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Can TMS books be counterproductive?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by AkashVerma, Mar 6, 2023.

  1. AkashVerma

    AkashVerma Peer Supporter

    How much time should I spend daily doing TMS exercise and reading different TMS materials? It seems that I have got obsessed with TMS concept and psychology. We are currently spending 3 - 4 hours reading about different books about TMS. I really enjoy reading about TMS and psychology in general.
    But I read some post on TMSWiki suggesting spending more than 1 hour daily on TMS is counterproductive. Should I limit my devoted time on TMS to 1 hour?
    BruceMC and RobOptimist like this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @AkashVerma,

    Human beings love certainty, and many people suffering with TMS symptoms are kind of desperate to be given clear guidance and a narrow linear path to recovery. Perhaps this is where this 1-hour rule came from, although it's also possible that this was advice being given to just one person who was overdoing it and getting nowhere. Everyone's path is going to be different.

    A limit of one hour a day is not just short, it's also pretty rigid. However 3-4 hours every day does sound a bit over the top - even obsessive as you yourself said, but it depends on where you are at in your own TMS journey. The fact that you've asked this question might indicate that the purpose for all of this reading is that you're hoping The Answer to your TMS will suddenly appear and you will be "cured". Which of course is not the way this works. But that's just one of several possibilities for your question, so why don't you tell us a bit more? If you have an introductory post somewhere that you think would be useful, you can post that link in your response (all past posts are on personal profiles).

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2023
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    When I first learned about TMS I spent many hours every day reading, listening, watching, etc all things TMS. Then I saw a post by Steve Ozanich (the Great Pain Deception) where he coined the term "tmsing". We can become obsessed with our TMS. It's what we do. It can serve as a distraction so that we can postpone doing the real work because we are still studying the subject. At that point I remember seeing the advice of picking a program and doing the work daily for about an hour till the end. That's what I did and it worked eventually. So I suggest asking yourself "Could I be tmsing"?
    TG957, BruceMC, Cap'n Spanky and 2 others like this.
  4. Bonnard

    Bonnard Well known member

    I like that suggestion about humans wanting a "linear path to recovery" and that we all have different paths.
    Like any new (possibly life-changing!!) discovery, I think it might be normal to spend significant amounts of time reading about TMS. I remember devouring Sarno's books, thinking, "Could this really be me--this sure sounds like me? Could this be my solution?" After suffering from serious back pain that affected every part of my life, it was so exciting to find a possible solution.

    It's kind of like a new hobby, or book that you can't put down, or new exciting relationship, etc...
    When you look back at your phone and realize that last conversation went on for 2+ hours! Or, justifying listening to one more chapter on an audiobook, knowing that you have to get to sleep...

    I think at some point there has to be a shift to the work. For me, initially, that was journaling, feeling the feelings, digging back into my childhood, etc...returning to normal levels of physical activity. I had a physical therapist who turned me onto Sarno's books, so he was regularly asking what I was up to in relation to TMS work. I had a natural 'coach.'

    For me, the "tmsing" discussed above could come when I anticipate outcomes and obsess over results. For example, I did these 5 things and put this much time in this week. I want/expect these results next week. And, then hyper-focusing on those results (did my back act up when I went for that long walk?)
    Instead of letting things unfold and allowing things to naturally improve.
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Obsession and perfectionism are just the other side of the TMS coin. It took me about a year of obsessing over my recovery plan and making sure that I followed every instruction to the tee to understand that it only exacerbated my symptoms. After I started believing unconditionally that I will heal, maybe not today, but for sure some time in the future, I relaxed and moved on with my life. Then I started healing steadily and quickly. To answer your question: what matters is not the fact of reading the books, it is how you go about reading them and what you get out of them!
    Ellen, Cap'n Spanky and AkashVerma like this.
  6. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Education is an important part of this process. I don't think there's anything wrong with immersing yourself in the concepts until you integrate them into thinking.

    What I have to watch out for is going into problem solving mode. Thinking that I have to do all these TMS techniques perfectly so I can fix myself.

    Move out of problem-solving mode. There's nothing to fix.
    My obsession with getting well is actually perpetuating the symptoms.

    Understand that there is nothing wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with my body. I'm normal.

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