Call-in Tuesday, Jan. 7, Steve Ozanich book Chapters 24, 25 The Tuesday, January 7, call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 24 (“Drugs”) and Chapter 25 (“Passus” – “having suffered”) in Steve Ozanich's book The Great Pain Deception 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. It’s not easy to escape the notion that painkillers and antidepressants can relieve our back, neck, leg or other pain, or relieve our headache or lift our spirit. If we watch television, commercials are full of products touted by pharmaceutical companies and they are dramatized with actors who are paid to convince us the products work for them. Back pain relief all day with just two pills is one example. But, at best, drugs and alcohol can give us only temporary relief from our symptoms. It is frightening how many disclaimers there are for drug products. Some caution that you may damage your liver or kidneys, suffer rashes, have stomach problems, or even die if you take the product. Who needs those health worries on top of those we already have? Steve Ozanich says yes, painkillers or antidepressants or alcohol and even surgery may ease up on pain or make us feel better, but since they only may provide temporary relief, we should go to the core of our symptoms, and that is most likely TMS from one or more repressed emotions. In some cases, medication can make our symptoms even worse. Painkillers also tend to shift the pain from one part of the body to another. “Drugs force TMS into another type of symptom,” says Ozanich. “They don’t solve the problem.” He offers a bit of inside information about why so many doctors prescribe drugs for pain relief: “Many of the physicians responsible for setting health standards also sit on the board of directors of the major drug companies.” Many doctors also receive financial rewards from pharmaceutical companies whose drugs they prescribe to patients. Dr. Sarno says in Healing Back Pain that treating the pain but not the symptom keeps patients going back for doctor and hospital visits and keeps them buying medication or getting operations. There is no profit in discovering the root cause of pain, which often is TMS that can be healed without medication or surgery. Health guides from the medical profession often shift around like pain in our body. A panel of so-called health experts may set standards for safe cholesterol levels today that other experts disagree with tomorrow. In the case of cholesterol, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television show doctor and professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Columbia University, agrees with others such as Dr. John Hunter, the father of modern surgery, that high cholesterol is not the primary cause of heart attacks. Anger, frustration, and resentment are more likely to cause heart attacks. Paul Rosch, MD and a clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at New York Medical College and president of the American Institute of Stress, has said, “Anyone who questions cholesterol (as causing heart attacks) usually finds his funding cut off. Stress has more bad effects on the heart than cholesterol.” Ozanich says the cholesterol findings is similar to the “nonexistent” correlations between disc bulging and back pain. Dr. Sarno has written that herniated discs and disc bulging may be found in medical tests but they do not cause back pain. The pain is not structural but emotional, from repressed emotions. Steve explains the adverse health effects of hidden anger. “Hidden anger induces the autonomic system to constrict blood vessels when a person feels overwhelmed. The message then is no longer a warning, but a strike.” He cautions, however, that it is important to watch cholesterol levels and blood pressure because anger can increase symptoms resulting from high cholesterol and blood pressure. Deepak Chopra, MD, says the Number One predictor for heart attacks is job dissatisfaction, and the most common day and time for an attack is Monday, at 9 a.m., when people go back to work after a weekend off. Ozanich says heart attacks, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure result from unconscious rage and stress as well as diet. They are mindbody reactions to overwhelming stress and anger. Why does some medication help some people and not others? Studies have been made that how much a patient believes in the medication curing them has a lot to do with healing. The more effective a patient believes the drug cured his symptom the first time it is taken may well convince them it works. But often, the longer a person takes a medication for a symptom, the longer the symptom remains. A drug can bind a person to their pain, acting as a trigger for it. If the person stops taking the drug, the symptom may go away. But the patient must not stop taking the medication without consulting their doctor first. Many people who are depressed take mood-altering drugs such as antidepressants. The way they work is to increase the flow of neurotransmitters. Other drugs produce feelings of pleasure by enabling the limbic system to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter, which further increases the sensation of pleasure. Many doctors believe laughter can work as well as antidepressants or better. Ozanich says laughter suppresses the release of the stress hormone and immune system suppressor, cortisol, which boosts the immune system’s power. Laughter also releases endorphins and natural painkillers into the spinal canal. The endorphins generate a sense of peace, happiness, and pleasure. So there is a lot of medical proof to the old saying, “Laugh your troubles away.” Summing up chapter 24 on drugs, Ozanich says “Healing begins with belief, and that belief is magnified when a person believes that it will relieve their symptom, or takes a drug and then just happens to have a good day.” But even though a drug may make you feel better or happier, Ozanich says it’s more important to discover what TMS repressed emotion caused the symptom, whether a pain or a feeling of being depressed. In Chapter 25, Steve writes about a word unfamiliar to me and most of us: “Passus,” which is Latin for “having suffered.” We all know what that’s like. Suffering has a purpose, Steve says, and that is to give us bad experiences so that we can overcome them and find our way from darkness into light. He says, “When things do not go as planned, deeper understanding takes place and transformation begins.” He quotes humorist Will Rogers saying, “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” Those who have studied Dr. Sarno’s TMS theory that repressed emotions cause our pain know what Steve and Rogers are talking about. By journaling and looking into our past, opens us up to new and deeper understanding of ourselves and others. We really learn why pain visited us, so we can come out of the darkness and ascend into the light. “The only path to spiritual expansion,” says Steve, “is to experience life in many ways – the more dramatic, the deeper the understanding.” Before I felt back pain, I had other problems but didn’t deal with them because I had not yet learned about TMS causing my problems. I was innocently going along without pain or really suffering. TMS introduced me to myself, who I really was. I discovered hidden emotions that had brought pain to the surface. Time spent in TMS thinking changes our way of thinking about ourselves and others. All for the good. Good comes out of “Passus,” “having suffered.” Steve cites the case of actor Michael J. Fox who began experiencing Parkinson’s disease more than ten years ago. He could have thought his career and life were over, but instead faced the illness and, with a positive mind and heart, and the help of his family and a Jungian analyst, he found ways to deal with the illness. This past fall he returned to television in his own show. He was not quite his old self again, but a new one shone through. Yung wrote, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain, and through suffering the unconscious rises toward consciousness. We learn, or grow, from suffering, most likely because we aren’t yet evolved enough to have the ability to grow without suffering.” So we, humans, are still God’s work in progress. We are learning all the time, and we can learn a lot through TMS. A cancer specialist asked his patients to list the benefits they had received from getting cancer. One of the main benefits, they said, was having an opportunity to regroup their psychological energy to deal with a problem or to gain a new perspective. Another was gaining an incentive for personal growth or for modifying undesirable habits. Coming close to death taught the patients to appreciate and experience life more. Steve puts it simply, yet eloquently: “TMS remains a tutor, as life can become a tough teacher that gives the test first and the lesson later.” It may not be easy, as Steve says about our pain, “That hellfire that people roll through can burst their bubbles and often saves their lives through reflection, and then – rebuilding.” Near the end of his chapter on “having suffered,” Steve says, “We suffer when we feel isolated, unappreciated, alone – unconnected. Suffering pushes us toward growth until we reach a certain level of awareness and then we are suddenly pulled toward our predetermined path – toward our ultimate Self – the Truth.” It is not only a Christian belief. Ozanich says the Four Noble Truths of Buddha refer to suffering, its role in life, and the way out. “The First Noble Truth is the truth about suffering, and no one can see the path unless they see suffering. The Fourth Noble Truth is the path that leads out of suffering. No one can understand how to get out of suffering, until they realize how they got into suffering. No one can understand how to get out of suffering, until they realize how they got into suffering. The cocoon is the suffering; the butterfly born from suffering is happiness, the transformation process is life.” Some contemporary songwriters know this. Steve quotes the Steve Miller Band, Jet Airplane, who sang in 1977, “You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven.” I wonder what his or their TMS pain was to have written that. When we’re in pain we need to be reminded of the role it plays in our healing. Suffering can be another word for learning. And learning can be another word for healing. Dr. Sarno understood that when he wrote about TMS in Healing Back Pain, and Steve Ozanich in his book The Great Pain Deception helps lead us on a journey toward understanding the value to us of our TMS pain. We need not fear pain. We should not fear pain. It can lead us to both physical and spiritual wellness.