who is 'well' and balanced? Not many people in Western society. We are sick because we are products of a very repressed, while at the same time , EGOCENTRIC culture.

    Take a room full of a group who is spiritually calm and appreciative of life., say 50 people.

    Buddhist monks, Hippies, Agrarians, Yoga instructors....whatever example you can think of.

    Put them in a room with 50 TMS sufferers from this forum. You think you could spot the difference and be able to tell who's Autonomic Nervous System has the highest probability of malfunctioning?

    Uhhhh, yeah. It would be us.

    So TMS is the bodies way of showing you.

    "Hey, we really can't live like this anymore, because now you're forcing me to starve oxygen and cause pain. If you don't change, I keep doing this. I don't know how else to warn you aside from giving you Cancer or a Heart Attack."

    Thank TMS in as much as TMS is giving you the chance to start over life with a new view.
    The important idea, here is to embrace the message that TMS is sending. Learn what you can about that inner tension and then do what you need to release it.

    I am very angry of what TMS caused me, and by no means am I thankful for having TMS in that sense. We all know we would rather be symptom free and never have to deal with any of this to begin with.

    But that goes back to LIFE NEVER EVER EVER PROMISED YOU ****!!!!

    ACCEPTANCE of what is, not what you thought is SUPPOSED to be. Kids die daily from bone cancer and Lukemia.

    We have TMS. Nobody promised you anything. This is the hardest lesson of TMS because it shows that life is completely out of your control.

    And that is one of the biggest fears of a TMS sufferer.
    Acceptance is much easier when you realize that no one ever promised you anything. TMS does suck, but every cloud has a silver lining, and, for us, that silver lining is what we learn about ourselves and about living life.

    Is what I'm saying making sense? I hope, because that is the best I can explain it.From my experience, you don't have to 'believe ' in TMS for TMS theories to work. The best process is DEDUCTIVE REASONING.

    "Belief" is a cult aspect of TMS authors. Cult aspects cause pressure to conform. Dr. Sarno's reasoning on this is flawed when he said "One MUST refute the physical in order to get better"(paraphrasing).

    That is a collectivist ideal and adds pressure to be like 'the other kids".

    Simple deductive logic can address it better. It's easier to prove TMS by looking at what it is NOT.

    "Do I have any pain free moments?" Evidence of it NOT being physical.

    "What are these moments?" Evidence that there is a feeling or mental state that correlates to pain free moments.

    "Does my pain go away when I sleep, and start all over once my mind kicks in when I wake up?" Evidence of non physical cause

    "When I am busy or active, does my pain seem to be LESS noticeable?"

    Evidence of psychogenic origin, since 'real' injuries do not act this way.

    Why rely on faith or belief, when you could use evidence?

    In the end, I suggest that being diagnosed with TMS is the first step, after all other tests prove negative.

    It's silly to expect someone with physical pain not to think it's physical in cause and nature. But once the pain goes, you KNOW it was TMS all along. That's one of the benefits of being pain free and beating TMS. It gives you ridiculous hindsight.Debs,

    Your post sounds like you already had an "aha" moment right there.

    Armchair described it perfectly. You are seeing what TMS does and is.
    Independent thought (and even debate) is one of the highest callings of a human being. Let's not give that up.

    See also the idea of constructing an evidence sheet:

    I was watching Eckhart Tolle speak about the intention of being a 'better person', and how it rarely works if it is something you actively try to change. True change comes about just by being aware of what is wrong in your thought process.

    I find this is true. Just by being aware that TMS is on your mind all day, your mind now knows and this awareness will change it by itself, IMO.

    TMS is on the mind of many people with the chronic form. So is it the constant thinking of TMS which gives it th fuel to keep going, or is it the constant pain that makes you think about it all day?

    Chicken or the egg. I think it's both. But the one which you have control over to stop the cycle, is your part(the thought process).

    We think about TMS all day because we want to control it. We think that if we think about it, it equates to ACTION. Thoughts are not action. Thoughts are garbage. TMS likes garbage.

    I would seriously advise you to seek therapy for your TMS. You are a severe TMS sufferer like I was. Along with the 'self hatred' issues and low self esteem, you should talk to someone who is trained in what this all means.

    At this point, I'm convinced you fit the severe TMS model.

    Read your OWN posts over and over. Does this sound like someone who would have a smooth running Autonomic Nervous System? Does your bodily pain match your thought process? Yes it does.

    Could a calm Nervous System exist in someone like yourself, as you are in life right now? I highly doubt it.

    If I berated you all day, like you do yourself, how would your chemistry and subconscious react to me if I screamed obscenities at you all day and told you 24/7 how worthless you are?

    Because that is what is going on in your own brain.

    Trust me, I know 'self hatred'. I mastered the game to the point where I also hated everyone else on the planet and every morning I woke up I LITERALLY stuck my middle finger to the sky and said "Go **** yourself God", and I meant it.I was suicidal and borderline homicidal in my worst TMS days. WHat I really hated was my EGO, I now know that.

    The EGO can be dangerous. I feel that it is responsible for most wars and crime in the world. TMS is just a symptom of the Ego run rampant in the negative. I believe TMS sufferers are ALL guilty of this. Even the 'people pleaser' types.

    But I digress. Try and find a therapist who is versed in Mind/ Body syndromes. Writing your concerns on a forum can only do so much.

    Good Luck.​

    I'll be honest, in that I think that the long post begins to meander a little near the end, but it is still reading...

    So what did you think? Did it make sense? It is a feisty and combative post and that's a good thing. I've tried to be feisty in my commentary.

    So what did you think of it? Please be feisty in your replies!
    Sheree and Richsimm22 like this.
  3. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Okay, feisty it is. I believe that life does promise us quite a lot: a lot of pain! Life has huge potential for trouble, nobody escapes, and resistance is always painful. Sometimes pain is worth it because something needs changing. Other times, pain is pure willfulness (aka tms) and needs to be sent on it's way.

    The o.p. said, "How can you start to tackle life's problems if you are not HERE, and not accepting of what is happening NOW? You might as well be dead. If you are wishing your whole life to be this 'other person' you feel you deserve to be, you might very well suffer with TMS forever."

    The bolded part is ego at work. I want what I want when I want it! I'm in control or I will tantrum! The key to TMS is to know pain is half message and half resistance to that message. Hear the message and the TMS will go. Not saying that's easy but it's doable.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have conflicting thoughts on Sarita's post, Forest's reply, and njoy's comments.
    I think some of it all is very much like Dr. Sarno and Steve Ozanich's take on TMS pain and healing,
    while other parts I think are contradictory in their takes.

    Mainly, I have a problem with those who do not think working on on TMS repressed emotions
    such as journaling can lead to healing. Forest says my concern that that is against Sarno's principles
    is because I misinterpret his (Forest's) take on that. He said he will reply to this post about that.

    Also, I believe this is a terrific post and great food for thought, but that some people will accept some
    or all of it while others will disagree, as I do. Maybe it's from misunderstanding, because this is a
    long and controversial post. I look at it positively as one that opens up discussion and serves like
    a volley ball in a championship TMS healing match. Different strokes for different folks. Some of
    the concepts and techniques from everyone so far may work for some, not for others.

    Is journaling and other mindfulness to discover our "Hidden Childhood" repressed emotions good
    or bad? Does one or the other work best in a person's own personal TMS healing?

    I liked best when Sarita said to laugh at TMS pain. Acknowledge it but do not consider it bad.
    In my case, journaling into my childhood was a main force in helping me become free of severe back and other pain,
    and I learned through the journey to healing that laughing was one of the best techniques for accepting and

    Okay, I've tossed my ball over the net. I hope others will toss it back with their thoughts and experiences.
    I'm sure Sarita, Forest, Njoy will want to hear from you, as I do.

    We share experiences and ideas for healing. Discussion in this thread can lead to a lot of new thoughts
    on TMS and understanding.

    Are you there, on the other side of the net?
  5. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I don't agree with all that Sarita says, either. Why would I? I certainly don't agree with all that Dr. Sarno says, for that matter. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe we are just different, maybe (gasp!) he is wrong. So what, eh?

    For me journaling didn't work and I plugged away for years. I am totally into dealing with repressed emotions, though. For me, that's imperative. For others, maybe they don't need it or want it.

    I've read your post, twice, and am still not sure what you are saying :)
  6. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    I simply love that post by Sarita. It's brilliant!So helpful.

    I don't think it matters if there are bits that don't ring true for all of us. We are all such different people with such different life experiences and differing characters(although we probably share certain personality traits which have enabled TMS to take hold) that it makes perfect sense to me that we will approach healing in different ways and find a different route through the maze. On that point I agree with Walt.

    The important thing is that we're all heading in the same direction, to the same endpoint, even if I'm on foot, someone else is on the bus and the rest have gone by car!
    We will all get to our destination having taken in different views along the way and knowing that there is not just one path to take is important for people who may be feeling 'stuck.'

    In the end we all develop our own philosophy based on some core TMS knowledge and through trying a number of approaches to see what works best for us. Like njoy, journaling only went so far for me but I'm prepared to accept that for some people it may prove key to their recovery.

    There's so much in this post that I shall want to read it many times and I can't wait to see what others think.
    Ellen likes this.
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great posts, @Walt Oleksy, @njoy, and @Solange.

    I pretty much agree with everything that Dr. Sarno has written. The good doctor is the father of this field, and the one whose books have healed so many. Every time I reread his books, I gain a deeper understanding of TMS.

    I actually feel that the original post is perfectly consistent with Dr. Sarno's work, though. Throughout all of his books, he is very clear that information and understanding is the cure for TMS. If the information doesn't work on it's own, then he refers people to psychotherapy, but he does not offer many details regarding how that psychotherapy is done.

    For some guidance regarding what type of psychotherapy works the best, we can look at who Dr. Sarno referred his patients to. For someone who cares about his patients as much as Dr. Sarno does, looking at referrals like this tells us an awful lot about what Dr. Sarno thinks good psychotherapy is.

    In general, the people who Dr. Sarno tended to refer patients to most frequently tended to be very highly educated, conventional psychotherapists or psychoanalysts. The four core Sarno psychologists who I am aware of are Arlene Feinblatt, PhD, Fran Anderson, PhD, SEP, Eric Sherman, PsyD, and Kirsten Fliegler, PsyD. All four have doctoral degrees and were trained by Arlene Feinblatt, whom Dr. Sherman refers to in his book as "the mother of all TMS therapists." Generally, Dr. Sarno seems to recommend and prefer psychoanalysts. Does that mean that other approaches, such as the power therapies (including NLP, EFT/Tapping, EMDR, hypnotherapy and programmed dreams) don't work? Absolutely not! I think that on this score, we all have to look carefully and make our own decisions.

    So, it is clear that Dr. Sarno refers people to highly trained psychologists when there is some resistance and a need for deeper healing. However, he doesn't specify exactly how that healing should be done. Also, he is very much a hospital physician and in his books, he tends to describe how he treats patients in his hospital. I didn't notice this until I had read his books several times, but, in general, they are about his treatment program at Rusk, rather than teaching people how to heal at home using his books. The only exception to this that I am aware of is the Jim Campobello program in The Mindbody Prescription. So, to some degree, the online community has come up with its own ideas, some of which are good and some of which are bad. Some work for some people and some for others. It's an ongoing discussion and one of my favorite parts of this job is watching that discussion.

    Note that Dr. Sarno didn't even mention the word "Journaling" in Healing Back Pain, his most popular book. There are 18 occurances of the consecutive letters "journal," and 17 of them are about scientific journals, and one of them refers to a "journalist" who is a former patient of his (his regular mentions of scientific journals show that Dr. Sarno is a proud man of science in my mind - someone very proud of being an attending physician at a famous teaching hospital affiliated with New York University).

    Similarly, in The Mindbody Prescription, he doesn't mention journaling either. The closest he comes is when he refers to making lists. The following is all that he says:
    One interesting thing is that Healing Back Pain, Dr. Sarno's second book (out of 4), is still his best-selling book. It is a beautifully written and approachable book, but I also have to wonder if part of the reason for its success is that it emphasizes just getting back to your life. This seems to be consistent with the original post.
    Richsimm22 likes this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like the replies from Solange, njoy, and Forest.
    The original post was maybe too long for me to absorb adequately in the time I gave it.
    I think we are all in agreement about TMS healing being different for different people and
    if journaling works, fine, if not, fine. And Forest's closing thought is one of the best ways to heal,
    to just get on with your life. Steve says to find joy.

    Here's to more joy for us all!
    njoy likes this.
  9. Leonor

    Leonor Peer Supporter

    Hi njoy!
    I think that after visiting your past and getting out the anger for a short time the most difficult task is being present and not dwelling on negative or obsessive thoughts. The only way to achieve it is being aware of it and every time you catch yourself not being present return to it buy doing something mundane, such as deeply breathing, root lock, feeling your body, the wind etc. practice, practice...

    PS: By the way Eckart Tolle did not invent being present, he just wrote what many people have been saying for centuries, no need to obsess with him. I stopped reading him when he compared evolution with a monkey typing, that was too much for me.
    Forest likes this.
  10. tigerlilly

    tigerlilly Well known member

    I actually really love this post by Sarita and find that I'm able to glean a lot from this. I like the raw and up front nature of the post - it resonates with how I think. I'm not one who likes to dilly-dally around in fluff. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty and say it how it should be said. (Yes, this coming from a complete goodist/people-pleaser! Go figure!)

    This quote from Forest was important for me - never thought of it this way before:

    You need to lose your fear of it. You need to call it's bluff. You need to realize that even if it were with you for the rest of your life, you could live a happy and fulfilled life. Once you can look forward to that life, with or without symptoms, the symptoms will no longer have any purpose and will slowly (ever so slowly) disappear (if you're reading this, it is probably because you are one of the people who heal slowly. You may never know why and the more you fight it, the longer it may take, but that, too, is okay. You can still live a happy and fulfilled life).

    While perhaps controversial posts to some persons, I think it is good to view these posts like a 'salad bar.' There is a lot to choose from - go down the line and pick out what appeals to you (and helps you to heal). Leave the rest. :)
    Becca, njoy and Ellen like this.
  11. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Walt, your advice has my name all over it!

    Thanks, Leonor, but I rarely obsess on negative thoughts. For one thing, my brain is busy, busy, busy -- a form of denial in itself, I think. My problem is that something wells up from deep within me and I am suddenly in a dark mood but have NO idea why. That's why I like IFS. It helps me dig out what's just been triggered and is causing the present to mess up. Letting go (of worry, etc.) is clearly a good idea but I have to be careful I'm not just papering over the cracks, so to speak.
  12. Leonor

    Leonor Peer Supporter

    Hi njoy, I think we all have different styles. I already went through my past and it does not help me now to continue to dig into it. I am listening to Monte Hueftle's recordings and practicing his yoga breathing, which is called root lock. I can't tell yet if it will help me, but right now that is all I can do. Every time I try a new approach I get this horrible fatigue and that is what I am trying to overcome now. My brain is so deeply programmed into pain that it will take all my strength and resilience to overcome it. Hanging in there...
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Njoy thanks for your thoughts on the discussion.

    Forest's advice also is very good... try to get rid of the pain, but if you can't get rid of it,
    just live with it, or what pain remains.

    Maybe the old Russian way works... they welcomed suffering... they offered it up to God.

    yoga or just deep breathing has become one of my best friends.
  14. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree with the post about doing all the steps can heal you for sure but the part where you don't have to have faith and belief is almost impossible to believe that you don't have to believe if you want to heal.
    Most don't even know they have tms and then they aren't going to even give the idea of tms a shot much less act as if they have no pain when they are hurting all over.

    Folks have to be trained in how to recover -- you dont just get tms and then say ok, im not going to think about this devastating pain. Other wise how would they know to heal or why would they want to heal if it was that simple. Tms healing has been a self help therapy for a while, thats what self help is, believing in self.

    I call the method above the ignore method. Oh wait was I not supposed to label this program? Just kidding on my part, this is an excellent post. Other than saying all the Authors are not right and saying you dont have to believe. I think you did an excellent job.

    Just because you ignore it doesn't mean that's it, no there's lots more to know as you mentioned a good bit above.

    I'm so glad your doing better though.

  15. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Leonor, maybe you are going to tackle the part responsible for the fatigue head on. I may have suggested this before (if so, excuse me!) but have you been on Karen Locke's Thursday call? Just listening to a facilitator talking to someone's part has been helpful for me.

    If I understand correctly, you don't have to participate beyond identifying yourself (use a pseudonym, if you like) and saying, "I'd like to listen in".

    Anyway, if you are interested let me know and I'll talk to Karen. She is interested in having new people come but I think she likes to know who might show up.
  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think la_kevin wrote the posts, a writer/musician, who saw Dr. Sarno in NY, and last mentioned at the TMSHelp site that he was going to write a TMS book.
  17. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Interesting, TT, that was my take, too. He stopped by our very first live webinar, organized by @MatthewNJ, and he really lit up the chat room. He's quite inspiring.

    Speaking of awesome authors, TT, I just got off the phone with TMS author Nicole Sachs! Her enthusiasm was truly inspiring. She's going to do a webinar with us during the call-in discussion group, and after that has offered to drop in periodically while we do her book. She said that she wrote the book to help people and loves interacting with her audience, which I thought was great of her. It is always great to be able to interact with a Sarno psychotherapist!

    Incidentally, Nicole has been in touch with New York Times bestselling author Rick Hansen,* who she met at a conference. He said that he would publish and article about TMS in his Wise Brain newsletter. This is wonderful because, for the TMS movement to grow, we need people who will get the word out. Given the interest and trust level of the readers (people have to sign up) and the size of his platform (100,000 subscribers), this is a very significant media hit.

    By the way, I think that Dr. Hanson's book, Buddha's Brain, is excellent. If anyone wants to sign up for the newsletter, you can sign up in the upper right hand corner of his home page, http://www.rickhanson.net/ .

    * Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and New York Times best-selling author. His books include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha's Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and on the Advisory Board of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he's been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. He has several audio programs and his free Just One Thing newsletter has over 100,000 subscribers.​

    Also, if anyone hasn't seen my interview with Nicole yet, it's a great watch. You can find it from our tag page on Nicole:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/tags/nicole j. sachs lcsw/
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
    Ellen and Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) like this.
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is great stuff.
    Neuroscience researcher Rick Hanson could be a big help spreading the word about TMS.

    His video puts it very clear that what we think about in a positive way
    can change cells in our brain for better health. And our negative thoughts work
    the opposite to give us stress and pain.

    Meditation, mindfulness, prayer
    changes our brain to be healthier and happier.

    Rob, I'll watch your interview with Nicole Sachs, too.
  19. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nichole Sachs, that's great Forest! Good timing too, now that I've finished SteveO's annotated encyclopedic TMS tome, thanks to you guy's Tuesday night jams, I just pulled out Nicole's "TRUTH" book, that I started many howling at the full moon ceremonies ago. We spoke during the big TMS Help board's anti-TMS author dust-up a while back and she was very generous with her time and advice to me. She has five children so her life is very busy. Maybe you could get Nicole's mom to do a cameo on the show to.

    Being a true TMS personality PROCRASTINATOR, I haven't followed any of her advice about which chapters of her book to jump ahead to and to watch the movie "Field of Dreams"--but I took notes and have a lot of good intentions, I just ordered a trip-tik map from the auto club for the road to hell. I think it's a highway in B.C., Canada, I have a Jeep so no problem, having to hassle with chains. I'm now feeling guilty that I missed last night's Tues with Herbie and Walt's new book.
    Forest and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  20. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    TT, last night was an pen discussion. You didn't miss the opening for the book. I will have to make sure to get you a copy. I believe it will be ready by Friday or Saturday for the Paper Back books. I believe you like the books better than the kindle? or would you like the kindle version -- let me know. Thanks

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