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How to KEEP believing TMS theory?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jan33, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. jan33

    jan33 New Member

    With frozen shoulder pain and a 7 year headache, I have on-going, constant pain reminders throughout the day. I keep resorting to disbelieving it's an emotional cause. I try interrupting pain with words like, I'm angry; or I'm afraid, and today, when the pain got even worse than ever, I read some Sarno words and asked my brain to send blood and oxygen to shoulder and head. It makes me angry, and discouraged when I cannot relieve the pain even a small bit. Then I resort to thinking how silly I am to believe all this stuff. I believe it for others, but think, "It's not for me". I'm too far gone. The pain has won over my life. In searching through journaling, I am open to all thoughts, but nothing seems so terrible as to cause this life of pain.
    Have any of you out there experienced anything like this?
    Forest likes this.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I have felt very much the same way at times. It can be very frustrating to have all this knowledge and not be able to translate it into tangible results as far as pain relief. We talk so much about the pain being a distraction, and it is, and I also think of it as the fuel that feeds our syndrome. For some of us it is not an easy loop to jump out of, especially as we are fatigued from years of pain, failed previous attempts at resolutions and personality traits and chronically ingrained thinking patterns. Patience and persistence are necessary. There may be a part of you that doubts but try to focus on the big part of you that understands and knows that your pain is emotionally based. Its not just that we have tried everything else, but I am sure there is a part of you that the TMS diagnosis really resonates with. It is emphasized a great deal that " you must be 100% sure of your TMS diagnosis." This was not possible for me so I choose to stay focused on the part that is sure. I would like to personally recommend seeing a Somatic Experiencing therapist. The work that they do very much fits in with all the TMS theory. It is helping me connect my mind and body. Its not easy to summarize, I learned about it to begin with on this forum. Our minds effortlessly go to the pain, so learning how to go to the places that are not in pain, or developing the ability to even recognize there are places in our bodies that are pain free, is very powerful. It is also a very gentle and encouraging therapy. I have journaled my whole life and I will continue to journal. But I spend too much time in my head trying to figure it all out. The time I spend in my body is monitoring and reacting to the pain. It is so important to find a little space to be at peace in your body. That is what all the recommendations about meditation, being present, experiencing joy, having a sense of purpose etc. are all about. And you are not too far gone. Would you ever tell anyone that but yourself?
    Lydia, BruceMC, Forest and 3 others like this.
  3. jan33

    jan33 New Member

    Anne, thank you for this insightful and supportive response. It does help to read these encouraging words. I cancelled Physical therapy sessions for the next 3 weeks, because shoulder was not improving, according the to physical therapist, and at the same time, he said it may continue to freeze up more though. That is so frustrating to hear! So now I have the fear that it is going to get worse, with a little percentage of my mind focusing on the fact that it IS emotionally based. I wonder about pain getting worse when beginning this TSM work. I have been into it about 3 weeks. Yesterday, I had a headache that was worse than any I've had during past years. Couldn't even calm it down with 2 Aleeve. I'm better today though. I wonder if there are any others who have been diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder Syndrome who found it did release with TSM work. It is one of those mystery diagnoses, but I have also heard of others who were cured with physical therapy and exercises.
  4. jan33

    jan33 New Member

    by the way, Anne, I'd be interested to hear if your have had success with eliminating your pain and how long you have been involved with TMS Theory.
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    jan33)- With frozen shoulder pain and a 7 year headache, I have on-going, constant pain reminders throughout the day. I keep resorting to disbelieving it's an emotional cause. I try interrupting pain with words like, I'm angry; or I'm afraid, and today, when the pain got even worse than ever, I read some Sarno words and asked my brain to send blood and oxygen to shoulder and head. It makes me angry, and discouraged when I cannot relieve the pain even a small bit.

    Eric)- jan33 your trying to hard, we win by the path of least resistance- Learn to experience your emotions in a calm soothing way ok.
    How long have you been on the journey? See we have to let time have her perfect work. You will take and learn 1 day at a time really not trying to push for the cure.
    That will be to much strain. You have to get to a point of happiness again, you've lost a relationship with being happy and this tension and anger has replaced it.
    Do you practice any meditations like Mindfulness? Let me know if your working on the SEP or the TRP- These are very good programs that will help lead you to a better understanding of what you need to accomplish ok. Remember its the knowledge that is the penicillin ok, thanks.

    jan33)- Then I resort to thinking how silly I am to believe all this stuff.

    Eric)- This would be what the tms wants you to do, its the greatest effort I believe tms has over folks- Believing its got to be physical so it keeps your mind on the body when the effect to the cure comes through getting your mind totally off the body when you have pain and focusing on the emotional issue that might have caused the pain. It doesn't matter if you get to the exact emotion as long as you give a good effort to try and find the trigger or what made me angry today. As you've said the pain makes you angry- well that's also fear of the pain and that is another sneaky little trick of the tms phenomena so learn to see these wiles happening and don't give in to its devices ok.

    jan33)- I believe it for others, but think, "It's not for me". I'm too far gone.

    Eric)- This is what we all think at first jan33 and so many never get the results their looking for because of this wile or trick, yes tms wants you to doubt that you can be healed- I really Believe the Alan Gordon Program or TRP for short will help you here ok, - http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program

    jan33)- The pain has won over my life. In searching through journaling, I am open to all thoughts, but nothing seems so terrible as to cause this life of pain.
    Have any of you out there experienced anything like this?

    Eric)- We have all experienced the pain winning over our life jan33- its when we understand that we don't have to just lie there and take it anymore with the armor of knowledge penicillin mixed with faith in Sarnos daily 12 reminders and a want to loose the focus on the body and Ridding the fear of the pain that we start to heal of course mixed with understanding repressions and how to be at peace with them and also to acknowledge them. Let me know we can start here. Thanks.
    Mtngal likes this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I relieved my frozen shoulder with tms work, it was the first thing to go as the other imperatives would leave 1 by 1. I had it for over 20 years and then after about 3 months of tms work I could tell it to stop hurting and it would. You really have to be practiced up though on everything I said above and anne is awesome with her directions so were both here for you.
  7. Mtngal

    Mtngal Well known member

    Hi Jan 33: I think we all have felt the way you do at one time or another. Was wondering if you've read any of Steve Ozanich's book "The Great Pain Perception".. I like his chapter on visualization - even though it's hard to imagine yourself pain-free and doing the things you want to or once did, the brain cannot tell the difference between a real experience and an imagined one, esp. if you imagine in great detail, including colors, sounds, smells etc. This is evident in how we react physiologically to our dreams. If you've ever had a nightmare or a dream where you are being chased or whatever, your heart rate will increase and your body physically reacts to the dream, even though it's not real. By using strong visualization you are starting to reprogram the "stuck" pain pathways that are ingrained. The body then starts responding to these positive images and you will start becoming more like your imagery - moving towards becoming pain-free. The hardest thing for all of us, is to fully accept the TMS diagnoses when the pain feels so structural. Steve O listened to Dr. Sarno tapes over and over for thousands of times. It was an audio book of "Healing Back Pain" (I know you have shoulder pain and headaches but the TMS theory is the same, esp. if you don't have a definitive diagnosis) read by Dr. Sarno himself. This is what really started Steve on his healing journey..

    Hope this helps!
  8. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jan, I have been working on TMS specifically for about six months. As I started to connect the dots, I realized that I have been struggling with one TMS symptom or another for over 28 years. My list is long and the whole time I have managed to push through somehow, supporting and raising a family, making films, remodeling homes, relocating an old Church... Anxiety has always been an undercurrent in my life and even on vacations I was continually working to suppress the panic. I remember having an anxiety attack relaxing on a beach in the Bahamas. My current chronic pain condition started with vertigo and then a very stubborn case of occipital neuralgia that started about 10 months ago. For 3 or 4 months I saw many doctors, therapists, accupuncturists, chiropractors... all the usual suspects. And yet this time each time I went to therapy the pain just got worse for a few days. That is what led me to do more research and discover TMS. Shortly after that I overcame my intense fear of MRI's and drove to another city for an open MRI of my neck. There were 3 or 4 bulging discs. I think this set me back in my TMS work for several months. Its funny but I do not think about the MRI anymore. So, no, I have not eliminated my pain and anxiety yet, but I did have a pain free and enjoyable day at work today. I know I am making progress, slow and steady. My therapist asked me the other day what would my life look like without pain. That is an interesting question. Its hard for me to conceptualize but I think it is in part because I have a difficult time accepting it is possible. I don't want to be let down and disappointed. But I recognize it is important to imagine.
    Ellen and jan33 like this.
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle


    One thing that you will find on this site is a long list of success stories from people with all sorts of different conditions and histories. We have all thought at one moment or another that the pain has won. I had chronic pain symptoms for 18 years, and can honestly say that I also felt that the pain had won numerous times. Having chronic pain for such a long time can be extremely discouraging and frustrating. The problem is that the frustrated you get, the more power the pain has over you. Accepting that your symptoms are benign works, because when you achieve this, the pain no longer has power over you. If you view the symptom as harmless then there is nothing to worry about when it comes up.

    It sounds like you are still new to this approach, so don't let a few setbacks trip you up. The key to is to take it day by day, moment by moment. Go easy on yourself. A bad day, week, or month doesn't mean this approach is not working. As long as you are open to this approach and to allowing your emotions, then you are always making progress. It takes time to reverse our repressive tendencies, but you will get there. I thought I would have chronic pain for the rest of my life, but I have now been pain free for close to 5 years. If I can do it, you can do it.
    jan33 and Mtngal like this.
  10. jan33

    jan33 New Member

    Eric, Thanks for your detailed reply. I don't quite agree that I am trying too hard because I think it takes very concentrated and repeated thoughts and efforts to break through the medical/diagnosis beliefs system. I am a licensed psychotherapist for many years and have trained in and practiced all sorts of body therapies, visualization, meditation, EFT, QiGong and on and on. I hesitate to say this because I presently realize that in spite of all my background, something has been missing. Even though practicing many techniques for healing, I never got beyond the words and practices of multiple chiropractors. I learned to envisioned the misalignment of my spine and more recently my aging neck. This is very hard to get beyond. I found a holistic MD several years ago who did tell me that bulging discs don't create pain, and that western medicine doesn't do well at all with curing or understanding pain. That was a relief to hear and I did take that in, but he went on to send me to still another chiropractor and others. I haven't seen him since starting the TSM work, but will next month. Debating whether to bring this up to him or not. I'm afraid he will Poo,poo it and I don't need any of that right now. Along with frozen shoulder this summer, I developed digestive problems and just yesterday, completed so many tests, CT scan, colonoscopy, and endoscopy with no major bad things, but some lesser problems. All the time during the past 4 months, I have been thinking EMOTIONS, but still wrapped up in the powerful medical with physical therapy, MDs, etc. It is a true battle. If I don't work at this 24-7, I start to doubt; so it is important for me to read and hear about real success stories and know there is a community of people who are carrying on Dr. Sarno's work and practicing it. I am enrolled in a two day training with Howard Schubiner and Alan Gordon, Nov. 1st in LA. Getting their flyer was what turned me on to rereading Dr. Sarno's work about a month ago and seriously taking it in. I had read Healing Back Pain many years ago. Before I went under the anesthesia yesterday, I talked to my brain and autonomic nervous system not to need to create pain anymore, hoping being in the unconscious state would be even more beneficial in planting these seeds. I need more understanding and acceptance of the theory that the unconscious material we carry needs the brain to be such a trickster. I will take a look at Steve's book; and I don't know what TRP and SEP stand for. I do practice Buddhist meditation. I have found since starting this, when I feel a twinge of fear or anger, I do quickly say, "There's my anger or my fear, naming it. Guess I am on the right track!
  11. jan33

    jan33 New Member

  12. jan33

    jan33 New Member

    Forest, thanks for the reply. It helps so much to hear you are pain free now! It's quite a turn-around to say to pain,"nothing is wrong with my body". We have learned all our lives that pain is a signal of danger.
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I understand we have to re-condition our mind to knowing its emotional stressors and tension that are causing our pain.
    We don't have to try hard in the respect that we cram to much and create more tension is my point to ponder ok.

    The SEP is the Structured Educational Program- it has really helped a lot of people become pain free and also to understand the tms theory a lot better
    You can find it here- http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Structured_Educational_Program

    And the TRP is the TMS Recovery Program with Alan Gordon - its great for anything, you can find it here- http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program

    Jan33 im like you, I have to get knowledge everyday so I can keep a good hand on my journey- wishing you well at the seminar.

    Keep us up-dated

    Bless you
  14. Pilot in pain

    Pilot in pain Peer Supporter

    Hey Jan, boy do I have a frozen shoulder story for you. I am crippled with back pain but only when I sit down, lie down or stand up too much. For example, today I did a hike for over 3 hours, straight up a mountain over 1000 ft vertical, I was exhausted from my chronic fatigue they say I have but I had to take breaks here and there as needed but I did it. My back, no pain at all. Then we celebrated by going to an Indian restaurant for a curry and a nice feed after, I sat down in the chair after spending 3 solid hours climbing with no pain and I could have started crying from the pain from about 2 minutes in the chair. I had almost forgotten the pain while I was climbing was even a problem. Anyway, I am a complete Neub here in the forum and everyone here has helped talk me in off the ledge more than once but when I started reading the SArno books it said my pain was going to move around. I woke up one morning to have a 100 locked frozen shoulder. I had heard of a frozen shoulder from the DVD Doctored by Jeff Hays so I was aware of it but have never had a shoulder issue in my life. If you put a million dollars on the table and stood me 90 degrees to it and said, if you can reach your arm out and get it, it is all yours, I would have not been able to do it. I went Friday, Saturday, Sunday and come MOnday I was going to go to the doctor when I got up. I remember in SArno's book he talked about what to do when the pain does something drastic like that and one of them was to just let it all out on the brain. My family was not home and Sunday afternoon I got on my rebounder and I let it fly. I have never used so many swear words in my life and on the top of my lungs. I cursed out my brain for 3-4 minutes straight. I was just praying the neighbors were not hearing me! I was dying from the frozen shoulder since Friday and my rotator cuff felt like it was going to snap off if I even tried to lift my arm out on an angle a millimeter. Anyway after 3 days of self massaging and saunas and the like, 3 minutes on teh rebounder cursing my arse off and I took one step off the rebounder and my arm went straight to the ceiling. I swear on the lives of my children. I went right to my journal and put it as the first thing in the proof column. NOw since then I have not had much luck with the program. I have the same doubts you have. Although I am 100% certain this is TMS as I fit every piece of the puzzle but trying to get my brain to know that is another thing. It sounds insane but when your shoulder freezes, for me anyway, I just turned into a dirty foul mouthed sailor and honestly I had to look up a few of the curse words that came out of me but I just screamed on the top of my lungs at my brain, I was praying I was not on candid camera or something as I could basically kiss goodbye a run for office with that 3-4 minutes on Youtube but honest to god it worked for me. It went away and I have never say from it again. I almost want it to happen again so i can go yell some more. I dont know if you have tried anything like that but I saw it with my own two eyes. I have tried to do the same with my neck, L5 and T4 pain but it does not work. I plan to go see an expert in TMS either in NY or in CA to see if they can give more advice but I think it is a process you have to go through and try everything yourself before you go see someone so you can really say you have tried it all. Keep swinging.
    G.R. likes this.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Jan and Pilot,
    Herbie's suggestion is really a good one, to try the Structured Education Program. Its helped a lot of people. And you both need another
    good shot in the arm (or lower) to convince yourself your pains are 100 percent from TMS. As Steve Ozanich says, "All or nothing."
    Believing in TMS 99 percent isn't enough.

    The TMSWiki forum call-in this coming Tuesday night could be very helpful for you both. It's on chapter 14 of Steve's book,
    The Great Pain Deception: What You Need to Understand to Heal." If you can't join the call-in Tuesday night, Becca posts a video
    of it a day or two later.

    Here's a URL about a summary I wrote of that chapter:


    Hang in there, guys. Many of us, thousands, have healed from TMS pain. So will you.
  16. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pilot in pain)- I sat down in the chair after spending 3 solid hours climbing with no pain and
    I could have started crying from the pain from about 2 minutes in the chair

    Eric)- This is a giveaway that its TMS.
    Ok you have seen evidence but you don't need hurt yourself to prove its tms
    You need first to keep journaling and watching your reactions to negative strain

    You have to get to the emotional issues that have relationship involved and find out why
    you hurt there and come back into happiness with the relationship to life.

    You have to watch your everyday pressures and be kind to yourself on purpose till reconditioned.
    It takes time to retrain your brain through awareness but that's exactly what you do to heal.
    You begin to believe with all you got that you have TMS, keep believing while searching for
    the emotional scars so you can come to peace with them and let them go.

    Bless you
    nancy likes this.
  17. Pandagirl

    Pandagirl Peer Supporter

    Hi Jan,

    Many people have had their symptoms get worse before they got better. It's pretty common! When reading your post, I couldn't help but think of Alan Gordon's view on "Breaking the Pain Cycle." The fear and attention can keep you stuck. I think it may resonate with you.

    And like Eric, I believe that you can work too hard at trying to overcome TMS. It's only natural when you are desperate and want so badly to be free of pain. I've found myself frantic, in fear, searching for answers, trying to read everything and beating myself up when I couldn't just tell my pain to go away. It's a process, sometimes a long one! I can tell by your words, that you are not being kind and gentle to yourself.

    I've struggled for almost 3 years, but I've seen the most improvement in the last 60 days, when I have loosened up a bit and quit frantically reading and trying to apply TMS healing so aggressively. I've allowed myself to have a little more fun, be more present in the moment, laugh more and just forget. This morning I woke up and for the first 30 minutes that I was awake I didn't think about TMS once! Not once! This used to be 30 seconds. Last week it was 5 minutes. For me if I can find a few minutes to forget about how I feel, I can actually enjoy life. And then I feel a little bit of joy, which encourages me to continue!

    I know how impossible this can seem when you are in the midst of pain. Ever so slowly, it does get easier!

    Best wishes, Mandi
    G.R. and Ellen like this.
  18. Pilot in pain

    Pilot in pain Peer Supporter

    I love the comment "Frantically reading" Man that sums it up for all of us doesn't it?
    Pandagirl likes this.
  19. paddipaws

    paddipaws New Member

    I shouted at my pain a while ago, told it to go away in a rather impolite way. It sort of did so when it came back a bit later I told it go away again and that I would deal with it later. It did come back again latet so I'm afraid I just took two tramadol and went to bed. But it did work for a while and I am a newbie.

  20. jan33

    jan33 New Member

    To pilot in Pain....
    Wow! Thanks for this response. I could so relate to "reach out for a million dollars and couldn't do it". I'm astounded that you had a recovery in days. I'm going into 5 months now, but I think shoulder has started to ease up somewhat. What is a rebounder? I want one if it cured your frozen shoulder along with swearing loudly. :) I have progressed in probably past week or two..little bits of incite coming in, pains suddenly shooting and then I stop and recount what my thoughts were about at that moment. Journaling every day..hard to make myself do it at times, but now realize that it adds up to aiding in totally believing this theory..I do think I am 99.9 there. I had to keep at it..reading, journaling, talking to myself over and over to break the medical information of years and years of chiropractors. GUESS WHAT. I HAD A DREAM LAST NIGHT AFTER READING YOUR POST THAT MY SHOULDER WAS 100% NORMAL. I kept raising it to show everybody, but it was still stiff this morning, but not as much. Some other positive signs were, I didn't need an Aleve yesterday for my constant headaches..very rare indeed. I worked on bills today and had some angry thoughts, and headache started. I went straight to the journal and resisted, at the time, from taking the pill. My recent stomach problems are 90% cleared up today. I told the Dr. last week that after all tests came up with nothing that I was sure it was stress. He said, "Well, I don't have a magic wand for that.". We do though, RIGHT? I did try swearing a bit in my journaling when headache started up. I don't like thinking that I have this enemy inside myself to hate and swear at, but if it helps, oh well. I go to thinking, OK, it's the autonomic nervous system trying to do me a favor sending physical pain instead of raging emotions, but there is that ONE inside who keeps putting me down, and making me sick when I try to make changes. She can't stand for me to have to adapt to something new. BORING! I do have an appointment with Dr. David Schechter here in Los Angeles Dec. 2. You mentioned perhaps seeing someone. He was very highly recommended at the Dr Schubiner & Allen's Seminar two weeks ago. On the subject of Neck pain, since my shoulder froze, I haven't needed to get my neck adjusted by this neck Chiropractor who I have been going to twice a month for 2 years. I love that. So, that is a case of pain moving somewhere else? This is tricky stuff, we know, but how wonderful to have someone to share details with. Keep writing! Jan33

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