1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Freeange, May 26, 2016.

  1. Freeange

    Freeange Peer Supporter

    i'm on Day 14 of the SEP. I have had fibromyalgia for 15 years and have tried everything I can think of to be free of the pain. I would really like to hear from anyone else who has used the TMS program for fibromyalgia. I could really use some success stories or any tips. I have read in Sarnos book that fibromyalgia patients often need psychotherapy and am wondering about other people's thoughts on that.

    I think the TMS strategies are working for me but I'm having. Flare today and am feeling so,ewhat fragile and a n need of a bit of reassurance from someone's else who has walked this road
  2. Bunneh

    Bunneh Peer Supporter

  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had fibromyalgia for 20 years and have recovered from it using TMS healing techniques. You can see my Success Story in that sub-Forum or on my profile page.

    You can recover. Best wishes to you.....
    mike2014 likes this.
  4. Freeange

    Freeange Peer Supporter

    Hi Ellen
    I'm having a stumbling block and was hoping your experience would help. Since I know fibromyalgia isn't structural like some other TMS manifestations I know I can't physically harm my body but I'm terrified of almost all activity since I associate Activity (even simple things like mptying the dishwasher or doing laudry) with increased pain. For me the increased pain is usually not immediate but creeps up hours later or the next day. I want to know how to increase my physical activity without reinforcing the pain cycle. Do I just keep exercising every day as a #**# you to the pain? As you can probably appreciate the idea of increasing pain is really scary and causes much anxiety. Any advice you have for me would be appreciated.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, I didn't start exercising and doing yoga until my pain levels were low. I did deal with post-exercise pain flare-ups at times, but just kept telling myself it was psychological and not structural. Eventually, this went away and exercise doesn't create any pain for me now--other than the normal type of sore muscles if I haven't used them for awhile.

    Are you keeping an evidence sheet? If so, have you noted any times when you've done some activity and there was no increase in pain? Perhaps for some activity you really enjoy and were immersed in it enough that you didn't even think about pain? I would suggest starting there. Keep it short at first and try to create those exceptions and write them down on your evidence sheet. Then remind yourself of those successes often and try to build on them.

    Also, talk to your unconscious brain. Tell it that it makes no sense for pain to appear hours or a day later after doing a simple activity. Then keep working on a program (the SEP or Unlearn Your Pain) that helps you to think psychologically about the causes of your pain. Tell your brain you are willing to look at all your emotions and feel them, so it doesn't need to create pain to distract you. Repeat this often.

    These are techniques that worked for me, but it did take some time in my case with some ups and downs. But it eventually worked. You will find what works for you. Just keep at it and don't get discouraged. You are on the right path.
  6. Freeange

    Freeange Peer Supporter

    Okay thanks Ellen. Sounds very similar to what I was thinking so that gives me some confidence. I have also printed off your recovery plan from your post and keep it in my journal. The pints that spoke to me immediately were the one about accepting the pain as an indication of a faulty signal from my brain and shifting my perception of myself to a healthy person. I also realized that I have been overdoing working on TMS (just realized this yesterday) because I have a habit of going at things over the top. So your reminder to limit to am hour a day was also timely.

    I also appreciate your words above about talking to my brain re: how could activity cause delayed pain. I hadn't thought of that bit it makes good sense.

    Thanks so much for your time in responding to this

  7. Porpoise

    Porpoise Peer Supporter

    Hi Ange,

    I just wanted to let you know that I seem to be in the exact same boat as you. I have pain on some level all, or most, of the time, but pain brings an increase in pain (everywhere, but especially burning in my legs and feet) some time after activity. My fear is focused on walking - just everyday walking from here to there. I can do very little without a huge increase in pain, which of course means I'm scared of walking. I've had some success by increasing walking and other activity very slightly bit by bit by very tiny amounts - this increases confidence and does increase range of activity, but it's not a 'cure', as the fear is still there, and my functionality is still very low.

    I have been able to challenge some of the specific fears - for example, I feared, like you, that emptying the dishwasher would be followed by pain, and to some extent it was true, but I tried doing some of it, then a little more, and now I just do it as a matter of course without fear. The same has been true of playing the piano, climbing stairs, and doing some other simple household tasks. Sometimes I do still feel fear - and sometimes I do get more pain - but because it's become part of my routine, I take it more in my stride.

    The point, I think, is to learn to handle the fear of more pain. There are different approaches to this. Personally, I think it's counter-productive to 'fight', or 'try to eliminate' fear. That way you just increase pressure on yourself. Like other emotions, I think fear needs to be accepted. I'm learning to treat fear of pain as I treat other emotions. I try to feel it when I'm aware of it, accept it, and then I try to become aware of a different (an adult or parental or wise or observing part of self) that is able to tolerate the fear. This hasn't resulted in my suddenly being able to do tons of stuff I haven't been able to do, but it's gradually teaching me that I don't need to fear the fear of pain, which is a step in the right direction.

    I'm finding that working with a somatic psychotherapist is helping me to handle emotions I'm scared of. I can't help but be aware of the metaphors involved in my particular brand of chronic pain/fibromyalgia/TMS: it seems my mindbody has tried (clumsily, like a child) to solve my issues surrounding boundaries and self-efficacy in this way, but in allowing more and more of my adult/wise self to have a voice while feeling and expressing my feelings (especially the feelings of the very young part of myself), I can gradually reduce the unconscious need for pain. At least I hope so! A long time has passed and there hasn't been much change in my pain levels or even my fear of further pain, but I think that at the very least, I can be happier in myself by continuing on this path.
    Freeange and westb like this.

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