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 2: The Nature of Pain

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

  1. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Hi ash86,

    I'm glad the neuroscience in the article you linked to above helped you accept TMS.

    If you have any interest in reading more about the neuroscience of chronic stress pain (central nervous system, dorsal root ganglion, peripheral nervous system, nociception, etc.), which I hope is the case, I highly recommend Butler & Moseley, Explain Pain (2nd ed. 2015). It goes far beyond what Schubiner says in discussing neural pathways. Moseley started out as a physical therapist but is now a prominent Ph.D. neuroscientist whose specialty is the neuroscience of pain. I long ago accepted Sarno's TMS concept; his Healing Back Pain enabled me to completely overcome more than two decades of low back pain. I later experienced what Sarno calls the symptom imperative--TMS elsewhere in my body. What enabled me to get rid of that was the neuroscience in Explain Pain.

    Butler & Moseley's follow-up book, Explain Pain Supercharged (2017), which requires reading Explain Pain first, is an even deeper and more daunting dive into the latest research on the neuroscience of chronic pain--so daunting that Moseley quipped his co-author Butler, who trained as a physical therapist and later got a Ph.D. in educational psychology, has read the neuroscience material in that book five times and he "almost gets it." I'm not sure I would recommend that book because multiple readings of it left me in the "almost gets it" category, too, though I did find its ideas on the treatment of chronic pain worthwhile.
  2. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Quoting Plum, quoting Mary Oliver:
    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine

    It is in the telling of our fears and pain, that we learn and laugh and heal.
    In planning for a surgery in late August, I find myself at a crossroads of pain recovery. Will there be residual pain from the surgery? Or not? If I worry it for too long, I can literally feel my blood run colder as I scare myself into a state of tension! Yet, I have had a couple of surgeries since working Sarno’s and Schubinerr’s programs and NO RESIDUAL PAIN!
    Whenever I hurt, tho, I am alert to fear...And aware that the fear can trigger TMS phenomena.
    So, if I stay in today and keep recovering, then when August arrives, there is nothing to fear. I can always live the day I am living in. It’s the future that trips me up as I project disaster, failure and old trauma. Old trauma seems to have a gift - a gift that keeps trying to give more trauma.
    Which makes no sense whatsoever.
    Jung said Neurosis is pain that hasn’t yet found its meaning. For me, TMS is a kind of neurosis... a creating of suffering where suffering need not exist. Go figure.
    I’m committed to all 28 days, again, for review and deepening before surgery. It’s nice to see so many have participated since it started! Page after page of reflections.
    Thank you all.
    westb likes this.
  3. Deepster

    Deepster Peer Supporter

    I have dealt successfully with many TMS symptoms, but one symptom I have had for a long time that has not gone away is acid reflux (heartburn). I suspect that the reflux is TMS, but I'm not sure how to interpret this symptom as a danger signal. What could the brain's reason for triggering acid reflux be, however misguided?
  4. ReturnofHope

    ReturnofHope Newcomer

    Whoaaaa...a sense of safety.

    Sign me up!!!
  5. ReturnofHope

    ReturnofHope Newcomer

    You can find great info on self compassion on Kristin Neff’s SelfCompassion site. There are meditations and exercises as well.
  6. GShaw

    GShaw Peer Supporter

    Day 2:

    My second time through this program. My first time was to work on shin pain related to back issues which wouldn't allow me to walk more than 5 minutes without a lot of pain. This program has helped me get through this problem. I am now able to get out and enjoy several hours of walking at a time.

    This time around:

    1) Tinnitus
    2) Overall Pain Management
    3) Tightness Feeling in the Throat and Neck (Been told this is probably TMS)
    4) Knee/Leg Pain - if I had of found this program in the Spring 2018 - this wouldn't be an issue now - over stretched the knee trying to solve my shin pain - aggravated this issue recently trying to stretch out my calf and quad muscles (anybody have any simple stretches for calf and quad area that will not aggravate the knee area .... would love to hear from you

    Today Alan Gordon talks about fear:

    As I almost have reached my mid fifties probably my biggest fear is of Dying. Most of us don't want to die but I am sure many of us are ready to accept it when our day comes. I am complete opposite! I am not satisfied with my past and want to excel in my future. This is probably one of my biggest reasons why I worry so much about anything health related. Hence, tightness feeling in my throat area.

    A couple of other fears of mine are ending up alone and not good enough.

    Time to see how these fears work into my challenges above.

    Ready for another success adventure with Alan Gordon's program.
    Looking for space likes this.
  7. ter456

    ter456 New Member

    My feelings exactly! I love the way Alan simplifies thing almost with a childlike quality! I love it!
  8. Anders

    Anders New Member

    I don't get how TMS is not dangerous. If you don't fix this pain, it will ruin your life. The pain is real, created by neural pathways. This is dangerous if you ask me.
  9. ter456

    ter456 New Member

    I have the same issue and have had daily acid reflux for over 5 years. I have been thinking about the very same thing. I suppose since acid reflux is definitely in the pain category, the same concept of the brain sending out the wrong danger signal (pain) would work the same way.
  10. ter456

    ter456 New Member

    Yes, the pain is real, but if you have TMS, there is no structural basis for it --if you have tests and they show nada or just normal wear and tear than that is not likely the cause of your pain. I am struggling with multiple chronic pain conditions, all TMS, and Alan's interpretation to me is very different in many ways than Sarno's (and many other pain doc's reasons for it).

    And yes, the pain HURTS, especially when it gets really bad. But, I think what Alan is trying to say is while the pain hurts, it is not dangerous in the sense that it is causing your body harm in a physical way. And so, the brain at times is not able to differentiate your psychological feelings (e.g. being very stressed out) from being physically injured (in this case it would be dangerous to avoid not taking care of a physical injury). Having feelings even if they are stressful or emotionally painful doesn't feel great, but if you allow yourself to truly feel them, they usually move and shift. And it is a matter of teaching our"brains" that feelings are NOT DANGEROUS. And then when we fear the pain (which a lot of us do) and act extremely in reaction to it, our brain then says, "he/she is now even in more danger and pumps up the pain even more. And as Alan has pointed out in so many words, "Rome wasn't built in a day." This has been the most challenging thing I have ever done. And yes, I cannot say how many times I have been in tears screaming how much this pain has ruined my life. And in many ways it has. But, it can be undone. I have read several of Sarno's books and others written by TMS doc's and only on day 4 of Alan's program, and to me it is much more simplistic than what I have read before. So, I am still trying to digest the differences and some similarities which I am sure will be evident in the upcoming days of this program. I can see where certain personality types would be more prone to TMS either way you look at it because of our tendencies to be worriers, perfectionists, "do-gooders," etc. The more we obsess about the pain and or worry, the more our brain will inadvertently think we are in danger..hope this helps!
    westb and Anders like this.
  11. GShaw

    GShaw Peer Supporter

    Of course TMS is dangerous.

    What causes TMS? In most cases it is anxiety and stress related. Logically this tells me, anyone living in TMS must be living with a lot of anxiety and stress. We all know how anxiety and stress can affect our health.

    Alan's program is an amazing program because it can help you tell with not just your pain but many other aspects of your life. His program can enable us to live a more enjoyable and health life.
    Anders and ter456 like this.
  12. ter456

    ter456 New Member

    Yes, I agree most definitely that anxiety & stress can affect our lives adversely....so, I understand better what you were trying to say. And yes, Alan's program can be of tremendous help if we just stay with it and not give up!
  13. DD360

    DD360 Newcomer

    Hello brand new! I am really trying to understand and I live in an area there are no TMS Dr’s but my doctor recently found Dr Sorno on UTUBE and directed me to this site. My first response was anger and complete sadness. Thursday I cried all night yesterday I cried all day but read day 1. Today I read day 2 and I’m praying that I do have TMS because that means I can be healed but I’m not completely there as far as believing this is what I have. I have had tailbone pain for almost the last 4 years! I don’t know if it’s TMS because in most of the cases I have read other’s pain moved or came and went. Mine NEVER goes away. I am on very high does of pain medication and patches and antidepressants. Half of me believes it is possible but the other half is angry that if I do then I have wasted the last 4 years of my life dealing with something I did to myself!?...I have been diagnosed with RSD/CRPS in my tailbone. In all the research I have done I have found NO ONE with whom shares this literal pain in my Ass syndrome. I don’t relate to having a traumatic past. I have gone thru a traumatic health issues with having gastric bypass in 2006 and the gallbladder removed in 2009 and 2014 my bowel twisted and hysterectomy that same year and then my bowel twisted again in 2015. Somewhere in the middle of that my tailbone pain began but nothing can be found physically wrong. I have had 2 injections first making it worse and second although one of the most painful worked for a few weeks but slowly came back but came back with terrible vengeance like I pissed it off royally. With all that being said I am still very weary and hesitant of this concept but I will try anything once or even twice. My doctor before finding this wanted me to get a VERY expensive spinal cord stimulator that I can’t afford and I can’t see putting my body thru more and again putting a foreign object in my spine. I am giving this a go. Maybe I do have so PTSD from every thing I’ve experienced but my butt pain started before a lot of this happened so to be told it’s my brain is still sickening.
    Anders likes this.
  14. Anders

    Anders New Member

    I am no expert in TMS, but one thing I can say for sure is that this is not something you did to yourself. I don't believe you have done anything wrong. Have a positive attitute towards yourself. Don't blame yourself anything. And 4 years. It could be worse. I hope there is still quality in your life despite your problems.
  15. GShaw

    GShaw Peer Supporter


    While I am not expert on TMS, this is my second time using Alan Gordon's amazing program. My first time around I ended up with what I would say miracle results.

    I would like to provide you with a bit about my first experience and hope it will give you some hope for life changing results.

    I have suffered many years with back related pain and sciatica nerve issues. I reached a low in the spring of 2016 with my mother dying of lung cancer. When I say I couldn't walk due to my pain I am not kidding, I needed a cane or office chair just to get around my apartment. I avoided activities I loved because my shin pain was so severe. The next two years I tried a variety of options which helped some but it wasn't until October 2018 and working through this program that my life changed.

    I am thrilled to say, since November 2018 I am able to walk several hours at a time with little to no pain. In the last 4 months I wouldn't be surprised if I have walked no less than 500 hours in 4 months. I am on no pain medication nor do I use anything to assist me with my shin pain.

    Why am I back?

    Clearly I have had so much going on in my life that my TMS is popping up in many other forms since October so I am back to focus on me as a whole with the hope many other symptoms will disappear.

    I can say, based on what you're typed and what I know about TMS, I believe you will find amazing improvements but give it time. As you move through the lessons you will learn that we don't wish for the pain to be gone.

    Good luck!

    Looking for space likes this.
  16. Looking for space

    Looking for space Peer Supporter

    @GShaw,I had a fear of dying for many years brought on by anxiety. I had a fall at age 19 that for some reason brought on anxiety but, fear of death. I think anxiety was lying dormant anyway..... the 20ft fall into concrete was the icing on the cake. I went through two years of therapy which helped. But, I've never recovered from that fall on some level. I think no one wants to die, it's natural. But, when it goes beyond to the point of causing some incapacitation. Then it's TMS ....I believe. My mom died of cancer, and I had a resurgence of a fear of death...... via cancer, it's been 21 years. I want to succeed at curing TMS, hopefully this time I will. I also think many of us don't want to experience death in the company of other people we don't want people to see us ill and be at their mercy. But at the age of 56 my life experiences tell me that if one is ill when it's time to go you're pretty much ready to go, Not that you want to but at that point in time death is easier than life.
  17. GShaw

    GShaw Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your insight.

    I am not exactly sure why this is such of fear of mine. I have no doubt saying good-bye to both of my parents opened my eyes to reality but is it really the reason I fear death. probably not. If I was to guess this is what I would suspect is my big reason for fear. I look back at many years of my life and feel it hasn't been fulfilling. I am currently working on a couple of things that could make such a huge difference in my life. I want the opportunity to make this happen.

    If I was to look at TMS then based on what I have said, this sounds very much like symptoms of TMS.
    Looking for space likes this.
  18. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Thanks for your openness. Discussion of dying and the realization of 'everyone dies' are not easy topics to discuss in most circumstances. Fortunately this forum has provided us with an opportunity to explore and sometimes expose our innermost fears. In itself, this can often be a good thing.

    I lost my parents, my mother when I was 34 and my dad when I was 46. I am many years past both those ages now. Have been retired for five years. These are years that have been tumultuous and challenging for me. I too feel the knock of aging not only at my door, but actually resting in my living room, so to speak. Combined with the loss of siblings and friends it sometimes seem a bit much to handle.

    My TMS symptoms, that had been apparent many years before my retirement, but had subsided due mostly to me having to ignore them, came back with a vengeance not long after retiring from my career. Add to this, there were a number of deaths, including my brother, and another family rift, that occurred. My TMS was roaring. I was back to needing a walking stick, sciatica (familiar with your struggle), hip pain, back pain, shoulder, knee pain, and other irritating pain issues came on with a vengeance.
    Most of my pains are gone now, except the hip, which I am 'focusing' on now.

    I understand the wanting to accomplish certain things to give you the satisfaction of having made positive, wanted changes in your life. I do not know how old you are, but I understand the drive to want to accomplish. I returned for a graduate degree in my 40's and went on to have a very successful, later in life career. This, in itself, was satisfying and I am glad I did this, yet, this success does not necessarily diminish the reality of aging, and the new stressors that aging brings to the fore. My wish for you is that you can accomplish what you need to do in order to give you this sense of fulfillment. Yet, don't be surprised at the little feelings that will occur from time to time, that will still remind you that yes, we are all aging.

    My hope is to age without these TMS pains and I hope this for you as well. You have encouraged me to revisit Alans program.

    Thanks for your posts.

  19. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Oh, yes, and P.S.
    I have been to Ottawa and it is a beautiful place to live.
    Loved it, I just don't believe I could take the cold in the long Canada winters.
    GShaw likes this.
  20. ter456

    ter456 New Member

    One of the things that I have enormous difficulty with is the idea of "ignoring" or being "indifferent" to the pain when it gets so bad that I am crying or sometimes even getting a panic attack because I have multiple pains coming at me all at once (including acid reflux, pelvic pain, back/tail bone/butt pain) or even if one is so bad. Last night I was hysterical crying after a build up of so much pain for several days straight, I started going into a panic attack. It's not that I expect myself to be there now (being able to be indifferent) but having a problem even imagining that someday I will be able to do that. For those of you who have been able to achieve that, can you tell me how you were able to do that? It almost seems to go against human nature when one is in so much pain. I am speaking to a TMS therapist for the last 4 months, have journaled, read many books on TMS, and quite honestly find Alan's explanation (which to me is very different than our subconscious being terrified that our subconscious rage, etc. will spill over into consciousness so it distracts us with physical pain) resonating with me more and even affects how I talk to my brain or even how I think about it. I very much would appreciate some feedback. I am on day 8 of Alan's program. Thanks!

Share This Page