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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New Program Day 2: The Nature of Pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    While the knowledge in this program can be used as a standalone, given the nature of the forum it assumes a fundamental knowledge of Sarno's writings and the mindbody in general. It's difficult to answer questions when we don't know how much you know about these things because overcoming pain (or it's equivalent) rests upon how these various factors play out in your life. It takes time to really understand how this manifests for you and then patience for the methods to work. To this end little benefit is gained from rushing through the lessons especially if this is completely new to you.

    There is a structured program on the site which helps with these things. It can be found here:

    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Structured_Educational_Program (Structured Educational Program)


    Forgive me but I have my hands full at the moment ('my story' details this) so I cannot engage in depth but you will find lots of supportive people here especially on the Support Forum. It may help to re-post your post there as it receives more traffic.

    God Bless.

    Tennis Tom likes this.
  2. January

    January Newcomer

    Oh my, yes you're hands are full! I will take your suggestion and direct my questions to the support forum. Blessings to you, Plum.
  3. Kylin Foster

    Kylin Foster Peer Supporter

    So can pain be something else for you. If I am getting bloated with no pain can that be tms? Because I worry stress and hyper focus on it just like TMS
  4. hudsonhiker

    hudsonhiker New Member

  5. jessicaLee

    jessicaLee Peer Supporter

    This is amazing. Thank you
    plum likes this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are more than welcome Angel. x
    jessicaLee likes this.
  7. Ellen Campbell

    Ellen Campbell New Member

    Great information, presented in a very digestible form. I have been suffering from extreme sciatica that has me nearly bedridden and very bad neuropathy in my feet and sometimes other weird places like my face. I am not diabetic and have had MRI of entire spine and brain. No lesions or fractures, just mild to moderate disc herniation at a couple of levels. Neurologists say surgery is not warranted. I think I fit the TMS model very well in both symptoms and personality. Questioning this in terms of the neuropathy in my feet, though. I have always been told the neuropathy is an aspect of the sciatica, but they are generally very cold, then they tend to get very red and hot in the evenings, with pins and needles. Could this be TMS as well?
    Nzombro likes this.
  8. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    yep depending where you live see a TMS doctor for confirmation.
  9. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Hi Ellen
    I too suffered from extreme sciatica early in 2017. I too have disc issues (spondylothesis in lower discs). I have numbness in my left, inner foot/toe area. I could barely walk, could not climb stairs, found comfort, somewhat, in lying prone, in my bed. I worked at following the recommendation of Dr. Sarno in that I began journaling in earnest. There had been lots of turmoil in my life the last few years and journaling was helpful in getting all of the emotions out in a format that allowed my brain to see what I was dealing with. I uncovered much anger and other not so pleasant emotions. After journaling for about two (plus) months (I ripped all my journals up after writing) I had a particularly emotional journaling event one evening. The next morning I awoke and the sciatica was 99% gone. The residual feeling in my back/buttock subsided completely after about 2 weeks. I occasionally had sciatic pain when riding in a car or driving, but this eventually subsided as well. I found that using Alan's somatic tracking and cognitive soothing at those times really helped. I believe they are lessons 9 and 12. I still have some numbness/tingling, but not as bad as this time last year.
    Keep us posted.
    laugiss and Ellen Campbell like this.
  10. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    I like to ask how long did your symptoms last from the time it started till it subsided ?
  11. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Alan says here that pain can be triggered by accident because the brain can't distinguish too well between real life threats and mere anxiety caused by uncomfortable social situations. In which case the pain would be an expression of the brain's sense of danger.

    This seems to be a departure from Dr Sarno who said that the pain was a diversion from the mental pain that we sensitive types repress.... because the brain thinks the mental pain is more harmful than the physical pain, it turns up the physical pain as a diversion to protect us from the more threatening internal pain.

    So it looks like Alan says pain is an expression of inner danger, whereas Dr Sarno argued it was a diversion from it.

    I also note there is not the same emphasis on repressed emotions in this course (I'm going through it for the second time). Which is quite different from Dr Sarno and the Structured Education Program available in this wiki which pretty much made repressed emotions the main focus.

    Just wondering if anyone else has similar thoughts - or indeed, disagrees!
  12. Ellen Campbell

    Ellen Campbell New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. You have no idea how much hope this gives me. I am going to continue pursuing this. I am beginning to believe there is healing for me after all. Sigh.
  13. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    This has been the subject of much discussion and debate but essentially the differences are nothing more than the result of progress in the field of neuroscience.

    Throughout history humans have always intuitively known there was something more than their known mind but it took a while for notions of an unconscious mind to evolve. Freud and Jung both made huge contributions in our understanding of the nature of this, and there were doctors writing before Sarno who identified the brain, mental tension and emotions as the key players in many physical problems. The understanding here is generally that the autonomic nervous system is the physical manifestation of the unconscious. The psychic nature of it remains moot, mysterious and fascinating.

    On this thread on page 3, I write a bit about the differences in the two approaches, and quote Sarno where he mentions a missing link he calls the black box. Alan and other pioneers like Drs. Schubiner and Hanscom, are exploring and explaining this.

    For me the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the neuro-psychogical approach is generating more recoveries and much less confusion than pure Sarno thinking.

    In sum there really isn't any contradiction in the approaches. Alan's is much, much more expansive and accessible and is backed by scientific research which helps many overcome the doubt the more traditional TMS approach can engender.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  14. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Plum....they must go where the truth leads. I applaud Dr. Schubiner, Alan G and the rest for the study in CO. with functional MRI's.
    plum likes this.
  15. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Ah yes, if only I'd read past page 1!

    I take your point that the two ideas basically describe the same thing.

    I do a lot of swimming (as I recall you do or did, Plum) and I devote 100m of backstroke to each of Dr Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders, where I repeat each one to myself in a sort of meditation....anyway, I might need to think about modifying No.5 which is "TMS only exists to distract my mind from the emotions".

    Maybe it could be "TMS only exists to protect me from a perceived threat to my emotions." Or something.
  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I still swim. :happy:
    It's perfect for contemplation of the sort you describe. I like the modification. It really helps to make things our own.

    The biggest insight I took from Alan's program was the emphasis on safety (emotional and/or physical) so for me the flipside of No. 5 is the very soothing and simple I am safe. It's become a mantra in those times of need and something of a consolidation of wisdom.
    Lainey likes this.
  17. Mary

    Mary New Member

    I feel my Catholic upbringing has taught me not to be happy - that is selfish. One must help others first and foremost.
    As much as I loved the piano as a child I feel guilty and selfish if I play. I should be working or pushing myself. Your comment
    about bringing the good times into your thoughts and savour them gives me license to enjoy what I love. It will be quite
    a difficult change for me but will try anything as a step to getting rid of my neck pain. Thank you for your wonderful words.
    I look forward to getting allowing happiness back again.
  18. laugiss

    laugiss New Member

    me encanta leer esto, cuanto anhelo que asi pasara en mi, llevo 7 años padeciendo dolor cronico, con una vida 50 % incapacitada.. solo leo y leo todos los dias este programa, y lo que mas anehlo es que me pase lo que a ti, al otro dia levantarme sin dolor, felicitaciones !!!
  19. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Sí, espero que seas capaz de avanzar. Trata de escribir historias de tu pasado, cuando eras un niño. ¿Qué fue lo que te impactó? ¿Cómo te sentiste acerca de estos eventos. ¿Cómo crearon estos eventos quién eres hoy? ¿Qué decepciones, heridas o abusos sufriste cuando eras niño? Todo este periodismo puede ayudarte a descubrir cómo te convertiste en lo que eres ahora.
    (disculpa mi pobre Español) estoy usando un ayudante de traducción.

  20. ash86

    ash86 Peer Supporter

    I came across this study last week. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejp.682
    For me, it helped me to accept TMS. It proves no input from peripheral tissue is required to sensitize CNS, and can cause spontaneous pain. The authors even conclude this animal study may mimic a group of low back patients whose pain is dependent on psychological stress. :)
    plum likes this.

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