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Healing: Awareness or Action?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Freedom, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    Could someone clarify the following:

    From the books perspective, it sounds like pure awareness that the problem is mental not physical will heal you.

    However, from articles and replies on this wiki/forum, it sounds like you need to investigate into WHAT specifically you are avoiding to get healing. How deep do you really have to go here?
  2. BeWell

    BeWell Well known member

    [Deleted at BeWell's request]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2016
  3. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    As we observe how we react to emotional/psychological events, and connect that to the pain and other 'symptoms' we get, it starts to link up. then we can alter how we react and not 'invest' in the pain.
    Everyone is different. I needed to really understand where all my anger and rage had come from, which took many months of journalling, meditation and working on understanding my character - and how it was formed by early childhood experiences. Then i could understand why i got pain as an adult. What triggered me feeling worthless, resentful, hurt....(literally!) Only then could i process all the rage and choose to react differently in the future. Now when i identify something that 'stresses' me (like a family member trying to manipulate me) I can look at the situation without 'taking it onboard' and work out how i will choose to react so that i am not left feeling 'abused or stressed or pushed' but i can look myself in the face and smile... I can only control my reactions not other peoples...
    I feel a bit like a duck sailing along - with the water washing over me! Free at last!
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  4. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Apparently different methods work to one degree or another for different people suffering from TMS. Different strokes for different folks.

    Below I quote short two passages from page 45 of Healing Back Pain that reveal the method Sarno uses to deal with his own TMS equivalent of heartburn (and incidentally has worked for me in dealing with my TMS). I have italicized a few words in the passages below that I regard as especially significant.

    First passage: "The cultural imperatives of family and society provide strong motivation not to show anger; this becomes deeply imbedded, starting as it does in early childhood. We realize, all unconsciously, that anger is often inappropriate, springing from irritants which ought not to make us angry, and so we repress. . . . All of this is unconscious and thus we are unaware of our need to repress the anger. Instead we may experience a physical symptom, TMS or something gastrointestinal, for example. I do this a lot."

    Was it enough for Sarno to realize his heartburn was, as you put it Andrew, "mental not physical"? No. Sarno went on to explain his personal approach.

    Second passage: "I have learned that heartburn means that I'm angry about something and don't know it. So I think about what might be causing the condition, and when I come up
    with the answer the heartburn disappears. Generally for me it is something about which I am annoyed but have no idea how much it has angered me. Sometimes it is something that is so loaded emotionally, I don't come up with the answer for a long time."

    For Sarno, realizing his heartburn has a psychological rather than structural cause is not enough to stop an episode of it. He has to come up with the particular irritant/annoyance that cultural imperatives of family and society instruct him should not make him angry.

    Perhaps I should add that Sarno says the anger we know about and express does not cause TMS. Only repressed anger does, and we repress only anger that concerns something our superego (cultural imperatives of family and society) says should not make us angry. That is why coming up with the answer is not always easy and sometimes is so loaded emotionally that it takes a long time. There is a specific example of Sarno taking a long time to come up with the answer on pages 125-26 of The Divided Mind.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
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  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    In other words, Andrew, it's actually not that simple. As Duggit said: different strokes for different folks. I always say that there are many many different ways to do this work, and different authors and practitioners will resonate differently for different people.

    Have I said "different" enough times?

    Seriously - you will see people who try to say that Dr. Sarno's way is the only way - but in my five years doing this work and participating in this forum, and paying attention to what works for people who post their Success Stories - I just don't think that's true. Dr. Sarno's work is definitely the starting point - but wow, I have found so much amazing and useful information beyond his basic TMS theory! Which, let's not forget, has its basis in Freud - and Freud was all about the effects of our unconscious minds on our emotional well-being. Yeah?

    If you start doing the Structured Educational Program (free, on the wiki) you'll be exposed to different resources, including step-by-step advice on different types of writing and journaling plus affirmations, meditations, and other exercises. I don't recall a lot of practical exercises being part of Dr. Sarno's books, although it's been awhile, I could be wrong.

    By the way, the only Dr. Sarno book that I read in full was his last one, The Divided Mind, which has six chapters written by six other health professionals (five MDs and a therapist). Talk about different approaches! I highly recommend it - perhaps the fact that this was my introduction to TMS theory is why I'm more willing to say that there is no one way to do this work.

    Who knows? I'm pretty unique, after all. As are you. And you. And you and you and you. :D

    ladyofthelake, hecate105 and Freedom like this.
  6. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    Thanks guys, this is helpful!

    Yes, as with any book, I notice I pick up on details I didn't notice the first x amount of times reading it. I think I am on my fourth time reading it in the last month or so and picking up more and more details that pertain to me.
    hecate105 likes this.
  7. Ines

    Ines Well known member

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  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great discussion!

    I think this question comes up lot, at least implicitly in our minds. I will add that finding the specificity of the "cause" may be important in convincing ourselves that we're suffering from something "psychosomatic." The specifics, and in deeper terms, the experience of the rage or sadness or ____ feelings can be part of what is needed to convince ourselves down deep so that the "cure" can work in us. For me, it was important to know the specifics of the inner conflicts, tensions, superego and Inner Child dynamics, just to feel the real weight of it all. The pressure and tension inside, for all of us, is tremendous!

    On the other hand, I always caution folks not to get too hung-up that they need to find the "exact" thing. I see people pressuring themselves to do this, and as others have said here, the material that "does not want to be felt" is often not very accessible. Dr. Sarno said "use your imagination" to postulate what your Inner Child might be feeling in a particular situation, or inner relationship.

    I have a deep intuition that by turning inward (away from physical causes), and asking for clarity for the root causes, this sincerity, this desire to know more, and not "repress" so much ---this gentle invitation to "feel and know more" is in itself a core piece. Less so the "specifics." I think my attraction to an "easy" approach comes from my desire to be gentle, and not fuel perfectionism in myself, or others.
    Ines likes this.
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you Duggit for the very specific Dr. Sarno quotes concerning this!

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