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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Healing from Chronic Pelvic Pain

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Kelseyngraham, May 20, 2018.

  1. Kelseyngraham

    Kelseyngraham New Member

    I suffered from chronic pelvic pain for almost 4 years. I tried everything to fix this pain… I had surgery to repair a torn hip labrum, injections, acupuncture, physical therapy, supplements, medication, traveled to other cities to see specialists… Nothing worked. I had also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years prior. The pain was so bad that I couldn’t sit, couldn’t exercise (which is part of what I do for a living), Couldn’t have sex without pain, couldn’t go to restaurants or movies or travel. I started having anxiety attacks and falling into a depression for fear that I would never get my life back. It was so bad I honestly didn’t want to be alive anymore. It’s hard to talk about because pelvic pain is WEIRD. People don’t even understand what it is (in retrospect it’s not that weird and I talk about it all the time now).

    I discovered a concept called TMS/psychophysiologic pain I KNEW that’s what was going on with me. It basically suggests that chronic, undiagnosable pain is caused by an overactive/fearful central nervous system. This fear can come from repressed emotions or a tendency to avoid or ignore feelings regularly. This resonated with me deeply. They also describe personally type as high achievers, highly self-critical, tendency towards perfectionism and “Goodism” (wanting to be liked).

    I started looking more deeply into pain science research and there’s an abundance of research to support the idea that an overactive CNS can lead to chronic pain states in the absence of any tissue damage. I the TMS wiki mind body healing program created by Alan Goodman and then found the mind-body podcast which led me to the Curable app. The podcast and app have both been SO helpful in my recovery. It’s been a little over a month now and I am happy to say that I’m 99% pain-free. My pelvic pain flares up occasionally when I do certain activities, but I am able to soothe myself and trust that it will go away soon, and that I am not in any physical danger, and within less than a day it is gone! I just deadlifted 175 lbs with NO PAIN and literally couldn’t do a body weight squat two months ago. If you are suffering from chronic pain or no known cause, especially if you are suffering with embarrassing, poorly understood, and sometimes shameful chronic pelvic pain, please check out the app Curable and the TMS wiki page, Dr. Sarno’s book The MindBody Prescription and any other resources you can find on TMS (tension myositis syndrome)/psychophysiologic Pain. Dr. Lorimer Moseley’s research on the brain and chronic pain is also tremendously helpful. There is also a therapy center that deals exclusively with mind body pain called the Pain Psychology Center out of LA. They do Skype and phone apts.

    If you are suffering from chronic pelvic pain know that you are not alone and that it CAN GET BETTER. Feel free to respond with any questions. Happy healing!
    tmstraveler, SarahR, Ewok2 and 8 others like this.
  2. chloelupo

    chloelupo New Member

    Thanks so much for telling your story, that's amazing! Congrats to you.

    I know that everyone's road to recovery is unique, but I'm curious, if you don't mind sharing, what were the things/actions that helped you recover most on a day-t0-day basis (i.e. journaling, outcome independence, somatic tracking, soothing, just believing etc.)? I know you touched on some things in your post, but I'd love to hear a few more specifics if you're willing to share :)
  3. Kelseyngraham

    Kelseyngraham New Member

    Hi Chloe! Great question happy to answer.

    1. The idea of just knowing there was no physical tissue damage was a huge first step. I had been searching for something "wrong" for a long time, so this helped me reduce my hyper vigilance.
    2. I did/do practice journaling. I do a gratitude journal in the morning with 3 things I'm grateful for and started including 3 positive pain notes (3 things that happened the day before which indicated I was feeling better). I also got Dr. David Schechter's The MindBody workshop off of Amazon which was helpful.
    3. I told my parents, friends and husband what was going on and asked them not to ask about the pain anymore which was hugely helpful as it had become a big part of my identity.
    4. I try to "check in" with my body, thoughts, feelings, etc. a few times a day (though I don't always).
    5. I slowly weaned off all of the physical therapy I was doing and the supplements I was taking.
    6. I gradually reintroduced exercise which DID flare it up sometimes, but I just trusted my brain was unnecessarily scared and tried to calm myself down and move on. It usually went away within a day (I didn't always feel calm but after this happened a few times it was helpful to see a pattern).
    7. I read anything I could get my hands on on the neuroscience of pain - currently reading a book called A Guide to Better Movement which is really helpful and reinforces the idea of pain coming from the brain in the absence of tissue trauma.
    8. I worked with my therapist on this and had a session with a therapist from the Pain Psychology Center.

    As an aside, I stopped eating gluten and I know it has nothing to do with TMS but I found enough research relating it to Fibromyalgia that I thought it was worth a try. I accidentally reintroduced it and my pelvic pain didn't flare up (YAY) but I did get a lot of other joint/muscle pain that has since gone away.

    I hope this all helps! How are you? Where are you in your journey? Sending healing vibes!
    Sita and westb like this.
  4. westb

    westb Well known member

    @Kelseyngraham. Thanks so much for sharing this. Very helpful and encouraging. Congratulations.
    Kelseyngraham likes this.
  5. chloelupo

    chloelupo New Member

    Thank you for such a helpful reply! Based on your response, it sounds like the belief component and learning about what was really going on, along with not identifying so much with the pain, were the biggest components for you. I also love the idea of writing down what you're grateful for and the positive pain notes.

    I have fibromyalgia-like symptoms. I learned about TMS a few months ago and while I know it's my issue, I'm having trouble getting started. I'm realizing that I'm spending too much time thinking about what I have to do without really jumping in and taking action. I think the concept is actually pretty simple and I'm way overcomplicating this and looking at it too much like a formula or code that I have to crack, rather than just believing there is nothing wrong with me and working to desensitize myself/soothe myself. I relate most to Alan Gordon's new pain recovery program so I'm hoping I can make the leap and jump in!
  6. Kelseyngraham

    Kelseyngraham New Member

    Thanks, westb! Good luck to you, as well!
  7. Kelseyngraham

    Kelseyngraham New Member

    Chloe, it can be hard to wrap your mind around and simultaneously super exciting and nerve wracking to begin. I think starting with Alan's program is great, I found that so helpful! I think the journaling is a great way to get started with it on your own and I have found therapy to be very helpful as well. Good luck to you!
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wonderful report Kelseyngraham. The details of your journey and interventions is helpful for anyone!!! Yahoo!
    Kelseyngraham likes this.
  9. Ewok2

    Ewok2 Peer Supporter

    That is amazing @Kelseyngraham ! So happy for you! (I have sent your a PM. Hoping you could answer a question for me :) )
    Kelseyngraham likes this.
  10. Fabmat

    Fabmat Newcomer

    Hello everybody, how have you all been?
    I‘ve learned about TMS in September but I still can‘t notice a true reduction in pain, the nerve pain is so tough to live with..and it‘s making me doubt about TMS regularly..
    I want to believe 100%...

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