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Alan G. Can TMS cause physical changes?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by paradiso, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. paradiso

    paradiso New Member

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Hi, i have decided to write on the forum even though i have been reading a lot of stories and discussion. I think i am one of the TMSers. I discover Sarno's book three years ago and they have helped me to deal with my pain and fear for my back and sciatica pain.

    My story briefly is that about four years ago i woke up unable to walk for two months, I had a back operation which improved my condition however i had constant pain ever since in my lower back and leg. I had follow sarno advice and did the structural programme on the wiki but as i said, my pain descreased but it never disappeared.

    Two months ago i developed a new symptom though. My main back pain and leg has always been in my left side and then my right foot start hurting when i was walking. Then gradually back pain shifted from left to the right side (i don't have any pain anymore in left side). Now when i walk and stand my foot is getting numb and change colour (white, sign of bad circulation).

    I went to check with the doctor but still waiting for referral. Deep inside me i know it is another sign of TMS but i feel so scared that i might need another operation ect. Anyone had similar stories any help will be much appreciated.

  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    It's strange that your symptoms would suddenly change sides like that. It's generally a sign of TMS when one symptom goes away and another one appears. TMS can absolutely cause numbness, but as you pointed out, it's important to get structural causes ruled out.

    Though TMS can cause color change (blushing, etc.) generally it doesn't. That being said, TMS can manifest in body dysmorphic disorder. Sometimes when you're hyperfocused on something, you see things through a distorted lens. I've had clients who swore that a finger on one hand was bent more than the same finger on the other hand, supporting their fear that they had rheumatoid arthritis.

    Usually, either it's your fear-induced eyes seeing things that are not reflective of reality, or the finger's always been bent a little more on one hand (we're not perfectly symmetrical creatures) and you've just never noticed it before.

    Is that what's going on with your foot? Hard to say. Ask your friends or family members whether they see one foot as whiter than the other. Or possibly there's always been some color difference, you're just more focused on finding a physical change now because of the numbness.

    Although this may be a TMS symptom, definitely don't treat it as such until you get more information. I mean that. Regardless of what your intuition tells you, it's important to be scientific about drawing a diagnostic conclusion.

    Things to ask your orthopedist:
    Do the physical symptoms make sense given my exam? Are my MRI results any different than the last time I got an MRI? Do my physical symptoms make sense given my MRI results?

    Good luck and keep us updated.

    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

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    Laudisco, Ollin and Walt Oleksy like this.
  3. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Paradiso, foot pain has been a persistent TMS symptom for me. And the most dramatic since it causes swelling around my ankle and Achilles. It really gets ridiculous. I had over a year of PT for my right foot and then…poof! It jumped over to my left foot…all the same symptoms. (So much for all the doctor theories!) Then there's the random pain firing up and down my shins.

    And yes, I was looking at my one foot the other day wondering if it looked funky. I decided I was TMSing again and that little round settled down.

    The most telling sign to me was only last week. Hubby and I walked 6 blocks to a concert I was happily anticipating. We walked briskly…something I have been unable to to for some time. I was completely pain free. I was over the moon.

    I am believing that those pain free periods will become the new norm. (Though at times I have a hard time believing I will ever be entirely pain free! But I'll keep taking baby steps to that end.)
    mike2014 likes this.
  4. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    I to suffer from foot pain as well....it's been 4 years now but since I became fully aware of my emotions the pain as gotten worse but I do have my good days that I am thankful for but it always gets worse at night. I breath deeply into the pain and I don't push it away
    North Star likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Paradiso, I hope you will follow Alan Gordon's advice and have another check-up.
    If that shows no structural damage, then you need to believe 100 percent it is from TMS.

    Meanwhile, I suggest you start the Structured Education Program, free in one of the subforums here.
    It will guide you through TMS healing practices.
    North Star likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    It can take time to heal. The more you believe in TMS and discover your repressed emotions
    or work with your personality traits, the faster you will be free of pain.

    I don't think the holidays are the best time to heal. For one thing, they bring stresses that
    can slow down the healing process.

    I felt fine until I opened today's mail and got more bills. Ugh.
  7. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    My best advice when pain hits not fight it except let it in and embrace the moment
    Wow - Really?! and North Star like this.
  8. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very well said Boston, just A.C.T -

    A-ccept - your symptoms
    C-hange - your thinking
    T-ransform - your body into a healthier state.
    Wow - Really?! and nowtimecoach like this.
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    And some meds on occasion
  10. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Paradiso - Just wanted to add, that I have two more walks PAIN FREE. This is HUGE. That's the third time in a few weeks. I believe THAT will become my new norm. But it has taken more time than I care. ;)

    Good luck as you walk through your healing!
  11. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, North Star! Your walking success is wonderful news.

    When I see people walking with their cell phone to their ear, or with an iPad or other gadget,
    I feel sorry for them because they're not "feeling" their walk. Walking while looking at flowers and
    trees and everything alive around me, makes me "feel" the walk. Listen to the birds singing,
    children laughing as they play, deep breathing while thinking how lucky I am to be walking,
    especially with my dog. I thank the Lord for the simple but wonderful gift of walking,
    even if I may have to use a cane. Not always, thank heaven. Actually, I don't walk outside
    with a cane. Friends gave me an authentic old-fashioned walking stick. It's like a staff, without
    a curved handle. It makes me feel like a British or European man of years, out with my walking stick.

    My mother, at 94, refused to think of herself as a senior citizen. I'm 84 now and feel the same way.
    And today I read that the great movie actress, Luise Rainer, has died at age 104. I'm going to try to beat
    her record.

    Happy New Year!

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