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

New Program Day 11: Pain Reprocessing

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. NicoleB34

    NicoleB34 Well known member

    This is why i'm glad i havent tried any invasive procedures like nerve abalation, even though i thought about it. But an injection is what started my PN. I figure this Mind/body stuff is my last ditch effort for a pain free life. Ever noticed on chronic pain forums nobody seems to get better? They try all sorts of injections, and surgery, and you rarely see a cure or success story. However, this is the only forum where iv'e seen hope and people actually heal. it gives me hope.
    TrustIt, bonsaikitten, Amatxu and 4 others like this.
  2. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    It's like you're my twin.. I say the same things and have the same thoughts.. I understand your feelings COMPLETELY. I have also tried pain medication and, also PT.. none made any significant difference... I never fought so hard at anything in my life. To heal, get my life, strength, confidence and quality of life back again... And STILL I'm failing at it. My mind is MINE, so why can't I get it to STOP hurting me??
  3. NicoleB34

    NicoleB34 Well known member

    It's still early. And when you try really hard, you might be reinforcing a new problem; urgency. A lot of this pain is because our nervous systems are jacked up, and calming that down is a huge part of healing. It's hard, i get it. I have had anxiety my whole life and negative thoughts. Now i'm seeing i need to rewire my brain and change my entire personality. That part will be the hardest, but what do we have to lose? Besides, being a negative scared person is just no way to live in general, whether you have pain or not.
    TrustIt, Fabi, Kat and 4 others like this.
  4. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    WOW! I think you've already figured it out but just don't know it. I hear critical thoughts, pressure thoughts, and fear thoughts all in one short post! I'm a hypochondriac as well, YOU CAN GET PAST IT! The stressors you just put out there would crush most of us. You are living proof that you can overcome just about anything but your mind had obviously reached it's breaking point and said "Well lets shut this down now. This is an easy one, I'll attack the back since there is a history of pain to use as my jumping off point). You are the perfect subject for TMS, this course, the help that is here, everything. Take a deep breath and know that you are ABSOLUTELY on the right track!
    TrustIt, Amatxu, MentorCoach and 5 others like this.
  5. rbmunkin

    rbmunkin Peer Supporter

    "The brain creating pain via the autonomic nervous system to create a diversion from subconscious and unconscious thoughts that it feels need to keep buried."

    This theory seems to have been left behind. I seem to remember reading that this was one theory as opposed to this new mind-body theory we are doing now. I'll have to try to find where I think I saw that.
    Penny2007 likes this.
  6. rbmunkin

    rbmunkin Peer Supporter

    "Using these new techniques that Alan has so graciously given us, I was able to work my way completely out of it within and hour."
    What did you do specifically?

    Yes, it's not just pain. I also have pain, anxiety, depression, numbness, tingling due to peripheral neurology, etc.

    I just don't know how to figure out or handle the buried thoughts that TMS is diverting me from! Nor how to change the neural pathways.
    Kerrj74 likes this.
  7. Kat

    Kat Peer Supporter

    I also feel very similarly. I've lost 9 years of my life to incapacitating back pain, and it's often a struggle to get through the day without crying. There is so much rage at being in this situation, but also, being a negative thinker too, I worry, scratch that, am TERRIFIED of the future, as I have no idea when or if this nightmare will ever end. I'm 47 now, and am worried I may never get back to the person I was before. I know that negative thoughts and expectations are not helpful, and am trying to work on these. And I'm finding that doing this program is helping wuth my anxiety, though not the pain just yet. I want to become outcome independent! My question is, what if the pain I get from sitting, standing, etc doesn't come on while I'm doing it, but the next day - if I overdo things or go above my pacing times, I feel more pain the next day, not while I'm doing the activity. How do I work with telling my brain it's safe to sit, stand, walk if the pain is so delayed? I have constant pain anyway, so I suppose I could work with that, but if I go over my pacing times, the pain the next day is extremely incapacitating, and more than I can handle.
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  8. rbmunkin

    rbmunkin Peer Supporter

    Thanks. These are good thoughts.
  9. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    First off, I've been a Sarno disciple for over 15 years so I'm very versed in what's going on and how it effects the mindbody connection. I used to search for what my mind was trying to block from coming out. As I stated in an earlier post, I've found through this course that once the years of neural pathways are built and strong, we need to shift to other methods. I used the somatic tracking first. the key here is setting your expectations. Again, patience is a huge part of this and it doesn't happen immediately, especially if you're new to this. somatic tracking isn't meant to kill the pain, it's meant to create new, safe neural pathways. The next thing was to reflect on Alan's video stating, if it was an injury or deformity, it would hurt all the time. This came on for no reason whatsoever so I comforted myself by knowing that this was absolutely without question a TMS based issue. Once I took all of that in I started feeling better to the point that I forgot about it. Once I focused on it again, I'd feel a little pain which only served to give me confirmation of what it was. More bullets to use against this thing! I know that sounds simple, but again, I'm years in to figuring this thing out. For some of us it's an almost instant fix from the beginning. For others, it moves around from place to place, especially if we had developed serious neural pathways for years without knowing what TMS even was. The other HUGE thing that can't be focused on enough is outcome independence.
  10. Ruth

    Ruth Newcomer

    I'd just like to add that an instance of "frozen shoulder" was healed when I discovered it was due to unacknowledged grief. I told my physician, Dr. David Schechter, about it (Dr. Schechter is a TMS physician in Los Angeles) and he confirmed he'd been hearing about grief as a trigger for TMS.

    I'd had the frozen shoulder for some time. I went the medical route and was doing very painful physical therapy for about 3 months when it dawned on me it could be TMS. This was about 20 years ago. I tracked down someone who worked with body/mind issues, an intuitive healer, trained in numerous alternative methodologies.

    During a session of over an hour with her I burst into tears recalling the death of a graduate professor who I'd never mourned. I found out he died from a friend who read his obituary. I'd missed the memorial. Several years had passed. I made an action plan--on the next anniversary of his death to send notice describing what a great professor he was and why I missed him. I got off the phone and the arm I'd been unable to move more than 6 inches away from my thigh simply elevated itself to shoulder height. I did continue the physical therapy until the arm had full mobility. The physical therapy, though painful, didn't trouble me any more. I wasn't worried. I completed the therapy in 6 months instead of the prescribed year.

    Crying helps. Chemicals are released in tears that can't be released in any other way. You can't sweat them out, you can't eliminate them through the digestive tract or urinate them out, you can't vomit them out. Only the tear ducts can release them, through crying. Crying can help with not only grief, but anger and fear. In any moment it can change the bodymind's experience and open new avenues for healing and action.
    TrustIt, schnurma, Shiny and 6 others like this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Some of those responding to Alan Gordon's post today say they wish there was a list of simple things to do to counter TMS. I think the list is in Dr. Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders in Healing Back Pain and journaling to discover our repressed emotions causing pain.

    Also, I like these three steps to TMS healing, from Fiona Childs:

    Accept what is.

    Let go of what was.

    Have faith in what can be.

    Here are Dr. Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders, in an extended version from Herbie Douglas:
    1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but its caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does cause real pain too.
      2) The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you are in pain then the the blood is restricted from going to your lower back for instance. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain - remember, where theirs no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, The pain stays because of fear and focus to physical organic symptoms and repressions.
      3) TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from tms healing knowledge causing damage to anyone, it only helps.
      4) The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER -- this means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. Tmsers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits,traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks its helping you.
      5) TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you wont have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed cause you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.
      6) Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear then I feed the pain, If I fear Its impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.
      7) Therefore, physical activity is harmless. If I want to work against the pain I can but its better to lose some of the pain through losing your focus on the body and not fearing the pain. I can start my life over, I don't have to be in pain trying to heal cause I can face the repressions through awareness and journaling.
      8) I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my bodies ability to heal now. I can move how I want and my patience in flow will be my power. I will not fear moving anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.
      9) The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how it's hidden -- it's illusion, It's fear.
      10) I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face everyone of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present, in flow.
      11) I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.
      I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling. The science behind mind-body/tms healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of TMS.
      12) TMS will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off physical symptoms and on emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore thus making the tms of no effect. This will in return, give us the cure.
  12. Kerrj74

    Kerrj74 Well known member

    I feel the same way you do. I tell myself I am safe and nothing is physically, wrong, yet the pain is constant and relentless and consumes all of my attention.
    Memawjan likes this.
  13. Kerrj74

    Kerrj74 Well known member

    Thank you bluesboy63. This paragraph helped me a lot!
  14. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    You're welcome. It feels really good to help, and we're all here for each other!
  15. joe12stories

    joe12stories Peer Supporter

    Here's a quick to-do that helps me (I read the book 1 week ago today and I'm able to do more than I have in 19 months... but the pain is still 100% there):
    - Recognize what you CAN do that you couldn't do before (walk/sit/stand without a cane/cushion/ice pack, etc, drive for longer distances, etc). i.e., don't go by the level of pain, but by the level of what you've been doing (and if you haven't been doing more than what you were doing before, then you haven't read the book!). So to-do #1: recognize what you HAVE done that's better
    - 2: Remind yourself that your MRI and SPECT scans (I'm using my experiences, but substitute yours) revealed no cancer, no hidden fracture, and nothing that people without pain don't have (i.e., a hernation or bulge or even a crack are not enough to be the cause of this much pain, de facto). So to-do #2: remind yourself: you're NOT putting yourself in danger by doing this activity - IN SPITE of the pain that accompanies it
    -3: Distract yourself. Put your heart into whatever you were doing as if the pain wasn't there (EVEN THOUGH IT IS). i.e., were you doing the bills? Then do them with gusto! Were you walking the dog? Then do it with gusto! (And if you're like me, you'll find BOTH things happen: moments of "hey, the pain isn't so bad right now!" as well as "Oh @#$% the pain is worse than ever!"
    -4: Know that with your stubbornness your brain will eventually give up and stop sending you pain sensations, but (and I needed to read this for myself in this daily reminder: "the very nature of trying to get rid of our pain involves a sense of URGENCY (emphasis mine) – which subcommunicates a message of danger as opposed to safety." Exactly. To-do #4 is: remember that the brain wants you to feel a sense of URGENCY (i.e., get the ice pack NOW; lie down NOW; take your meds NOW; etc). Don't fall for it!
    - 5: Don't kill yourself doing this. This is my first week and I got the biggest sense of guilt when the fear of another back spasm (which threw me to the ground and landed me in the hospital 19 months ago) when I "gave in" to the fear, grabbed my valium and laid on the ice for 20 minutes for the near-spasm-but-not-quite throbbing to subside. i.e., To-do #5: Give yourself a break, then with new determination, get back at it (i.e. doing whatever you were doing WITH the pain) as soon as you're ready, even if that's the next hour or next day if it's already bedtime.

    There you go. I have utter faith that eventually, to quote the article again: "OVER TIME, sensory reprocessing can allow your brain to self-correct". This is my single biggest reminder to myself: OVER TIME. I have ZERO patience, and that is my personal biggest challenge. Yes, this system sounds awesome, but my pain is RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.

    And THAT is the first thing that has to be reprogrammed in my head: THERE IS NO RUSH. But, knowing my activity is simply NOT DANGEROUS, no matter HOW MUCH IT HURTS, I will continue to be active. @#$% the pain!!!

    Fight the good fight and know you're not alone! I'm with you! And be with me! I'm hurting too! But NOT FOR LONG!!!!!!!!!!
    Sissiliz, nele, bonsaikitten and 9 others like this.
  16. LEW

    LEW Peer Supporter

    Please don't anyone give up. This has taken me a while to figure out too (more than 3 years). But for the past three days, I finally figured out that the only thing holding me back it FEAR!!!!! So as Alan told us in Day 13 or 14 (The Empowerment One) is just go for it. Not kill yourself, but start walking, standing and so forth. Keep saying "I'm not afraid of you anymore....no matter what you do I'm not afraid." Or some tips from Sarno himself: "I will not allow my life to be controlled or impaired by pain/fear." I substituted fear because fear is the main culprit. I'm in day 3 or 4 of doing that, and am doing much better. Another thing Alan said is "don't worry about the pain." You defiantly stand up to the FEAR (not the pain)....for some reason it makes a difference. Diss the pain/fear....curse to it if you have to. The somatic soothing really helps also when you just need to comfort yourself...to tell yourself you're OK. I use two sides of my mind...the conscious side as my rational comforting friend. Like many of us we had childhood issues and we didn't get what we needed. We needed to protect ourselves, because no one else would. We become hard on ourselves and expect too much of ourselves. So the soothing is to say..."hey you're going to be OK because I'm (conscious mind) here to take care of you....sounds weird, but works. AND be patient with yourself. We are all stronger than we think while at the same time, we need to comfort ourselves. I hope this helps others!!!! Feel good!
    gipfel65, TrustIt, Hayley and 10 others like this.
  17. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Your posts on this thread are beautifully crystal clear. Like you, I'm a TMS old timer and have come to exactly the same conclusions as to the evolution of both experience and theory. Thank you for taking the time to put fingers to keyboard to craft pure healing ambrosia.

    For those who are new or are struggling please take heart. It may serve you best to find things that soothe and calm you. It took me a while to find these balms but they remain true touchstones for me. I write more about this in 'my story'.

    We all need to find our own healing path. This is why it is terribly difficult for others to say what will help, what will heal. There are principles only. For example, I do not relate to the sports analogies used here but I am able to translate them into more artistic possibilities. A sense of humour and the spirit of fun are great allies when it comes to teasing out what works for you.

    Healing, like living, is all about crafting, creating, curiosity and love.

    Plum x
  18. Chizzy

    Chizzy Peer Supporter

    Alan - My pain gets worse and spreads through my pelvis the more I think about it. I am scared to death of it and its become one of my greatest fears. Fearing the pain just feeds it and increases it correct? I find myself checking in on the pain every minute of the day, even when its not there. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
    Kerrj74 likes this.
  19. NicoleB34

    NicoleB34 Well known member

    i've been asking that same question about delayed pain here. it's hard to know if i'm going to flare myself if i dont feel much pain during the activity itself. however, people here have also had delayed pain and healed. In other words, it's still TMS. That was the hardest part that made me an almost non-believer.
    Kat likes this.
  20. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    That's a great idea, rb. Coming up with your own list is a great way to make it your own. Often it's less about what we do and more about how we do it.

    For example, let's say you have the following fear thought; "This pain is never going to go away!"
    You might respond by saying to yourself, "That's just a fear thought, you're safe."

    But what's the energy behind those words? Are you authentically soothing this terrified part of yourself? Are you urgently repeating a mantra to try and get rid of the pain?

    Often, it's the energy behind the interventions that's the most important part.
    mm718, nele, James59 and 2 others like this.

Share This Page