I would like to give a brief summary of my experience of TMS and the things that have/have not helped me in the hope that some of you out there may find something of use to apply to your own situation.Don't forget tho', you should always get yourself checked out first with your doctor to rule out anything serious and underlying and preferably discuss your planned TMS approach with your doctor. Looking back on it, my TMS problems began as early as my childhood, which was very unhappy and stressful. I had unexplained knee pain, which came out of nowhere, and headaches at an early age. Sinus problems , migraines and skin rashes came and went for several decades as my life stresses accumulated and I acquired a job I hated. Add to that bereavement and relationship problems and it's amazing that TMS held off as long as it did. Things came to a head with the birth of my son 11 years ago. My back, never previously a problem even during pregnancy, started to give me problems soon after his birth(which was very traumatic)and just continued to get slowly worse until I had the classic'slipped disc' diagnosis and was in agony all the time. It was a very dark period of my life as went from doctor to physio. to chiropractor and tried EVERYTHING from Alexander technique to acupuncture and adjustments. I don't even want to think how much money I spent on all of this because it didn't help me. Things just got worse and worse and my back condition dominated my whole life and was all I could think about. Health professionals more or less dismissed me and didn't take seriously the pain and distress I felt or said I couldn't be doing the exercises properly. This made me feel even more helpless and unhappy, as you may imagine. The more I did exercises and consulted 'experts,' the worse I got and the more I despaired. I had become so restricted in what I could do and the list of things I couldn't do was getting longer all the time. Life was an endurance test not a pleasure and I missed out on so much all those years. Unfortunately,while my back didn't get better, other areas of my body decided to join in the TMS protest, especially my neck and shoulder and I began to get lots of headaches too. So, enough of the misery, what happened next? Somehow or other while searching on the internet for back pain cure books, I came across Dr Sarno and read so many positive reviews that I ordered the book instantly. I felt I was on to something and acknowledged the basic truths of what he was saying about the mind's power over the body and stressful situations/people creating pain. I went on to order and read his other books and also Howard Schubiner's book and came across this site too, all of which contributed to my understanding of TMS and helped refine my approach. (Many ,many thanks at this point to all the people here who offered advice and support when I needed it also to Steve Ozanich who personally answered some emails of mine regarding 'The Great Pain Deception.') All this provided a launch pad for me to really get going with my new approach and I'd advise anyone to read those or information on this site. I have found that you have to experiment with different approaches. This is not a 'one size fits all' type of experience. I haven't discovered anything that works EVERY time but everything here was helpful at some point. Also, I would say that some things worked at certain stages of the 'journey' and not at others, so it's always worth giving an idea a second chance. Really try hard to embrace the belief you have TMS by writing down as many examples of mindbody connections from your past and present as you can. Refer to it daily. Stop the exercises designed to cure your 'problem' but by all means do any others you like. This worked for me. I started walking through the park instead and I really enjoy this. Persistence is essential. At the outset, I read too many stories of quick cures and became disheartened that I seemed to be making no progress. (I'm now over 18 months into overcoming TMS, just to give you an idea). It is so true that anxiety about speed of progress actually slows you down and makes it worse. Just accept that the time you take is the time you need to take or you will create more pressure and stress in your life and we all know how that ends!Just because you understand and accept TMS doesn't mean for most people that it will magically disappear. You have revved your mind and system up to such an extent that it needs time to return to a healthy state. Think of it like boiling water. Once the heat is switched off the water still keeps on bubbling for a while and then remains hot for even longer. I think our mind is like that too. It needs time to settle down and time to relearn how to react in healthy ways. Don't give up, progress can be slow but it's still progress. You need to relax more. Easy to say and hard to do, I know. Really prioritise the things you have to do and ask yourself if you really need to do all that other stuff. Can it wait? Does it have to be done at all? YOU need time to relax, be kind to yourself and look after yourself. It's not a luxury, it's essential if you want to get better. Take/make time to sit quietly every day for a while with no distractions and try to empty your mind or at least not dwell on any thoughts. Don't get irritated by them, just let them go and focus on breathing calmly. Make it a daily moment of calm. Journalling. I've never done this every day, I just do it when I'm feeling overwhelmed by events and I feel the need to off load but some people find a daily session really helps them. In either case, write concerns and feelings down then rip it up and throw it away. Amazingly therapeutic. I also did some initial deep delving into my past to discover how I'd got to be so angry and stressed in my life. It was all pretty obvious stuff to be honest, no hidden revelations or anything and when I'd done it I didn't keep going back over it, I just got rid of it and started to recognize past experiences which made my TMS surface in the present. I don't think revisiting past parts of our lives over and over again is helpful, it just stirs it all up again. I would sum it up by saying, deal with it and then move forwards. I did not initially challenge my TMS by forcing myself to do things which caused pain. I told myself over and over again that I had TMS and there was nothing wrong with my body before I began to start doing certain activities I had previously stopped. Visualization has not helped me but some people have found it helpful in their recovery so give that a try too.I soon began to realize that I was not getting worse and this gave me confidence to continue. After a much longer time, I adopted the mantra,'I'm done with being afraid'and decided that I would just accept whatever I felt like after doing a previously avoided activity. That really helped me to stop caring about how I felt so much, especially when I realised that pain came and went even when I wasn't doing anything at all. Avoiding ruminating on things once you have addressed them.Very hard! I came up with a couple of images of things/ people I love and make me happy and whenever a negative or destructive or repetiive thought came into my head I instantly told myself 'STOP' and replaced it immediately with my chosen image. Believe me, I had to do this a lot of times every hour, every day but now I have to do it less and less. Mindfulness. Hard at first but gets easier. I really try to choose a part or parts of the day when I make an effort to be present in whatever is happening to me at that time. It gives your mind a sort of breathing space . Do it as much as you can. Tell yourself that you will deal with your problems later, they can wait and then immerse yourself in the moment. This one is an entirely personal one. I am very suggestible and have found it better to stay away from discussions of symptoms or pain as my mind seems to latch onto these and present me with my own personal version the next day!I have found it more helpful to surround myself with positive stories and people. Also I trashed misery TV and sad stories as they all brought me down too much. I am not yet 'cured', I still have work to do but now I can do the following things which I couldn't before I started my work on TMS wash my own hair put my socks on clean my feet sit comfortably in any chair drive go for long journeys walk briskly for about an hour come down and upstairs easily sleep without a special pillow hang out my washing clean my floors and skirting boards (who would have thoughtI'd get pleasure from THAT!) sit in the cinema reach to hang clothes in the cupboards read type bend to pick things up from the floor hug my son(should have put that first!) stay painfree in stressful situations most of the time You can see how restricted I was before. Now I am so much better and happier even though I still have some restrictions and discomfort it does not bother me like it used to and I feel confident that I will reduce and overcome these problems too with time. Any pain I get now goes quite quickly and as soon as I am aware of it I think, WHAT IS IT THAT IS BOTHERING ME?That usually does the trick. I hope all this helps someone.