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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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by tallgirl, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. tallgirl

    tallgirl Newcomer

    I have read "Healing Back Pain". I have also been doing the Structured Educational Program. I have been following all recommendations but I am still having a lot of pain throughout the night. I feel sluggish and terrible throughout the day due to lack of sleep. I am about to throw in the towel. Any advice? TIA
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Tallgirl. I know it can be hard but please do not give up on TMS or the SEProgram. When the pain is most intense, and keeps you awake, it could very well be that you are actually healing. Your subconscious may be trying its worst so as to keep you discovering the emotional causes of your symptoms.

    I'm 85 and thought of giving up many times over the years, but kept telling myself that THE BEST IS YET TO COME, and it has! I discovered Dr. Sarno and TMS three years ago and it changed my life. My severe back pain went away and I like myself and life (and others) a lot better.

    Keep reading the success stories for encouragement. Many others have thought of giving up, but they kept going and have healed.

    Don't watch any television before going to bed. Drink a cup of hot milk and go to your computer and watch this Youtube video:
    "Guided Meditation for Detachment from Over-Thinking." Michael Sealey's voice lulls me to sleep. I watch it while deep breathing and
    when I get to bed do more deep breathing.
  3. tallgirl

    tallgirl Newcomer

    Thank you for your kind words. I don't have any problems going to sleep. The pain makes me have restless sleep at night. I wake up early with pain no matter when I fall asleep. I am tired of being tired.
  4. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Tallgirl,

    Keep at it! TMS can take time to overcome, especially if you've had symptoms for a long time. The unconscious can be stubborn about revealing itself. There are many paths to healing, and different people find different things helpful. If the SEP doesn't help, there are lots of other resources. But give it a full chance first.

    My own path has been a long one. I was bedridden with back pain for years. I read Sarno years ago, and while I improved somewhat, there was only so far I could get on my own. Eventually I found a TMS-trained therapist, and that got me unstuck. Now I'm about 90% better and working on that last little bit.

    Let us know how you're doing.

  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi tallgirl,

    I am sorry about your lack of progress so far, and your discouragement.

    We observe that some folks respond to Dr. Sarno's work faster than others. I hope you complete the SEP. Dr. Sarno's approach helped me get my life back, and avoid surgery for severe foot pain.

    I don't find many posts by you in the Support or SEP parts of the Forum. I wonder why you have not checked in regularly for support. This might help too, to know you have the support as you go along.

    That you are getting the back pain at night, and not so much in the daytime says that part of the TMS functioning is to distract you by depriving you of sleep, and then worrying about lack of sleep. It is a form of insomnia, even though it does not seem quite so clear. This cloudiness is helpful in keeping you less sure. This is typical of TMS symptoms. They are sneaky.

    If you complete the SEP and do not have significant improvement, then I suggest you

    --eliminate doubt about the physical sources of you pain, by connecting with a TMS doctor

    --get TMS coaching or psychotherapy

    I hope you hang in there. Dr. Sarno knows something about pain, (and insomnia) that the medical community completely ignores.

    Andy B.
  6. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    I cant not stress the importance of sleep ask your dr for something to ease your pain and help u sleep. With a full 8 hrs you will calm down your nervous system and proceed with your tms healing. Being sluggish and angry will not help you with your healing no matter how many positive affirmations
    you say.
  7. tallgirl

    tallgirl Newcomer

  8. tallgirl

    tallgirl Newcomer

    Thanks for the words of advice. I had not thought of this in this way. The lack of sleep is extremely distracting! I have realized how obsessive I truly am since starting this journey. Right before the pain started (which I have suffered from intermittently for 20 yrs), I was very obsessive with a diet. I had lost 40 pounds. It is almost as if I have to have a constant distraction and obsession. Weird isn't it? Would you recommend anything for pain? The doc has given me tramadol but it tends to keep me up ALL night (if I take 2, 1 has no effect) and I feel crazy in my head!!!! I work with docs and I could ask for something else. I have been reluctant to take anything stronger. He has given me two different meds for arthritis in the past but that didn't help at all.
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi tallgirl,

    I am glad my note might have you seeing a little more about patterns of obsession. I hope your inquiry helps open more understanding.

    I don't know about medications. I do suggest you steer away from the opiates because they are addictive. But that is a layman's opinion! Dr. Sarno certainly prescribed "analgesics" for pain, as needed.

    I had some relief from anxiety by using Alfa-Stim, and this was recommended by a friend of mine for insomnia.


    I did not get any relief for pain using the pain modality, but I got relaxation from the the "anxiety modality." Who knows though, it could just be a placebo effect? But my friend said it helped her insomnia a lot... And the pain modality is supposed to be "proven."

    Sorry I can't offer more.

    Andy B.
  10. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Andy advice is solid, but if that does not help uou ask your dr for ambieum or a slow release benzo for sleep and pain for short term only until you get enough tms knowledge to proceed. Some people on this site tough it threw for me that was a huge set back in my healing it put me back a yr. i know take something for pain and sleep at night mostly without my 7-8 i can not function and do my tms work. That me... Also regarding addiction and dependency you will find the same precautions with Nightquill and Tylenol which have been worse on us humans then any big pharma drug. Please speak to your dr and tell him what u need to accomplish good sleep and pain reduction
  11. kyrani99

    kyrani99 Peer Supporter

    You can make up for the lack of sleep AND get some clues to your problems with meditation. If you meditate for an hour, it makes up for at least two hours of sleep. Also meditation allows you to observe your thoughts as they rise and fall away. Make a note of the thoughts that appear as they are clues. Some point to issues that may be underlying to your problems. Others may be thoughts you have treated seriously and they need to be discarded because they are not to be taken seriously.

    I use an MP3 player to make recordings. Start the player on record and use the pause button, then when you want to record something it is only one press to get to record and one press of the pause button at the end. That way you can make your recordings and not interrupt your meditation too much.
  12. kyrani99

    kyrani99 Peer Supporter

    I should also say something about using the pain as a meditation but as a specific meditation for the pain. Usually we mentally try to avoid the pain and shun it. If you do the opposite and move your attention into the very centre of the pain you will find that it will shift. You then move into the centre of the pain in the shifted position. If you keep doing this you will find the pain shifts and shifts and finally becomes a blur over a bigger area and no longer acute. I found that it will finally go away. I used this method when I first started meditation because after sitting cross-legged for two or three hours I had intense pain in the knees. This method helped until I could sit without pain. In this case I found the pain was a resistance to sitting cross legged because it was new and my body was not used to it.
  13. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sleep, or lack thereof is only a problem if you think it is-you are what you think. Read this great article on the myth of the "industrial" era sleep, it will change your mind on the need for sleep as it did mine. Your mindbody is telling you to get up and do something until you feel sleepy again. The worst thing you can do is lie awake, staring at the ceiling ruminating on your pain. I now look forward to waking up, turning on the TV and catching up on some shows on the DVR that has reached overflowing, or doing some organizing around the scatter.

    In my running days, I read an article about pre-marathon insomnia. A study found that there was NO loss of performance in running times due to pre-race insomnia!--I quit worrying about not getting enough sleep before a race and slept better. We are not evolutionarily/genetically engineered to sleep for eight solid hours--maybe after you've walked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back and are a bit physically tired, you may pass out under a tree for eight hours. Your mindbody will tell you when you need to sleep, especially your eyes, don't fight it. When you wake up after your "first sleep", turn on the light and read a good TMS book--if you've got someone in bed next to you who doesn't understand and is disturbed by this, get a new someone--they're likely the source of the problem or a good part of it. I'm going back to sleep now.

    G'luck and goodnight,


    The myth of the eight-hour sleep

    By Stephanie Hegarty BBC World Service

    We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.
    In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.
    It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.
    Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.
    In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
    [​IMG] Roger Ekirch says this 1595 engraving by Jan Saenredam is evidence of activity at night
    His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.
    Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
    "It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.
    During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.
    And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.

    Between segments
    Some people:
    • Jog and take photographs
    • Practise yoga
    • Have dinner...
    A doctor's manual from 16th Century France even advised couples that the best time to conceive was not at the end of a long day's labour but "after the first sleep", when "they have more enjoyment" and "do it better".
    Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.
    By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.
    He attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses - which were sometimes open all night. As the night became a place for legitimate activity and as that activity increased, the length of time people could dedicate to rest dwindled.

    When segmented sleep was the norm
    • "He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream." Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (1840)
    • "Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning." Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)
    • "And at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall have a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will have a slake." Early English ballad, Old Robin of Portingale
    • The Tiv tribe in Nigeria employ the terms "first sleep" and "second sleep" to refer to specific periods of the night
    Source: Roger Ekirch
    In his new book, Evening's Empire, historian Craig Koslofsky puts forward an account of how this happened.
    "Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good," he says. The night was a place populated by people of disrepute - criminals, prostitutes and drunks.
    "Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night."
    That changed in the wake of the Reformation and the counter-Reformation. Protestants and Catholics became accustomed to holding secret services at night, during periods of persecution. If earlier the night had belonged to reprobates, now respectable people became accustomed to exploiting the hours of darkness.
    This trend migrated to the social sphere too, but only for those who could afford to live by candlelight. With the advent of street lighting, however, socialising at night began to filter down through the classes.
    In 1667, Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, using wax candles in glass lamps. It was followed by Lille in the same year and Amsterdam two years later, where a much more efficient oil-powered lamp was developed.
    [​IMG] A small city like Leipzig in central Germany employed 100 men to tend to 700 lamps
    London didn't join their ranks until 1684 but by the end of the century, more than 50 of Europe's major towns and cities were lit at night.
    Night became fashionable and spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time.
    "People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century," says Roger Ekirch. "But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds."
    Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep.
    "If no disease or accident there intervene, they will need no further repose than that obtained in their first sleep, which custom will have caused to terminate by itself just at the usual hour.
    "And then, if they turn upon their ear to take a second nap, they will be taught to look upon it as an intemperance not at all redounding to their credit."

    Stages of sleep
    Every 60-100 minutes we go through a cycle of four stages of sleep
    • Stage 1 is a drowsy, relaxed state between being awake and sleeping - breathing slows, muscles relax, heart rate drops
    • Stage 2 is slightly deeper sleep - you may feel awake and this means that, on many nights, you may be asleep and not know it
    • Stage 3 and Stage 4, or Deep Sleep - it is very hard to wake up from Deep Sleep because this is when there is the lowest amount of activity in your body
    • After Deep Sleep, we go back to Stage 2 for a few minutes, and then enter Dream Sleep - also called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep - which, as its name suggests, is when you dream
    In a full sleep cycle, a person goes through all the stages of sleep from one to four, then back down through stages three and two, before entering dream sleep
    Source: Gregg Jacobs
    Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light.
    This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests.
    The condition first appears in literature at the end of the 19th Century, at the same time as accounts of segmented sleep disappear.
    "For most of evolution we slept a certain way," says sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. "Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology."
    The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleeps and is likely to seep into waking life too.
    Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford, shares this point of view.
    "Many people wake up at night and panic," he says. "I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern."
    But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

    More from the Magazine
    • Margaret Thatcher was famously said to get by on four hours sleep a night
    • That put her in a group of just 1% of the population
    "Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centres where sleep is studied," he says.
    Jacobs suggests that the waking period between sleeps, when people were forced into periods of rest and relaxation, could have played an important part in the human capacity to regulate stress naturally.
    In many historic accounts, Ekirch found that people used the time to meditate on their dreams.
    "Today we spend less time doing those things," says Dr Jacobs. "It's not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up."
    So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.

    Craig Koslofsky and Russell Foster appeared on
    The Forum from the BBC World Service.

    Listen to the programme

    Do you sleep in segments? Send us your sleep stories.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
    kyrani99 likes this.
  14. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    These all excellent modalities but and i say but with the most respect regarding your beliefs that you have on this subject.....i have been there and suffered threw sleepless nights using tms techniques of meditation and so and all it did was make me weaker and sicker and put me in the hospital...in my humble beliefs that work for me i got my body to sleep at least 7-9 hrs a night for over a month with this i regained my weight and strength then i started to mediate and journal at night along with cutting pain meds and sleep meds in half to each his own...but suffering in pain along with no sleep is a discription for DANGER TO ONES HEALTH
  15. kyrani99

    kyrani99 Peer Supporter

    I am interested in what you did. Did you take sleeping medication to help you sleep a good stretch each night for a month and regained your strength back again. I agree with you that sleep is necessary when you are sick. I found one can supplement lesser hours of sleep if one can't sleep and doesn't want to or can't take medication for sleeping, with meditation. I did not mean to replace sleep. A person who has some medical problems needs to get enough sleep as they require.
  16. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    I was just getting to sesentized my whole body was in pain the more i did not sleep the worse i got... I am self employed and i just could not miss work. I went to my dr to give me someghing to shut down at night so i could sleep..call youd dr make a appt and tell him your issues donit asap its not going to get better with just mediating. Also i raised my phyiscal activties by going to gym every night for at least 45 min . I bike jog lift weights its important to get physically tired which helps sleep.
  17. kyrani99

    kyrani99 Peer Supporter

    I can understand that if you are self employed you have to get sleep so you can keep working. Do you think that exercise helps only because you get tired enough to sleep? I was just wondering if you get any pain relief during or after the physical activities?
  18. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    My pain is chronic but its off and on all day some parts of the day i feel goid other times not so good it always changes i also have days i feel good and weeks i dont...the physical activties keep me strong along with lowering some of my meds...i have no more guilt about taking them they are part of my tms recovery when i see more improvement i will slowly tamper with dr permission. I feel my pain when it comes make no mistake but at night i need to shut it down
  19. David88

    David88 Well known member


    Have you tried melatonin? It's safe and available over the counter. Good old Benadryl, the allergy medication, can also be a good sleep aid, and it's also OTC.

    Andy B makes a good point. Insomnia can be another TMS equivalent. As you say, it can be a big distraction! You should start to feel relief as you work through your repressed feelings.

    Meanwhile, don't get flustered if you wake up in the middle of the night. Get out of bed, take a pain pill or a sleeping aid, and do something relaxing until you feel like sleeping again.

    Boston Redsox likes this.
  20. kyrani99

    kyrani99 Peer Supporter

    I think the key is the belief. If you fully accept the TMS diagnosis, then you accept that there is no real physical problem. You say that the physical activities keep you strong. This sounds to me that you are still not accepting that you are in fact healthy. I am not saying that you stop doing your physical activities but to do them because you enjoy them and not because of some belief that they keep you healthy. You are healthy even if you didn't do them anymore.

    I don't fully agree with Dr Sarno in that I don't believe that the brain is causing a distraction. I think that the person is trying to avoid either the issue and/or the emotion. So I think it is a question of avoidance rather than distraction. With avoidance the physical reactivity in the body, which is the emotion, will lead to tension and/or inflammation. Both tension and inflammation involve pain. Tense muscles for instance will become slightly damaged if that tension goes on for too long and that will ignite an inflammatory response and thus pain.

    I am a Greek-Australian and being Greek I express emotions more freely than many others around me. It means that I acknowledge the emotion. And I strongly suspect that accepting the emotion helps one express it. A person who wants to appear nice (some people see this as being civilized) and you are feeling angry or fearful or sad, then you try to avoid the emotion and not acknowledge it in the body, which leads to tension. If you freely accept the emotion, you might get others saying you're a bit mad (I've had people say this to me), but you won't suffer any pain. And at the end of the day you are best attracting those that accept who you are than attracting those that want you to behave to a formula.

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