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Educational Program- doubts and "extinction burst"?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by hoolie, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. hoolie

    hoolie Peer Supporter

    Hi all-

    So, a year ago I started this program but just could not shake the structural diagnosis. I had a herniated disc, I am a PT- just couldn't get over it! But now, a year later and still living in fear, enough is enough. Even a PT told me, "You are NOT fragile! You are healed at this point!" So I picked up my books again and I have been devouring, and journaling, and am seeing a therapist who is VERY open to this work (and in fact has a brother in law who was cured of back pain by Sarno's books!).

    So, the my pain is wandering all over the place- neck, now KNEES, shoulders...and that's what made me bite the bullet and realize that this has to be what is going on. And I am so filled with hope when I read about this, and the success stories...and realizing that I'm not alone. BUT- I am a chronic self-doubter, second guesser, which stems from some deep-seeded insecurity issues that I'm discovering. So the doubts are still there, especially as I'm a week into really being into this and the pains are popping up everywhere, at times worse than before. Alan Gordon referred to this as the "extinction burst" before the pain goes away (I hope!). Have any of you experienced this? I would love to hear from you.

    Thanks for any and all support you can offer.

  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Hoolie,

    Welcome to the Forum! So glad you are back and starting the SEP. Your hope and commitment will take you far as you go through the SEP and the other materials on this site. I think most of us who have had TMS would describe ourselves as "self-doubters, second guessers, and having deep-seeded insecurity". It is part of the condition. So you are not alone at all. The TMS healing exercises that you will find in the SEP and elsewhere on this site will have many strategies for dealing with these personality traits, and incorporating them into your daily routine is an essential part of healing for most of us.

    As far as your question about the extinction burst goes--I did not experience any kind of discernible pattern to the ebb and flow of my pain levels in the beginning of my healing process. The pain would disappear completely for awhile, then come back stronger than before, move around, morph into TMS equivalents, go back to chronic pain, and then settled into about a 10-20% level for almost a year of what it had been prior to discovering the concept of TMS, before I finally was relieved of the pain. Now I am still working on some TMS equivalents though I am free of the chronic pain I had most of my life. That is my story, but I was also working on eliminating medications during that time, and each change I made exacerbated some of my symptoms before they resolved.

    But I believe an essential concept to recovery is practicing Outcome Independence, as described by Alan Gordon. If you are fixated on achieving a certain degree of relief from pain along a certain trajectory within a specific timeline, your unconscious brain will likely sabotage those plans. Recovery from TMS is about changing your relationship with the pain, as well as the thoughts and behaviors that keep it in place. It's a process of fundamental change, but is the most rewarding work I've done and continue to do. You are on the right path, and will find much support and wisdom on the Forum for your healing journey. Keep us posted on how you're doing and let us know how we can support you.
    hoolie likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Hoolie. Your symptoms moving around is a sign that your subconscious gets it...
    that you are working on discovering your repressed emotions.

    You already know that insecurity is a big part of your past and probably your present.
    The SEP program will help you to uncover why you feel insecure and it probably goes back
    to your childhood, as mine did. Keep positive and active and take your mind off your pain
    as much as you can. Distractions help, as does visualizing yourself in a happy, safe, beautiful place
    like a sunny beach. Go there mentally and it will help you to enjoy the day.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hoolie, if you read Dr. Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain, you read his 13 Daily Reminders.
    Herbie wrote his longer version of them and I think you would like to read them:

    Herbie’s Extended Version of Dr. Sarno’s 12 DAILY REMINDERS

    1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but its caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does cause real pain too.
    2. The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you get in pain or in anxiety then the the blood is restricted from going to your lower back for instance. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain - remember, where theirs no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, The pain stays because of fear and focus to physical organic symptoms and repressions.
    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from tms healing knowledge causing damage to anyone, it only helps.
    4. The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER -- this means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. Tmsers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits,traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks its helping you.
    5. TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you wont have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed cause you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.
    6. Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear then I feed the pain, If I fear Its impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.
    7. Therefore, physical activity is harmless.If I want to work against the pain I could but its better to lose some of the pain so when I start my life over I=t have to be in pain trying to heal cause facing the repressions and all the other activities that cause the pain and reversing my fear and focus to them then I can heal.
    8. I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my bodies ability to heal now. I can move how I want. I will not fear moving with a bent back anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.
    9. The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how its hidden -- its illusion, Its fear.
    10. I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face everyone of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present, in flow.
    11. I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.
    12. I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling. The science behind mind-body/tms healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of tms. Tms will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off psychical symptoms and on emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore thus making the tms of no effect. This will in return, give us the cure.
  5. hoolie

    hoolie Peer Supporter

    Dear Walt and Ellen,

    Thank you for you for your encouragement and inspiring words! I'm trying to strike a balance between now becoming "obsessed" with TMS and reaching out for the help and encouragement I need. I really appreciate it.

    It's funny, how though my back has been the focus of my life for the past year, I'm having a harder time "accepting" TMS for my knee pain....which is now what is consuming me! I saw my NP the other day, who is very supportive of mind-body medicine, and told her that I don't really want x-rays, etc...because I don't want to know about any "structural " issues that are probably incidental and not related to pain. I'm 37, not 97 (which is how I honestly feel some days!) .
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Hoolie. You need a new boost of confidence in TMS causing your symptoms. Read the success stories to help with that.
    I too wouldn't believe that the symptoms are structural. You need to work on journaling to discover the repressed emotions
    causing the pain, and they probably go back to your youth.

    I'm 84 and sometimes I feel like I'm 85. Poor me!
    cougar9000 likes this.
  7. hoolie

    hoolie Peer Supporter

    Thanks again for the responses everyone.

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