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Dealing with symptoms

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Rod8810, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Rod8810

    Rod8810 Newcomer

    Hi all, Im new here. I recently read "Healing Back Pain" and am working toward accepting TMS as the cause of my 5 plus years of lower and upper back pain. As many of you have, I've had all the awful structural diagnoses in my lower back and was recently recommended a microdiscectomy by an orthopedist. Im sure I will have many questions going forward but the main thing I wanted to ask you all right now is how you deal with symptoms when they are really bad during your healing process. I know its not recommended to continue physical therapy but im wondering how everyone feels bout other things to help with the pain like ice, foam roller, tens machine? I know those things aren't cures to the underlying (repressed emotional) issues but when the pain is severe even while Im working toward healing myself with Dr. Sarno's methods I'm curious if its bad to use other methods of pain management to help get through the tough times? Thanks for all of your thoughts!
  2. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Rod,

    The fastest way to eliminating TMS is stop fearing and treating the pain.

    As long as you do it will not completely go away. That said, it you are really desperate, use a remedy but tell yourself your are doing it because of a reason other than pain.

    For example, when I was recovering after reading Healing Back Pain, I experienced severe headache after swimming. It usually do not get headaches and knew it was TMS. But it was really bad. So I took two Tylenol tablets while telling myself and imagining they were vitamins.

    You can try this approach and see. Keep in mind that your eventual goal is to treat it using the power of your mind.

    Take care,
    Jules likes this.
  3. Rod8810

    Rod8810 Newcomer

    Thanks for the tip Fred!
  4. dharn999

    dharn999 Peer Supporter

    I found relief when I discovered that I didn't have to do all the exercises I was told would strengthen muscles to get through the day. I stopped taking all the vitamins and anti inflammatories because I realized that they never really helped me to begin with.

    You will have good days sprinkled in with the bad, just keep believing because that's still key, and once it sets in you won't need all the extra stuff... I will admit though, after a good leg in the gym day I still foam roll
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno also said you could have a glass of wine and curl up with a good TMS book. beerbuds
    plum likes this.
  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    And remember Rod, every time you do not give in to TMS and win, you become stronger.

    Make a mental note of it and use it as a reference to help you win your next battle easier and quicker.
  7. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Rod!

    I can relate to this! It's a question i've been asking myself...i'm a physical therapist and have been working on figuring out how to integrate TMS theory/therapy into my practice. It definitely sounds like you're on the right path. I agree with what others have said here. Think of TMS as the "curative" treatment for your back pain. If you had an infection, the cure would be antibiotics. But occasionally you might need to take a Tylenol to control a fever or something.

    Similarly, while doing your "curing" TMS treatment it is ok to take an occasional medication, use some ice or heat to control the symptoms, or stretch or massage or even use TENS. PTs know these are all temporary symptom relief methods. If you know you're just doing this for temporary symptom control and don't rely on it, that is fine. Another option is meditation, to take the focus off the pain. I think the "wrong" thing to do here is exercises (if you were given them by a PT) that were designed to cure your pain. The "right" reason to exercise in this case is for general health purposes :)

    Hope that explanation helped! Glad you're here!
    mike2014, Lunarlass66 and Tennis Tom like this.
  8. Laleah Shoo Shoo

    Laleah Shoo Shoo Peer Supporter

  9. Laleah Shoo Shoo

    Laleah Shoo Shoo Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone, Regarding exercising ~ I have let go of all equipment and core strengthening exercises suggested previously by physio therapist and osteopath. Prior to the onset of this almost debilitating pain, two and a half years ago....i would do aerobic exercise every other day for many many years. Now i have been sedentary for all this time since, and am unsure as to how to begin again. The terrific doctor i have finally stumbled upon, who i am working with in the way of John Sarno and TMS ~ suggests i do 75% of what i feel i can do. For example, i haven't been able to lift much at all during this two and a half years ~ light coffee cups, very light books, no parcels, that sort of thing. I've done no exercise at all, therefore have atrophy of the muscles, having lost so much tone. Question is ~ (i ask myself ;-) do i begin aerobics gently? Do i begin to lift objects heavier than i have lifted, during the past two and a half years? When i began to feel substantial and obvious relief....when accepting 100% what i had suspected: whatever showed up on the CT scan and MRI, though told this was the cause of all the pain.....wasn't! When i changed the paradigm and began talking to my brain....behaving as if all pain has nothing to do with my back and leg......I then began lifting way heavier objects, was so excited, i did a mini aerobics of about 15 minutes,etc. And oboy, bam! All the pain back.
    So, your suggestions fellow recoverers? To go about this s l o w l y and gently, as this body has been sedentary for two and a half years? That would be common sense. And wanting to check in with you. Blessings to everyone here! xo
  10. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Good question.

    I address this in detail while recounting my own recovery in Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain. I too was sedentary for many months but bounce back very quickly, carry my kids each weighing over forty pounds in two weeks and taking karate classes in four weeks.

    At this point you want to build your confidence. So take a few minutes write down some physical goals and increase the difficulty slightly every day. As you do evaluate your response. Start easy and increase so gradually that if TMS pain shows up, you do not fear it and continue moving forward.

    Take care,
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  11. Melody

    Melody New Member

    Hello Rod. I'm sorry to hear about your pain. I found Dr Hanscom's book Back in Control very helpful. Naughty I know, but for me at least a heat wrap on my lower back is oh so comforting.
    mike2014, Lunarlass66 and plum like this.
  12. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

  13. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, go slowly and gently with mindfulness. More tortoise, less hare. This also applies to any emotional work you are engaged in, some folk feel the need to go hell-for-leather without realising that this self-same tendency is partly the cause of their TMS. Healing is very much about learning to listen to your body, to feel how it feels and to accept those sensations. The physiological aspect of emotion has complete integrity, it's the interpretations the mind places on them that create the problems. Bearing this in mind it helps to view exercise and indeed any movement as a way of cultivating a good and open relationship with your body. Remember it is the pain and thoughts around it that we are challenging, and every fearful thought provides an opportunity to love and cherish that part of the body. Our bodies respond to the thoughts we have about them so be kind in your self-talk, be compassionate with your fears and learn to allay them with patience and a gentle heart. We have all imbibed a terrible amount of culturally inherited and media-driven nonsense that TMS healing gives us the opportunity to break down and rid ourselves of. Embrace your beautiful body and your wonderful life and with time, healing will follow as night follows day.


    Plum x
    mike2014 likes this.
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is all too easy to become lost in the minutia and mindgames when recovering from TMS. It will serve you well to embrace the larger healing perspective, that you are engaged in full mind~body healing. Each time you feel yourself drawn into the quicksand of specifics, pull back into the fresher air of the big picture.

    My best advice is to not worry too much about the means used to soothe symptoms and to focus on healing. When we have been in pain for a long time we become nested in neurological complications such as conditioning and sensitisation. The resolution of these elements play a part. David Hanscom is a salavage spinal surgeon whose mission is to help people recover from unnecessary procedures and to obviate the need for surgery at all. His name should link through to his site and you will also find plenty of posts by him here on the forum. His first step is to calm the nervous system down which serves to dramatically reduce the ambient noise and pain thus enabling you to face the psychological issues with strength and confidence.

    Do what you must to get through the tough times knowing that they will pass and that healing continues.

    Plum x
    mike2014 and Lunarlass66 like this.
  15. Laleah Shoo Shoo

    Laleah Shoo Shoo Peer Supporter

  16. Laleah Shoo Shoo

    Laleah Shoo Shoo Peer Supporter

    Hi Plum,

    I had wanted to respond immediately, as i was struck by the way you spoke . "more tortoise, less hare" ~
    my father's repetitive story to we children many many decades ago. Often, it's difficult to surmise whether overdoing movement or lifting is causing the circuits to fire off...because the body needs time now to
    adjust to movement after so long OR if it's the brain/nervous system ~ just 'doing it's thing' thinking it's protecting.
    In the end, less is best at this point...with physical movement i suppose.

    Loving, cherishing , being kind and compassionate, accepting ALL of ourselves ~ feelings/emotions being neither good nor bad ~ embracing our selves, realizing we are 'treasures'....A Homecoming! What a school, this life! ai yai yai and Bravo!...all at once, haha (i'm old fashioned, haha rather than the LOL)

    Beautifully put ~ culturally inherited and media driven nonsense. You put my sentiments into words so well.
    I love your quote from D.H. Lawrence.

    Lovely to meet you, over there in England

    plum likes this.
  17. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I "cheat" with a heating pad on the lower back too... I admit it! Thing is, if it's "oxygen deprivation" to the tissues in the area due to repressed emotion, heat increases blood flow and thereby would increase oxygenation as well? I'm by no means an expert on this, but so many people on this site have a wealth of knowledge and insight and maybe they can share some input on this.
    After countless hours of reading and research ( TMSing about TMS, I know...) I am leaning toward the "learned neural pathway" theory of chronic or unexplained pain rather than the oxygen thing.. But then again, it was stated somewhere on here that the how it happens isn't essential to healing so much as handling the fear aspect and the psychological issues underlying.
    I personally am really struggling badly with this and find that my anxiety is far worse since I've started digging. Frankly, I'm scared to death and vacillating back and forth between physcial and psychological... I'm a mess!
  18. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's funny how these annoying symptoms like to come back even when you know what their cause is! I definitely understand the heating pack...it's a nice temporary relief whether you have TMS pain or something else. In the last few days I've had some increased stress in my life and the back pain made another appearance! It wasn't nearly as bad this time and I talked to it and told it I knew what it was. But I know what you mean about not knowing whether pain or anxiety is worse! The hope is to spend time working on strategies and eventually finding the causes underlying the anxiety and pain, but easier said than done.
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  19. julioalmeda219

    julioalmeda219 Newcomer

    Thank you for your advices
  20. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno said that. He said we will probably NEVER, in our lifetimes or in the future, ever understand the intricacies of the mind, and how it functions creating the myriad of TMS symptoms. As soon as we figure out the physiological mechanics of how one symptom is created, the clever sub-c gremlin will create a new one for distraction. The problem is we are trying to study the complex workings of the mind--using the mind--we may need a committee.

    Dr. Sarno said it is not necessary to know the mechanics of TMS, only to understand the theory : the pain originates in the mind and displays itself in the body, or in affective/emotional TMS symptoms, such as OCD, depression, anxiety, etc. TMS is a psychological defense mechanism. It's purpose is to distract from emotional issues, (see Holmes-Rahe for what they may be). The sub-conconscious has deemed for us that the issues are even more painful to deal with head-on, then the TMS symptoms. Dr. Sarno has termed TMS a PROTECTOR, not a punisher.
    Ellen and Lunarlass66 like this.

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