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Day 1 - TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by lquigs, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Hi - This is my first post. My osteopath recommended that I read The Divided Mind, by Dr. Sarno, and when I read it I was pretty much convinced that I have TMS. There is still a small bit of doubt in the back of my mind when the pain is bad and I wonder if it could be something more structural, but I am 99 % sure it is TMS.

    I am 52 years old and have always been a very physically active person, but over the years I have experienced various degrees of pain in several parts of my body. And unlike a lot of people I know who have an injury that heals, my pain is chronic. I have experienced pain in my right shoulder for at least 8 years. At first I contributed it to too much mouse work on the computer. Also, an MRI on my neck showed degenerative disc disease, with some stenosis and kyphosis, so I thought perhaps that was contributing to the shoulder pain as well. Tests on my right shoulder showed tendonitis and I was diagnosed with rotator cuff.

    Then I started experiencing pain in my left elbow and left wrist around 6 years ago, and whenever I do anything for a period of time, such as writing, cutting up food, vacuuming or hitting a tennis ball for my dog to chase, I have pain. Shortly after that, my left hip and hamstring started feeling really tight and it hurt if I sat for long periods of time. This went on for quite some time. Then 4 years ago I started doing Hot Yoga. After about a year, I noticed I had less pain in my left hip which I was very happy about. But one day I started feeling the same type of pain in my right hip. Then after several months it shifted back to my left hip so I recently stopped the Hot Yoga even though I really enjoyed it.

    Then last year I was diagnosed with an overactive bladder. So it just seems to be one thing after another. And I have spent thousands of dollars over the last several years on pretty much every type of treatment there is. I just want to be active and not fearful of causing more pain in my body.

    When I do go for a massage, chiropractor or osteopath, they do confirm that my muscles and joints are really tight. But I assuming that this is also a symptom of TMS.
    Sandrine likes this.
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    I am no doctor, I think it would be beneficial for you to see a tms doctor. My opinion, I think you do have tms. Especially how much your symptoms move.

    You may think you accept the diagnosis but that may be conscious. It may take a whole for subconscious to accept the diagnosis. This is a marathon not a sprint, don't be discourage if it is filled with ups and downs.

    You need to stop thinking what physical ailments you have and start focusing on your emotions. Awareness is something that will come with time. Try to live in the present and enjoy life each day. go out and connect with people and nature. find your purpose in life if you dont already know, we all have one. I suggest you read "healing back pain" and "the great pain deception."

    Just keep soaking in the knowledge, as the great doctor said, "knowledge is the penecillin." Start doing the SEP on this site, it will give you some great ways to heal from tms.

    Never give up and lose hope. Faith and perseverance go a long way in healing. Your mind is a powerful tool, so don't doubt the ability you have.

    Wishing you the best of luck and keep asking questions here. They have a lot of people with some great wisdom and guidance on this site. We are what we believe, if you think your broken you will be, if you believe your healthy you will be healthy.

    lquigs, Sandrine and Tennis Tom like this.
  3. Sandrine

    Sandrine New Member

    Hi lquigs,

    welcome to this forum, I am really glad to see you here!

    Your symtoms are very similar to mine (see my story). I am 54 years old and have also been very active. 18 years ago my right shoulder began to hurt, then also the left one. Then feet, right hip, left hip, irritale bowel syndrom and at last both forearms. I went through uncountable therapies including surgery and spend a lot of money with no or only short relief. Since I discovered Dr. Sarno, TMS and this forum in april this year I have made great progresses which I could not imagine 4 month ago.

    The pain in my forearmes vanished immediatly after reading the Mind Body Description!!!

    The greatest success for me is that now my shoulders are no longer so very sensitive in cold wind (they began to hurt even after sitting in a warm summer wind so I used to wear windbreakers most time!!!) and now I enjoy the summer very much. Biking without windbreaker!!! I know this sounds strange for others but for me it is really an amazing thing! And I can sleep on both sides! For 7 years I could only lie on my back and now I really enjoy lying in every position I want to! I also try to be more active and 4 weeks ago I was mowing the lawn which I did not for years because of the pain I would get afterwards. When the pain arised this time I repetedly told myself that I am relaxed and my arms and shoulders are fine. And the pain vanished! It took the whole evening and was mentally very exhausing but I did NOT wake up at night in pain which I usually did after such activities! 2 weeks later I mowed the lawn again and this time the pain was only very slight and I could stop it very soon. What a success! I am so happy about that!!!

    So I am really convinced being on the right way althoug it is sometimes difficult to believe fully in TMS. But I am working on it!

    The advice of Ryan to see a TMS therapist is sure very helpful. Maybe for you this is possible but here in Germany TMS is completely unknown.

    Please excuse my english, I am not a native speaker but I try my best (no, I am not a perfectionist ;))
    Good luck and I would really like to hear more of you :)
    lquigs likes this.
  4. Sandrine

    Sandrine New Member

    I wish you all the best for your recovery and I am sure you are now on the right way.
    Bless your osteopath for recommending Dr. Sarno's book!
    lquigs likes this.
  5. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Welcome Iquigs!!

    As Ryan said, I'm no doctor (and I don't play one on TV), but it sure sounds like TMS. Just a couple of thoughts. IMO, one of the keys to getting better is accepting and believing that your symptoms are TMS. That may take some time and that's 100% ok. But it's very important that you jump into this with both feet. Doing things halfway won't reap many benefits.

    There are different approaches to getting better. The suggestions above are great. I got better by reading several TMS books and doing the things Dr. Sarno suggested. But that takes a lot of self discipline (fortunately, pain is a great motivator). There is also a Structured Educational Program (link below) and many other wonderful resources on this website.

    The good news is you truly can get better. I have... and it has been a wonderful blessing for which I am forever grateful. Good luck to you Iquigs!!

    PS: As Sandrine said, God bless your osteopath for recommending one of Dr. Sarno's books!!
    lquigs likes this.
  6. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Hi Iquigs and welcome! I have had all those things, sore shoulder, neck, back (for 2 years), hip and have had a pretty active bladder. All my problems drastically reduced when I found TMS info. Within 6 weeks I would say my pain was 80% less. Today I was just shopping and I realized my back wasn't hurting me at all (5 months later). This is a very good feeling. Anyway, after about 2 weeks of following the TMS info, I stopped going to chiro, physio and massage. I do think those activities reinforce the focus of pain on those areas. Even now, if I have a small kink in my neck in the middle of the night, I don't stretch it. I just tell myself there is nothing wrong and this too shall pass. I used to stretch it out, and that just made it worse. Also, I started doing something I love, swimming. I now swim 4 days a week for close to and hour each time (I do some pool walking in that time). I do some stretches at the pool. I did a lot of emotional release to get where I am today. At first I yelled in the pillow a lot. I eventually moved to journaling and self talk (this activity isn't going to hurt me kind of talk). The SEP is great to learn some of the skills you will need.

    There was a time when I was swimming that my wrist was sore, I just ask myself what is going on emotionally? I am a real TMS'r. Something always surfaces. That could be why you are where you are today. Things just came up and you just didn't know how to handle it.

    You are in the right place, there is lots to learn here to help improve your quality of life.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
    lquigs likes this.
  7. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Hi Ryan and all the wonderful people who responded to my first post. I am so grateful for all of the responses and words of encouragement, suggestions, support and success stories. I am also so thankful that I found this Wiki website. At first I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the information and resources, but now that I have sifted through them and have read articles and watched videos, I am feeling positive that I am on the right path towards healing. I am committed to doing the TMS Education Program offered here and am now reading Healing Back Pain by Dr. Sarno.

    I have believed for quite some time now about the Mind-Body Connection and that our emotions do play a role in our physical bodies. I have even gone to a few different non-conventional treatments that were supposed to work on healing my emotions. I have also been practising meditation and affirmations for the last several years. Although I would always feel more at peace and centred with myself, I still would have the physical pain. I think the part I was missing was recognizing and acknowledging the unconscious thoughts that Dr. Sarno speaks of.

    I have a couple of questions. First, does anyone know of a TMS doctor that practises in Ontario, Canada?
    Also, I had a really difficult time sleeping last night as I was contemplating what emotions I may be repressing and where they originated from. Is this common? Although I realize that a big component of the treatment is acknowledging these unconscious emotions, I don't want them to consume me. I have worked hard over the years to let go of my anxieties and worries and to become a more centred person focussed on gratitude and joy. Perhaps as I work through the program I will get more clarity about this.

    Thanks again for all your support so far and I will keep you posted on my progress!
  8. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thinking of TMS or any 'problems' in life at night-time is a recipe for sleeplessness. As we start to tumble stuff over in our mind we go further and further into it - and it always seems worse and more negative at night. The time to sort out TMS or any other problem is in the daytime. Before we go to bed I think it is better to unwind, maybe read an inspiring book or article or do a crossword - but no news/problems/confrontations. I had years of hardly any sleep - and tried everything, even pills. But the best thing is no stress, relaxation - and if my mind tries to run off on its own - I bring it back to heel and force it to do anagrams or go through the alphabet - a river for every letter, then a mode of transport - airplane , bicycle, cart, Daimler... you get the gist? It soons sends me into a deep sleep...!
    Good luck with your TMS work - it has transformed my life - but it does take commitment and a willingness to be kind to yourself!!
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  10. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Thanks Tennis Tom - I saw his name on the list but saw that he uses the ISTDP approach only, which may be just as good. I'll see how I do working through the education program first and then decide whether to see him.
  11. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Thank you Hecate 105. I have read your story and am inspired by you!
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here's a good article about sleep:

    The myth of the eight-hour sleep

    By Stephanie Hegarty BBC World Service
    Continue reading the main story
    We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.
    In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.
    It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.
    Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.
    In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
    [​IMG] Roger Ekirch says this 1595 engraving by Jan Saenredam is evidence of activity at night
    His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.
    Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
    "It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.
    During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.
    And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.
    Between segments
    Some people:
    A doctor's manual from 16th Century France even advised couples that the best time to conceive was not at the end of a long day's labour but "after the first sleep", when "they have more enjoyment" and "do it better".
    Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.
    By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.
    He attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses - which were sometimes open all night. As the night became a place for legitimate activity and as that activity increased, the length of time people could dedicate to rest dwindled.

    When segmented sleep was the norm
    • "He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream." Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (1840)
    • "Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning." Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)
    • "And at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall have a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will have a slake." Early English ballad, Old Robin of Portingale
    • The Tiv tribe in Nigeria employ the terms "first sleep" and "second sleep" to refer to specific periods of the night
    Source: Roger Ekirch
    In his new book, Evening's Empire, historian Craig Koslofsky puts forward an account of how this happened.
    "Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good," he says. The night was a place populated by people of disrepute - criminals, prostitutes and drunks.
    "Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night."
    That changed in the wake of the Reformation and the counter-Reformation. Protestants and Catholics became accustomed to holding secret services at night, during periods of persecution. If earlier the night had belonged to reprobates, now respectable people became accustomed to exploiting the hours of darkness.
    This trend migrated to the social sphere too, but only for those who could afford to live by candlelight. With the advent of street lighting, however, socialising at night began to filter down through the classes.
    In 1667, Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, using wax candles in glass lamps. It was followed by Lille in the same year and Amsterdam two years later, where a much more efficient oil-powered lamp was developed.
    [​IMG] A small city like Leipzig in central Germany employed 100 men to tend to 700 lamps
    London didn't join their ranks until 1684 but by the end of the century, more than 50 of Europe's major towns and cities were lit at night.
    Night became fashionable and spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time.
    "People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century," says Roger Ekirch. "But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds."
    Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep.
    "If no disease or accident there intervene, they will need no further repose than that obtained in their first sleep, which custom will have caused to terminate by itself just at the usual hour.
    "And then, if they turn upon their ear to take a second nap, they will be taught to look upon it as an intemperance not at all redounding to their credit."

    Stages of sleep
    Every 60-100 minutes we go through a cycle of four stages of sleep
    • Stage 1 is a drowsy, relaxed state between being awake and sleeping - breathing slows, muscles relax, heart rate drops
    • Stage 2 is slightly deeper sleep - you may feel awake and this means that, on many nights, you may be asleep and not know it
    • Stage 3 and Stage 4, or Deep Sleep - it is very hard to wake up from Deep Sleep because this is when there is the lowest amount of activity in your body
    • After Deep Sleep, we go back to Stage 2 for a few minutes, and then enter Dream Sleep - also called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep - which, as its name suggests, is when you dream
    In a full sleep cycle, a person goes through all the stages of sleep from one to four, then back down through stages three and two, before entering dream sleep
    Source: Gregg Jacobs
    Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light.
    This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests.
    The condition first appears in literature at the end of the 19th Century, at the same time as accounts of segmented sleep disappear.
    "For most of evolution we slept a certain way," says sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. "Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology."
    The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleeps and is likely to seep into waking life too.
    Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford, shares this point of view.
    "Many people wake up at night and panic," he says. "I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern."
    But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

    More from the Magazine
    • Margaret Thatcher was famously said to get by on four hours sleep a night
    • That put her in a group of just 1% of the population
    "Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centres where sleep is studied," he says.
    Jacobs suggests that the waking period between sleeps, when people were forced into periods of rest and relaxation, could have played an important part in the human capacity to regulate stress naturally.
    In many historic accounts, Ekirch found that people used the time to meditate on their dreams.
    "Today we spend less time doing those things," says Dr Jacobs. "It's not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up."
    So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.
    Craig Koslofsky and Russell Foster appeared on The Forum from the BBC World Service. Listen to the programme here.
    Do you sleep in segments? Send us your sleep stories.
    Your comments (321)
    Tennis Tom, May 12, 2014 Report
  13. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Thank you Hecate 105. I have read your story and am inspired by you!
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, lquigs. I think it's great that your osteopath recommended you read Dr. Sarno,
    and that it's helping you. It's helped me and thousands of others.

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