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Dumb question

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by heleng, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. heleng

    heleng Peer Supporter

    Hi all

    I have been reading Dr Sarno and trying to accept it, I do want to, and at brief moments I know for sure its correct but I have these little doubts that just keep popping up. I have had a good week with less pain but today lots of pain. I know this is a dumb question but how long does it take to be pain free? I feel this is an impossibility at the moment as my pain changes and moves so much. I am now able to relax myself quite fast when I get twinges of pain and a few times they have gone away completely or at least been really quite mild but today I have lots of lower back pain and sciatica type pain and I went for a walk in the park to see if I could just ignore it and it did get very sore and now I feel down. I feel I am not getting very far because I find acceptance really hard and I am still very watchful of my body, looking for signs of pain. I am starting to feel annoyed with myself and quite upset.


  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    don't put your pain on a deadline, the healing will happen. doubts will be normal in the beginning , stay true to the journey. You are doing all the right things.
    heleng likes this.
  3. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Helen,

    I hope you are well. I'm sorry you are in pain, hopefully you will find some comfort in the coming hours.

    I have read many books which state healing occurs for people at different times in their lives. There is no set time for healing to take place (this could be due to everyone having different levels of belief or social conditioning). Any doubt can of course delay healing.

    If we immerse ourselves 100% into the MB teachings and are dedicated, committed and eliminate all elements of doubt, whilst being gentle with ourselves i.e, treating the TMS healing as a gift to recovery, rather than a chore, we can speed up the recovery process.

    I am not sure if you are already doing so, but try and incorporate meditation and self talk into your daily routine, there are some wonderful resources available on this site.

    I'm currently working through Nicole Sachs - The meaning of Truth book, combined with Jon Kabat-Zinn's meditation CD and You Are the Placebo Meditation 1: Changing Two Beliefs and Perceptions and I am slowly but surely finding relief.

    The key is to do these task willingly and build them into your daily routine and over a period of time your learned responses will become unlearned and new pain free pathways will be developed.

    I know its not an easy journey, but please be strong and determined, you will definitely recover.

    May god bless you,

    heleng and Ellen like this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Helen. The others have given you good advice. Keep at the SEP and don't put pressure on yourself to heal. It will come
    if you just keep telling yourself the pain is from TMS and you are going to heal.
    When you feel discouraged or down, just laugh it off. Laughing helps heal us. It sends our body and mind positive emotions.
    heleng likes this.
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    That your pain is so highly variable, Helen, should confirm that your symptoms are mind-body related. If the cause was purely physical and structural, the pain would be constant and unvarying. My TMS pain used to be diurnal (i.e. none in the morning and increasing all day long, until the afternoon, when it began to go down). Now, though, it's much more intermittent and sometimes absent entirely for long periods of the day. Also, I don't pay that much attention to it anymore. You'll do just fine, if you accept the psychological/emotional and reject the physical/structural explanation for your symptoms.
    nowtimecoach and heleng like this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Helen, that's great advice from Bruce. If I'm under stress, my back can ache, but if I ignore it and distract myself
    with pleasant thoughts or just LAUGH, I feel better. It's all in the head. I tell my head to stop giving me pain and somehow, it does.
    heleng likes this.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Like Walt says, distraction is the key, Helen. Laughter works best, but substituting some other activity that fully engages your mind works too. Digital photography with all those submenus and settings was the first thing I noticed that would distract me from my preoccupation with my TMS symptoms. Heard photography can reduce hypertension too, so it must work on those same principles of distraction. When your mind is focused elsewhere, it just doesn't get a chance of obsessing on the pain messages I guess.
    heleng, Tennis Tom and Ellen like this.
  8. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Heleng. The conundrum is that the more you monitor and focus on the pain as a measuring stick for success or whether or not the pain is actually caused by TMS, the more likely it is to persist. Believe me, I know how frustrating that is. Once again, I suggest reviewing all the information on outcome independence and working on strategies for not focusing so much on the pain. I struggled with this for months, and I know I have mentioned it before, but I can not actually pinpoint the day when my pain started to subside. That amazes me since I had spent so many months thinking about, monitoring, wondering, hoping, feeling desperate about whether that day would actually ever come. And then that day came and I don't even remember it happening! Also, we spend a lot of time emphasizing that you have to believe in the TMS 100% and you can't have any doubts in order to heal. I know for me, learning to develop this confidence and belief was a process. I also beat myself up for my seeming inability to have complete acceptance and belief. Try to notice when you are being hard on yourself like this. Part of our TMS personality traits tend to make us prone to this type of self-criticism and hypervigilance. Actively applying kindness to yourself can be a salve, and with enough practice, will take less effort. Once I became more aware of this internal bully, I was amazed at how ever present she was. You can retrain this internal monolgue by diligently and consciously sending yourself more loving and accepting messages. They may see a little false and ingenuous at first, but that is only because the internal bully is so strong. Move forward even when you are in doubt, and try not to question or beat yourself up for having doubt. Once again, focus your thoughts whenever possible on how you are feeling and what brings you joy. Then it will come and the doubts will fade.
    nowtimecoach, heleng and Ellen like this.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Mike,

    I'm wondering what your experience is of the You Are the Placebo meditation? I haven't tried it yet, but have been contemplating it.

    Glad to hear that you finding some relief.
    heleng likes this.
  10. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Ellen,

    I hope you are well.

    Have you read the you are the You are the Placebo book yet?, if not I would recommend it prior to the meditations.

    The CD is split into 2 meditations and runs for a 56 minutes.

    The first is a guided meditation which helps align you into the present moment and I would compare it to a body scan meditation, where we look at each part of the body.

    The second/third meditations guides us how to change perceptions/thoughts and whether these do serve genuine reason/purpose. If not, we need to install a new thought which is so powerful that it can help create a new mind/decision which can change and empower us by a shift in energy and thus reprogram the subconscious mind and body in the present moment.

    In summary, it helps us find the present moment, where we let go of our thoughts/personality and we have access to a heightened awareness (our super coconscious) whereby we are no longer connected to the same conditioned thoughts, or familiar past, or future, but become so conscious aware, physically and mentally that we can change our felt perceptions and create new and healthy thoughts.

    I tend to carry out the the Jon Kabat-Zin Meditation in the morning and list any emotions/thoughts that arise throughout the day. I then prioritise and address in the You are the placebo meditations', I'm figuring, if I continually do this, I'll break the cycle of pain.

    It's the strongest guided visual meditation that I have come across so far and would highly recommend it.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
    heleng and Ellen like this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    One thing that helps me calm down my Inner Bully is to realize how many other people have the same bully about the same things.
    I guess misery loves company. I don't feel like I'm the only guy on the planet with the things that bug me. I've come to realize
    that I am only human.
    heleng, nowtimecoach and Anne Walker like this.
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    The Good TMS Books say, your pains will diminish when you no longer need them for distraction, substituting the negative with positive choices and joyful activities for distractions.
    heleng, mike2014 and Boston Redsox like this.
  13. heleng

    heleng Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much for all your posts, I have had a weird couple of days. I have noticed how much I want to get better and how much pressure I am putting on myself. If I am at work I rarely feel the pain as my job is very involving and very rewarding. My problem is at home when I have free time and I seem to get it early in the morning and it gets easier as the day goes on with almost no pain at all by the end of the day. I have been told i have piriformis syndrome but of course I imagine it being worse with a constant fear of needing a hip replacement or back surgery and as soon as these thoughts surface i get a wave of panic and then i feel more and more powerless. A few years ago after my mother died I had terrible shoulder pain that only really went away when I dealt with my grief, I have remembered that very recently and had actually forgotten how bad that pain was and how much it spoiled my life. I can see I have a history of TMS and have suffered from IBS since a child when stressed. I like the idea of becoming so distracted by positive things that the pain will go and I will just accept it, to treat the pain and the lack of pain with the same level of acceptance. That is my goal and I feel its a way off but maybe not....I feel better just reading your posts and am grateful

    Thanks so much, guys

    Anne Walker, mike2014 and Ellen like this.
  14. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    dealing with brief and anger is to me the top shelf issues with my pain, doing things that you like to do also helps with pain…I also loose to have less pain when I am at work or doing something i enjoy… mindfulness breathing and laughing are a key. Keep up the work, don't look at a calendar and don't keep track of your pain day to day acknowledge it and move on.

    heleng, Tennis Tom and mike2014 like this.
  15. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    I can totally relate to your questions of how long, how long, how long is it going to take for me to feel better?!!! I don't think anyone can answer that question for you as it is such a personal journey of healing. I stayed very consistent with my learnings on the TMS wiki and every book, every workbook I could do. After awhile - it was less about the pain and more about the incredible self-awareness I was gaining through all this concentrated work. I think there are levels of healing. I had to move through a big chunk of grief and I was told, quite gently that it really was a matter of time for the grief to be healed. But fortunately I found the TMS forum and by supporting others and participating as much as I could - so many repressed personality things got shook up and released. I've been pain free for three months now. I just had my first thanksgiving in three years without pain. I will pass on what was said to me over and over - Do not give up. Never. Never Give Up that someday you will be free of pain.
    Ellen, heleng, mike2014 and 2 others like this.
  16. heleng

    heleng Peer Supporter

    I really liked that post as it totally sums up my experience at the moment. I realise I have become so focused on my pains that I miss out on big chunks of my life and the time I spend worrying about the pain is time I could be enjoying my life and experiencing life more fully. I am now getting moments of sincere belief it is TMS, they don't last long and are fragile but they do occur and make me feel very positive. I sat and worked out how the pain has manifested itself over the past 2 years and I was amazed at how this pain has moved around. I have had shoulder pain then a severe neck pain for a couple of months, I then had terrible foot and ankle pain that turned into tingling and numbness in both legs, then knee pain and lower back pain and currently it is sciatica type pain and thigh pain....I have been worrying about all of this and feeling so weak and diminished but all the areas that once hurt are now fine, the pain finds a new site, and when I calmly think about this I feel a bit dumb for not thinking this might be more a psychological problem than a physical one. I had to do a lot of physical stuff yesterday and wasnt in the mood, worrying about how it will make my sciatica pain worse and how tense it made me, I did it, the pain was ok and didnt get worse and later it just went away altogether for a short while. It has given me more confidence to move my body and enjoy being physical. I am glad you are now pain free and look forward to that too but am also looking forward to the journey and learning more about myself and how to live well

    many thanks

    mike2014 likes this.
  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    The TMS journey to self-discovery was amazing for me. I think it was even more helpful than healing from
    my back pain. I didn't think I had much more to learn about life and living when I reached 82
    but TMS knowledge over the past two years since then have made me happier, healthier.
    heleng, Tennis Tom and mike2014 like this.
  18. heleng

    heleng Peer Supporter

    Hi Walt

    I agree, I do feel I am learning about myself and things seem to be falling into place. I am remembering lots of things and episodes which I think may well have been TMS issues. I think I have been like this since a child really, I dont mean I have been in pain all the time but had the potential for it. I am now spotting TMS in all sorts of situations, in terms of family member, friends and work colleagues. I have even talked about it a bit with people I am close to, I expected them to laugh at me but they haven't and have even been interested and said that sounds totally plausible. I feel like a kid who has learnt to tie her shoelaces and suddenly feels a bit more independent and strong. I am really having to be careful with my thoughts and emotions and be kind to myself which is hard but rather nice as well. I feel I have a long way to go but am delighted to at least have found a clear path to follow and to no longer be lost in the wilderness of worrying and upset
    Boston Redsox and mike2014 like this.
  19. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, heleng. I wish I had known about Dr. Sarno and TMS forty years ago, or even 84 years ago.
    But since being healed from back pain by believing in TMS, I feel like a new person,
    both physically and emotionally. I'm still a nut, but a happy nut.
    Boston Redsox likes this.

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