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Day 1 Day 1 of my program vs. TMS

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Imagyx, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Hi @ all.
    First, I'm no native english speaker, but I hope you'll understand me.
    Actually it's very hard to find someone here with knowlegde of TMS,
    seems to me that Europe hasn't discovered TMS yet.

    I'm in trouble with my arms hurting for more than 10 years now and I'm only 26 by now.
    I've gone all the way through all kinds of diagnosis and therapy and just recently learned about
    RSI, which made me really happy, because I thought with a program at hand to battle RSI, I can get out of this nightmare.
    A few days ago I read Dr. Sarno's book about TMS where he says that all I learned about RSI is
    a waste of time because it's my emotions that make my weak arms hurt.
    I don't know what to believe in anymore...
    But I can really see where Sarno is going, with being a perfectionist and having a lot of trouble with my parents, moving out, losing my last job as a programmer because I couldn't type anymore etc.
    I'm losing strength and have already lost lots of it in these years.
    I want to continue my physical excercises, because everydays tasks are even hard for me now.
    But I'm not sure how to get to my subconscious, so I hope this 37-day program is going to help me.

  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Chris and Welcome to the Peer network

    I had RSI pain in my wrist, hands, and arms as well. Feel free to check out my story on my profile page and the Thank You, Dr. Sarno letter. You sound a lot like me. When I was younger all I wanted to do was be a programmer, but the pain in my hands got to be so bad I couldn't type more than a couple of sentences. One of my doctors, who of course said I would never get better, basically told me to give up trying to be a programmer.

    Having severe chronic pain for as long as you have can be very disheartening. One of the worst parts is that you hear all of these things that you can't do, but none of those tips or ergonomic devices actually help. What I found was that they only make the pain worse, because they keep you thinking that you are fragile and disabled.

    The best thing about Sarno and TMS is that it address the actual cause of your symptoms. Don't worry about how to get to your subconscious. Your perfectionist personality will try and make you obsess on doing everything right, but this will only be a hindrance to you. Take everything day by day and try to focus on the present, without setting a time table for your recovery. Remember, a lot of people don't need to figure out the exact thing they are repressing. Simply understanding that you are repressing and why will go a long way to helping you recover.

    As you are starting out, try to find ways to build up your confidence in both the approach and, more importantly, yourself. There are a lot of techniques out there that can help, i.e. journaling, meditating, conscious breathing, self-talk, but try to figure out what works best for you. A lot of times, simply doing the things that we love to do can really help build up confidence. Remember, with TMS you do not have a structural problem, and you cannot hurt yourself by being active.


  3. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Welcome to the forum Chris and you got it right with your sentence above. I think you'll like and learn a lot about your condition through our Structured Ed program. If you are still having problems when you have finished, we have suggestions and where to go next. But like you, I started with this program and it helped me tremendously. I hope you'll be able to work through your emotional issues so you are rid of the pain.

    This is a journey that is up to you. Although we talk about our various issues here that we know cause pain, ultimately this is an opportunity for you to learn about what your brain is trying to tell you with this pain. The Structured Ed program will help you start or possibly even recover completely from your ailment.

    Sounds like you've come to the right place! Welcome and please feel free to ask any questions as you work through the program. Your English is great so no worries there! There are a few people on the forum who have recovered from RSI. I'm sure you'll receive the support you need. Seems many younger people who work with computers have this issue. And it sounds like you've narrowed your search for answers to TMS.

    All the best to you

  4. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Thank you very much Forest and BG.
    I read your posts this morning just before starting to do EDP day 2 and
    I think I'm getting closer to accepting the idea of TMS by each article I read about it.
    Especially the one by Kim Ruby made it somehow a lot more clear to me than the whole book by John Sarno.
    It feels more personal and tells me in every section that I'm not at fault for having pain.

    What's still hard for me is that I've had so many relapses during these years, where I thought "Now it's really getting better".
    And now I am so weak with serious atrophy by doing literally nothing for weeks/months.
    I cannot get one sentence of Sarno out of my mind:
    It was something like: "Resume you normal activity, BUT don't go to fast to avoid getting some serious disease/illness."
    In my current state I don't know how much is acceptable and as you might say I'm still in fear and not fully accepting TMS.

    I got some exercises from a professional to rebuilt my strength and I think I need this parallel to the EDP,
    just to be able to resume my normal activities.
    Also starting next week I want to go see a psychologist to help me get to my unconscious,
    because I think I know all that's bothering me - whis is a lot - and hope to be asked the right questions
    there for more insight into my unconscious mind.

    So much for today.
  5. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Day 3 of the EDP:

    When was the last time you exercised or did another physical activity?
    Last week

    What was this activity?
    Stretching and simple strenghtening exercises

    How did it make you feel physically and emotionally?
    I hoped this was the way to get better and it felt good to have a different feeling in my arms.
    Actually I think aching muscles after doing a workout are a good kind of pain, it feels like you did something.
    Gettings stronger felt really good, but after having one big relapse last month and one smaller one last week
    I'm kind of nervous everytime I do this.
    With the relapse before I saw a doctor who prescribed me cortison and an antiinflammatory because
    of tendonitis in my left arm.
    This seems to be the absolute wrong way now, I'm not going there again.

    If it is has been a while since you last exercised, why?
    Fear. Relapsing is the hardest thing in my mind, it happened so often in these 10 years,
    especially when I thought I'm finally better.
    It's really all about pain and fear.
  6. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Day 4:
    What was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you about your symptoms?
    Years ago not just one but many doctors told me bluntly in the face: "You don't have anything, you're just imagining things."
    Not in the way TMS is defined, they weren't saying it originates in the head and the pain is real, but
    rather that my pain is only in my head which enraged me a lot.
    I always say: "Take away the license from that stupid doctors, they don't deserve it!!"
    Actually I've seen at least 30 doctors of all kind and I get the feeling they only know what
    they read in some books at university, never eager to learn anything new like TMS or even RSI which is nearly unknown
    in my country.

    In what ways have you kept that in your mind?
    I get furious only hearing the names of these's doctors.
    I felt left alone all those years.
    It's a bit like the difference between school and university.
    At school everything is stuffed into your head, be it right or wrong, important or not.
    Later you learn the real thing.
    Like here... a doctor never would have told me, what I learned from all the TMS-information.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chris, you're doing great work. It's exciting to see you make your new discoveries every day. And this is SO true:
    Dr. Sarno does warn us about doing too much too soon, but you only need to use your common sense, and go a little beyond your comfort zone every day. You'll eventually do more each time.

    As part of my TMS journey, I stopped seeing physical therapists and chiropractors, and instead I started going to a personal trainer. Recently I lifted 35 pounds and pressed 45 pounds. It was scary, but amazing at the same time. It's quite a good idea to have guidance from a professional trainer when you're starting out after a long period of inactivity

    When you read Forest's story, you will be inspired.

    Keep posting, you're doing great!

  8. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    The "professional" I was talking about is actually a personal trainer,
    not only focusing on my body but also on my mental abilities and strength.
    It helps me a lot being guided in the process and also being told
    that the exercises can do me no harm.

    Thank you.
    I keep trying everyday to do all I can to stretch that comfort zone
    a little bit.

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  9. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Day 8 and some good news:
    I went swimming yesterday. Only for a short time but with full power.
    My left arm started to hurt afterwards, but then I decided to go to the whirlpool and rest for
    half an hour in the warm water and I felt better. I'll do that more often.

    Also I did a lot of things yesterday, which I couldn't think of the previous weeks and months.
    I'm still a little unsure if this is really the way out, because I learned never to smile to early with all the relapses...
    Maybe this is something I can work on as well.

    I've had one question going on in my head the past days:
    I was told I had tendonitis in my wrists ten years ago and
    all these years of recovery and relapsing I always feared most that this might happen again.
    It never did, until july 2012.
    This might've been the most stressful time in my live with a new job, moving etc.,
    but I tried to stay positive and started believing: "It never happened the past decade and it'll never happen again."
    How can I conquer that fear?
    I'm not that much concerned anymore about the diagnosis, because I know of TMS now, but what can I do when my arms get swollen again?
    Or is it actually part of the anti-TMS-plan, to forbid my autonomic nervous system
    to do that to me, because I know of my emotions that trigger theses physical changes?

    Thanks again.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I still struggle with the same questions, Chris, as do many, if not most of us, because TMS is a life-long journey.

    Here are some recent posts by two of our "professional" members which might help address these issues for you, directly or indirectly:
    Alan Gordon (psychotherapist)on Outcome Independence
    Steve Ozanich (TMS author) on Seeking The Grail

    And you can do a search for more of their posts by entering their names into the Search box (use the "posted by member" sub-box). Other professionals posting here with great stuff are Peter Zafirides and Derek Sapico.

    There's no one answer that fits everyone, because we are all too different. Keep accessing all of the many resources available, find what works for you.

  11. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Day 15 and some thoughts about moving pain:

    I've had pain in my neck, my left middlefoot, my left knee, my elbow and my pinky of the right hand
    in the past. Today I'm not sure if this pain - only one at a time - gave me some relief from my wrist and lower arm pain.
    If so it would really fit into the TMS-diagnosis.

    With my knee it took me nearly one year to recover till I could finally walk normally again.
    Even during a nice summer holiday with my girlfriend I couldn't walk for more than half an hour
    before the pain became too much. It was 2007. I had some electroshocks for treatment, whatever it's called...

    My neck pain appeared 2011. I couldn't drive, because I couldn't sit fully upright in my car (I'm ~ 2.00 meters tall and the car is not that big). I was not able to turn my neck the tiniest bit and it hurt a lot.
    I saw a chiropracter that time and he told me to do some quigong. I got some relief from his treatment
    and thought that quigong could help me with my arms as well. So I took a class for half a year.
    I think the bad neck pain was for around 3 weeks but sometimes I feel it again now and then, just not that bad.

    My pinky was broken after a fight in 2002 as I remember.
    I can sometimes feel it and with pain there also my right arm began to hurt more, maybe the other way round.

    Reading much about TMS now I can believe that pain in these bodyparts was part of TMS as well.
    Like taken out of Dr. Sarno's book I had some problems with my stomach as well.
    I've always needed to go more than one time to the toilet before all kinds of stressful situations.
    But that's probably the most common known stress related reaction of people's bodys.

    So much for today, now it's time for swimming and making some progress in thinking psychological.
    veronica73 likes this.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's fascinating, isn't it, watching your own progress?!! Keep up the good work Chris!

  13. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Day 19 and the question to ponder:
    Since starting this program have you done anything that makes you proud? Where does this sense of achievement come from?

    I bought some furniture stuff yesterday, took the cordless screwdriver and finished the drawer part of the cabinet all by myself.
    That made me very proud because I bought that screwdriver in february and haven't just it since.
    And my girlfriend was very happy to see what I did, kind of amazed probably, which makes me even prouder.
    That may seem laughable, but for me that's something I couldn't think of for some months.
    So I'll continue that tooltime stuff.

    Although I had some pain in the evening after jogging for half an hour and doing some housework and
    felt some numbness and tingling in my left hand after getting up this morning.
    I still need more knowlegde and probably awareness to understand what my subconscious demands of me
    in those situations.
    I did some stretches and read a lot on the educational part of this day's program and I'll read
    the mindbody prescription which I bought yesterday. I hope to get some more insight by that.

    I must say I try to journal everyday, do what the SEP tells me, but sometimes I have a very hard time remembering even
    the least bit of my past concering certain events. I might need someone who asks me the right questions.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chris, I had that same problem when I was doing the program, but then I had a revelation: when I was free-writing, just writing things into lists, I would catch myself saying "oh, don't bother putting THAT down, that's totally unimportant". I realized that those were the things I should be putting down. When I went back to look at them more closely, I discovered insights into my personal behavior that were quite revealing, even though the incidents themselves were not at all traumatic or earth-shattering in any way.

    I hope this helps. Sorry for the late response :(

  15. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    I'm very thankful for your response and a late response is always better than no response.;)
    I tried the spider writing technic yesterday and I think this might be the easiest way for discovering
    those seemingly unimportant small incidents you are talking about. If looking into those incidents more
    closely helped you I will use the spider technic more often to get deeper into my
    own small problems I possibly missed before.

    The past days I took some time off from the program to stop trying to hard on recovering because
    I felt I didn't want to journal. Instead I read more of the "Divided mind" (In my last post I was referring to the wrong book, it's this one I bought.)
    and listened to some podcasts of "The healthy mind" by Dr. Zafirides and gained some insight about what I did wrong in my life.
    I will continue with the program the next days and hit the gym next week with my trainer to see what I'm capable of.
    Wish me luck and strength.

    Thank you very much.
  16. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're doing great, Chris - and I would encourage you to try replacing some of your labels with more positive ones - I recall you said that English is not your first language, so that might be part of it. For example, "gained some insight about what I did wrong in my life" feels sad and negative. You might think about being nicer to yourself and recognizing that the amazing thing about human beings is how well we do with such imperfect brains and emotions. Yes, we all have things that we regret, but I try not to call them "wrong" - we can use those events as the explanation of how we process things today. One of your goals might be to think differently about your past events, and give yourself credit for where you are now and for the hard work you're doing.

    I hope that makes sense. Alan Gordon (in the two-hour webinar from June) talks a lot about our "inner bully" and how damaging the bully is to our self-worth. If you have time, it's well worth listening to both of his webinars:
    June 9: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/june-9-drop-in-chat-with-alan-gordon-lcsw.340/
    July 21: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/thread...th-alan-gordon-lcsw-on-july-21.439/#post-3620
    (downloadable mp3 is at http://tmswiki.org/dl/GordonWebinar120721.mp3

    Keep up the good work!


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