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Children, TMS and trigger points... please read

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Gigalos, May 4, 2014.

  1. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Okay, this post is not directly about the relation between having children and having TMS. But now that I have your attention...

    In the past one-and-a-half years I have discovered a "gift" that most children have and that we slowly loose when we get older. It is the ability to sense where so-called trigger points are. If you are not familiar with this term, these are painful spots in muscle tissue that radiate pain directly near the spot or to other locations. The thin research shows that these locations are where the motor neurons connect with the muscle and where a small region of 'entangled' muscle fibres is visible. In my country more and more physical therapist and even classically educated doctors apply this theory. Some infamous trigger points are found in muscles in the neck and upper back that radiate pain to the head (head ache), in the arms or that give chest pain. There are many books which map these points and tell you how to treat them by putting pressure on them points or by massaging them shortly.

    Trigger points are in the large majority of cases TMS symptoms! It fully corresponds with Sarno's theory about mild oxygen deprivation of nerves, muscles and other tissues. As with many other treatments, therapists come with all kind of possible explanations of why you have trigger points in certain muscles. Although some mention a mental component, they mostly ignore what is the root of the problem: TMS. Don't be impressed by the rest of this post that I propagate trigger point therapy, it can bring some relieve, but when applied without treating the mind component, it won't be lasting. It can help you take the edge off of the pain, but the big risk is that you become focussed on trigger points instead of on the mind issues that are at the root of your symptoms!!

    Well, how did I come up with this idea that children can sense where these trigger points are located? Empirical evidence....

    It started when my aunt treated me for a couple of months, before I knew about TMS. The method that she uses is hovering with her open hand, at a distance of about 1-2cm (1/2 - 1 inch ;) ) from my body. It doesn't matter if there are clothes in the way, although it works best when the fabric is tight to the skin and not too thick. When she feels something that is best desribed by 'someone blowing genty against your hand', she then puts her fingers on that spot and starts to press hard with a pulsating movement. Most of the times, it is a painful spot, but after a while the pain starts to fade together with any radiating pain. It is a method that she discovered herself and she told me that in principal anyone could do it. Her children could also do it and she learned me how to do it too.
    I am no master at it, although I can sense 'cold spots' or 'cold areas'; it is only when I am relaxed and doubtless that I'll find them. Maybe I also suspect certain areas because of my previous study of trigger points, which makes my mind believe I sense a cold spot, I can't really tell if that is true or not. Anyway, I started to apply it with family members, friends and colleagues. Sometimes the result was more than remarkable, sometimes the result was so-so, often because the 'patient' couldn't relax, was in a hurry or wouldn't open up about the stressors in his/her life during the treatment.

    Then I got to the idea of letting a child help me, because my aunt told me her's didn't have any difficulty to sense them. The first case was my tensed sister who suffered of back pain, because the family was going on a trip to Australia. I asked her 7 and 11 year old daughter to hover their hand over her back and tell me where they felt a 'cold spot'. They asked no questions and started to find one after the other, leaving my sister in agony when they pressed on them. They lacked the patience to really treat the spots and saw the whole thing as a kind of treasure hunt, but my curiosity started to rise.

    The next thing was my other sister with neck and arm problems. I asked her 15 year old daugher... she frowned her eyes and she didn't find anything.... bummer... the same with her 17 year old son...

    The next experience I had was when I treated the wife of a friend of mine, stressed about an approaching house move. I had a little success but did find a spot (or knot so to say) in her upper back. I saw her 8 year old son enter the room and asked him to hover his hand over his mom's back and tell me where he felt coldness coming out. It took him less than ten 10 seconds before he pointed out the exact spot that I found... he left us looking at each other in amazement.

    A couple of weeks ago I visited another friend. This time I was the one having a sore shoulder. I knew it was TMS but was eager to know if his 7 year old daughter could sense where the painful trigger point was located. She didn't look at all doubtfull and started to hover over my upper back. She then pressed on a certain spot that I didn't really suspect myself. 'There is air coming out', was her reply. I pressed on the spot and what do you know, she was spot on.

    Then last night, I saw my mother moving her upper body in a way that made me suspect she was having neck and upper back problems. She is the classical perfectionist care taker, so she is very susceptible to TMS like symptoms. Because the last time I treated her the result was not optimal, I asked my 7 year old niece to help me out. She would locate the cold spot and I would press on it to make it die down. In 10 minutes she pointed out four locations, without any help from me, all four of them were extremely painful spots that I got to die down eventually. None of the spots she pointed out were painless, she scored 4 out of 4. In retrospect they were all classical trigger point locations. My mom was greatly relieved, felt almost no tension anymore in her neck and upper back and had a larger range of motion. (I have no doubts the pain and tension will revisit her in the near future though... it is TMS that is the root problem. That is why I always ask her what is going on in life that might be responsible for it)

    This all made me think that my aunt was right from the beginning; anyone can do this! Young children are having no doubts and sense the cold spots without problems. The older they get though, the more doubts they seem to develop about this hocus-pocus and therefore they can't sense them anymore. Adults are the worst at it, unless they throw aside their doubts and open up about the idea that they can.

    My request to you dear forum members: If you have headaches, neck problems, back problems or arm problems AND the opportunity to repeat what I did, please do and report back in this thread. I am eager to find out if what I concluded is universal or not.

    If you have doubts, there is a great therapeutical benefit for both you and the child too. When you have young children, I think there is a rather big chance that they are somehow part of what is feeding your TMS. How beautiful is it to have a stressor destressing you?? The child also benefits because it can become a tool in life and it must be an amazing feeling to discover that you can help someone that is having pain. Also it must be amazing to have a skill as a child that an adult doesn't have.... And, don't forget about the most important aspect; the power of touch and interest between you and your children...

    curious about your comments and observations... in the mean time I'll return to my vegetable garden for some much needed meditative exercise.
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ava Gardner. George Clooney. Mary Miles Minter. George Burns.

    Now that I have your attention (hah), Gigalos I like your comments on children. If they give a person TMS,
    learning about how and why that happens can help both the parent and the child.

    I especially like the reminders of touch and interest.
    Giving a child a hug can make a happy child. The hugger feels happy, too.

    Showing interest in a child's sport or hobby can help them go in many positive directions,
    from a career that excites them or to just a sideline that makes them happy while they are in another kind
    of career direction. I think I could have been an illustrator, but my folks paid no attention to my drawing
    as a child. I wanted to join a mail-order art instruction course but my father said no, saying it was a scam.

    I became a writer instead, although no one encouraged me in that direction either.

    By what they do in their free time, kids give clues as to what they might work at as adults.
    I just learned of a boy who became fascinated at the cyclone in the movie "The Wizard of Oz"
    and paid no attention to the Oz part, just remembered the cyclone. He grew up to be one of
    America's top meteorologists studying cyclones.
  3. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Interesting Giga, are these people fully clothed? Can you do this through clothing?

    I've always referred to these spots as "vortices" of energy. They could be connecting us to something outside of us, even to others through energy.

    But what do you do once you find them? Massage it? I'm asking because people heal without ever knowing about them, or doing anything about them. So what was your purpose for finding them? Was it for the trigger point therapy itself?

    You're 100% correct about the power of touch, nothing heals like touch does. It connects us to others, soothing autonomic function, and releasing good chemicals.

  4. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for your comments guys,

    Steve, I've just edited my post while you wrote that question. Indeed you can sense those spots through clothing. The fabric needs to be tight to the skin and can't be too thick.

    My aunt also calls those spots disturbances in energy highways (difficult to translate from dutch), so vortices of energy is not too far fetched.
    I cannot explain why they feel cold. Is it because the local tissue isn't generating enough heat?? Is it something more elusive?? I just don't know. They are there, that is the only thing I can tell.

    The trigger point or energy vortex or whatever you want to call it is always a bit of a dilemma for me. I wrote in italics that it shouldn't have any other purpose than taking the edge off of a certain pain. The danger though is that people start focussing on them, which will never take away the repressed emotions that are the real problem.
    Another purpose, if I remember correctly we have talked about this earlier...(?), may be that looking for them can help you in the process of becoming 100% convinced that you suffer from TMS. Is your neck painful?? Find the trigger point and you just experienced what Sarno calls oxygen deprived tissue. Again, this can backfire if someone starts to focus on them instead of their emotional issues. Eventually they will conclude that it isn't helping them in the long run if they are real TMS'ers and hopefully return to the TMS theory, but it will be lost time.

    I personally use the tp-treatment for my dear and near ones. They will always have to listen to my story about repressed emotions though :) Some will admit that there might be truth to it, some don't and those are often the ones that keep having problems. A treatment with me often develops into a kind of combination of physical and psychological therapy .... psychophysical trigger point treatment (PTPT) :)
    I believe only 1 in 10 people buy the TMS theory. I want to help certain people, but cannot expect that they will all buy the story behind TMS. For me this is a good method to offer help despite. When only one starts to wonder what emotional baggage might be responsible, my mission has succeeded.

    Walt, I have just started assisting the youth trainers at my table tennis club. I find great joy in helping the children gain confidence by simply giving them compliments or by reversing/reconditioning negative reactions that they tend to show when they aren't playing well. Making them appreciate themselves is making them happier. The most beautiful experience was about a boy that had suffered from groin pain. I talked to his mother about it and she told me that since he played table tennis, the pain had almost completely subsided. I asked this boy if he felt nervous while playing. He told me he did although I couldn't probably see it. But he continued and also told me that the last year he has become much less nervous than he used to be in the beginning... I asked him why that was, but he couldn't answer. I also complimented him with his table performance and that I didn't believe he has only played for a year. He smiled and what do you know,... he started to attend the training twice a week instead of only once.
    To end... A good writer is painting a picture with words, so in a way you have become the illustrator that you wanted to be.
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  5. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Thanks for the post Gigalos, very interesting. Too bad it works with clothes on, it may have given me the in I needed with a few ladies. But will try it anyway. not that it matters to healing, just from curiosity. Maybe it will reveal something more profound.

    It's definitely an oxygen flow process as Dr. Sarno described, and reinforced with research from Germany. When my wife was paralyzed I asked the neurosurgeon why her back was in so much pain, he said it was because the oxygen was cut off from the hematoma. When I asked two cardiologists why heart attacks are painful, they told me because the oxygen is cut off to the heart. Oxygen reduction is the mechanism of pain. But could there be a central hub as you described? The docs could never find that vortex on me but I've never followed many norms when it comes to health or life.

    I really love the idea that you're getting to the kids now! That's what the Wellness Movement is about, to prevent abandonment anxiety, and to stop the future physical problems of rejection . One of my editors, Jack Travis, MD, was one of the founders of that movement, he could see the truth in Dr. Sarno's work immediately regarding separations and childhood pools of anger. TMS begins in childhood, but Dr. Travis feels it begins even earlier than that. Connection = good health.

    Writing is indeed "painting words." I love it, but like most painters you're poor until after you die.

  6. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well Steve, the clothes need to be thin and tight to the skin, so not all is lost.... In all of us a child resides, so you should be able to feel those cold spots for sure ... :D
    I'll give Dr. Travis' video a try some time this week.

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