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

Do I have TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by b.c, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. b.c

    b.c Newcomer

    Hi @all,

    I am new at the forums and hoping someone might give me some hint on my story.

    In 2010, I had a very stressful time (which I did not really accept at that time) and was told at work by my bossto do also other subprojects, which stole my time from my main project. At that time I got ill with a hard sinus infection and headaches. The doctors attributed the headaches to the sinus infection but even after surgery they remained. In parallel I had severe neck stiffness and pain which I attributed to the constant illness (feeling dizzy like having a chronic cold. and so on).
    Later on I found out that I am also clenching my teeth and was diagnosed with CMD / bruxism, but having a guard splint didn't help much. E.g. trigger point massages relief the muscle tightness a bit and by that the neck and head pain gets less but I can't get to overcome it.

    So at the end, I stumbled accross "Healing Back Pain" and "The Mindbody Prescription" from Dr. Sarno and I see my personality clearly in his descriptions (goodist, perfectionist, goal-oriented). Since I was healed from sinusitis and still have the neck and head pain (which I think is due to hardened muscles) and do grind with my teeth at night, I think I might have TMS but I am not 100 percent sure, since the dentist says that muscle tightness is from teeth grinding. But I am not sure if that is really the case. The real reason for teeth grinding was not discussed. I think it might be due to my personalty, since I want to make everything perfect.

    By the way: Even in my youth I had similar symptoms. Got headache around noon (I think due to a tight neck) but they went away by 3 hours of sleep and sometimes with pain relievers. That happened every few months or so, but was only for one afternoon. Now its steady ...

    To make this post not to long, I only listed the main facts. In reality I could describe all events and my process in very detail which would take hours ....

    Since there is no TMS therapist in my country, I hope I can get some hints here in the forums and eventually get rid of my pain!

    Thanks in advance very much!!!
  2. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest


    I'm by no means an expert, but headaches and stiffness in the jaw/clenching the teeth are definitely connected to stress. I've also read of people healing from chronic sinus infections here on the forum, by using tms techniques.

    I would suggest taking the course Unlearn Your Pain by Dr. Howard Schubiner, it really helped me a lot... and I wasn't sure that my health issues were tms related until I started it and they got a lot worse, which is a sign you're on the right track. You will be able to learn a lot and move forward towards healing.

    Look around this forum and search for the issues that are related to you, you will find plenty of information! The members here are amazing at giving advice and support.

    Good luck!

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2015
    mike2014 likes this.
  3. JacketSpud

    JacketSpud Peer Supporter

    Your symptoms sound surprisingly like mine, including the clenching / TMJ. Mine culminated in a 15 month long throbbing headache, helped only by painfully deep tissue massage. Tests showed nothing - I have had loads of MRIs and neurological tests.

    I have no doubt in my mind mine is TMS. I suspected it was and after reading Sarno (a year after because I just couldn't figure out how to actually work with the info in healing your back pain) I finally read a book by Fred Amir. Many of the things in his book were hard to apply to my condition. The headache is almost constant and is irrelevant to things like how kind I'm sitting etc so I couldn't work through my pain in the same way he suggests. But ... Just reading the first half of his book I woke up for a whole day free from pain having done absolutely nothing to reduce it. This was an absolute first. Then in the following chapter he said something like (and I'm paraphrasing here) "if you truly have TMS you might have found some relief just from reading this book". That was the last bit of confirmation I needed to believe I have TMS. The pain didn't stay away longer than a couple of days but that's ok. Not I know what it is, I am learning how to make myself well again!

    Good luck.
    mike2014 likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey b.c. and welcome! You've already received great advice from two of our members, and they are both right that the symptoms and experiences you describe sound like pretty classic TMS, with stress and anxiety included. Dr. Sarno, by the way, eventually became convinced that anxiety and depression are "TMS equivalents" and from my own experience, I agree.

    There are two free programs on our wiki that you can check into. If you're just starting out, I recommend the Structured Educational Program which is just what it says - you do a little bit of work every day for 42 days - which seems like a long time, and I'll be honest and say that not everyone finishes it if they are successful before they get to the end! The SEP gives you lots of different resources and types of exercises to do (such as journaling and meditating). The SEP encourages you to write about your progress here on the forum - when you see a forum post with a blue label, such as "Day 10" you'll know that person is writing about their exercise for that day.

    The other program was donated to us by Alan Gordon, an excellent psychotherapist and friend of TMSWiki.org. It's called the Alan Gordon Recovery Program. It is much less structured than the SEP, and it focuses pretty quickly and perhaps a bit more deeply on emotions.
    Simplicity and mike2014 like this.
  5. b.c

    b.c Newcomer

    Hi Simplicity, JacketSpud and JanAttheCPA,

    thank you very much for your very quick and helpful responses. I think, your confirmation helps me a lot to really get into day-by-day exercises. Before it was always like "Do I have TMS?" or "Is there something with my muscles? Does it result from by bad posture?" and so on.

    There were some days where the head and neck pain really gets intense. At that point only a pain reliever and self (trigger point) massage and a few hours of sleep helped. The other days it is a constant pain like a 5/10 or something like that, but since it is constant it really troubles me every day. This sounds really similar as your symptoms JacketSpud.

    I think I will at first give a try with the SEP since it looks like one does not think about what to do but simply do the things, the program says ;). I will give you a report during the program on my hopefully well progress.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2015
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, b.c. I had great healing success with the SEP and am glad you are going to start it.

    Here is a report by just one TMSer who healed from it. His post said he healed 95 percent, and then a few days later said it was 100 percent.

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely readHealing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with aTMS doctorbecause it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.

Share This Page