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 JenInVA, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. JenInVA

    JenInVA New Member

    Level of acceptance of TMS diagnosis: Well, I found the Healing Back Pain book in the park following a yard sale, in a free stuff box. I thought I'd give it a read. Then I thought, why not? I had back pain for years, and some structural things that may have explained it for a while (walking around with one pelvis upslipped on my sacrum for a couple years, so lots of muscles shortened and others overused etc etc etc) but always it seemed like the pain was out of proportion.

    Now, after going to the same awesome PT for like 9 years now, there is no reason for the pain I'm having. A few years ago it morphed into a pattern of 1-3 day long tension whole-body aches and yucky feelings. Fatigue, headache, indigestion-like feelings, etc. Definitely feels like some sort of inflammation, but it isn't - lack of oxygen to the tissues makes good sense and I'm sure that's part of what's going on. There's no doubt in my mind that it is psychosomatic. For one thing, the busier and more rushed and involved I am at work, the more likely it is to disappear (be forgotten) while I'm busy, then reappear as soon as the day is over. The more exposure I have to the horrible events in the news, the more likely I am to trigger it. Also, when I wake up and feel the tension in my scalenes (which I swear I can almost hear vibrating), I can change the pitch of that tension by thinking about things I "need to do," or conversely by practicing mindful passive thinking.
    So, yes, I'm sure that my pain now is at least mostly created by my brain (perhaps after having been given the idea by actual "normal" muscle aches and a trigger point headache once in a while). I think I may do it because it's the only way I give myself permission to not be productive for a little while.

    What I really question is the part about the Freudian subconscious and repressed emotions, and particularly that if I can just realize what my repressed feelings are and why then it will all disappear. That would be nice. Also, a point of departure is that since going to my current PT (about 9 years, as I said), I have added back in lots of physical activity, to the point that I am in my best athletic shape ever now, at nearly 50. But it doesn't seem to stop the pain.

    What I have already done, over the years: PT, acupuncture, hypnosis, biofeedback, a course on how to stand/walk/lie etc (called Balance - it was very interesting), pilates, yoga, strengthening, various fitness classes, Feldenkrais, massage, psychiatry, mindfulness meditation courses for chronic pain and for anxiety/depression, chiropractic for a short while, talking to rheumatologist, neurologist, sports medicine doctors, allergy testing, sleep study.... that's all I can think of now. Of course, every one of them found something they could keep working on forever, but none of them has ended the pain. My current PT suggested my pain may be related to some sort of emotional trauma (especially after hearing that my father was abusive to my mother and half-brother) and that's what led me back to psych counseling and mindfulness, which help deal with the pain but don't end it. Currently, taking Sumatriptan once a tension headache has really set in decreases the pain a lot, and that is my best option at the moment.

    In summary, I'm skeptical of the basic "solution" of Dr. Sarno's 1992 (?) book- that if I can just "buy in" to the fact that repressed emotions are causing the pain it will disappear. (It doesn't help that he keeps putting forth peptic ulcers as a perfect example of an illness that is caused by the brain, LOL) Though I don't argue with the interaction with mind and body, particularly experiences of stress relating to almost EVERYTHING. I don't doubt that my mind's reactions to things are what are causing this pain. I don't know how to make it stop.

    What would being free of it mean to me: LOTS more time to socialize, fewer days of really phoning it in at work, and generally feeling like a more healthy human being. BUT would I still be motivated enough to keep strengthening and exercising 3 times a week? Hmmm. And one more thing: as of 4 years ago or so, drinking any alcohol will trigger a 3 day tension headache thingy 100% consistently. So I have stopped drinking.
  2. Hermione23

    Hermione23 New Member

    It rang true what you said about the pain giving yourself a reason to have down time.
    JenInVA likes this.
  3. Jakee

    Jakee Newcomer

    Oh some of you story sounds very familiar! I have tried many things, too! Wishing you well...
  4. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    What a blessing to have found Sarno's book in a freebie box! It changed my life, not once, but twice.
    The SEP is a wonderful program that will lead you through a lot of different techniques, so you can see what works best for you.
    Blessings on your journey.

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