I'm on my fifth day now of focused effort on reducing TMS pain, and I've got to say, things feel different. For one, my knowledge of the origin of my pain appears like a shield I can use against it (though it's awkward to handle). I have spent a lot of yesterday and today in what feels like a very difficult struggle trying to hold up this shield, while my pain, which has much more practice, fights against it. It has been an emotional roller-coaster. I have moments of clarity where I understand that I have TMS with absolute confidence and the pain seems to melt away for a little, and then I have upsets (generally when I'm at the computer, testing myself) where I'll walk away in pain, discouraged and worried. I understand now (at least partially) what people mean when saying that getting through the treatment will be difficult. It's even hard to read some of the success stories now, because I want to already be there myself so badly. I've been using some techniques from the Amir book (Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain), particularly visualization and affirmation. I woke up this morning with my mind prompting me to wrestle with it, like a puppy that wants to play (though it was much less friendly than a puppy once we got going). First, I had persistent pain in my right hand from the day before, so I focused on getting it to 'melt away,' with some success (certain thoughts bring it right back though). And then I began an attempt to visualize myself typing without pain, promising myself a larger coffee today if I could do it successfully. This was a very interesting experience. It was extraordinarily difficult to not activate pain with the visualization. But I see this as a good sign. It just convinces me further that much of what I'm experiencing is the effect of conditioning a pain response to computer usage: I can see that walking up to a computer and placing my hands on the keyboard freaks me out! I can feel myself anticipating the pain as I reach for the keys (and it seems to start just before my fingers are actually there!). It was also interesting because my stomach was doing lots of grumbling and felt somewhat nauseous during this. Anyway, I hope to be a little better after today. I'm getting a better grasp of the fact that this is going to happen incrementally for me (7 years is a long time to condition something I suppose).