TUESDAY, OCT. 29, CALL-IN: “TIMING OF THE ONSET,” CHAPTER 11, THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION This Tuesday, October 29,the call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 11 (Timing of the Onset: Don’t Beware, Be Aware))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 http://go.tmswiki.org/connect ): ·If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 347-817-7654 and when prompted enter the pin code 183 11 499 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 . When we are struck by pain, we may not immediately associate it with an emotional cause, thinking it must be structural, from performing an exercise too strongly or the wrong way, or from lifting a heavy object without bending our knees first. We’re aware of the pain, perhaps in our back, but not its real cause. That may be recent or far back in our memory, repressed because we haven’t wanted to think about it. But our unconscious mind knows it’s there and gives you pain so you spend some time thinking back hours, days, or even years until you uncover the repressed emotion. Only then will it free you of the pain. Ozanich lists some of the emotions we hide from ourselves that can bring on pain. They may have been long repressed, but surface again because of something that trigged them. Steve says when he asks people in pain about their lives, they often tell him some of these emotions: When I was younger, my parents divorced or were missing from my life; my father was away in the army or on business; or they were unloving. I was adopted and felt like my birth parents had abandoned me. I had nightmares of being abandoned. My mother, father, or sibling died. I was molested or beaten. My parents were very critical of me, so I had a low feeling of self-esteem. My parent was an alcoholic or on drugs. My parents fought all the time. I came from a dysfunctional family. My mother or father is dying. My child died or is very ill. These experiences and others leave emotional memories and pave the way for anxiety, fear, anger, even rage to be ignited later, by a trigger. Steve says that the emotional scars that we can’t see are from the most painful cut: the earlier in life, the deeper the wound. Our childhood development strongly shapes how we cope with stress later in life. It’s pretty amazing, now that I think of it. It’s so true. I almost never get a cold. I haven’t had a cold in years. But this morning I woke up with a sore throat and the start of a head cold. Why did I suddenly catch a cold? I hadn’t gone outside in days, had not been under any emotional stress. Or had I? Then it dawned on me: I got a phone call two days ago that a favorite cousin of mine had died. I have no doubt in my mind at all that that sad news triggered my emotions, remembering the loss of parents, a brother, some of my best friends over the years, and worry that my ailing older sister might die. It also made me remember the big one: I’m 83 and am not going to live forever. So Steve has it right: “Don’t beware, Be Aware.” Does it help to be aware of the emotional cause of our physical pain? He believes so, so did Dr. Sarno, and so do I, as well as thousands of others who have healed from TMS knowledge of our repressed emotions. It has been true down though history, as Steve writes. When Thomas Jefferson’s wife died, he immediately began having severe migraines and didn’t leave his bedroom for three weeks. He had earlier suffered severe migraines after his mother died, and again during the stressful time of writing the Declaration of Independence. Steve says we can relieve and rid ourselves of the pain from repressed emotions by TMS techniques such as understanding what emotion cause the pain, then practicing deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation. He’s right; they all do, as do other healing techniques that have been posted on TMSWiki.org/forum. The big holidays are approaching… Halloween which can be fun also reminds us of death. Thanksgiving which can remind us of how many we loved who will not be at the turkey table with us this year. Christmas with its memories of warm family gatherings, but also of the present that was so important to us in childhood that we never got. (I wanted a toy typewriter when I was a boy, but never got it. My stepfather gave me the ice skates he meant for my older brother, then took them away and gave them to him, giving me a box of Lincoln building logs. I hated them.) Finally, the year ends with New Year’s Eve. How many of those did I spend alone? How many new years began the next day just as much in debt as I was the night before? Herbie says he got bit by a bug that gave him a high fever and feelings that he was going to die. What brought that on? He was aware of the symptoms, but it took him a while to realize what was the cause. His father had died shortly before the bug bite. Why was the pain so severe? He and his father had been very close, and his death also triggered him remembering how close he also had been to his mother who had died earlier. Steve says that for many women, TMS pain begins during pregnancy. Why? He says that pregnancy is in essence the sudden change from being a girl to becoming a woman. Some of them feel back pain that they are told needs surgery, so they get it. Or they get the surgery after their child is born. But he says examination and X-rays showed there was nothing structurally impaired in their back. It was “just” emotional stress. The psychological pain from repressed emotions also can be caused by anxiety or stress beyond the illness or death of a loved one. Steve reminds us that the champion golfer Tiger Woods suffers upper back pain, and it was especially painful on his way to Ireland for the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship. He blamed the back ache on sleeping awkwardly on a plane going to the match. But he is a perfectionist who puts a lot of emotional pressure on himself to win every golf match he’s in. At the same time, he was worried about his father whose health was rapidly failing, and his marriage was in trouble. He played only seven holes of a practice round at the tournament, then decided not to play in the match for fear of risking further injury. Former President Richard Nixon is an example of what Steve calls “Phase 4 TMS” which he describes as “the gravity of downtime after periods of great demand [emotional stress] on the sympathetic nervous system.” The night before Nixon was pardoned by his successor Gerald Ford in the Watergate scandal, Nixon developed pain in his left leg and it began swelling up to three times its normal size. Doctors diagnosed that he had phlebitis. He was sent to a hospital for treatment, then after his release, his lawyers filed papers so he would not have to testify at the Watergate Hearings. He felt relief from his leg pain then. But when his request not to appear at the hearings was denied, the leg pain came back. He was finally excused from attending the hearings because of medical reasons. Steve says, “His mindbody had unconsciously found a way out of what he didn’t wish to consciously do. Illness has a definite purpose.” Steve says that caregivers have a high illness and pain rate, because providing for an ill loved one places high demands on the mindbodyspirit. I tried caring for my mother when she wasn’t even ill but had taken an apartment two blocks from my house. It was the one of the most stressful things I had done in my life. The elderly can often never be satisfied. I had done so much for her, but it never seemed to be enough. After two years of trying to keep up with what she asked of me, I gave up when I realized it was affecting my health and work. I asked my brother to find her somewhere else to live, so he or my sister could take their turn looking after her needs. He said my sister had already taken her turn and had given up and sent her to me, but he never offered to take his turn. I think his wife put her foot down against that. Mom eventually found another apartment, but I was left with guilt. That became a gigantic repressed emotion that I later realized was one of the main causes of my back pain. I finally forgave her and myself and the pain went away. I hope you will join the call-in Tuesday night to learn more about these subjects and share your experiences and thoughts about them. It’s a great chapter in Steve’s book.