I started experiencing bad forearm and hand pain in 2010 at the beginning of the year. It went away only to return after a few months during a stressful period at work where I had to work long hours. I ignored the pain when it started figuring it would go away once my project was over and I stopped using the computer so much. It just got worse the more I typed. Sometimes my hands would go numb and I couldn’t control my fingers that well. The pain was difficult to bear and I started thinking I would lose my job though my work didn’t suffer. About this time I searched the internet and learned that tight muscles compressing nerves in the neck or shoulder could cause pain in the arms and hands. I assumed this was my problem but I went to a physical therapist because their exercises seemed to help me last time this happened. The physical therapist told me that the pain was caused by compressed nerves in my spine and that I needed to get an MRI to see where exactly that was. I didn’t believe her because I’d already heard of Dr. Sarno by that time. I read Mind Over Back Pain and it caused my neck to hurt while I was reading it. It made me nervous because I knew that the cause was mental but the knowledge alone didn’t seem to be enough to release me from the pain. (Looking back I don’t think I fully accept that the cause is mental). Still believing that the cause was tight muscles in my neck / shoulders I saw massage therapists, acupuncturists, Hanna somatic practitioners and chiropractors and not much came of it for a year. During this time my pain would vary but wouldn’t be as bad as it was at the start, my hands stopped going numb when I typed. While I was seeing those other practitioners I had Emotional Freedom Technique sessions since I believed that the cause might be mental. It didn’t seem to do much for my arm pain but it definitely affected my anxiety, improved my stomach problems and I was able return to a normal weight after being underweight. I gave up on EFT. I finally found someone that did trigger point therapy well. I didn’t notice immediate results at first but after a few weeks the pain wasn’t that noticeable though it would act up at times. The weird thing is that I didn’t find relief right after the treatment. It seemed to come two days after but I still couldn’t say there was an enormous difference. The therapist said that since I wasn’t completely cured I must have food intolerances and she recommended someone that she said was very good at finding out what foods were bad for me. This person said that I couldn’t handle dairy, white rice, flour, and sugar. I avoided these foods as best I could even though it seemed that only dairy impacted my pain. I also decided to see an ayurvedic doctor monthly who played right into my need to micromanage my life. She told me that I shouldn’t eat out, I shouldn’t eat food more than two days old, I should avoid certain foods, daily yoga is required, I should massage certain points on my body for health maintenance, I shouldn’t worry if I mess up any of this but I shouldn’t mess up! I realized that the whole diet yoga thing was messing with my head because I felt so bad that I couldn’t always eat the most fresh organic pure food and I couldn’t do yoga every day for as long as I was supposed to or even every day. I also really wanted to take an important exam for work (it’s like the bar exam) but last time I tried studying for it was when the pain in my arms was at its worst and I failed the exam. I started seeing a mental health practitioner who told me that most pain is caused mentally. She introduced me to affirmations and helped me challenge my thinking. I was able to pass that exam even though I thought my pain would skyrocket with all the weeks of writing that was involved with it. I’m eating rice, bread, and sugar again. I still only eat dairy sparingly because I still fear it. I’m now running short distances for exercise because I used to believe that my body was weak and I shouldn’t exert myself. I’m trying to prove myself wrong. Even though the mental health practitioner has been very helpful I can only afford to see her once a month and progress has been slow going the last few months. I still plan on seeing her since she helps me figure out what my subconscious mind is trying to say. My purpose for writing here is that I’m still experiencing some varying pain in my arms and I still fear too much computer work and video game playing. I’m still worried that I am intolerant to certain foods and I’m preventing my healing because of it. I’m hoping with this community I can get more ideas to help me finally heal. I do worry though that being part of a community that talks about pain would perpetuate my symptoms. Or constantly thinking about ways to cure it would do the same. I feel like I can function right now ok but I have to be careful with myself or else I’ll get worse. Any thoughts? I’d love to hear from people who’ve had at least part of a similar experience to me. Also I’ve always been very puzzled that therapies that seem to relax tight muscles don’t do anything for me. I can feel a muscle actually relax but I feel no different.