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Day 1 Educational Programme Day 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by james9494, May 20, 2023.

  1. james9494

    james9494 Newcomer

    Since May 2020, my body has basically fallen apart. I have had back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and all other kinds of pain. I have had balance issues, breathing issues, sleeping issues, and huge amounts of stress, depression and anxiety. I have had incredible degrees of postural distortion, from my shoulders being warped at different heights to my head and feet facing different directions.

    For the last year, I have been seeing a PRI (Postural Restoration Institute) specialist about my issues. Their practice explained perfectly the pattern of symptoms I had in a way no other field or practitioner has or can. Simply put, my body was falling apart, and they had the answers. In seeing my PRI physio, I have made a lot of progress and really dug myself out of the deepest pit I had ever been in. Whilst I can still feel a lot of dysfunction, and get pain in my neck, shoulders, hips, feet, and calves etc. I have exercises that control it and keep it in check. I have been told that I am what they call a 'cranially driven' case - meaning that structural alignment problems with my jaw and airway are stopping the exercises from 'sticking' and fixing me for good.I have truly awful teeth, a tongue tie, and a jaw that deviates to the left, not to mention a narrow upper palate - thus, I have accepted the working diagnosis that I require some kind of jaw surgery, or palate expansion to achieve full resolution of these symptoms.

    However, in speaking with a friend I have met in suffering with the same issues, one question we both have is: why? We are told these postural problems are rooted in the sensory input our brain receives from teeth, feet, and eyes. and that our autonomic nervous systems are on the fritz because our teeth are telling our brains that the environment isnt safe. Fair enough - but still - why are our bodies and autonomic nervous systems so sensitive to this misalignment? For, there are tonnes of people with terrible teeth, awful posture, messed up feet, narrow palates, cross-bites etc. who, all seemingly lead normal lives free of chronic pain and dysfunction.

    The thing that has brought me here, however, is not disenfranchisement with PRI - I have to admit, I do not question the theory or diagnosis of my PRI physio; or any of the aforementioned pain. The reason I am here is forearm, hand, and wrist pain which has persisted since October 2022, for damn near 8 months at the time of writing.

    Unlike the rest of my pain, I haven't been able to control or explain this pain. I got it after trying to learn the piano intensely for 2 years or so. Before October, I had thumb and wrist pain that came and went at the piano.
    After a particularly intense session of practicing rotational movements, the pain in my wrist became much more intense and increasingly more chronic. At first it was just at or after being at the piano; then it was at my work desk, but not home desk which is a lot more ergonomic than my work desk; then eventually, my home desk too.
    I haven't played the piano since October 22 - I have dabbled here and there on a lighter keyboard but nothing serious or sustained. I have been using a vertical mouse since the start of November.

    At first, the mouse helped a lot and by the end of December I felt like I was getting better. But since the start of January, my situation has been all over the place. The arm pain has been up and down but never gone. It is present and diffuse in both arms - since its inception I have not been able to map the symptoms to a specific condition.

    What has pushed me over the edge, however, is that over the last 2 weeks it has gotten steadily worse to the point it feels as though I may become functionally disabled in the near future. Whereas it used to be just pain which I would push through, it is now severe weakness too. I desperately did some curling exercises I found online the other day and since then I have had what now feels like golfer's elbow symptoms in each arm.
    Whilst I know that what I was doing at the piano could definitely cause injury; and that my body is already in a state of postural compromise - I can't make sense of the nature of this pain. Why has it persisted so long when I have offloaded a fair deal? Why hasn't my left hand gotten better, when I use it less than my right? Even at the piano I used it far less rigorously!

    Whilst I have always resented the 'its all in your head' diagnosis after being given it at the beginning of my pain journey, I am now beginning to think my arm pain in particular could be TSM. I am admittedly sceptical, but at the same time, open to the fact that it could also be the root of my wider postural issues - as a lot of the success stories I have read sound like textbook PRI cases! What I appreciate about this theory isn't that it just says 'it's in your mind' but really explains how and why the mind might manifest this pain. And also provides a physical explanation of the pain - the oxygen deprivation of the muscles and links to the autonomic nervous system convince me greatly that it could apply to me, one way or another.

    I also fount that I am a textbook personality for this kind of pain; a textbook people pleasing, conflicting avoiding, goodist, with huge perfectionist tendencies. I have to be good at everything i do, there's a right way to do it, and thats how I want to do it - this is precisely what drove me to injury at the piano! I also have lots of childhood issues that I know need dealing with.

    My biggest fear like everyone, is that my arms might actually have tissue, tendon, or fascial damage and persisting through pain may cripple me. It's hard to let go of that but I will try.

    I am going to give this an honest try, and have already looked into getting a therapist to help with my journey - lord knows I need one!

    Thanks to anyone reading this or offering advice!
    Last edited: May 20, 2023
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I also do PRI and am a cranial-vision person in their capacity.
    What does it really mean? That you hold tension in this area. I have been to their head office, asked a lot of TMS type questions.
    Many of their patients have anxiety, tms like (they don’t call it that) symptoms and personalities. They were very clear about the fact they address nervous system disregulation (their breathing techniques) and what I needed to do and how I had to start approaching things. The need to relax in some techniques and to relax after others. To go slow, and make it fun, but be committed to loosing the fear of moving.
    Not all PRI practitioners will have this mindset, but they sure do at the source. It is hard to work through this and do tms work at the same time, but I am doing it. It would not be an approach recommended by most people on this forum.
    I look at it as my inner tension and anxiety caused symptoms that pri addresses. It helps me no move with less fear, the breath work calms me down. My mindset has changed from what is “wrong” with me to learning how to feel right within me. Every time I have strong symptom sensations I still ask myself “how am I feeling emotionally?” I try and put the TMS work first and foremost.
    The reason I stick with this method is because it has worked for my coach who has tms.
    james9494 likes this.
  3. james9494

    james9494 Newcomer

    Wow it’s interesting to meet another PRI case. I agree with you that both TMI and PRI theory can coexist. PRI itself focuses on the neurological patterns of the brain that create pain, which is very similar to what TMS is saying about neuroplastic pain.

    Do you follow the work of Neal Hallinan? He, over the last year or two, has spoken more on the mental, spiritual, and emotional factors involved in patterning. He has said that he has experienced 2 instances of intense flashbacks where he has relived repressed memories, and after the episodes an element of his patterning/pain was resolved. After one of them, he was able to breath out of his left nostril which he could never do! I think that in itself could be classed as TMS, whether he knows it or not!

    I think like PRI, we need an open mind!
  4. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    PRI says it is a lot of things, but the basic gyst is we all have asymmetrical bodies. Some of us with anxietal personalities and or pain (tms) simply become more patterned. They believe it has a neurological component but absolutely agree that it ramps up your nervous system and you get symptoms. I do not work with Neil, I work in person with a highly trained therapist, I also have two therapists in Lincoln and my coach is online (but does not do PRI with me, she is just for support until I no longer need in person assistance). Neil is a pretty classic TMS-er, he just uses other terminology to explain his past pain. He discusses spiritual awakening, finding meaning in life (when he found PRI) and childhood trauma. He has discussed these things with my therapist who now knows to refer his clients with anxiety and fear to TMS coaches.
    The folks in Lincoln are all highly spiritual, and now encourage you to work on yourself as a whole person. Their approach to breath as expressed to clients has changed, it is used to created a relaxation response. To simply teach your body to chill and then get out and enjoy life, and move your body!. They recommend not thinking about PRI unless you are doing your 15-20 minute session, and find a way to make that fun.
    However, this forum is to discuss tms and that is the #1 focus of where our mind should be, on the psychological. Let’s keep it there.
    Last edited: May 21, 2023
    james9494 likes this.
  5. james9494

    james9494 Newcomer

    absolutely, I am really taking this seriously and learning as much as I can. I didn’t mean to derail the focus or topic of conversation, day 1 of the plan said to say where you’re at and that’s been a big part of my journey and understanding if my situation.

    I’ve been thinking and ruminating a lot today about my life and pressures and already dealing there’s certain things I haven’t processed or haven’t realised affect me so much. Like, for example, my friends moving away soon.

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