1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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DAY 1: Where I am

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by westb, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. westb

    westb Well known member

    I've been hanging around the Forum for quite a while but am embarking on the SEP only today, though I've been journaling every day for several months. I fit the TMS character profile to a T. Worrier, highly sensitive, perfectionist etc etc. Up until 5 years ago my issue had been an unstable lower back after a disc herniation at age 28 (I'm 67 now and female) which laid me off work periodically, sometimes for very lengthy periods. I'm very sensitive to any kind of body work but I found after much trial and error that cranio sacral work helped me through these bouts and when this happened and I recovered I would go on my merry way until the next bout. Re the back issues, I should add that in hindsight the serious bouts always coincided with periods when I was in harmful relationships of one kind or another. I'm a bit of a human sponge and pick up on people's "vibes" without realising it and these relationships and exchanges seemed to have a knock-on effect on my physical body.

    In 2011 after a long period of incapacity with my back I got back on my feet yet again with the assistance of my excellent cranial therapist and lo and behold I developed severe digestive distress and pelvic pain/Levator Ani syndrome which has continued on and off (mainly on) to the present time.

    After tests and endoscopy I was diagnosed with IBS-C. Since 2011 I have for now dropped sugar, yeast and gluten from my diet (I have had addiction issues throughout my life and I gave up alcohol 2o odd years ago, but food was one of my sources of comfort in dealing with life - lots of processed and junk food). Initially I was in a very bad way and the change in diet helped a lot and I wouldn't go back to my old chaotic eating for general health reasons but the underlying symptoms are still there. I've consulted a naturopath, who helped a bit, a nutritionist who didn't really as well as my GP and done a lot of research online. I also continue with monthly cranial work just as a general support. Whilst researching I came upon the TMS website and have since then read both Dr Sarno's and Steve Ozanich's books as well as the Recovery Program..

    So in my case it seems that my back pain and instability was "healed" and about a week later I developed severe digestive problems and pelvic pain. Hmm! I do believe the answer lies in the mind and in the emotions. There's been a good deal of trauma in my life.

    I've been severely restricted and my life put on hold these past few years because I've been afraid to go out and start socialising in case my gut acts up or, more worryingly for me, the pelvic/rectal spasms becomes really unbearable - which they can be and are at the moment. While I'm independent and thrive in my own company, I live alone and I miss being social!

    What my life would be like without TMS? It would be like being let out of prison. Makes me tearful even typing this. It's been hellish for a long time even though I'm pretty positive and try to make the best of each day. My biggest obstacle in embarking on the program I suspect will be impatience and discouragement if I have setbacks. I do believe that things happen when the time is right, including recovery, and my job is to do the footwork and let go of the results, trusting that the Universe has everything in hand. And I'm willing to do that.

    I actually have a plan to take the first step in getting out there and attending a new activity this week, so we'll see how that goes.
  2. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Welcome to the forum, Westb. I love your attitude! I'll have to remind myself to "do the footwork and let go of the results, trusting that the Universe has everything in hand." I just returned from a vacation, and I have a tendency to overdo in the first couple of days back. Thanks for the reminder.

    Recovery for me HAS meant being released from prison. At one point I was in a wheelchair due to extreme foot pain. I got my life back, and I'm so very grateful. I'm wishing the same for you. Hope your new activity goes well.
    westb likes this.
  3. westb

    westb Well known member

    Ah, thank you Gigi. I've just read your story and it's so inspirational. x
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, westb. I too welcome you to the TMS healing club. Gigi is another inspirational example of how TMS Mindbody works to make us healthy.

    Your IBS-C is very likely from wanting to please and to be liked by others. It's a common cause of TMS emotional pain.

    I live alone too, except for my darling dog. I'm 86 and never married. My parents divorced when I was seven and I believe it made me marriage-shy. I've made a great friend to others and have felt like I am part of their family.

    My hope is that you will stop worrying about anything and just enjoy life. Take each day as it comes. Live in the present, but be hopeful that tomorrow is going to be the best ever.

    You're not new to the forum but are to the SEP. That's fine.

    I urge you to try the Relaxation Response...

    Meditation is a time-honored way of relaxing the mind and relieving anxiety, mental stress, headaches, and even physical pain. There are many ways to practice meditation, but many consider the most successful to be a technique called the Relaxation Response (RR).

    It is a wonderful way to practice TMS Mindbody Healing because it changes harmful thinking in the subconscious mind which Dr. John Sarno says causes pain that is not caused by anything structural.

    The RR, practiced once twice a day for 10, 15, or 20 minutes has a profound positive effect on the subconscious mind, relieving or curing everything from anxiety, hypertension, headaches, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, high blood pressure, insomnia, stomach problems, all forms of pain including backaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, neck, arm, and leg pain, and relieves side affects from cancer and AIDS.

    RR is like Transcendental Meditation which is taught by TM specialists who charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. But the RR is free and you can do it yourself.

    It is practiced, before a meal, and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal. I do it in bed before arising in the morning and again in bed before falling sleep. Often, I only do it 5 or 10 minutes and it works to calm me and put me to sleep.

    Just sit in a chair (or lie in bed in the morning or at bedtime), close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, and try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as "One " which has no real meaning or association. Or say a calming word such as “Calm” or “Peace,” or add the faith or spiritual element by saying a favorite religious word or prayer. Breathe naturally or incorporate Deep Breathing by breathing in through the mouth to inflate the stomach, suck in the stomach while holding the breath for a few seconds, then say the word when you exhale through the mouth.

    Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 10 to 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    When distracting thoughts arise during the RR, as they will, just tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and go back to repeating your chosen word.

    My "word" is a prayer: "God loves me and is protecting me." I say it a few times and go right to sleep. If my mind wanders onto other things, I tell myself"Oh, well," and repeat my mantra silently while deep breathing.

    There are several free videos on Youtube about the Relaxation Response. I especially recommend these two by Dr. Benson:

  5. westb

    westb Well known member

    Thanks for this information Walt, it's very helpful. I willinvestigate. I certainly need to practice relaxation.
  6. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Welcome. Please keep posting and keep us posted. : )

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