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New Program Day 16: Emotional Repression

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jul 29, 2017.

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  1. butterfly_queen

    butterfly_queen New Member

    Aww plum,
    Your kindness brings tears to my eyes. I love the waterlily image. So perfect.

    Yes, may we continue to float past our pain into bliss.
    With gratitude,
    butterfly_queen
     
    plum likes this.
  2. LindenSwole

    LindenSwole Peer Supporter

    I was just thinking about how The Incredible Hulk is probably the best Marvel character because he prevents TMS symptoms through expression of rage. He is this brilliant guy who feels his emotions fully, doesn't repress, destroys stuff and then returns to his normal state. Obviously, we don't want to destroy stuff, but we're all here because we repress AND Hulk DOES NOT repress.
     
  3. Pemberley

    Pemberley Peer Supporter

    This post really hits home for me. After many years of reading Sarno and feeling stuck, I came across this wonderful blog that describes many of these same techniques:

    https://radiantlifedesign.com/how-to-feel-emotions-to-relieve-pelvic-pain/ (How to Feel Emotions to Relieve Pelvic Pain)

    Lorraine’s faucet analogy was just what I needed to hear to “get” this. (And you can fill in any of your own symptoms for “pelvic pain”.) When I first read it, I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I got to her line, “Isn’t that a relief?” It’s what brought me back to TMS work after a long time away (chasing physical causes again).

    Putting this together with Alan’s explanation of somatic tracking is what is making me feel more calm and hopeful that I can face the fear around my pain, with practice/repetition.

    I do wonder though about how massage/touch and yoga poses can open up and release these trapped emotions. When I was in physical therapy, there were 2 interesting emotional things that surprised me: (1) Years ago, before I ever heard about TMS, my PT hit a spot where I had an overwhelming sadness come over me. I felt it deeply, and I remember thinking, “Huh. I wasn’t thinking about anything sad.” And then (2) during a different session, my PT hit a spot that made me start crying – and, again, I wasn’t thinking about anything that was making me sad. In this case, I couldn’t FEEL the sadness other than, “Weird! My eyes are leaking!”

    Is it “cheating” on TMS work to think that we can use physical means like this to sense our feelings? Does it delay or prevent us from creating non-fear-based neural pathways? I’m pretty much in so much daily pain that I can’t just launch myself into those “hip-opening” yoga poses anyway that are supposed to help release emotions. But could I be working toward that AND still be making new neural pathways to face fear?
     
    Hayley likes this.
  4. JenInVA

    JenInVA New Member

    The thing about feeling your sadness or your anger is that it washes over you in a wave and then afterwards you get to feel happy or calm for a bit.
     
  5. JenInVA

    JenInVA New Member

    [/QUOTE]I do wonder though about how massage/touch and yoga poses can open up and release these trapped emotions. When I was in physical therapy, there were 2 interesting emotional things that surprised me: (1) Years ago, before I ever heard about TMS, my PT hit a spot where I had an overwhelming sadness come over me. I felt it deeply, and I remember thinking, “Huh. I wasn’t thinking about anything sad.” And then (2) during a different session, my PT hit a spot that made me start crying – and, again, I wasn’t thinking about anything that was making me sad. In this case, I couldn’t FEEL the sadness other than, “Weird! My eyes are leaking!”

    Is it “cheating” on TMS work to think that we can use physical means like this to sense our feelings? Does it delay or prevent us from creating non-fear-based neural pathways? I’m pretty much in so much daily pain that I can’t just launch myself into those “hip-opening” yoga poses anyway that are supposed to help release emotions. But could I be working toward that AND still be making new neural pathways to face fear?[/QUOTE]

    I've had this happen a number of times in massage or PT. There was a spot on my lower back that I would think, "that's the scary place" (it's where my psoas muscle attaches, which apparently in yoga they call the fear/anxiety muscle). I had a friend years ago who did massages aimed directly at accessing these feelings. She told me I was carrying guilt in my shoulders, which I'm still not 100% sure what that means but I have some guesses.
     
  6. Pemberley

    Pemberley Peer Supporter

    [QUOTE="I've had this happen a number of times in massage or PT. There was a spot on my lower back that I would think, "that's the scary place" (it's where my psoas muscle attaches, which apparently in yoga they call the fear/anxiety muscle). I had a friend years ago who did massages aimed directly at accessing these feelings. She told me I was carrying guilt in my shoulders, which I'm still not 100% sure what that means but I have some guesses.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, JenInVa! Along with the techniques I've learned in this program, I've recently started some TRE (Trauma Release Exercises by David Berceli). I'm easing into it, so I haven't seen any progress yet. But the whole idea is that trauma is stored in the psoas muscles, and if we can shake it off and tremble (like animals in the wild), then we can start releasing some of this trapped trauma. Since my range of motion is very limited, I can only do 2 of the exercises. But they definitely bring on the shaking/trembling -- it's really quite amazing. I had no idea the body could do that! I have a relaxing feeling during and afterwards, but no dent in the pain throughout the day yet. However, the websites about it caution to ease into it, so that's what I'm doing.

    What's also interesting to me is that when I go swimming, I have an incredible lightening feeling from my back pain. It's not 100% gone, but it's a wonderful relief to move. And then once I'm out of the water, it takes about 5-10 minutes for the pain and stiffening to return. I used to think this was just my tricky TMS brain, but now I'm wondering if there is something more to it than that -- that the water helps take the weight off my (overburdened? fearful? tight/constricted?) psoas muscle.
     
    JenInVA likes this.
  7. JenInVA

    JenInVA New Member

    Thanks, JenInVa! Along with the techniques I've learned in this program, I've recently started some TRE (Trauma Release Exercises by David Berceli). I'm easing into it, so I haven't seen any progress yet. But the whole idea is that trauma is stored in the psoas muscles, and if we can shake it off and tremble (like animals in the wild), then we can start releasing some of this trapped trauma. Since my range of motion is very limited, I can only do 2 of the exercises. But they definitely bring on the shaking/trembling -- it's really quite amazing. I had no idea the body could do that! I have a relaxing feeling during and afterwards, but no dent in the pain throughout the day yet. However, the websites about it caution to ease into it, so that's what I'm doing.



    I will check that out!
     
  8. Eve Mary

    Eve Mary Newcomer

     
  9. Eve Mary

    Eve Mary Newcomer

    Now that I've read Day 16, I'm confused. I've had years of therapy to deal with repressed memories/emotions. In more recent years I've learned that when I experience pro-longed pain in a specific part of my body there is some deep memory/emotion struggling to the surface and I go to see a person who helps me through this. I'm also just emerging from years of CFS-ME (or so it was diagnosed). However, I've been flip-flopping between being knocked out physically, or being fine physically, but filled with anxiety that keeps me from doing those things I can now handle physically. My understanding from reading Days 1-15 was that I should let myself be cognizant of the anxiety, but try to assure myself that I'm actually safe (or as I try to tell myself, I feel anxious, but I can still do stuff). Now Day 16 seems to be saying that I should go back to my 'old' practice of trying to feel my way into my anxiety and the underlying emotions. On my own, I can spend hours/days doing this, but it's very tiring (I have to be both patient and therapist). Last time I booked an appt with my 'help person' I ended up even more anxious and unable to go - not the usual response - and I decided that too much had come up suddenly and I wasn't ready to go into it further. I have a feeling part of the anxiety is about being physically well and able to go out into the world again. Not sure now what I ought to try doing. Try to accept the anxiety and carry on, or go into the anxiety/emotions?
     
  10. reactionshot

    reactionshot Newcomer

    Thank you for sharing the recordings. I suppose being able to sit in the same room where something similar to what you suffer is being talked about heals you almost equally intensely if not exactly so.
     
  11. JuliaJulia

    JuliaJulia Newcomer

    I’m getting angry now just reading this which maybe is a good thing. My brothers wife is a total bully and no one is allowed to get angry ... except her. My brother and I were both taught as children that expressing anger is dangerous. I certainly hope you’re doing well now and I’d love an update on your health situation and if you are allowing yourself to be angry. Yours in anger and rage, Julia
     
  12. JuliaJulia

    JuliaJulia Newcomer

    “Feel don’t think” I’m going to carry that one around. Thanks!!!
     
  13. Ren

    Ren New Member

    Hiya! You posted this last year, so I'm not sure you'll see this, but this is my take - do what feels more appropriate. As Alan explained earlier (on page 2, somewhere), this program is designed as a 'catch-all', so to speak. There are, in my opinion, many different means of addressing TMS/PPD, but they all come down to the central point of altering your relationship with fear. There are just different ways to get to that place of mindful indifference, if you will.

    One thing I think is important, though, is to not stress too much about 'feeling your emotions.' Feel them when you feel them, but don't put too much pressure on yourself to be excavating, feeling like you have to dig everything up, all the time. That can make you feel like you aren't 'doing it right', so to speak - and one of the core lessons that we all have to learn is that there's no established way of doing this right. Trying to seek out the 'right way' will simply entrench your pain, because it relies on the same mechanisms that have kept you in pain in the first place. At least, that's what I think!
     
    nele likes this.
  14. sunspore

    sunspore New Member

    Today's lesson is pure genius. Since I started working through these lessons just a few days ago, I have noticed a difference already in both my pain levels, anxiety levels, and overall outlook. But the explanation in this lesson brings the concepts of TMS together so brilliantly, taking this course to a new level. Alan listed the major emotions that are recognized by psychologists. Each one of them has a corresponding physical response - sadness:crying, joy:smiling/laughing, anger:hitting/yelling, etc. It makes sense that if you don't cry when you're sad, or yell/hit when you're angry, etc., that energy would have to go somewhere. For people like us with very strong mind-body connections, it's pain. I also find the idea of accessing these repressed emotions through getting in touch with our anxiety to be brilliant as well. It adds a new dimension and purpose to meditation for me - being with my discomfort. I don't understand how anyone can deny the connection between emotions and pain. It's as plain as the noses on our faces.
     
    Dorado likes this.
  15. sunspore

    sunspore New Member

    I hear over and over from TMS success stories that exercise was a huge part of their recovery. I believe there is a strong relationship between the emotions that we don't express adequately, as mentioned in today's lesson, and exercise. I think exercise takes care of a certain amount of emotional repression. It is somehow a means of emotional expression in and of itself. And if one is already on this path and working toward dealing with emotions and anxiety, exercise is even more powerful. Not to mention the powerful message we are sending to our subconscious by exercising - "I am capable, I am powerful, and it is not dangerous to use my body!"
     
    Hayley and Tennis Tom like this.
  16. tyczka73

    tyczka73 Newcomer

    Hi Alan.
    I try to do the writing work, I went through e childhood trauma with many dramatic events when my brain felt unsafe. This things even increased my fear and I started feel so strong anger and try to feel it and physically express it because this is so strong accumulate energy in my body but sometimes fear even increase after that and anxiety arise . I don’t feel any relief after my anger expression. Anxiety little bit decrease but arise and anger fly again. I continue writing but those feelings are so strong that I am afraid sometimes. I was learned in my childhood never show anger even if I was hurted dramatically. Do you have some suggestions. Those feelings are exhausting for me.
     
  17. Xara

    Xara Peer Supporter

    What happens in case that somebody succeds to diminish the symptom ( eg pain) but other symptoms arise ( eg high anxiety, fatigue, dizziness, foggy vision etc). I am practicing this method since last year and learned many things about tms and myself too. But symptoms change. And although I am very proud of handling eg with pain, I sometimes get frustrated by the fact "it" turns around, something new arises and if I am lucky enough, at last goes...
    I am wondering.... What is trying to tell me? Am I repressing emotions or something I cannot imagine???
     

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