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Fear of bending

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Shawn S, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Shawn S

    Shawn S New Member

    Hello everyone, I am wondering if anyone with their TMS developed a fear of bending or hurting themselves by bending too much? I came to realize that I had become so fearful of causing pain that I wouldn't move at my hips like normal people. I would avoid it at all costs.

    When I did have to bend for things its not surprising that I would get sore (use it or lose it). I have been doing a great job of losing that fear, I move like a regular person for the most part even though I still fear bending sometimes I just relax and do it anyway. I am making good progress and feel like my back strength is coming back but now I have a new worry.

    I feel like I am obsessed with with getting better and getting my back stronger now. I have been exercising daily with weights or boxing to get my back strength back but I worry that this in its own way is making TMS physical.

    I dont lift heavy yet, I would say my workout is less strenuous than what a construction worker or landscaper does everyday. I feel like its the right way back to getting strong and normal again. To use my body like it was meant to be used. But I can't help but feel like I'm making it too physical.

    I plan on working out like this for a while until my body accepts it as the new normal and when I decide to go heavy again ill cut down the days to maybe 2 strength and 2 boxing a week. Sorry if this is long and rambling, I'm not too good with expressing my thoughts. Hoping to get some feed back. I am doing all the other TMS work like journaling, positive thought, and thinking about my emotions more.

    Currently reading the great pain deception and its helping quite a bit.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    If you fear bending then you don't fully believe you have TMS yet, but that's ok, it's normal. The confidence gets built over time, so don't worry. When you deeply "know" you have TMS you will bend without fear.

    I like the fact that you're obsessed with getting better. That means you want to heal, it's much better than being obsessed with your symptoms. But--don't think about healing, that in itself is TMSing. Just live without worries and trust in the process. Easier said than done, I know.

    Good luck

    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Shawn.
    Steve's book is really great. He says it helped him a lot to be active... walking, tennis, golf... it gave him pain but
    he just didn't let it stop him and in time he healed.

    Thinking you're going to be in pain if you bend over is what Dr. Sarno says is conditioning your mind that
    that's what's going to happen. Some people expect their pain to come on if they stand, sit, or walk.
    Just refuse to think bending will cause you pain. When you bend, think it's from TMS, some repressed
    emotion, and that bending is not going to hurt you.

    Keep at it. Being active is the way to go to be pain free.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Shawn S

    Shawn S New Member

    Solid advice guys and trust me I'm bending a lot now. It just that automatic hesitation that I get at first is hard to shake. I know that will go away as I break the conditioning.

    I seem to be getting huge mood swings now too like swings of anger and swings of depression.

    I think obsessing over wether I'm doing the right workout or if I should workout more or less is my mind looking for more distractions.

    I was always the type that stuffed my emotions away and had many TMS symptoms over the years that I did not recognize as TMS back then. Im finding it quite difficult to deal with my feelings as I start this journey. A huge source of my daily rage is my kids and job. Neither of which I can change.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Him Shawn. I've always liked the names Shawn or Sean. You must be Irish. My favorite movie of all-time is
    THE QUIET MAN, although I'm Polish-Austrian.

    You say you are the type of person who stuffs your emotions away and it's hard to deal with your feelings as you start your TMS journey to healing. But that's what it takes to heal. That's why you have pain. Your unconscious mind is sending pain to you so you dig into your repressed emotions. When you've faced them, your unconscious will stop the pain.

    Your kids and job can make your days angry, but they may not involve any repressed emotions. They may trigger previous emotions from your childhood. You need to journal to think about those. You may not be able to change the relationships, but you can change the way you look at them. Kids can be s.o.b.'s but they're just young and don't yet know how hard it is to be a parent. Most bosses today seem to want only one thing out of their employees: work harder. Letting some staff go puts more pressure on those who remain.

    I used to hate a guy who betrayed my friendship, but when I told myself I forgave him, I felt less pain. It was one of
    my repressed emotions and when I dealt with, I felt a lot better. I know he's still an a-hole, but he's not in my head anymore.

    Bosses can be bastards. I have two. One is very hard to work for since he is a perfectionist's perfectionist and he's really far from from being perfect. If he didn't have me to correct his mistakes, he'd be on a street corner selling apples.

    The other one I just didn't understand. When he explained something about himself to me, I saw him in a new and much more positive light and we're friends now.

    In your workouts, Steve Ozanich says don't exercise a part of the body that hurts, so you can heal it. For example, don't do exercises to strengthen your aching back. Exercise aimed at healing the hurting part does no good. Just exercise
    for general good health.

    Keep journaling to discover your repressed emotions, and add laughter to your TMS healing techniques. Laughing releases natural painkillers in the body that helps heal pain. Even if there's nothing funny going on, or what you're watching on television, just laugh. You can fool your unconscious into thinking your laughter is the real thing. When I get frustrated or angry, I immediately stop and fake some laughing. In seconds, I feel better and even forget what got me pissed off in the first place.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Shawn S

    Shawn S New Member

    Thanks for the reply Walt, I think I'm on the right path as I'm just working out the way I used to with squats, deadlifts, and presses, and martial arts.they just happen to be amazing back exercises. Definitely not exercises someone with a "bad back" would do. I just worry about being over ambitious. I have thrown all fear out the window and in just 2 weeks I would say I'm at an 80% pain reduction so far.

    Your words about jobs and bosses made me burst out laughing as I really thought about my situation. My boss is a pushover and leaves me alone mostly, I make my own schedule, get paid well with lots of vacation and good benefits, and the employees I'm in charge of are all great. I thought about this and just burst out laughing. I have an amazing job and the baby inside me can't help but complain about how boring it is.

    Anyway I am starting the SEP today as I figure it can only help and i have extreme confidence that I am going to beat this now.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Shawn, I wish one of my bosses was like yours. One is, the other isn't. You're lucky to have such an easy-going boss.
    But I know what you mean about the work may be boring. I have a friend who also is paid well but his work bores him. I think the thing to do is do something nights and weekends that may be more creative. It's amazing how much we can accomplish in our "spare time." I've written entire books nights and weekends, just writing instead of watching another movie or football game on tv.

    It's great that you feel 80 percent less pain. Looks like you're doing exercising right. Now keep working on repressed emotions to get rid of the remaining 20 percent.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. Shawn S

    Shawn S New Member

    Creativity is huge and I have actually narrowed down the start of my TMS to losing martial arts in my life. It was my passion and my outlet. My team and my friends. I had to give up martial arts training for money reasons and I was extremely sad and depressed about that.I was actually on track to teach martial arts as a new career when my kids were all in school.

    Shortly after that i "hurt" my back. I grew up with a parent with back troubles and I think this is something I view as something that may happen to me some day. I sustained a few small injuries over the years in martial arts and it was always just keep training and it would go away, the way it should be. But now that I look back I viewed back injuries the way everyone does as serious and life changing. So the depression sky rocketed believing I couldn't do martial arts or strength training any more.Mental conditioning is powerful.

    I think having martial arts back in my life now is huge for me. I am training alone right now but will be starting up at my gym again in the spring. I have 2 gift certificates now and people will be getting me a couple more for my birthday so that will solve the money problem for now. That should hold me over until we sell a property that I own and then money won't be an issue anymore.

    Things start to workout I guess when you stay positive and make them work.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  9. Leonor

    Leonor Peer Supporter

    Hi Walt, I read Ozanich's book and don't remember that part, but I do exercise with all the parts that hurt. I have fibro, so if I would wait until I have no pain, I could never work out. I started several times, I do weights, and I stopped twice (three days most) but kept doing it and I don't have extra pain anymore. I must say I have less pain, like 15%. I started with 3 pounds, then 5 pounds and now 8 pounds, and planning to increase more. I am also practicing volleyball at the park and at the beach. I just know that one day I will wake up without pain, so Shawn S just hang in there!

    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Leonor, that's great. You're exercising and practicing volleyball at the park and at the beach.
    That ought to all make you feel really good about yourself and your progress.

    I do believe Steve says not to exercise to relieve pain a specific part of the body, but exercise
    for complete body health, and so does Dr. Sarno.

    Shawn, you're also doing great with your exercising. Steve says pain or no pain, keep active.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  11. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    An Orthopedic surgeon that specializes in Scoliosis told me 15 years ago I had to eliminate all bending. He told me the options for my spine were limited for someone who had scoliosis surgery over 30 years ago. Gardening breathed life into me. He told me to STOP all gardening. Gardening kept me mentally afloat for years. I couldn't dig a hole for a plant, cut back my flowers, plant bulbs, or watch living things grow (emotionally too painful). His words planted themselves in my brain. Everything I did was limited by his orders and fear of the pain and future.

    Last winter I shoveled equivalent to 3 feet of snow over several months. I was not even sore. I am back to planning my garden for the spring. I am ready to dig holes, plant plants, crawl around on my knees, and so grateful I found Dr. Sarno.

    You have found the right place Shawn.
    G.R., Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  12. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    You guys are awesome. I love my community. What more could anyone ask for than a site with friends and truths that really heal. Wow
    Stella likes this.
  13. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Well, I didnt have a fear of bending, but I will tell you I had pretty bad pain in my wrists and I was afraid of doing anything with them. I was afraid of chopping up an onion, because it would make my RSI worse or so I thought. Nowadays I really enjoy weight lifting, crushing the weights with my hands and knowing that my hands work perfectly fine and I'm not making any problem worse, because there is no structural problem. You will get there.
    Stella likes this.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Stella and jazzhands, your posts are terrific. Very inspirational to anyone with TMS pain.

    The good doctor Sarno is helping so many people with his TMS philosophy,
    and we at TMSWiki such as you both are helping encourage others to heal from discovering our repressed emotions.
    We all have them, and it's so good to know we can heal from pain by learning about them.
    No pills, no spinal adjustments, no surgery. It sure works!
    Stella likes this.
  15. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    I just joined this forum, and am so pleased that there is this community of people who understand TMS and can support one another!

    Stella mentioned that her doctor's words were planted in her brain (love the gardening metaphor from a gardener!). I have done a similar thing with my PT, who has helped me in the past with back pain. For the past few months, I have taken her every word to heart, esp the bit about having an "unstable pelvis" that requires "adjusting" several times a day. Each time I went in for an appt, she would check my alignment and I would wait in fear to see if it was "in" or "out".

    I just did a consult with a TMS doc which was fabulous! I learned that based on TMS philosophy, there isn't such a thing as an unstable pelvis - it's TMS. All the icing and heating I've been doing isn't going to address the TMS pain. I am now shifting my thinking and acknowledging that it's TMS. This means recognizing the fears I have about "hurting myself more"... FEAR is insidious!

    I just took on a new part-time job, and today went to get a new ID and parking permit, etc. While I have been increasing my amount of walking time - the PT says to go gradual and the TMS doc says do what you want - I was walking a LOT - and a part of my brain was calibrating whether it was too much. But I just did it and told myself that I was fine. It seems like in order to take on TMS thinking - there is an internal dialogue that has to happen to counter the fears, etc. Anyone have thoughts on this?

  16. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle


    That internal dialogue goes hand in hand with creating an Evidence Sheet, per Alan Gordon's recovery program. This is essentially a piece of paper you can review whenever you feel the fear increasing. Using logic and reasoning is a great way to break the pain cycle.

    Doctors have great influence on how we perceive our health to be. We all probably have stories where doctors told us something that created more fear and increased our symptoms. That is why seeing a TMS doctor can be so powerful. It can provide you the opportunity to have a trained professional state that these symptoms are, in fact, benign. That knowledge is a great tool to use when you are countering your fears.
    Ellen likes this.
  17. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Forest. The evidence sheet is a great idea. And I enjoyed reading your story! (via the link) I am at the stage where there's more pain when I do more, but I'm doing it anyway. My stuff got kicked up last night when my partner kicked my knee (accidently!) when getting back into bed. I awoke in pain and then the whole fear thing "kicked" in (pun intended). My knee hurt and the pain began to radiate up my left side to areas that have been persistent. I was angry that I was awakened (I am not a great sleeper anyway) and that I was in pain. And I was FEARFUL that "something bad happened" that would contribute to more pain. I told myself that this was fear speaking, and to stop worrying. It's not easy, is it?
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your partner needs to get into bed more gently. If it happens again, don't think about the pain,
    think how good you feel about having a partner in bed with you. haha
  19. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    You're right, Walt! Focus on the positives... And I appreciate your sense of humor! ;-)
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  20. Leonor

    Leonor Peer Supporter

    Hi Friedmin, it happens to all of us, specially if you have been in pain for a long time. Sometimes I do have to take a break, one day only, and than I go back again. It is always very important to think emotionally and remember that this is our unconsciousness trying to protect us from anxiety. People use different methods for bringing it to light; some get mad at it, some talk to it, some just try to link it to something emotional that happened before or is happening now, etc. The main thing is remembering that it is not physical and that we have the tools now to overcome it.

    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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