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I know it's TMS, so why can't I get better?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by waino, Nov 3, 2022.

  1. waino

    waino New Member

    I discovered Sarno's books about 20 years ago and am the exact person described in his books... perfectionist, driven, self conscious, highly sensitive personality, and naturally anxious and tense all the time. I've dealt with many ailments that doctors couldn't find a reason for - chronic back pain, widespread muscle pain, IBS, stomach pain, acid reflux, vertigo, rosacea, etc.

    Using Sarno's techniques- mainly ignoring the symptoms and focusing on journaling and emotions I've been able to rid myself of a lot of these except for the chronic widespread muscle pain. This will not go away no matter what I try.

    Over the years I've done a lot of psychotherapy and journaling, as well as trying things like Schubiner's book, the structured program on this site, the Gupta Program, and adding daily meditation. With nothing working, I sought out medical help from a dozen doctors who tested me for a bunch of stuff but no one could find anything causing this. One doctor wants to put me on an expensive Lyme protocol but I don't really have Lyme symptoms other than this so not sure I want to go down that rabbit trail.

    Anyone else been stuck and tried something different that really helped? I was thinking of doing Curable but not sure it's any different than what I've done.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    The reason you are stuck despite all of your knowledge, emotional work, and acceptance of the tms diagnosis is doubt. There are still doubts lurking that must be demolished. Until you do that, progress will not be made and various modalities or emotional work will be of no use. Doubt creates fear and fear creates symptoms. We need to figure out exactly what your doubts are, counter them, and get rid of them. Once you do that, fear will vanish and voila, you will see progress. It may even go very quickly considering all the work you have done. Don't even entertain the Lyme thing. That is doubt and it will keep you hopelessly stuck and broke and filled with antibiotics. I went down that asininity path and I wish that whole industry of charlatans would fall into a black hole where it belongs. Examine where your doubts lie....do you think you are "different " in some way from other tms sufferers that would exclude you from "healing"? Do you think that some of your symptoms are tms and others are not? Do you compare yourself to other people's pain profiles and seek someone with "the exact same symptoms" in order to believe? Do you harbor self doubt? That you are not up to the task somehow, or you don't "have what it takes"? THIS is the area in which you need to examine with a fine tooth comb. The false beliefs and negative thought habits that stem from these beliefs must be replaced with accurate info, knowledge and belief in yourself.
    plum, backhand, Ellen and 1 other person like this.
  3. waino

    waino New Member

    Thank you for the encouragement. I've been dealing with this for over 10 years and for the first 5 years or so I definitely took the no-doubt approach as I was sure it was mindbody illness, but after a while of it not working, I moved to the medical route and put TMS behind me. I've spent a lot of money on doctors and haven't gotten anywhere with that.

    I've read a lot of different perspectives on mindbody illness that differ slightly from Sarno's. I'm not sure if one person has it right more than the other, but I do feel stress is the underlying cause of what I'm dealing with as I notice symptoms get worse during those stressful times. I am reminded of the illustration Sarno writes about with us having a reservoir of negative feelings that once it overflows, the symptoms occurs. That's something that always resonated with me.

    In any event, I think I've done a poor job of interrupting my thought patterns over the years which contribute to the stress and ongoing symptoms. It seems like breaking those patterns of negative thoughts is of great importance to moving forward.

    I am probably going to re-read Mind body Prescription as it's been a long time since I have done so. If anyone has any other book recommendations to help, please feel free to suggest them.
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again @waino ,

    Doubt can be a sneaky trickster and when symptoms have become chronic or very reoccurring , it's linked to doubt. Doubt will also cement emotional themes. I highly recommend you visit Dr. Dan Ratner's YT channel and he has Pdfs you can order. He is also coming out with a book very soon (I'm assuming the title will be "Crushing Doubt" like his YT podcast). Dan has filled a dearth in the field imo when it comes to getting people unstuck from chronicity. Sometimes various approaches are missing a particular angle. As Dan has said, sometimes we are hitting our head against the emotional brick wall and the wall begins to hurt. I have a strong hunch it's time for you to focus on this aspect of the mind body experience. Wishing you all the best!
    plum and Ellen like this.
  5. waino

    waino New Member

    Thanks! I will check him out for sure. Appreciate your help.
    miffybunny likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    After almost ten years at this, I have come to realize that there is a difference between knowledge and belief. We can have all the TMS knowledge and think it applies to us, but until we actually believe it we won't recover. I'm still not sure how the change from knowing to believing occurs, but I have experienced the effect several times, first during my initial recovery and several times since in overcoming relapses.

    Keep going and you will get there.
    JanAtheCPA, plum and miffybunny like this.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Isn’t it funny how what you need finds you. I’ve spent the afternoon with my dad and we’ve been sorting through my mum’s cookbooks. Many of them have notes she’s made, in her perfect lovely hand. Dear Lord I miss her. Some days the grief feels unbearable but there is such a lot of love to soften the hurting.

    Anyway, while scanning one of the many bookshelves I found the original Sarno book (Healing Back Pain) that I lent her all those years ago. I’ve brought it home. Grief has unleashed a TMS storm and I’m exhausted by it, by the tedious relapse. So hallelujah @Ellen and @miffybunny for your words for I am reminded of everything.

    Much love ❤️
  8. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Well known member

    Recently, Dr.Schecter joined Rose and Dr. Tovah on tms roundtable to discuss folks who struggle with tms healing:
    miffybunny likes this.
  9. waino

    waino New Member

    Hi @miffybunny , I've been listening to some of Dan Ratner's podcasts to understand more of his teachings. His live counseling sessions seem pretty helpful. However, his purchased resources (PDFs and membership) are quite expensive for what I'm used to seeing within the community.

    For someone who has read books from Sarno, SteveO, Schubiner, Gordon, and Schechter, as well as done the SEP, do you feel that Dan Ratner offers a new helpful perspective that justify the costs of his resources for purchase? I would be interested in spending money on a coach or program to try to get me back in focus and over the hump, but trying to figure out the best route to go for the expense. Thanks.
  10. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @waino,

    Yes of course! I think it's important to be strategic and targeted when we decide to invest our time and money in any kind of therapy, coaching, group class or program. Based on your history, I do think taking one of Dr. Ratner's seminar series or support groups would be well worth it since he focuses on eradicating doubt... 8 classes runs about $600 (less if you purchase pre recorded ones) which is quite reasonable and actually no more expensive than other options (one on one coaching with just an intern at the Pain Pscyh Center will run you 150 per session and they primarily focus on one aspect from what I have heard the past few years from many people and clients)...in a year that could arrive at 6K). You would be wasting your time and money with most of the programs out there because they are more emotions focused and you have already been down that rodeo several times. The truth is you could probably teach your own course at this point!! You need to drill down on what is keeping you stuck. That may only require 1 or 2 one-on-one sessions with a coach who uses Dan's system (I'm training with him now actually and this is a subject of particular interest to me), or simply one of his groups. Even if you decided to do both and you spent a thousand all tolled...I think it's well worth it to reclaim your life!
  11. waino

    waino New Member

    Great thanks again @miffybunny . I worked with one of Alan Gordon's coaches for a few months many years ago but didn't get much, if any, relief. It mainly felt like CBT. I might try the seminar series though, thanks for the suggestion.
    Are you currently coaching? When will you finish your training with Dan, if you don't mind me asking?
  12. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again, I've been coaching formally for the last 2 years but I started folding in Dan's 3 column system because I saw a huge need in the field with regards to doubt. Since incorporating his work, I've seen notable results...it's like high speed therapy that cuts through the doubt and endless searching that many people experience. I'm half way through his course and deepening my understanding of how individuals minds can differ. Doubt falls into the cognitive category as well, but it's not always enough to work on disarming triggers or efficacious doing somatic tracking. For some that may be the ticket, but it's an exercise in futility to use one tool over and over, or to focus in one area when it's not making sense to the individual client.

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