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How to "uncondition" myself?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Tom Bultman, May 14, 2013.

  1. Tom Bultman

    Tom Bultman New Member

    As I have worked through the educational program I have come to realize that I think I expect pain when I do various sorts of things. I still do many of them because I want to and because the pain is low to mid level and chronic. I've conditioned myself to expect pain. How do I undo that process?
     
  2. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Tom, I am not an expert at this, in fact I struggle with conditioning myself. I think the first thing to do is to recognize that it is conditioning (you've done this! congrats!). The next thing to do is to remind yourself, as you go into the situation, that you are experiencing pain only because you expect to.

    If it's at all possible, you might try doing whatever it is that you've become conditioned to for a very brief amount of time, telling yourself it's TMS all the time. Then build up slowly as you become deconditioned.

    I was noticing that my foot pain got worse every day during 5th period. There was no reason for this except conditioning. Since I have to teach 45 minutes, I could not use my building-up strategy. However, last week my 5th period class met in a computer lab instead of our regular classroom. I was on my feet more than usual, walking around and checking students' work. However, I noticed that I had less pain than usual during the period. (It made me wonder if subconsciously I was actually conditioned by the room in which my 5th pd. class usually meets.) This helped break the conditioning a great deal--I've noticed it's much less during 5th period this week.

    I hope this helps!

    Gail
     
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Conditioning is a difficult thing for all of us to overcome. The best way to overcome it is to simply practice changing your thoughts during these activities. The more you think psychologically, the more you will make progress. The more you remind yourself that the symptoms are benign and to think psychologically, the more you will reverse the conditioned response. It takes some time, but it will happen.
     
  4. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    I've recently been deconditioning my knee pain which started a while back. I just wouldn't go away, but one thing that is working for me is to focus on my good knee while I'm running. I also stopped icing it and treating it like it is a physical issue. It's been slowly going away. So maybe it would help to focus on a body part that has no pain when you do feel the pain. You may find it hard to do because the sheer nature of the pain is to draw your attention, but frankly you can only focus on one thing at a time right? So maybe try putting your mind's eye on something that doesn't hurt.
     

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