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Help convince me re: sitting and posture

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I know that according to Sarno, sitting is harmless. But then the news, doctors, and essentially everyone else chimes in with the old 'sitting doubles the pressure on discs,' 'bad posture and long hours of sitting sets you up for pain' etc etc etc ad nauseum. This makes sense, and it certainly feels that way. I can see that that may be conditioning, but I need more confidence that it's true that sitting is harmless and posture doesn't matter if I'm to have the courage and resolve to break the conditioning. How can I be sure that everyone else, and my own symptoms, are wrong?
    Carokitty likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    This post by Steve O is the best on this topic:

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/tms-pain-while-sitting.4552/#post-28117 (TMS Pain While Sitting)

    Isn't there some saying that goes "the only thing certain is death and taxes"? I don't think we can ever be "sure" about TMS, but we need to learn to trust our gut about it. My gut or intuition or whatever you want to call it told me that I had TMS the first time I read about it. But I can't say that I was "sure". But I did all the work and then my experience validated my intuition and my belief grew.
  3. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thanks Ellen, I always look forward to hearing from you.

    Where I'm struggling is that I, too, felt pretty sure, pretty encouraged when I first read about tms. But I've done the work and it hasn't validated my intuition. I continue to get worse. Now, bewilderment/sadness/fear are through the roof. Tms felt like a last best hope, but now...
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sorry to hear how discouraged you are. As I told @Boston Redsox , I think it is important for those of you who have not seen progress, yet are trying hard at all the TMS techniques, to post on this Forum. We all love success stories, but the reality is that the road to recovery is different for everyone and can be very long and circuitous for some.

    For those of us who want to support and encourage you, it may be helpful if you could briefly summarize what you've tried so far. We can then see if there is something you haven't tried yet that might be helpful.

    Keep posting and asking for support and advice. We just may find the missing piece one day....
    Mad likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, eskimoeskimo. I think it would be helpful for you to practice Mindfulness Meditation, to increase your confidence that your pain is from TMS emotions and that it will go away. I suggest you consider the Relaxation Response as a real good way to practice meditation.

    Meditation is a time-honored way of relaxing the mind and relieving anxiety, mental stress, headaches, and even physical pain. There are many ways to practice meditation, but many consider the most successful to be a technique called the Relaxation Response (RR).

    It is a wonderful way to practice TMS Mindbody Healing because it changes harmful thinking in the subconscious mind which Dr. John Sarno says causes pain that is not caused by anything structural.

    The RR, practiced once twice a day for 10, 15, or 20 minutes has a profound positive effect on the subconscious mind, relieving or curing everything from anxiety, hypertension, headaches, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, high blood pressure, insomnia, stomach problems, all forms of pain including backaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, neck, arm, and leg pain, and relieves side affects from cancer and AIDS.

    RR is like Transcendental Meditation which is taught by TM specialists who charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. But the RR is free and you can do it yourself.

    It is practiced, before a meal, and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal. I do it in bed before arising in the morning and again in bed before falling sleep. Often, I only do it 5 or 10 minutes and it works to calm me and put me to sleep.

    Just sit in a chair (or lie in bed in the morning or at bedtime), close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, and try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as "One " which has no real meaning or association. Or say a calming word such as “Calm” or “Peace,” or add the faith or spiritual element by saying a favorite religious word or prayer. Breathe naturally or incorporate Deep Breathing by breathing in through the mouth to inflate the stomach, suck in the stomach while holding the breath for a few seconds, then say the word silently when you exhale through the mouth.

    Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 10 to 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    When distracting thoughts arise during the RR, as they will, just tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and go back to repeating your chosen word.

    There are several free videos on Youtube about the Relaxation Response. I especially recommend these two by Dr. Benson:

    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  6. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    I am at a real cross roads since my 6 year journey with tms healing I am reaching a point where my quality of life was a bit better being on medications at least I was not in constant pain every day. I feel that I have gotten 6 yrs of my life stolen from me that I will never get back. I am getting older and want to experience more of life. Everyday is a battle to stay positive and enjoy things I use to. Maybe some kind of words can help me
  7. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    I think that if you need medications to help you in your journey and they are working well, you should take them.

    Last year, I was sitting in my closet ready to end it all with a gun I borrowed from a friend. I gave myself some more time, and started a supplementation plan instead of drugs because of all the side effects I had from them. After 8 months of daily supplementation and getting more micronutrients in my body with organic food as well, I would never have gotten to the place where I could even accept or read sarno a work. I clearly believe it is bringing life back into me. For some people, medications can do that as well.

    Believe me, I have a long way to go as you have certainly seen my posts.

    I don't know if I believe in botched chemistry in our brains that cause extreme depression and anxiety...but clearly for me, I was missing out on some nutrition as well. I think I have years of catching up to do and with that, and working the TMS , I hope to one day be pain free, happy, and free!
  8. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thx for your thoughts...I also went that supplementation route for 2 years with no help....
  9. MrRage

    MrRage Peer Supporter

    Bad posture will not cause chronic pain but bad posture might lead to weakness and other structural issues. Exercises and stretches are probably a good idea in order to keep your body strong and robust. However, whatever choice you decide to take, your body isn't going to punish someone with chronic pain. Your subconscious might, but the body won't. I have scoliosis and pectus excavatum and every day I am having less and less pain. I have seen old women with curved backs carrying heavy supplies up and down mountains in certain underdeveloped rural areas of east Asia. Before discovering the TMS diagnosis, this was a mystery to me as I would rather starve than deal with the pain of carrying supplies up and down a mountain. But I think it is likely that in fact many of these women are pain free even if they have serious curvature of the spine. The concept of "chronic pain" does not prevail as strongly as it does in the west. An indigenous witch doctor might diagnose a bad spirit or curse as the cause of the pain whereas a western doctor would diagnose structural abnormalities in the spine. Both diagnoses are incorrect. However, at leas the witch doctor can tell the patient that he got rid of the evil spirit and if she sufficiently believes him might start to feel better.
  10. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Sitting is completely harmless. People all around the world do it everyday for hours on end their whole lives with no back pain.

    When initially addressing my back pain 15 years ago I was told sitting was the worst thing I could do, in fact the physio's told me to stand up to use the toilet! I had not associated the pain with sitting before I was told this. After that sitting became the most excruciating thing for me to do and so I became excluded from most things in life because I couldn't sit for more than a few minutes.

    Now I can sit for hours comfortably. Reading Healing Back Pain and getting involved in tms therapy on this website and reading Steve Ozanich The Great Pain Deception gave me the faith and confidence I needed to sit fearlessly but the pain still came and when it did I would take a deep breath, reassure myself that I was safe and then I would feel the trauma arising from deep within me about all the life I had missed out on by having those false beliefs and how they had disabled me. But now I could let that burden go, what a joy!

    I initially paced up the sitting in 10 percent increments weekly to build up my confidence but don't do that anymore. I sit in whatever posture I want, usually slouched and in whatever chair I want. The more I do this the easier (less pain) it gets.
    eskimoeskimo and Tennis Tom like this.
  11. MrRage

    MrRage Peer Supporter

    Won't slouching make posture worse? I am trying to test the theory right now that I should try and improve my posture by adopting more sitting postures and by trying to gradually minimize the amount of time I spend on my back, a habit that I have become accustomed to after years of living with TMS. I actually think that lying on my back for so many hours of the day caused my mild case of pectus excavatum because I did not even notice that this was an issue until I was 21. I also think that my p.e. has improved since discovering the works of Sarno in March, 2016 although I don't have any delusion that I will ever have a completely normal chest. Nonetheless, I think that my body will improve at least to some extent simply by confronting and understand the psychological causes of my pain.
  12. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    There is already good advice on this thread so I'm not sure this will help but I can tell you that I used to go the acupuncture, massage and chiro each week for years. I did all the exercises they told me to do. I have a slight hump on the back of my neck. I'm not sure what it is called and they said if I worked on that and my posture my migraines would go away. I did constantly and it did nothing for my migraines.
    Also, every time I go for a walk I get a cramp in the left side of my back but not when I work out. Only when I walk. I walked exactly like they told me but it didn't help.
    If posture really made a difference my migraines would have gotten better but instead they got worse. Probably because I was always worrying about it and trying to make time for all the appointments I was going to.
    A month and a half ago I stopped all appointments and my headaches have gotten BETTER!
    I was also thinking that my mom has that slight bump behind her neck and she doesn't have migraines because of it. It's not related. Once we think it's structural our mind will focus on our body so much that we'll make the pain worse.
    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  13. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Your post helped bolster my confidence, and in a way that made the issue feel more conquerable and less urgent. It's going in my 'best of' archive for frequent reminder.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  14. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member


    Your post here was very generous. Sorry for taking so long to get back, it's been a whirlwind of a week, all away from the computer. My parents visited (more of a rescue mission than a vacation). Hadn't seen them in a year and a half, we spent the week driving around So. Cal. in the sweltering heatwave, and I've started taking antidepressants (for the first time really, except for a few highly uncommitted short trials early on in this whole thing 10 years ago), and an old friend who was my roommate when my apartment burned down 3 years ago surprise visited. So, as a TMSer, it's been a quite a time.

    Driving around with my folks reminded me what outcome independence really means. I had no choice but to keep moving, despite symptoms. The pain was up and down, of course, but on average much less (and more importantly much less disconcerting), than it is during my usual routine. The day before the visit, and now today, the pain is back up high and my focus/concern with sitting and posture is back way up. Also, anger and sadness were welling up all week more than usual. Thank goodness for sunglasses, because I was crying sporadically and frequently throughout the whole week, in public and private. I say routine, but really I mean anxiously doing my computer work while hoping and praying that the pain just evaporates in response to my persistence. I'm sure you can see the issues all over that. I realized just how much I want people, and especially my parents, to think that I'm interesting and charismatic. Often I can scrape together a personality from the rubble and get away with faking it. But this week my brain just said no way. I think it recognized the opportunity to relinquish, and make it clear to my folks that I need help. I could barely even speak, and when I did my voice was quiet and my sentences short and vacuous.

    I started antidepressants yesterday and, after years of stubborn resistance, I think it's a positive step. The unrelenting fog is making recovery impossible. I have no foundation from which to build. I can't even see the issues clearly, let alone make progress. It's clearer than ever before that I've been sick for a long time and depression isn't leading me to profound insight and breakthrough, it's leading me to destitution and an early death. Also, the toll it's taken on my parents is upsetting and further motivates this new step.

    Back to your question, I've tried:
    - physical therapy
    - acupuncture
    - cortisone injection
    - massage
    - chiropractor
    - read Sarno, Steve O, Amir, Claire Weekes over and over again
    - journaling
    - SEP twice
    - saw TMS practitioner
    - walking, swimming, running
    - mindfulness meditation

    As always, looking forward to your wise insight. Please let me know if you see any missing pieces in my past attempts at recovery. Nothing has ever quite connected and gotten to the bottom of things, and certainly nothing has sparked recovery. Things have consistently gotten worse over time, from the start, despite all attempts.

    I hope you're well

    Thank you,
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  15. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Eskimo, have you tried any TMS practitioners? Since you're in SoCal, and there are many there who also contribute to this board.
  16. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Tennis Tom,

    I forgot to mention that, I have indeed.

    Tennis Tom likes this.
  17. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    It's so hard to stop worrying about posture. I'm afraid to fully commit to not giving a s***.
  18. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Hi, I'm so sorry you are dealing with depression. My husband had depression for a solid 15 years and I never understood it until I dealt with it this past year. My therapist recommended a book called The Depression Cure
    It helped me so much. It also helped me to understand my husband. It sounds corny and unbelievable but I tried a few things in the book that were simple and I didn't think would work but they did. I signed up for an exercise class and made sure to get sunlight. I already ate pretty healthy. Little by little it did make a big impact. The most important part of the book to me was the part where it talked about low self esteem in social situations. I would always get social anxiety and I never would have understood that it was from low self esteem so I'm working on that.
    Hi Eskimo,

    A book that really helped me was the Depression Cure.
    https://www.amazon.com/Depression-Cure-6-Step-Program-without/dp/0738213888/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466544598&sr=1-1&keywords=the+depression+cure (The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs: Stephen S. Ilardi: 9780738213880: Amazon.com: Books)

    Check it out. Maybe read the reviews and see if it can help you. I'm sorry you have depression so bad. Is Eskimo your nickname because you live in a cold climate? I only ask because sunlight exposure helped me so much. It took a few months but I really noticed the difference. It talks about it in the book.
    Another part of the book that helped me was low self esteem. I never thought I had low self esteem until I read about it. I'm still working on that. I hope the fog lifts. It's a horrible place to be trapped.
  19. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Remember the purpose of tms is to prevent you from thinking psychologically and keep you focused on the physical. I assure you that posture doesn't matter at all. I sat upright for over a decade and it only made me worse. Relaxation when sitting is the key.

    It might be interesting to you to hear of my experience. In the beginning of therapy, I could only sit in a chair that had a straight back at a particular coffee shop. I got to 30min sitting in a stretch. If I tried a different shape chair the pain would come in a few minutes. I used to think it was the different chair that put my back in the wrong position, discs pressed on my nerves etc. In reality, it wasn't that at all.....it was my mind because now after accepting that my body is fine I can sit however/wherever I want, including that different chair.

    Depression/anxiety is another tms distraction. When I feel these coming on, I let them float above me, distract myself and let time pass. Picture yourself fully grounded until the storm overhead passes. Each time you do this you will gain control and confidence. I also try to catch myself if I am ruminating on something, step outside of myself and go into nature. Maybe a walk outside, cuddle a pet etc.

    My tms therapist told me recovering from tms will be the hardest thing I will ever do. This helped me to accept that I would probably go through the fire to get to the other side and not be alarmed with the process. I was so disabled with pain for so long but now I am free. Don't give up.
  20. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    YES! Great Post!

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