Well, I am going to finally post a success story, though I do it with some trepidation. Every time in the past that I have even thought I might be ready to post a success story, my TMS re-emerged or the symptom imperative threw something new at me. However, I think that was because in the past I have thought of success in terms of "recovery" from TMS, and my unconscious brain decided to challenge that concept. So this time I am avoiding the "R" word, and instead writing about a recent accomplishment that I never would have even attempted, much less completed, a little over a year ago when I first learned about TMS. I just completed five classes of Bikram Yoga in ten days. So why is this such an accomplishment? Well, Bikram Yoga is hard. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it is also referred to as hot yoga, because the 90 minute class is done in a room that is heated to 104 degrees F. The idea is that the heat makes you more limber and flexible and so it is easier to do the 26 challenging asanas (poses), each done twice, that make up each class. But the heat also makes you sweat like crazy, which is said to promote detoxing and to increase the cardio-vascular workout as well. So I'll say it again--Bikram Yoga is hard. And I am (was) in pretty bad shape as a result of not having done much physically for the past decade or more. A little over a year ago I was on my 20th year of having chronic pain (diagnosed as fibromyalgia) and had been taking the maximum dose of tramadol for pain for 15 years. I was having almost daily migraine headaches (which started when I was four years old), and had been taking a beta blocker daily to prevent headaches for 18 years. (I also had many other symptoms too numerous to list here.) After learning about TMS and beginning to use TMS healing techniques, it took about 9 months for the migraines to go away completely, and about a year for the last bit of chronic pain to leave. I have been completely off of the tramadol for a year, and completely off of the beta blocker for four months. I still have a few other TMS equivalents that I am working on getting rid of, but all of the chronic pain has been gone for months. I first heard about Bikram Yoga before I learned about TMS, and at the time I thought that there was no way I would ever be able to do that. The heat and the exertion would trigger a migraine and set off a flare-up of fibromyalgia that would leave me in bed for days, if not weeks. Well, I am happy to say that none of that has happened. I am sore the day after class, but it is the normal pain from using muscles I haven't used in a long time, and it goes away by the next day. And I am able to go back and do it again--as often as I want. I'm not necessarily recommending Bikram Yoga, as it's clearly not for everyone. But I do feel that yoga is an excellent mindbody exercise--or moving meditation as it is sometimes referred to. Going to class each time has challenged my mind as much as my body. I've had to overcome years of conditioning and seeing myself as a person too disabled to do such a thing. During class I usually notice a tremor in my left hand that has been there since stopping the beta blocker, and I have to not let it distract me and lead me in to old thinking that there is something wrong with my body--something wrong with me. And yoga requires keeping my ego (and perfectionist tendencies) in check, as it is always wanting to compare me with others to see how I measure up. Right now I am often the least competent person in the class, but that is OK because I know how far I have come by just showing up and trying. Yes, this feels like a success story. It feels like freedom. And it is hard at times, but so worth it. Hang in there everyone. If I can do this, anyone can. You can.