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

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Reddog, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Reddog

    Reddog New Member

    I had a lot of reservations about joining a pain forum / discussion group. I've been dealing with this for 5 years and seen a few discussion sites. They always scared me. But this one seemed to have some positivity most back pain forums don't. And I'm pretty stuck in my healing, there's that too. So here I am.

    First significant back injury was in 2011. Herniated by L4/5 in the gym. It was just downhill from there. I kept living like there was nothing wrong with me and I kept getting hurt. And each time I got hurt I came back at a lower level of function. Finally in January of 2013, after getting hurt in the gym again, I went to a "structural therapist" and wound up in the emergency room and out of work for three months.

    It was during that time out of work when I first read Healing Back Pain. And didn't buy into it. It's hard for me. I'm an outpatient orthopedic physical therapist with the education and mindset to boot.

    I never really recovered from the incident with the structural therapist and I've had several setbacks since.

    I returned to Healing Back Pain and re-read it in April of 2015. Started following David Hanscom after that. Read his book. Attended his week long course but stayed stuck in the same place.

    Found Steve Ozanich's book last spring and began reading it. I started to be a TMS believer. Just too many stories of healing out there not to believe. And, as more time went on I was becoming desperate for some relief and maybe a way back to a normal life. But like Steve said is so common, "I believe in TMS. Just not in my case." It just seems too easy. Too good to be true that I could be out of this pain, relieved from this fear, and that I could lead a normal life again.

    I've read all the Sarno books and Steve Ozanich's new book. I've been to see Dr. Gwozdz in New Jersey and I'm re-reading The Mindbody Prescription. And I'm kind of stuck. So here goes....
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome, Reddog, and let's hope that the third/fourth/tenth time's a charm for you, eh? Whatever it takes, that's my motto with this work. Here are a few hints that I've learned over the five years that I've been involved with this forum (I stick around because I want to keep spreading the word , I always learn something new, and of course I enjoy seeing people recover!):

    1. Don't get stuck in the trap that there is only one way or, worse, a "right" way to do this work - there are as many ways as there are unique individuals in this world of ours. Think of the SEP as an opportunity to try out different resources and exercises. Not everything you come across will resonate with you - and that's fine. Participating in the forum is a great way to come across other resources.

    2. Learn about how your brain is wired to be negative, always looking out for danger. Your primitive brain thinks that this will help you survive in a dangerous world - which worked fine when we only lived a short time - just long enough to breed and raise the next generation - and when the world actually WAS really dangerous. It doesn't work so well now that we live so long in a safe modern world. To learn more about this, check out Meditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD (psychologist) and Richard Mendius MD (neurologist) - it combines informational sections with proactive meditations. This audio program was an eye-opener for me, and really helped me to get in touch with my negative primitive brain.

    3. Learn to hear the negative messages your brain is giving you, especially when you're having symptoms. Come up with counter-messages that are constructive or positive. I'm not talking about cover-up happy-face messages - you need to create ones that directly counteract fear messages with truth. For example, you know that there is nothing physiologically wrong with you, and that pain is supposed to be a danger signal, but you are not in danger, so "STOP IT". Something like that. Do this until it becomes second nature. This negative mind-state is something we humans are born with, it's not something you can "cure", so recognizing and countering it when it's not necessary simply needs to become a habit. It does get easier.

    4. Look into starting a mindfulness practice. Meditation, visualization, yoga, or simply mindful quiet time. Whatever appeals to you. Many of the members we see who have the most success have incorporated some kind of mindfulness routine into their lives. I'm still trying...

    5. Practice self-love and acceptance. This requires first recognizing how you do NOT love and/or accept yourself - that's hard enough. Allowing self-love is even harder. But the way I think about it is that you need to love yourself enough to KNOW you deserve to recover.

    Good luck, and keep us posted - I think you're in the right place.


    PS - I like your dog
  3. Reddog

    Reddog New Member

    Thanks for your welcome and your advice Jan. In regards to your bulleted advice:

    1) Being very left brained I'm going to get very hung up on having a path to follow and follow it exactly. It's hard not to because you want the structure at a time when you are living in such physical chaos and you want something to work.

    2) I'll check out the Meditations to Change Your Brain book. Thanks.

    3) I have a lot of negativity in my brain. That's for sure. And I don't know that there's nothing physically wrong with me. I want to believe it but it's so hard given my education, occupation and overall negative belief system that anything like this will work for me. And like Steve Ozanich says in The Great Pain Deception nothing kills your belief in TMS quite like a flare up of your symptoms.

    4) I do have a twice daily meditation practice I do my best to adhere to.

    5) I'm trying to practice self-love and acceptance. And self-forgiveness. But after a life time of beating myself and also giving myself a lot of reasons to be angry with myself it's hard. People tell me I have to "Put that down. Stop beating yourself up". I understand that. But it's not as easy that as we all know. It's not as if they're saying "hang you coat in the closet" and I can just do it. Nobody can really tell you how to do these things for yourself or really even explain how they did it for themselves.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016

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