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exercise/finding emotions

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Emma, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Emma

    Emma New Member

    I am early stages of educating myself about TMS. One of the hardest things for me over the past 4 months of pain have been that I can not exercise. I am a runner, and along with my competative personality, was doing better and better at running, pushing myself to improve times and fitness. When I was active, running probably became a bit too much a part of my life, a little too much time was spent either doing it, thinking about it, or worrying if I missed a run. I spent the last 4 months with no exercise due to pain ( and before finding TMS ). In those 4 months I went through a lot of emotions about not being able to run. Initially, upset, stressed, up tight, felt sorry for myself. Then over a bit more time, I got some perspective on my running and realised it had become too much of an obsession. So, then I was slightly grateful that I now could see I was too engrossed in running and everything it stood for for me ( weight control, fitness, de-stressor ).
    Then I was happy to not run again, as long as I could exercise in some way.
    I've been reading about TMS for 2 weeks now and am 95% sure I have it. The past 2 weeks have been fairly good pain wise, so I have done 2 very small runs and 1 cycle ride and have had no problems.
    Then ( from what seems like no where ) last night my pain returned to a level 7 I'd say. I went to bed and tried to ignore it. I woke with pain during the night and this morning still have pain of a level 6-7. I can't seem to get to the bottom of my emotions to understand these pain triggers.
    Hence, this thread really. I'm journaling!
    What I will add is that because the 2 runs were a success, I am already thinking about when I can next go. So, perhaps slipping back into the running obsession ( although I'm really trying to keep my new found perspective ).
    I have also started my 'Past traumatic events/stress list' today and am not really sure what I'm putting on it is the right thing. I'm a classic case of ' nothing bad happened to me in the past ' - I had a great childhood, and now have great husband/children. So, I have listed memorable events that happened ( ie, a funeral ) but I'm not convinced it had an impact on me at the time?!?
    Go away pain!!!!! Please.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Emma,

    It could be for you, personality traits and current stress are bigger issues than any past trauma or past experiences.

    But, even if your childhood was good, did something happen that caused you to develop competitive personality traits? It doesn't have to be something bad or traumatic; even having parents or teachers that wanted you to excel and really pushed you can cause this.

    Sometimes as we start to get better we still have some episodes of pain as we unprogram ourselves from TMS-mode.

    It's great that you have been able to get back to running!

    I hope you feel better soon.

    :) Veronica
  3. Emma

    Emma New Member

    Thanks Veronica

    I think if I'm honest I started a bit of exercise/running a little too soon. In John Sarno's book 'Healinh back pain' he says to resume pyhsical activity when the pain is much easier and you fully understand TMS. My pain was much much better when I decided to run, but I prehaps wsa too soon in educating myself in TMS. My pain changes in its locality and intensity on a daily basis, and today I have lots of pain. I totally do not link this pain to the exercise I did, but am in too much pain to do any further exercise. I'm kicking myself for starting to early really.
    Is the ebst way to conquer TMS reading about it? And journalling?
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Don't beat yourself up. This process takes time (says the woman who beats herself up a lot ;) )

    Different things seem to work for different people...for me reading & rereading Dr. Sarno's books helped a lot, as well as journaling/making lists of things that are bothering me, and getting support from people here. The structured program on the wiki is also good, though I haven't finished it yet.
  5. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Hi Emma,

    Welcome to the forum. I agree with Veronica about not beating yourself up about it. You've barely just begun the process of understanding about PPD/TMS. Everyone has a different path to get to the point where their pain is either gone completely or down to a manageable level. You'll figure out eventually what works for you, but just realize that it may take trying different things along the way. It's a journey.

    I would encourage you to work on your belief in TMS as the diagnosis. You say you are 95% sure that you have TMS... work on that other 5%. Some people say, and I would agree, that if you don't believe it 100% you can be stuck in the pain distraction strategy that is the root purpose of PPD/TMS. As long as you are still thinking that there might be a physical cause, you are limiting your recovery.

    Here's a good blog post by Dr. Howard Shubiner about dealing with thoughts like doubts, fear, worry, etc. It may be helpful to you now. A key point in this is "Dr. Sarno always (correctly) says that we need to “erase doubt." I've found this to be a key point for me as I deal with pains.


  6. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Here's something else about doubt/belief in the PPD/TMS diagnosis from Dr. Shubiner. This is taken from the interview with him. (http://tmswiki.org/ppd/Interview_with_Howard_Schubiner,_MD)

  7. Emma

    Emma New Member

    Hi Enrique

    Thank you so much for your reply, and especially for the two links you sent, I am avidly reading all the information! I'm particularly intriged in the meditation section.
    I think I do fully accept that there is nothing physically wrong with my back, but I have worry/fear that I won't be able to overcome TMS, that I'm not bright enough to grasp it, and that I will fail - all obvious parts of my personality of low self esteem! But, I can see that personality trait and therefore hope to improve my self esteem. I am good at giving myslef a good talking to! I invariably 'think the worst' and also need to address this personality trait.
    I'm finding this forum/website so so helpful
  8. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Good to hear Emma. It's really good that you are identifying a personality trait that is creating "faulty" thinking. You are obviously doing some introspection.

    Regarding fear/worry thoughts... one thing that I try to remember when I have them myself is that I (we all) have the ability to choose our thoughts at any point in time. This means we can replace one thought with another. So if I am thinking "I wonder if I'll be able to overcome this pain", "It's not going to work for me", I can recognize a thought like that, realize that I don't want to think that, and then think "I know that I can overcome this pain", "I have it within my power to cure myself", "I'm a winner". It sounds simple, it is simple, but it takes being consistent and persistent, and it takes vigilance. Soon it becomes habit. You can do that. Thoughts are very powerful and YOU have the ability to control that power within yourself.
  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    This is great Enrique. Kind of "Sarno and The Other Docs" in a nutshell. We can read, journal, meditate, change our self talk - but the last is the most important in my book. Trying to change the inner dialog.

    Emma: I think you crave that endorphin rush that we get from exercise. I am fortunate in that I can access this pretty easily. I loved to run until my back went out about 10 years ago. I found lap swimming to be a good substitute. You get the same benefits and it's not as hard on your body. I know this flies in the face of the TMS thinking - but if you need some time before you start on a regular running schedule again, you might try swimming. It will keep you in shape and give you more confidence.

  10. Dario3

    Dario3 New Member

    Hi Emma! I’m going through something similar and consider myself to be a generally happy person. Would love to hear an update on your situation?

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