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Conditioning, with regard to RSI (TMS)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Paul McP, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Paul McP

    Paul McP Newcomer

    Hi all,

    I have a question please with regard to the concept of Conditioning regarding my RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) which affects my arms typically and hence limits my computer use. In summary, previously this year (before I had read The MindBody Prescription and learnt that my symptoms are likely to be TMS), I had some pretty full-on physical therapy for a long period of time. At the end of the physical therapy, the physical therapist said that my body was 'now in very healthy shape' and that I just need to 'build up my resilience at the computer' and 'let my autonomic nervous system adjust over time'. My physical therapist and I deduced that 20 minutes using the computer is a good (i.e. safe) amount of time (for the time being) and that I should then take a 10 minute break before resuming computer use for another 20 minutes.

    The thing is, when I try to work for more than 20 minutes and hence ignore the pain whilst using the computer (as per Dr Sarno's TMS rule: 'I will not be concerned or intimidated by the pain') which typically starts creeping up at the around the 20 minute mark, the pain just gets worse and worse (almost exponentially!) over the next 10 minutes or so and then it just spirals out of control which then leads me to be in pain for sometimes a good few days before I can use the computer at all again! It really freaks me out!

    I know that to me, the above sounds like conditioning i.e. I've been conditioned to feel more pain after 20 minutes at the computer but could someone please, please clarify if this is indeed what is likely to be going on in my scenario? Could someone please point me in the right direction of what I need to do to be able to spend longer at the computer without feeling pain? It's hard for me to understand whether I'm dealing with just repressed emotions, conditioning... or both.

    Grateful for your views please.

    Many thanks indeed!

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Schubiner addresses this (although he terms it somewhat differently, I think) in his recent interview on (ed:corrected) The Mind And Fitness Podcast (episode 85, August 28). Also, aren't you at the very beginning of doing the SEP? If you're experiencing any kind of increase in your symptoms, that's very common when starting the emotional work (it's your brain fighting back) AND it's proof of TMS.

    That being said, it sounds to me like you are still thinking physically, instead of psychologically. You're still referencing advice from a PT and going into the details of your symptoms. Once you really "get" the concept you will stop describing details. You are not yet committed to the diagnosis!
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    sarah2254 likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. Paul McP

    Paul McP Newcomer

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks so much for getting back to me with such useful links and what a fantastic podcast! Thank you! (For info: I think it was called The Mind and Fitness Podcast).

    I just wanted to clarify that although I have only recently started the SEP (I am still on Day 2 unfortunately, since my arms freaked out for 3 days!), I have actually been fully engaged with the TMS theory and practice for a while now, as I have been jounaling for well over a month (as instructed by Nicole Sachs, from watching her YouTube videos and listening to her Pod-Casts). I believe that my mind is therefore not being thrown into TMS practice now, as I have been Journaling for a while now and I feel like I have a good baseline for how my body responds when using the computer. The problem came when I tried to challenge the 20 minute marker at the computer.

    From everything that I've read and listened to now, it looks like it's likely to be fear that drives my pain up but as yet I'm not clear whether it's conditioning or as Dr. Schrubiner would describe, it could be the concept of neural pathways.

    When you say that I'm "going into the details of my symptoms", please could you let me know what you were referring to, as I just said that my symptoms shot up when I worked at the computer for longer than the 'safe'/agreed time (i.e. 20 minutes).

    Again, I thank you so much for your help here!

    Many thanks,

  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's right, I must have had a brain cramp, I'll edit that right now so others don't get confused.

    As for going in to the details of your symptoms, I'll happily acknowledge that you aren't actually doing that as much as I've seen other people do, but you are nonetheless paying close attention to the details of what happens at certain times. This is not helpful, because it continues to give too much importance to those details. Part of the goal of becoming indifferent to the symptoms is to reduce their importance, and to truly understand that details don't matter. The more generic you can be when thinking and speaking about your symptoms, the closer you will be to this goal.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  6. Paul McP

    Paul McP Newcomer

    Thanks very much Jan. That makes sense. Thanks so much for clarifying that.


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