1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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I'm ready to be pain free!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Krista, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Krista

    Krista New Member

    Hi Every0ne. Today is Day 1 for me of the structured education program. Although putting myself out there and writing a post gives me some anxiety (hello - perfectionism), I am going to do it and stick with the program in hopes that it will help.

    Here's a brief background on my pain and how I got to this point. Growing up I had mild neck and back pain off and on but nothing chronic and untreatable. On January 1, 2011 I woke up with horrible neck pain. I went throug the mill of treatments...X-ray, MRI, muscle relaxers, PT, TENS machine therapy, pain management which included two rounds of steriod shots, Airrosti treatment (myofascial treatment), acupuncture, blood work, appointments with bone and joint clinic and with a rheumatologist. Some of the treatments provided minor pain relief but nothing sustaining. Over the past year and a half I can definitely say my pain level has decreased but it has never gone away.

    I'm only 31 but every day I wake up feeling like am 80 with my aching neck and back and stiffness. I know many of you have been in pain much longer but pain is pain and every single day of it is bad...for all of us.

    So I found and article on Dr. Sarno's book online. I immediately read the book and started some online research last week. I went to a myofascial appointment on Friday and an acupuncture appointment on Saturday. At both appointments I told them I wanted to stop treatment...take some time off...and take care of myself and stop focusing on the pain. Pain has been in my head every day for too long. I felt like I was breaking up with my doctors but I also felt a sense of freedom...I will not be tied down by 2-3 appointments per week from now on!

    Reading Dr. Sarno's book really made an impact on me. I felt like he was writing it for me and speaking to so many things in my life. Looking back on the past year and a half I've realized that my emotions have gone hand in hand with how I've been feeling. I became a mom three years ago and parenting has not come easy and with it my relationship with my husband has also suffered. The emotional toll of all of this has weighed heavily on my mind, and now I realize, my body.

    I am ready to start recognizing the represessed emotions which I know exist and begin my path to recovery. I'm hopefully that knowledge of TMS, support from all of you, and going through this process will allow me to be pain free, and to help others, especially my two sisters who have also had chronic pain for the past few years.

    Thanks for your support!
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Krista,


    I hear you...I am pretty much pain free now and it is great to have TIME to do social things again. Last year at this time I had PT 2x per week, 45 min of PT exercises a day, weekly massage appointments, etc.

    Look forward to seeing you around here. Also, you don't have to do the program "perfectly"--I dropped out of the Structured Program mid-way through because I was feeling so much better--I still journal occasionally and work with a TMS therapist which has been really helpful. Different things work for different people.

    :) Veronica
  3. Krista

    Krista New Member

    veronica73 likes this.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    "At both appointments [i.e. the myofascial and acupuncture] and I told them I wanted to stop treatment...take some time off...and take care of myself and stop focusing on the pain."

    I have to agree with your methodology, Krista. As much as I like acupuncture and Pilates, I have noticed a great deal of improvement in my lower back, hip and weak left leg since I cut out physical treatments and modalities. I think it's true what Sarno says: All physical treatments for your pain condition reinforce the idea you've already got in your mind that you're doing something physical to correct an underlying physical condition. I think that doing Pilates at the same PT clinic where I had done physical therapy 10 years ago for a so-called "herniated disk" also reinforced the idea that there was something physical that I was changing with the Cadillac and reformer machines. A 10-year continuum of negative reinforcements! I've noticed significant improvement in my TMS pain since I've concentrated on meditation and journaling, which really address the underlying psychological condition responsible for your psychogenic pain. I did the Structure Education program on this Wiki but was still hedging my bet by going to Pilates and acupuncture at the same time. Real improvement began when I cut out those physical modalities and continued breathing exercises, meditation and the various writing exercises Dr. Shubiner has in his book, Unlearn Your Pain. For a long while too in the weight room, I kept doing individual left leg lifts on the squat machine, thinking that isolating and stressing the weaker side would help build strength and reduce the TMS pain and sciatica on that side of my body. But I realize now that I was reinforcing the idea that there was something physically wrong with me on the "left" side. Not true! Now, I've been doing squats and leg lifts using both legs simultaneously and obtaining much, much better results. See how subtle this stuff is? What you're dealing with with TMS are programmed pain patterns and the only way to deprogram yourself is to think psychological and not physical. You're really dealing with the Jungian world of symbols and archetypes, not a mechanical diagram of your joints, tendons and bones.

    But you have made the right decision cutting out those physical modalities. Just stick with it! That way you'll be undoing the conditioning process that continues to reinforce your pain symptoms.

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