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Can Reading Success Stories keep you focused on the physical

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Over the past week I spent a lot of time thinking about my recovery story for my presentation at the PPDA conference yesterday. As I was organizing my thoughts, I remembered how I first came across TMS. Looking back it is always interesting to see how closed off our thoughts were before we learned about TMS.

    One thing that I did, which I have mentioned before, was to read success stories, but as I thought about it I remembered that I was obsessed with reading success stories about people with symptoms just like my own (of course, I had a lot of symptoms so it wasn’t all that hard to find them :) ). When I was starting out, I didn’t really care about how my personality was like other people’s or how other people’s stories were similar to my own. At first it was really all about if they had the same symptom as me. As I looked back I saw that I was looking at TMS from a completely structural focus, and this is something I see a lot of people do as they start out.

    By obssessivly searching for the story that fit me to the "T", I was doing exactly what my unconscious mind wanted me to do. That is, instead of gaining insights into why I repressed my emotions, I was thinking structurally and putting up barriers that prevented me from fully accepting the diagnosis.

    I get it. When you are in pain and trying to get out, you want to know there are other people who have been able to recover from your same exact symptom. Those intitial stories give you a lot of confidence and hope. This is actually why our community of peers is so important. There is so much benefit to hearing from people who have been there, and reading stories of others is very beneficial.

    But I also think we need to find the right way to read these stories and understand when your TMS personality is feeding the pain cycle. Our unconscious mind will look for anything it can do to prevent us from accepting the diagnosis and uncovering our repressed emotions.

    When you read success stories, don’t worry if the symptoms match yours exactly. Sure if you have some sort of arm/wrist pain reading the RSI section will probably be helpful. But don’t ignore the stories on back pain, gastrointential conditions or headaches. In so doing you are telling your unconscious mind that these conditions are different than yours, when in fact they are all the same thing...TMS. If a person was able to recover from toe pain by using this approach, then reading their story may give you tremendous insights about how to treat your chronic headaches.

    Reading success stories is a tremendous way to learn about TMS, gain valaubel insights into how to recover, and, most importantly, build up hope. Just don’t get hung up on what the symptoms are.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    What I think you need to do when reading success stories, Forest, is to pull back and get some distance on them in order to see and identify the salient features common to all patients with TMS. I think those French new wave critics call it creating a story line that becomes a meta-commentary. You're absolutely correct that if you are always trying to find an example of someone who's recovered from exactly the same symptoms as your own that you will reinforce the physical diagnosis. Instead, you have to see the salient features all TMS recovery stories share. Then, you come closure to seeing how TMS is generated and then cured in your own specific case. There sure seem to be a lot of features common to each case of TMS: a childhood with conflicted superego figures, a traumatic event later in life like a divorce, the death of a relative, or an accident, followed later by the onset of TMS symptoms when similar emotions are generated again for one reason or another. I guess what I'm saying is that you need to paint with a broad brush and stand back to recognize the larger issues and events common throughout MindBody disorders in order to make sense of (and solve) your own particular case of TMS pain or other symptoms, like fatigue, depression and a thousand other things. Takes a while carefully reading case histories to begin to do this of course, and it's quite hard to do when you're still hurting a lot and the pain is operating as a successful distraction. Oh yes! I should add another feature common to all TMS case histories: the role of medical mis-diagnosis in allowing the psyche to create TMS. You sure see that in the late 18th century with the development of that catch-all diagnosis: 'spinal irritation'. And today there's a similar catch-all diagnosis too: 'spinal degeneration' confirmed with the latest MRI technology. Makes you wonder exactly how far clinical medicine has really advanced since the 1830s, doesn't it?
    Forest likes this.
  3. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Forest always seems to be on the same page as me in thinking. gmta...me would like to think. He appears to quickly understand all of my obscure references, whether they be jokes or philosophical bends. And eye "C" Y.

    When Forest says, "Looking back it is always interesting to see how closed off our thoughts were before we learned about TMS" ...that's exactly what I've been lecturing on lately. My main focus is now on "resistance." As my book sells more it meets greater resistance as truth burns ego. Ego itself shields full consciousness, and so is darkness, although necessary at times.

    I didn't believe Dr. Sarno was correct either, at first, and so summarily rejected the concept of TMS. But why do some move on to accept it, and others dig in and hold their ground? I would like to believe that "acceptors" are more aware, or have more diminished egos, but that could be just my own ego keeping me from seeing certain aspects of myself. My personal belief is that it's much higher; a spiritual awakening, or "an allowing to see" by a higher source.

    I recently read through every 1 star review of Healing Back Pain at Amazon. These people simply did not "get it." One lady even wrote, "this book insulted me." Yes!! But we cannot be insulted unless ego is involved. And we're almost always angered because what is said, is true. That's why I used Groddeck's quote in my book, "whatever you condemn you have done yourself." Projection is so evident to those who understand it, and can be witnessed every day, especially in politics, and is part of "entanglement" of particles within the quantum world.

    When we look back, we can "see" how closed off our thoughts were...before TMS..as Forest insightfully stated here in this thread. But it even gets more evident the more we learn and grow. Most of our life problems stem from ego involvement, or from the conflict of "I" vs. "you." That's one reason Thich Nhat Hanh made me a better person, and helped me heal.

    Every one of those people who slammed the good doctor's book read what they wanted to read into it. And most of them said, "this guy said pain is all in your head"..which of course he never said at all... but that's what they saw, because their egos shielded the truth from them, because "I" or "me" was stung by the the light of truth. To put it more simply, these people are ignorant. That word has been used as a pejorative but it's still the best word; meaning that they just don't know. When Dr. Sopher used that word to describe healthcare practitioners in my book's Foreword, at first I cringed, but realized he was right. It's simply being unaware, not being degrading.

    And so the larger question still remains, if Forest falls into himself does anyone hear it? The answer is yes, HE does, unless he denies it to himself. Then his ego has kept him from seeing the truth about himself.

    I'm excited to hear what he has to say about the big shin dig this weekend in the big city. I'm sorry I couldn't attend, but lots happened on my end this weekend in the TMS Universe. All good.

    Be well,

    Steve Ozanich
    Forest likes this.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I went and glanced at all those 1-star reviews of Sarno's Healing Back Pain on Amazon too, Steve. And they all seem to believe that what Dr Sarno is saying is that lower lumbar pain and sciatica is "all in your head", which is not what the good doctor is saying at all. If I'm reading him correctly, it seems that what Dr. Sarno is saying is that TMS pain originates in the biochemistry of your brain, which has been altered by traumatic life events and repressed emotionality. TMS pain serves the psychological purpose of distracting the patient from emotions he/she has repressed into the unconscious. My only question: How can they so willfully misread Dr. Sarno's fundamental thesis? I guess you're right, Steve, about the role of hardened egos in what seems to me to be a self-willed rejection process. Perhaps, it's also part of the syndrome itself?
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I think the readiness factor plays a large role here. Some may decide down the road they're ready for a different perspective (i.e. emotions can cause pain!) in order to heal themselves. I hope so anyway.
  6. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Yes, they read what they want to read, see what they want to see: condemn anything that conflicts with their personas.

    I did the same thing. When I first began to read HBP I immediately saw what he was implying and threw the book across the room. It had stung my ego. Dr. Sopher teased me about it. "Now Steve, I wrote your Foreword but don't throw it across the room!" I also got mad because I hoped within the book, HBP, there would be some physical things to do to stop the agony. But it only contained knowledge. So I felt I lost more control. By having therapy "to do" I felt more in control, therapy is an action that can be taken. We don't have a strong sense of control when dealing with our minds, as compared to body.

    They misread the good doctor's work because if Dr. Sarno is right, they must be accountable for their own lives. It's easier to say, "my knee went bad, or my back is bad," which then pushes the responsibility for healing onto someone else. "I didn't fail, my body did."

    It's twofold, "what to blame" and "who to blame," both are something "other than themselves." This is why you see the argument against TMS called "blaming the victim." This is a red herring and has nothing to do with TMS. No one is placing any blame, only uncovering answers.

    Also, they didn't really fail if they are angry or tense, it's not their fault, but it stings ego nonetheless. If you can deny TMS then it's the doctor's responsibility to heal you, not yours--something "else" to blame for your problems. And the distraction continues on, as the person hides behind perceived physical problems.

    Denial is part of the syndrome itself. We are what we believe. The problem is, modern medicine has taught us that we are crumbling, weak, and in the need of constant repair and medicating. And if we believe it, we are. This is why Dr. Zafirides has such a great signature line, "Never, ever doubt how truly powerful you are!" He has the right idea, of planting new memes.

  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    One more aspect of the passive self-victimization so prevalent in consumer society, then? Heal me doctor! Fix my shoulder, fix my hip, fix my back for x number of dollars and so much suffering for x amount of time in PT. Sure sounds like a whole society attempting to evade personal responsibility and foist the solution of their health problems off on a host of specialists in what I like to call, "diseases without germs".
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    The conference in New York was very enlightening. There was a great energy in the room and I found the presentations to be very interesting. I think the PPDA was able to reach out to a lot of new therapists who were not aware of TMS before.

    Resistance is a huge part of TMS. When I first heard about TMS I had the all too common reaction of don't tell me its all in my head. Initially my father suggested that there might be a psychosomatic component to my symptoms and I felt that he just didn't understand my symptoms. I had the reaction MorComm mentioned of being very passive and wanting the doctor to heal me. My reaction wasn't too far from the person who wrote the one star review. I really just wanted people to understand what I was going through.

    The one thing that helped me overcome my resistance was reading the stories of other people. One of my closest friends showed me all of these success stories and simply said there may be something to it. Since I trusted her and felt that she understood my symptoms I looked into them. There was just something about all of these regular people sharing their stories that wore down my resistance. As I read through the stories I felt that the people who wrote the stories finally understood what I was going through. Some of the symptoms may have been different, but the experience was the same. This helped console my ego's reaction and allowed me to see what my symptoms were trying to tell me.
  9. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member


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