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Day 1 First post - hoping for healing

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by lizabean, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. lizabean

    lizabean Newcomer

    Hi - I stumbled upon Dr. Sarno's book, and bought the audio copy since I drive a lot. I experienced some pain reduction since starting this journey about 2-3 weeks ago and it seems to keep coming back in some way. I notice that different things alleviate the pain to some degree but never all the way - whether talking to trusted family member or re-listening or reading success stories - those are all things where I will note a drop in pain by about 60-70%. But it keeps coming back.

    I have a long sordid history of undiagnosed back and leg pain, with incredibly tight hamstrings. Been to PT and doctors - no xrays or MRIs since PT has historically helped for a short time. And then I am able to manage the pain by doing my stretches and exersizes but if I don't do them - pain gets worse. I am (hoping not to be)limited in activity - can't run, hard time standing or sitting for long time, can't ride my horse without fear of pain coming on (trigger). Running and horseback riding have been triggers of my pain historically - now I am/was in pain most of the time - hard time bending over, etc.

    I have read about people getting well immediately after reading and that was not me - so I have some discouragement but also some hope. Perhaps I didn't or don't believe fully yet that this is what I have, even though it all makes total sense and I fit the personality to a tee. So I am a little discouraged that I still have as much pain that I do and that it keeps coming back but I have seen pain reduction in spurts so I'm willing to keep going - hence why I found this site as I feel like I must be missing something with this whole thing.

    Ironically, when I stretch my hamstrings I can and often feel anger come up as I'm stretching so I always figured I was 'storing' my anger there - so I guess I've always had some insight into the mental part of this and I am looking forward to working through whatever other blocks I have to healing.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. mrswhitney

    mrswhitney Newcomer

    Hi lizabean,
    I just started this structured program a few days ago. I read Dr. Sarno's book a couple months ago and like you had a big reduction in pain. It intensifies when my mind entertains the idea that I may need medical treatment or that I should foam roll or do stretches. I can tell you I did stretches and PT for months and felt nowhere near the relief I felt after reading Healing Back Pain and doing NO manual therapies at all. I think you are supposed to give up all "placebo" methods you are using in order to be successful. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong on that. I am just a beginner too. Good luck!
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to the Forum! You are on the right track and the SEP will help you progress. For most of us, it takes more than just reading to eliminate our TMS. But repetition helps, so keep reading or listening to TMS books.

    Best wishes and keep us posted on how you're doing.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Mrswhitney. Yes, Dr. Sarno advises stopping all medication or manipultation (acupuncture, acupressure, etc.) and focus your mind
    on accepting that your symptom(s) are TMS. It needs to be 100 percent belief.

    And do the journaling to discover any repressed emotions which may go back to childhood anger, anxiety, and/or a perfectionist or
    "goodist" personality. Learning that we have these repressed emotions helps us to understand them and ourselves better.
    For me, it led to forgiving others and myself. When I believed 100 percent in TMS causing my back pain, it left me.

    Aren't we all fortunate in having "found" Dr. Sarno and TMS?
  5. lizabean

    lizabean Newcomer

    Thanks for the replies!

    When it is OK to do things that previously were triggers for pain? After writing my first post, I experienced some decent pain reduction so was very happy about that, but some of it has returned as I will explain below.

    I own a horse and riding her has always been a trigger. I love riding and I love everything about horses, always have. I've ridden many horses in my life, but this one is the only one that causes me this much physical pain. I love her immensely, but I got her when she was a baby, and at the time, I was scared of her because I didn't know her; young horses tend to be more unpredictable than their adult counterparts. Plus, I didn't know how far she'd push any shenanigans - and yes she has shenanigans. :) If anyone has ever ridden, it can be quite intimidating to be on top of a 1100 lb animal that is inherently unpredictable as a species (built in flight response for survival) and then get on a young untrained one and you have recipe for fear for someone like me! To complicate the situation, at the time when I got her, I had a toxic teacher/trainer that sucked the confidence out of me - which made everything 10 times worse. That is all behind me now, I have removed that toxicity as of the past few months, but I think a lot of it is stuck in me. (for lack of better terms).

    I rode her this past Sunday, after not having ridden for 6-ish weeks, since the last time I rode it 'threw my back out'. On Sunday, I cut the ride short for fear that I would end up hurting, I also just moved her to a new facility and it was my first ride on her in a new place - which is always a little nail-biting since anything can spook and off we go, or rather, off I go! :) In addition to being nervous about her unknown reactions, I was nervous that the ride (even if she was an angel) was going to trigger another acute pain episode. As mentioned, I cut the ride short due to this concern and I immediately did my stretches afterward to hopefully head off the muscle spasms - my old routine! So, I'm obviously not out of the woods yet (in the sense of believing in TMS deep down) because I am still very fearful of the pain. I did experience some stiffness and pain afterward but not full bore 'back going out' the next day. I also suspect I am connecting the shortened ride and the stretching afterward as the reason why I'm not in an acute episode today. Ho-hum. I have not done any more of my stretches though since the ride - just the 'emergency set' after the ride. :) :) The pain has neither decreased or increased in direct proportion to that I don't think - however, not doing the stretches is giving me some anxiety since that has been the only way I've been able to get some relief, albeit only short-term.

    Thanks for reading!
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, lizabean. I've never been on a horse, just a short pony ride when I was a boy.
    I have friends who love horses, all women. I haven't yet met a man who rides a horse.

    It looks like the horse that you rode when you felt some back trouble may have picked up on your anxiousness.
    I am a great dog lover and know that dogs instantly sense if someone likes them and is not afraid of them.

    This may be a hard thing for your horse to grasp. You may have to give it extra reassurance that you love it
    and do not fear riding it. Maybe an extra treat. I think they like sugar cubes.

    Anyway, you most likely have TMS from either repressed emotions or a perfectionist or goodist personality.
    The TSP will guide you through it and you will heal.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Sarno says do moderate exercise and if it hurts, try to ignore it.
    The more we fear we are going to hurt ourself, the longer the pain lasts.

    I think you need to fully enjoy riding that horse. Your pleasure will show it that you love it.

    You are lucky that you have something that gives you such happiness. Live in the moment,
    feeling everything about riding the horse. Think only of that and not the past or future.

    Breathe deeply while you ride. Pat the horse on its neck and tell it you love it.

    Keep us posted about your progress.

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