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How do we talk about TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Markus, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Markus

    Markus Guest

    Does anyone know how to explain what it is we're doing (without losing someone's attension?)
    How do we explain "I've suffered from Fibromyalgia for 12 years,but I'm thinking differently about it?. I feel it's SO important to explain what we really have and are doing!

    Mark (markus)
    Any video link relating to this or in one of the books on TMS would be helpful.
  2. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    there is a thread here on how to communicate this idea to someone. its really hard!!
  3. Markus

    Markus Guest

    QuestionI keep encountering friends and family whom I'm convinced are exhibiting symptoms that are “classic TMS.” Most of my efforts to explain the subject are generally met with lots of eye-rolling. Is there a “best” way to try and help these people?

    Answer by John Stracks, MD

    Practitioner Johns Stracks

    Dr. Stracks' Profile Page / Survey Response / Bio Page /Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (PPDA) Board Member

    When I first started my medical training, I thought I could simply tell people about TMS and have them say, “Great. Thanks. I feel so much better now.” It only took a couple of eye-rolling incidents for me to figure out that I needed a more nuanced approach.

    I think the most important part of what I do when I talk about TMS with a patient who hasn't heard of the concept before is to normalize the process. I take a lot of time talking about how natural the mind-body process is and how human beings probably evolved to express difficult emotions through our bodies. If I meet more than just a little resistance, I tend to back off and go in a different direction. If people seem interested, then I'll talk about it more.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone is ready to hear the message of TMS. Classically, there are 5 stages in behavior change:

    Precontemplation (“Never heard of TMS”)Contemplation (“I've heard of it, but I don't think it applies to my “real” pain)Preparation (“Well, maybe it does apply to me; I wonder what I can do about it.”)Action (“Wow, that's me in Dr. Sarno's book!”)Maintenance (“Ow! My back hurts. I wonder what I'm angry about.”)

    In medical practice, we often think of moving people from one stage to the next, not from stage 1 to stage 5 all at once. Sometimes all you can do initially is introduce the concept. It may take days, weeks, months, or even years before your loved one is ready to pick up a copy of The Mindbody Prescription much less take action. Be patient, even though that patience is extraordinarily difficult.

    Finally, keep in mind that, in the end, we can only control ourselves and not anyone else, and I often refer people to the work of Byron Katie (www.thework.com) for information and practical tips about this. Often times, the best way to convince others about the worth of TMS treatment is by being walking, living, breathing examples of its benefits.

    So, while there's no one “best” technique for talking with friends and family about TMS, these are the things I would keep in mind

    Raise the topic gently Try to normalize the mind-body process Don't push if you meet resistance; you can always try again later Sometimes people aren't ready to hear the message or are only ready to hear part of the message Remember that in the end, you can't control what other people are going to think and believe. You can provide the information, but in the end it's their own decision what to do with the information.

    Hope that helps.


    It is important to recognize that no information on this wiki can be considered a specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. Reading information here does not create a doctor/patient or other professional relationship between you and the answering professional. As always, you should consult with your physicians and counselors regarding new symptoms and any changes that you might make in medications or activities.

    I found this when I did a Google search! It still sounds difficult but, it's a start.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I tell them it's stress related, most people are starting to accept that stress can cause symptoms. I may give them a slightly used copy of Dr. Sarno's first little paperback "MIND OVER BACK PAIN" that I buy by the dozen at Amazon for a penny each + $3.99 shipping--for what it's worth--a penny I guess. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Markus,
    I am doing a lot of outreach and education right now. Most people are not interested, and that is OK. I think the main thing is to really celebrate down deep what I have gotten out of Dr. Sarno's work! That is part of the deeper meaning to me, of wanting to share. How lucky I am, and how blessed.
    Andy B.
  6. Markus

    Markus Guest

    I agree. Probably renewed health will be the biggest way to answer.

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