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I wonder if "TMS" is just stress

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by music321, Jan 4, 2017.

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  1. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I went through this too, but I feel I lost time trying to totally understand mindbody phenomenon from an intellectual perspective. Things began to really click and work for me through experiencing changes as a result of doing the treatment practices. This requires a certain amount of faith and commitment to following a protocol until you start to experience its benefits. So my advice is to just pick a treatment protocol (fortunately we have several good ones to pick from) and jump all in, and then notice and observe the changes. This is what solidifies belief.
     
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  2. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Hi Ellen, and thanks so much for your input.. If possible, since there are multiple protocols, such as Dr. Sarno's, Dr. Hanscom's and Dr. Schubiner's, how can I know I'm chosing the best one? I realize different methods will work for different people, but as you mentioned, and I fully agree, I have an obvious tendency to over-analyze everything making decision making so complicated.. I know I do it, but I can't seem to stop doing it! SOO frustrating! I should mention that so far, I've picked amd chosen a bit from several of these doctor's methods... Such as trying to get adequate sleep, trying to stay active in spite of the fear amd pain (biggest hurdle to overcome for me, an everyday struggle) and journaling... And I am seeing a counselor who is trying to teach me mindfulness mediation, another struggle for me, since my brain is so STUCK in panic mode every single day.. I feel myself getting tense and upset just typing out my situation... Has anyone else ever felt like this??
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'd venture to suggest everyone on the forum has. We have coined a phrase which refers to getting in lather and/or obsessing about how to heal/our pain/our emotions. We call this tms'ing (about tms). It is a paradoxical and highly revelatory demonstration of the hows and whys we are in pain. Basically we take the same cocktail that created our pain (our personality, our emotions, our stress etc) into our healing. In other words if we are anxious types we are anxious about healing and every step along the way provides a million reasons to become more anxious. I call it spinning your wheels, foot on the gas but going nowhere fast.

    You see TMS is a slippery little fish. Just when you think you've got it sussed it glides away into the great blue yonder. Why does this happen? Because you are using your mind (which got you into this mess) to grasp what it does not and cannot know about itself (your unconscious, your autonomic nervous system, the great mystery that is life). Even Buddha had a hard time figuring that out.

    The answer is it doesn't matter. And I'm not being trite. It really doesn't matter where you start or what you do. To me it sounds like you're overwhelming yourself with trying to heal on top of being overwhelmed by your pain. What activities bring you pleasure?
     
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  4. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I don't think that you're being trite at all. My first reaction to "it really doesn't matter where you start" gives me an instant sense of relief. I'm fully aware that I'm putting immense pressure on myself to recover, but it's largely borne of wanting to get back to doing all the things that made my life so full and enjoyable just a couple of years ago, before my first injury. (which was completely unrelated to my current back issue. I had been virtually pain free and fully active, and low to no anxiety..) This all started with a dormant health anxiety that came to the surface after some unexplained (and I believe, misdiagnosed) hamstring "injury".. From there, it ALL went downhill. I had to stop working (with kids) due to pain and severe mobility issues, and that was my main pleasure in life.. The exuberance and love of those kids, my coworkers that were like family.. All lost.. And I was always ACTIVE, to the point of being hyperactive... An avid shopper, music lover, reader, writer, loved my friends... As i became more and more buried and the pain intensified, all my time was and is spent focusing on visits to Drs, ERs, urgent care, Googling health conditions... It's insane. I miss my life. I miss ME. I have BECOME my pain. I wouldn't wish this on ANYONE. Uh oh, runaway emotional train... My apologies and I THANK you Plum, for all your wisdom and empathetic insight. You can't imagine the comfort it brings.. And as my former roommate used to say, (that's another story) a "mustard seed" of hope.. :(
     
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Along those lines : "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Jiddu Krishnamurti
     
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  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    You can't know you're choosing the best one. That is the point. Part of recovery from TMS is learning to live with the messy imperfection that is real life. That's why I keep that quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn in my signature line. We just have to choose a path and dive in, then make the best of it. Our perfectionist tendencies can paralyze us and keep us second-guessing everything. All the TMS protocols out there are good. We have an abundance of riches. The SEP is free, so that makes it an easy choice.

    Let us know what you decide, and keep us posted on how you're doing. We're all here to support one another.
     
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  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You can dig that beautiful girl out. You have much passion. Give yourself to the things you love (music is evergreen) and with a light heart learn about this TMS stuff. A great place to start is the Success Story forum. Gorge on the bounty it contains.
     
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  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Plum Loves Ellen.
    There is good reason for my signature too. This is Life. It is beautiful.
     
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  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    And Ellen loves following Plum around on this Forum. I let her do all the heavy lifting with her profound and beautifully written posts. Then I follow up with "what she said....." and "hallelujah, sister".
     
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  10. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

     
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  11. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Thank you Ellen... I get what you're saying, I just wish it didn't seem so complicated.. Sarno says you don't have to change your personality or even your daily stressors, merely acknowledge that the pain stems from psychological sources, not physical or structural... Am I interpreting his theory correctly?
     
  12. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Without getting too psychological and boring everyone to tears, that's one of my major, major hurdles.. Letting go of the anxiety and learning to trust my physical body again. Pain and fear are partners in crime. Insidious and fully capable of robbing a person of.. well, just about everything. It's almost like I am afraid I'll get hurt even worse if I allow myself to relax at all, move, and live life as I knew it... Scary as HELL!!
     
  13. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, you're right, Sarno does say we don't have to change our personality. I can only speak from my personal experience. The amount of stress and tension I create when I try to be perfect or make perfect choices, or try to please everyone by being a "goodist" is like throwing gasoline on the fire of TMS. I've had to work on letting go of this, and am not completely there yet, but have made a whole lot of progress. This progress has felt like removing a heavy suit of armour. At first I felt naked and exposed. But now I realize how much easier it is to move through life without the weight of perfection and goodism. I'm learning how to relax, while being naked and exposed.

    We all have to find our own way out of pain. There are several good road maps developed by good people, and I believe each one works for many, but not all work for everyone, or result in lasting effects. There are people who can just make the connection between their pain and psychological triggers and get relief that way. I had some initial relief from just reading the theory. But it didn't last. My thinking, emotional, and behavioral patterns (my personality) just kept on creating TMS anew. I knew I had to change to recover. From a neuroscience perspective, you could say that this is developing new neural pathways. Not easy work by any means, but well worth it.

    Yes, it can all be confusing and overwhelming. But remember we are talking about the human brain which is the most complex organism we know of. (or the human Mind, which is even more complex). And we are in the very early stages of understanding TMS. But ultimately all you need to keep in mind is that recovery from TMS is possible, and you can find your way there. And there are many wonderful people on this Forum who will support you on your journey. We're trailblazers, every one of us.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
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  14. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    YES! That's all there is to it, just a change of mind set and thinking--practicing the new thinking--confidence builds on success.
     
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  15. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, someone on these forums, maybe it was you, said we are studying the mind with the mind--which probably doesn't help with objectivity.
     
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  16. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Some people have reported overcoming TMS merely by accepting that the pain has a psychological source rather than a structural one. I guess that is the so-called "book cure." Interestingly, however, accepting that the pain has a psychological source seems not to have been enough for Sarno himself regarding his TMS-equivalent of heartburn due to repressed anger.

    Here is what he wrote about his heartburn episodes in Healing Back Pain: "I have learned that heartburn means that I'm angry about something and don't know it. So I think about what might be causing the condition, and when I come up with the answer the heartburn disappears. It is remarkable how well buried the anger usually is. Generally for me it is something about which I am annoyed but have no idea how much it has angered me." Sarno fully accepted that his heartburn episodes were due to repressed anger; one would expect no less from the foremost proponent of TMS. But until he figured out what caused his anger, the pain continued. He had to identify the stimulus of his repressed anger to stop the heartburn.

    In The Divided Mind, Sarno reported having severe heartburn while on a long trip with his wife. He wrote: "She and I both recognized this to be psychosomatic, and we tried to figure out what was making me unconsciously angry." They came up with four possible sources of his repressed anger. For example, one was that he no longer liked to travel because of the inconvenience and discomfort. But, he wrote: "We obviously didn't hit on the right answer, because my symptoms continued unabated for the entire trip. It wasn't until we got home that I realized what had been going on," which concerned anger at his wife that he was too ashamed of to consciously experience. Once again, he knew the heartburn had a psychological source, but without identifying exactly what simulated his anger, the heartburn continued.

    In one of his books (I have forgotten which one), Sarno recounts overcoming a migraine headache just by realizing that it had a psychological source. But for heartburn, it appears his accepting that the pain was psychologically sourced was not sufficient to stop it. He also had to identify exactly what angered him--that is, the specific stimulus.

    Understanding and applying this in my life is what enabled me to end more that two decades of low back pain.
     
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  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I recommend you see, phone or skype a TMS counselor. Most non-TMS savvy therapists will string you out for years and they have no clue or interest in psychosomatic medicine. There's a list of them here at the wiki, phone or skype has been shown to be as effective as in person for TMS. One I went to early on said the most sessions he had to do to get the TMS point across was a dozen, and that was the most. That's my recommendation if you feel you understand TMS theory but still suffering and feel stuck.
     
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  18. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Oh gosh, I loved this! They have an APP!!! I laughed out loud.
    I’m obsessing because I am have 5AM departure time tomorrow to go home. I need to get up at 3am and take a cab I the dark in a faraway country. I have faced exhaustion all week. I hate to say it but I need a vacation from my vacation!
    Why do I forget that travel does not equal vacation??? From now on I’m going to a spa a couple hours away. Get pampered. Rest. Take a mud bath.
    Amazingly, the awful bellyache I had when I signed on is GONE. TMS-wiki, I am so glad I found you all those years ago.
     
  19. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I am so glad to read this, I recall the story about Sarno’s anger at his wife and not wanting to acknowledge this. My gut was wrenching all day yesterday, just awful. Again this morning. I am in Barcelona and it feels like Christmas did as a child: great PR “this is going to make you happy!” ...followed by disappointment that the presents didn’t fill the existential hole in my soul.
    Barcelona is crowded and the energy here is tense. Catalonians want to exit Spain and can’t. There is horrible gang tagging in what were beautiful gothic alleyways. I was terrified walking last night. We were safe but it didn’t feel like it.
    So, to this point, I was angry that my husband made my return reservation for 5am!! Because I will be so happy to get back home early in the day. I went along. I didn’t say “That’s too early for me,” I was a people pleaser and that never ends well.
    So, he gets a miserable and unhappy wife with a colicky gut. If I were a horse or rabbit, I would have died last night. I didn’t. I got to visit you guys and disappear my belly ache!
    And forgive my husband! Good lord, he didn’t DO this to me! I have a victim complex installed in my early-life
    software. It’s mine. I have to own it, it doesn’t go away. I have to do the daily work of meditation and mindful practice or I forget and eventually the tension builds and I get symptoms.
    So, thank you, Duggit, for the priceless reminder.
     
  20. miquelb3

    miquelb3 Well known member

    Please remember that TMS is not just about stress and conscious emotions... neither about somatization of such conscious emotions.
    TMS is about UNCONSCIOUS (unfelt!) emotions (mainly rage and anxiety).
    For instance: my much beloved young daughter is killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. I feel intense sorrow, sadness, desperation .... and rage, deep rage against the driver..... and the pain in my legs (back, shoulders, ... doesn't matter) begins. I think that's due to an anatomical lesion in my spine caused by a certain movement or effort. That will be confirmed by the doctor through the "evidence" of a MRI. But perhaps doctors can't find such "evidences"!!
    In both cases I can be very suspicious that my pain is due to my "bad emotions" related to my daughter's death. "I have somatizated my deep sorrow, sadness ... and rage".
    WRONG !
    Probably your pain is the consequence of your repressed emotions, mainly rage, against the drunken driver that killed my beloved daughter.
    I can feel my rage .... but I can feel just "the point of the iceberg" of my rage, the proportion of rage that is sociabiliy acceptable and that I, as responsible, civilized and rational adult, can manage. My brain is protecting me from the immense unconscious rage... distracting my atention and focusing it over my physical body. Otherwise my behaviour COULD be a truly disaster by the human specie (both the drunken driver and me!!!).
     

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