The Tuesday, January 21, call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 27 (“Physician Heal Thyself”) in Steve Ozanich's book starting at 9 pm Eastern Time. It lasts an hour, sometimes a little longer. Phone lines will open half an hour early so you can talk to hosts and early callers. Here's how to join the discussion (for detailed instructions, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Connect ) If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 201-479-4595 and when prompted enter the pin code 18311499 followed by the pound symbol. If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/app/48fb7aa8/18311499 and follow the instructions from there. For more information, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Call-In_Peer_Discussion_Group . In this chapter, Steve writes about how to free yourself from pain. That’s what we’re all after, so let’s see what he tells us that works. First, he suggests, get a medical check-up if you are in any pain. If the results say you have a herniated disc or fibromyalgia, or anything else structural, the doctor may recommend medication or even surgery. Often, says Steve and Dr. Sarno, that may relieve some pain temporarily, but not permanently and will not get to the root cause. The basic cause of your pain is TMS from repressed emotions. “Healing is all about understanding yourself,” says Steve. “Your behavioral characteristics and your biography (your life).” You can understand yourself and discover your repressed emotions through journaling, writing down thoughts about your past, going back to your childhood, and your present. Often, things that happen recently may trigger memories of relationships or events that you may have spent years trying to forget, so you are repressing them. Some people learn to understand themselves better by talking thing out with others. This doesn’t necessarily mean talking to a professional therapist. You might be able to talk TMS with a friend or relative, but they must be receptive to the theory that your pain is caused by one or more repressed emotions. If they’re not a believer in TMS, find someone who is to talk about your stresses. A good place to find a person you can confide in about your pain is by posting in the general discussion subforum or the support subforum on TMSWiki.org. Chances are very likely that others have your pain or have healed from it through TMS practices. Another way to understand yourself better is through “self-talk.” This is done by writing down all the things that worry you or that make you angry. Dr. Sarno says most TMS pain comes from repressed anger. Accumulated, intensified anger can become rage, the king of angers. After writing about your worries or anger, imagine yourself throwing them away. Steve quotes James Pennebaker, MD, who says, “For some people, it may not be necessary to write about the most traumatic experience of your life. It is more important to focus on the issues that you are currently living with.” I add that these may act as triggers to lead you back to events earlier in your life. The next step in healing, Steve recommends, is to become more confident in recovering by throwing away all aids and support devices such as special pillows, back or neck braces, canes, creams, drugs, and also toss out self-pity. Change your internal language from negative “can’t” to positive “can do.” Don’t think “I want to heal” or “I am going to heal.” Think “I am healing,” or even, “I have already healed.” If you tell yourself a positive mantra… “I’m already healed” or “I don’t have pain anymore,” you change the language of improvement. If you say something positive long enough and often enough, your unconscious mind gets it. The negative must be switched for positive, even if the positive isn’t yet fully believed. The positive will eventually seep into the depths of the unconscious. Steve also quotes Bruce Lipton, MD, a major researcher in cell function, who says “By viewing yourself as broken, old, sick, and incapable – not in control of your health – your body responds physiologically to adapt to those beliefs, to ‘make it so.’” How you perceive yourself is who you become. Your beliefs control your health, and if those beliefs are based on false perceptions such as bad back, bad knees, feet, shoulders, skin, digestive tracts, your anatomy will crumble. Steve says that one of the main things he did to recover from nearly thirty years of back pain was to go ahead and walk, play tennis, or golf despite the pain. “Activity is the single most important aspect in healing,” he asserts. But a person has to first overcome the fear that they will make their pain worse by activity. He says more people’s pain becomes worse through inactivity and rest. If you have trouble walking, try walking “Heel-to-toe.” It retrains the mind and body to work together again as a unit. Walking heel-to-toe also makes it less likely you’ll trip over a carpet or cracked sidewalk and fall.: Your pain may increase as you become more active, and that may be frightening and makes you doubt you will heal through TMS techniques. But keeping active reduces fear of the pain getting worse. In fact, says Steve, the pain will begin to recede, as it did for him. If the pain moves from one part of the body to another, it means you have won the battle. The “movable feast of pain” proves it is not structural, but psychological. When Steve first began increasing activity, he said the pain cut through him. He couldn’t bend to touch his knees much less his toes, the pain was so intense. In order to change the way his mind interpreted the pain, he forced his mind off of the pain. One way he did this was by spelling the word “Titleist” backwards. Another was to change his thinking from one part of his body where he felt pain to another part that felt good. Dr. Sarno emphasizes, and Steve agrees, not to exercise to stop pain in any part of your body. That becomes physical therapy and will just keep the pain there or intensify it. Exercise for general good health. Another step toward healing from pain is to stay somewhat socially engaged. Pain can cause depression and a person may want to be alone with it. Fight this tendency by visiting someone you like being with, or having them to visit you. Or stay in touch with others by telephone or email. These are the main ways Steve says he got rid of his back pain after nearly thirty years. We hope you will join the call-in on this chapter and share your thoughts and experiences on the healing techniques he writes about and also share others with us.