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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by AbbyRose, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. AbbyRose

    AbbyRose New Member

    Hi. I need some help with exercise. I have a history of compulsive exercise. In fact, all of my TMS symptoms originated with an athletic injury that I didn't properly rest because I couldn't stop exercising. I would say, though, for the past 6 to 8 years I have been exercising moderately (30-45 min 3 to 5x per week). My doubt from fully accepting TMS is that other than a few random weeks here and there, I have never really stopped exercising completely even though I am in pain. I will say I have had several doctors say they couldn't find a cause for my pain (plantar fascitis, groin pain, shoulder and neck pain) and have had all negative MRIs. I want to accept the TMS diagnosis so I can exercise pain-free for all of the benefits of exercise, but this old voice keeps telling me I shouldn't exercise at all and just rest. Does anyone have a similar story or could offer me some advice? Thanks.
  2. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Hi, I exercised all my life from the age of 6. I was born into a family of ballet
    and always had extreme exercise all my life. In my my later yrs I taught and also
    taught aerobics and etc. I stopped due to moving to another state and started
    with the TMS!! First pain in the feet, then the legs and then hips to the legs!
    I have now started to go to the gym through the pain and exercise. Yes I am in
    pain but probably because I have not exercised in 7 yrs. I will get through this!!
    Fondly, Nancy
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    AbbyRose , What a great name.
    I have done a lot of exercising in my life and I couldn't stop in the past either. Its a habit, although id say the exercise is fine it could be giving you conditioned responses. Like the Dr. might have told you that exercise will make the pain stay longer or not to exercise at all. Maybe you heard it through the grapevine that exercise is going to keep making you hurt more if you keep exercising.

    The list could go on and on about how the mind can store negative thoughts and words from others that can generate pain in our bodies. It can also store negative thoughts you have toward exercise that can keep the pain alive. So with that said, as an ex- extremist in exercising myself. Id say to try and get used to another hobby for about a month and really give your body and mind time to know you should be healed from any symptoms by now. 1 month and in that month make sure you think about your stressors and come to terms with them the best you can. Work on other parts of your life that you might have put off for a long time so you can soothe your unconscious thoughts that could be leading to pain.

    I had to stop exercising altogether before I really began to heal because I was unconsciously thinking somehow the exercise was keeping me in pain. See it was just conditioning of the mind. So in essence if you let it go for a month you should get a grip over this pull to exercise all the time. And in this time make sure to go through the SEP program here at Tmswiki to relieve you of your tms symptoms ok.

    Thanks for writing
    This should help you.
    PKat and plum like this.
  4. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    On this forum, I have learned the concept Outcome Dependence. This segued perfectly into my teachings of yoga. The popular practice has become about fitness and power. This encourages the Ego. Another class in town offers a yoga that is competitive, driving students to push harder and longer. This ramps up pain for some. One of my students attends that class, and mine. At first she wanted me to create power sessions and it was very hard for her to slow down. A year later, she is understanding how her Ego drives her actions. She wants perfect weight, perfect power.

    Now she just starting to listen to her real needs. She asks me, "Am I doing this right?" I say, "How does it feel?" Each and every motion generates a sensation.

    In veering away from the outcome and bringing yourself fully into the moment, you can experience what your body is really needing. When I do this, my pain falls away. When I take away the expectations and just experience each aspect of my motions with full attention, the body learns a different path. I am not demanding anything, I am just being.

    This is not an easy transition. When I first started, my Ego drove me to prove I could do anything my teacher could do. One day, she took three of us into a private class, and drove us full out. Eventually, we collapsed. Laying on the mat, I felt released. No longer did I need to prove anything. My practice was now about the needs of my Body, rather than the needs of my Ego.

    Be kind to yourself ... and remember, it is just a practice.

    with grace and gratitude,
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Abby Rose, this may sound like not sound advice,
    but try not to be compulsive about exercise.
    Enjoy it but don't let it become an obsession.
    The only thing to be compulsive about is being at peace with yourself.

    I think many people over-do exercise because if they go to a gym,
    the music is so loud and fast it makes people exercise faster.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. PKat

    PKat New Member

    Hey there AbbyRose, I can very much empathise! When I got over my sciatica for about a month I was obsessed with exercising. I got it into my head that if i didn't exercise, I would get worse. I was doing bikram yoga or running or, frankly, finding a way to punish my body… and i'm 2 months back into sciatic hell!! but it's easing gradually.
    I am still learning about this too. What i have seen over the last week even is that it doesn't matter if i exercise or not. the pain is independent to my physical actions, so it doesn't matter. i just re-read Alan Gordon's post on outcome independence on this site which might help you.

    Thanks Nancy, Eric, Lily Rose and Walt - I really enjoy reading your posts and your wisdom from the other side of this beastie! What I have taken from your comments is: exercise because you want to, because you love whatever exercise you do, but don't monitor your symptoms. I remember one of Dr Sarno's books saying your back/neck/shoulders/hip etc is stronger than we think, it is stronger than our doctors think. (I don't mean go out and bench press 150kg though!! work within your capacity!) Exercise can be such a joy.

    I bought myself a rusty old second hand bicycle last year - i spent a day scrubbing most of the rust off it with aluminium foil and water (and it turns out the RSI i had didn't bother me a bit for the whole process…). I have to say that every time i ride it i feel like a puppy dog - you know when they hang their head out of the window of a moving car and look like if they were any happier they would pass out? well, that's how i feel on my trusty rusty bike. some days i get on my bike, some days i don't. but i don't see it as exercise, i see it as an absolute joy… and i have no sciatic pain when i'm riding…none! it's not a perfect bike and i certainly don't cut a perfect form. but i grin from ear to ear like a dog in heaven!

    i know i tend to get stuck in deciding what the right thing to do is to avoid pain. So, i'll tell you what i'm telling myself right now: you don't have to do things perfectly or wait for the perfect moment. be yourself. be happy. find the fun again. find the happy internal doggie. you are perfect in your imperfections.

    I hope this works for you…
    PK x
    Barb M. and Lily Rose like this.
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love this quote PKat, thanks so much. Looks like im learning from you too. Awesome
    PKat and Lily Rose like this.
  8. PKat

    PKat New Member

    Aww shucks - thanks Eric :D
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  9. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    This topic brought up some feelings for me. Last weeks' symptoms seemed to have been brought on by an extended and intense core workout including "15 abdominal exercises you have never done but should" -- so I did them each for 45 seconds, along with my regular core workout. I was in so much pain last weekend, a place I had not visited in a long while.

    I am now back to normal, thankfully, and pain free but aware of sensitivity and fear of recurrence.
    I am exercising a bit more gently, integrating extra Pilates and yoga back in, instead of just doing four or more 12 minute bursts of intense "7" minute workouts that I have extended over the past year to about 12 minutes per series. They are hard. I like how they bust tension but overdoing tipped the scales and made for pain relapse.

    It's about pacing and awareness, staying in my body while I am working out, not just driving over myself like a tank.

    I have done everything to the max most of my life. I have tried to outrun my tension. It doesn't work; has only made me hurt. Slowing down and facing anxiety has been curative in so many ways. While I am still afraid to participate here, I know that I have build hundreds of somatic bridges for myself and others and that this latest challenge will take me to great awareness if I can tolerate the mystery of my anxiety rather than fighting it, hating it, judging it, running from it.

    While there are folks on these threads saying that the IC 'diet' of avoiding acidic substances doesn't matter; the jury is really still out on this. I threw most of the rules out the window the past few years, started drinking half a lemon in my morning water, even returned to intense coffee instead of this bland Kava, deacidized instant yuck. Coming back from the worst backslide in 25 years got my attention. Too much core work combined with too much acidic tea and lemon water after my morning coffee was the perfect storm for me.

    I want to listen and respect my body. It doesn't speak exactly the same language as most, though some of my traits are exactly the same as most of the people in this group.

    Today, I am in the Tao of TMS. I want to learn from my tension, accept instead of fight - breath instead of hold my breath.

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