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 21: Paving Your Own Path

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Hambone, I usually suggest that newbies start with the SEP. I also prefer Healing Back Pain. It's my favorite Sarno book.
    hambone likes this.
  2. hambone

    hambone Peer Supporter

    Thanks Gigi. What is SEP?
    crshasbba likes this.
  3. Plumcrazy

    Plumcrazy Peer Supporter

  4. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    It's the Structured Education Program, found on this wiki.
    hambone likes this.
  5. hodini

    hodini Peer Supporter

    Hi Gigi, I put in structured education program in the search and nothing came up. If you or anyone knows where it is could you please please post a link. Thanks!
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Gigi likes this.
  7. hodini

    hodini Peer Supporter

  8. ricecakes

    ricecakes New Member

    Thank you, Alan! I cannot say thanks enough times. I have found many things that you shared about very helpful-- empowerment, cognitive soothing, somatic tracking, etc. Before this program, I have read so many books on MBS/TMS/neuroplasticity as it relates to pain, learned and practiced Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, journaled, wrote unsent letters, and what have you... I still had pain, though overall about 85% improved. I was still missing something, and this program has been such a blessing-- just what was needed to help me get through the final stretch!

    Over the last few weeks, as I committed to practicing what you've shared in this program, I watched my pain go down. I am no longer preoccupied about sitting, even though it was the bane of my existence for years! My longtime wrist tendinitis is almost totally gone, as Dr. Sarno predicted in patients with multiple TMS symptoms. My primary care doctor was so surprised at how well I looked last week, she asked me how it happened. I happily shared a condensed version of TMS and referred her Unlearn Your Pain as well as this forum. She said she will definitely read up on this because she felt that pain management has always been inadequate in modern medicine, and she has been looking for answers for a long time.

    For those who found partial relief through the mind body route-- no need to be discouraged (as discouragement would imply outcome dependence), you are on the right track and will make it! Keep practicing thinking in ways that Alan recommended, until your brain becomes structured as such, and being pain-free is as natural as breathing.

  9. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    That is so great to hear! I'm thrilled that you're doing so much better and that you're helping to spread the word.
    nele likes this.
  10. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the ton of work you have done creating this program! I have only been 'Reading into it' so far : waiting for the whole program to be on the wiki. Now its here : i will start 'my program' reading it all and filtering what is best for me to explore and to use ..
    You can be proud to be helping so many people

    Great job
  11. Paulita

    Paulita New Member

    Thank you so much for this program Alan and to all the contributors. I'm running my first 8km/5 mile race today. I followed this program and I'm halfway through the SEP. I've read so much, written in my journal, practised meditation. I've worked through sciatica, knee pain, calf pain, hip pain. Here I am on race morning without a pain or an ache. This works ! That's not to say I won't have more TMS syndromes but I am so happy and incredulous to be where I'm at today
  12. grateful_mama

    grateful_mama Peer Supporter

    Ah! so good.
  13. grateful_mama

    grateful_mama Peer Supporter

    I'd also like to add my thanks and gratitude to Alan and all the folks who made this program happen, and who continue to work on refining it! And to everyone who quoted Winnie the Pooh. ;)
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've been tinkering a bit and am creating a list of non-pain symptoms and woes people have. This issue was raised during the program so can people either reply here or add their thing to the document @Forest links to above. (Click to expand reply. Link near the end of Forests post).

  15. nele

    nele Peer Supporter

    This New Program is great. I have read all 21 posts and all your comments. I am working on me. I can recognize a lot of fear thoughts. I am trying to feel my emotions in my body, but often I cannot feel anything. I am trying to live mindfully, smiling, singing...
    Day 15 - "Overcoming Conditioned Responces" gave me some very important information. I could relate it to my IBS. It felt great. Next days I even felt some reduction of my symptomes.

    Some days later something strange happened: One day after running my usual distance (i am doing it once or twice a week) - my left knee begun to hurt. It felt stiff. I was wondering, why? I never had pain in my left knee. Last 2 years I was very active (running, cicling, hiking in the Alps). And now during this new program I developed new pain? 2 years ago I had some pain in my right knee after overcoming my back pain. Doctors told it is osteoarthritis, see my story http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/members/nele.4828/ (nele). Since then I feel, my rigth knee is a bit sensitive and more stiff then the other. I cannot sit with it in correct Yoga position. But it is ok for me: osteoarthritis without pain.
    So I immediately thought this left knee pain is TMS, I even thought about extinction burst. Until yesterday I did not mind it: the pain and stiffness in the left knee persist. They increase the day after doing something strenuous (running or cicling long distance), and reduce during rest of 2-3 days.
    Somewhere in my mind I have got the thought "osteoarthritis has not to hurt, it hurts only in very serious cases".

    Yesterday I went running again, I tried it the "Sarno-kind": not fearing, running with joy, talking with my brain, even running a bit farther as usual. During the run the left knee hurt only a bit. In the evening it hurt much more then usual and it was swollen and stiff. The right knee hurt too a bit. Same state today. Stiffness troubles me more pain. Strange feeling!
    Now I am nervous. I looked into Dr. Sarnos "Healing Back Pain", did not find remarks about osteoarthritis in the knee (only about osteoarthritis in the hip).

    I would be very grateful if somebody of you has an advice for me.
    What should I think? How can I grasp my knee pain? Can it be TMS, even when the knee is swollen? Or is it something structural?
    Should I see an orthopedist, or should I simply wait?
    I know from experience, the opinion of a doctor has an impact on me. But not knowing has also an impact.
    Please mind, I live in Germany, no TMS doctors here.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  16. James59

    James59 Well known member

    When I first started putting these lessons into practice my physical symptoms didn't change much, but I was sleeping better and my disposition improved considerably. But then some recent developments in the news upset me greatly and quickly undid the modest progress I had made. That was over a week ago and I've had the devil of a time getting back on track. I've been going back through the lessons a second time, and am gradually getting re-focused, but it's been more of a challenge this time. I understand this is not a linear process. Ups and downs are to be expected, but they're still frustrating.
    nele and LEW like this.
  17. nele

    nele Peer Supporter

    During the last days I have read the lessons again. In the end I had a good feeling: I have understood the program, I took it in and have the feeling, that it will help me to recover.
    My last question I answered myself, so I want to share with you my answer.
    The Program tells us:
    (1) Brain is not perfect, can’t always distinguish one type of danger from another → wrong danger signal, in case of TMS: psychological danger → pain
    (2) Pain is a danger signal, and in the case of neural pathway pain, the belief that the pain is dangerous is the only thing keeping it going
    (3) The way to turn off this danger signal is to reduce your fear around the pain.

    Long time I could not grasp why just to do (3) and not somehow act directly at the pain. I could not see the logic of it.
    But now I see it that way:
    - The belief that the pain is dangerous creates fear, which increases our fear status (increases brain's alertness), i.e. psychological stress
    - The origin of the pain was also psychological stress
    - Therefore it is the only way: reduce the psychological stress, i.e. reduce the fear around the pain

    Hope this makes sense.
    James59 likes this.
  18. LEW

    LEW Peer Supporter

    I just saw this and love it. What a great metaphor for the entire process. Thanks so much for a cute, thoughtful story. Happy healing all, Lew
  19. hudsonhiker

    hudsonhiker New Member

  20. hudsonhiker

    hudsonhiker New Member

    Thank you so much Alan. You put so much into this program.

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