CALL-IN DISCUSSION; OZANICH CHAPTER 8: Growing the Pain Tuesday, October 8, the call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 8 (Planting the Seeds, Growing the Pain -- Who is the Gardener?) 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 meeting number 18311499. If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/app/48fb7aa8/18311499 and follow the instructions from there. Here are some thoughts on and a summary of the chapter: Hearing Is Believing It’s human nature to believe what someone in authority tells us, especially if a doctor tells us we have a herniated disc in our back or we have leg and ankle pain because we run too much on hard surfaces. That bad news goes to our mind and often goes from there to the part of the body that the doctor says is hurting us, and often the pain then feels even worse. Bad health news really can be bad news seeds that sew pain in our body’s and mind's garden. Steve Ozanich devotes Chapter 8 of his book The Great Pain Deception to “Planting the Seeds, Growing the Pain – Who is the Gardener?” The gardener for healing is Dr. John Sarno, who wrote about healing pain through belief In TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), that it very likely is not caused by anything structural but emotional, through repressed emotions. But other gardeners plant seeds that grow fear and hopelessness in our minds. Hearing really is believing, as it was when television news reported that basketball star Larry Bird had severe foot pain. It planted the seed of foot pain in what Dr. Marc Sopher called an epidemic in the early 1980s. “Authority figures have power to plant failure or success into the collective unconscious,” Steve writes. He says we tend to look to others for answers and something to believe in regarding our pain. “Beliefs and fears, like common colds, are contagious and universally spread.” I love the example Steve quotes about the natives’ reaction to the arrival of Christopher Columbus’ fleet in the Caribbean. The natives were unable to see the ships on the horizon because they had never seen sailing ships before. But when a shaman, who first doubted their existence for the same reason, finally was able to see them, the natives believed, because an authority figure they trusted told them he saw the ships. So when a doctor tells a patient he or she has a bad back, knees or feet, etc., the patient believes the healer at a deeper level of consciousness, filling the patient’s “dry river bed,” helping to form their personal unconscious. Even if the doctor is wrong, most people will believe him or her because of their position of influence. Steve writes that if the doctor does not know about or believe Dr. Sarno’s TMS theory that pain often is caused by repressed emotions, and you believe in your doctor, “Then that’s it… your healing has been negated.” Steve puts it very vividly: “It’s not that the doctor can’t see the ships, but in his intense training he hasn’t been taught to look beyond his own horizon.” The medic has been conditioned to look for particular patterns, in X-rays or cat scans, and so what is in vogue is often determined by looking only at he or she expects to see. “It is the sufferer who ultimately heals himself,” says Steve, through deeper belief, but he draws his own belief from the healer’s belief. If the doctor doesn’t believe healing is possible, neither will the patient.” How strong and healthy are our feet? An Ethiopian runner won the 26-mile road-marathon race in the 1960 Rome Olympics while running it in his bare feet. Dr. Sopher said recently that “There is a veritable epidemic of foot pain in our society. All of a sudden, everyone has foot problems, from pro athletes to the couch potato next door.” But he said that twenty years ago when he started his medical training, foot pain was not a common complaint, but now it is in vogue and everywhere you turn. There is no doubt in my mind that the overwhelming majority of foot pain attributed to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, neuromas, or other physical causes is TMS.” He says the same can be applied to the hands and all the new so-called repetitive stress disorders such as fibromyalgia, wrist or hand pain attributed to working on a computer, or sitting too long at one, and “good old back and neck pain.” “Our feet can take much,” Steve writes. “They are strong like our backs. We are strong as our beliefs, or as Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” One of the healthiest seeds I grow in my health garden is a mantra: “You can do anything you set your mind to.” That doesn’t mean you can fly with an umbrella if you jump off a tall building. It does mean that if the challenge is realistic, you can do it. If you’re hurting in bed, if you believe you can get up and walk, you can do it. Then if you think you can walk from your bedroom to your kitchen, you can do it. And then if you think you can take a walk outside the house, you can do it. We are what we believe. The writer Norman Cousins who healed himself from heart trouble by laughing, said that every person who goes to a doctor goes to the doctor with two diseases. The first is the disease that is diagnosed, and the other is the disease of fear or panic. “Your physician didn’t make you ill,” Cousins said. “Your subconscious needs and beliefs did. But he or she does have the power to help you, or to harm you, through the power [of being an authority figure].” Steve writes more in his chapter on how we think we are in pain by quoting Dr. Sarno: “As long as the sufferer is in any way preoccupied with what his body is doing, the pain will continue.” Steve recommends focusing on something other than the body, some competing stimulus, such as a new life-goal, thus “changing the channel on pain.” Servicemen and women returning from the Middle East wars without limbs have not let anyone tell them life is over for them. Many have, with artificial limbs or even if they are blind, become athletes either standing and walking or running or in wheelchairs. Many of their comrades are helping them achieve what naysayers said was impossible, by planting seeds of recovery in the garden of the injured person’s their mind. “Identifying a sense of purpose in life, and refusing to feel like a victim, eases pain,” Steve writes. We are what we believe. Believe you can heal with TMS and you will heal.