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Is Carpal Tunnel Always a Result of TMS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Riffdex, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Riffdex

    Riffdex Peer Supporter

    I understand that this is all debate able, but I am trying to interpret Sarno's theories appropriately. I haven't been able to figure out if CTS is (in Sarno's mind) solely a manifestation of mind body disorder, or a physiologically based disorder that can be imitated by TMS. I believe the analysis that CTS and other disorders are considered hereditary may be more a result of accessibility to the brain. People who had parents with CTS have been more exposed to the concept of the disease and even more "conditioned" to expect it to occur to them down the line. As internal stresses build, the uncobscious chooses a manifestation that makes sense to the conscious mind. Whether creating symptoms that coincide with an individual's keyboard/mouse usage, creating a back pain when the individual is performing barbell squats, or creating a pain based off of the knowledge base of that individual, the process is all the same.

    I am also wondering if all Repetitive Strain Injury is truly mindbody based. As Sarno said, "we are not made of paper maiche (sp?)". Conventional medicine cannot explain why RSI is more common in the US than is less developed countries where individuals are more active and proper nutrition is less accessible.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh goodness, yes indeed. I have no doubt now (although it took me more than 60 years to recognize it) that I "inherited" my anxiety, and therefore my TMS, from my mother.

    It really took "doing the work" to discover this, however - and by that, I mean doing the SEP, learning to journal, and forcing myself to be honest (ignoring the fears of my primitive brain) when I was journaling. What I thought I consciously remembered about my mother was that she was a rock, absolutely unflappable. What I found out by opening up to my emotions as much younger child, is that she was actually very anxious in her early days of motherhood (and I was the first of four) - and that anxiety was translated directly to me, lasting for more than 60 years. I also figured out that she maintained control over four children by clamping down on her own anxiety, and by not allowing us to express our emotions. Was this an abusive or traumatic childhood? Not at all. Nope - I'm one of those people who initially didn't understand how I could possibly have deeply-repressed rage. But there it was - the common process of keeping the child under control, not offering comfort or allowing for the free expression of all of the pain and loneliness and frustrations of childhood. It's a breeding ground for TMS.
  3. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Jan says it well once again,

    Riff are you a guitar player? Be careful that you aren't unconsciously trying to find a way out of healing, in what I call "the exceptional ruler." It's a common defense mechanism people use to delay healing. Anyone can over use a body part and it will hurt and get sore, but it will heal quickly within days. If it lingers then it's Phase 2 TMS and your brain has taken advantage of the opportunity. The TMS picture is much broader and clearer.

    TMS is not genetic, it's like you said here an observed trait. All that we see is contained within the unconscious and ready to use when we need it. And any time a forma "system" is set up to accommodate suffering the suffering increases because people are on the constant lookout for anything to pile up their woes.

    Don't fall into the exception rule, you can hurt a hand or wrist but once you add that word "syndrome" to it, then it's TMS, totally mindbody stuff.

  4. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
    Thich Nhat Hanh

    We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don't allow our bodies to heal, and we don't allow our minds and hearts to heal.
    Thich Nhat Hanh
    TG957 likes this.
  5. Jim D.

    Jim D. Peer Supporter

    It's been a while since this discussion was posted, but I have more or less the same issue, so I am adding it here. In the past couple of weeks I have acquired all the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome--constant tingling, occasional shooting pain up the arm. I have had (and conquered) many TMS episodes over the years and firmly believe in this method of healing. But the question keeps coming up: is any CTS physical pain or is it always TMS? My occupation is probably relevant. I make chocolates. It is intricate, demanding work that requires all my perfectionistic tendencies. Now the holiday season is approaching, and I found myself dreading it. I do all the work by myself--to be specific, I made 3000 chocolates last November and December. I love making chocolates, but not in such quantities as that. My hand pain effectively makes it extremely difficult, almost impossible, to do it this year. I received an order from a dental surgical group for 500 chocolates (if you enjoy irony, you will particularly like their choice of candy as holiday gifts to their dentist customers). I filled the order last year, and it was a struggle. So this year, I asked myself, during my hand pain, "Do you really want to do this again?" The answer was a clear no. So today I wrote the contact saying I was having neuropathy in my hand and would not be able to fill the order this year. She was very nice and wished me a speedy recovery. I had conflicting feelings about saying no: I felt relieved and glad I had refused the order, BUT I also felt guilt for saying no, for disappointing her, for not living up to my expectations of myself. The second I made the decision to say no, excruciating pain shot up my arm. Excellent breeding ground for TMS, right? But I am haunted by the thought that I might make my hand worse by not going to a doctor. And--here is my big question--should I go for a diagnosis? This is what Dr. Sarno says to do. But if I go, I am certain I will get a CTS diagnosis and an appointment for either a cortisone shot or surgery, neither of which I want. My sister, who steadfastly refuses to believe the TMS theory, said I could damage my hand by not seeking treatment and my fingers might curl up permanently.

    Any suggestions for proceeding would be most welcome.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I would say that it is very likely that RSI in lumberjacks, professional athletes, musicians and other people who engage in extreme physical activity is NOT just TMS and there is a significant physical component in it. As someone formerly diagnosed with CTS (and I have a bad EMG to prove it!), it often hurts me to watch violinists play in their twisted unnatural poses. Still, there are many world-class musicians who play daily well into their late years without becoming disabled. However, RSI in most of us, mere mortals, is clearly TMS.

    @Jim D. , I don't know what kind of dexterity and physical strength it takes to make 500 chocolates for the dentists (hey, they need to drum up more business!) , but I would not be surprised that it takes a lot of mental stress and pressure for a perfectionist craftsman to do so, and I would not be surprised that what you have is RMSI - repetitive mental stress injury to your brain.

    BTW, my CTS is long gone, without any medications, steroid injections etc. Did you say your fingers curled up? Mine were curled up, too. I also had neuropathy, Reynaud's syndrome, allodynia and more. Fingers are very straight now and all the symptoms are gone! Why? Because I did everything against the advice of my doctors and went full Sarno.
  7. Jim D.

    Jim D. Peer Supporter

    Thanks for those insights, very helpful and encouraging. I didn't say my fingers had curled up; I said my sister (a non-believer in TMS) said that could happen. It's hard to get suggestions that dire out of one's mind.
  8. Jamesgtr777

    Jamesgtr777 Newcomer

    I also would like to add something to this. I am a musician, snd last year got diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Not much pain but alot of numbness and tingling. I tried everythign and finally this past Jan had surgery ( with one if the most respected Hand specialists in the world). Unfortunately no change. I have a history of back surgery, shoulder and knees . When i read the divided mind , as many say the pages jumped out at me. My hand should be fine now and it isnt. I think I have TMS. any inout is appreciated. I am also trying to locate one of Sarnos lectures.

  9. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    Both musicians and doctors heartfeltly think/believe:
    strain ---> injury ---> pain

    But neuroscience says:
    stress ---> danger ---> pain

    https://m.soundcloud.com/phil-smith-592966725/episode-75-interview-dr-howard-schubiner-md-curing-chronic-pain (Episode 75 - Interview - Dr. Howard Schubiner MD- Curing Chronic Pain)

    Myths (RSI, chronic tendonitis, tennis elbow,...) should be debunked.

    https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Mind_Body_Syndrome_in_Musicians (Mind Body Syndrome in Musicians)

    I have send you a PM
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  10. Jim D.

    Jim D. Peer Supporter

    I realize I neglected to report back on my "carpal tunnel" symptoms. My primary care physician immediately diagnosed my pain as probably CTS and said I should go for the nerve test that is used for confirmation. Fortunately for me, the hospital was overwhelmed with Covid cases and never called to make an appointment for the test, and I decided to take that as a sign and did not call them. Meanwhile I consulted (by video) with a doctor listed on this forum, a neurologist, as luck would have it. I spoke about my symptoms with him, and he said he had treated many patients with what they thought was CTS. Some insisted on surgery, and after trying to speak to them about psychological issues, he would send them to a surgeon if they continued to insist. But he no longer believes the surgery is an effective choice--just an expensive placebo, one might say. With his encouraging words, I got through my Christmas chocolate production, although with considerable pain. I told customers I would be making fewer items for the holidays, but when the orders rolled in, of course, I had to "please the people," as usual. A few weeks after Christmas, I was lying in bed and realized that some of the same symptoms were showing up but this time in my left hand. Being familiar with this TMS flag, I was instantly optimistic about my future. For a while both hands hurt, then I noticed pain in various other joints. So my faith in the TMS diagnosis was strengthened, and within a few days, all the pain was gone. Yes, gone! The next time I went to my primary care doctor, I expected him to ask if I had had the surgery he thought would be necessary. But, for a brief moment, I forgot that in modern American medicine, doctors have a brief allotted time to make sure you are still alive, then get to the next patient. He never even mentioned my carpal tunnel symptoms! So I said nothing and smiled to myself. Occasionally I have hand pain (usually the left one), but it goes away as again I smile about the "wandering symptom syndrome."
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  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

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  12. Jim D.

    Jim D. Peer Supporter

    I will do that. Thanks for the suggestion.
  13. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jim, it would be absolutely fantastic if you could also post a shorter description of your story for the site Thank you, Dr Sarno!. You can send it directly to me or post under this subforum https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/forums/thank-you-dr-sarno.83/ (Thank You Dr. Sarno) and it will be promptly published. If you want, you can include the photo of your hands or your beautiful chocolate made with your now pain-free hands!
  14. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    The fear of not being able to use your hands can be the worst trigger of pain. Work on your fear and learn the ways to dissipate it. Deep breathing, meditation and all the TMS programs available through this forum. I recommend every new person to start reading success stories, nothing assures you of your future success better than those. Good luck!
  15. Jamesgtr777

    Jamesgtr777 Newcomer

    I know this is a little dated but I am still dealing with carpal tunnel. I do read the divieded mind frequently and listent to Dr Sarno lecture and some of his interviews online. Does anyone have the "worksheet" or journaling guide that came with the DVD or an equivalent? Any info is appreciated
  16. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

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  17. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    The second part of UNLEAR YOUR PAIN by Dr. Howard Schubiner https://unlearnyourpain.com/unlearn-your-pain-book/ is essentially practical.

    Also worth a try: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1...&tag=wwwmindbodyco-20&linkId=WQSYYTVH7ADRSZBL
    TG957 likes this.
  18. Riffdex

    Riffdex Peer Supporter

    It should be fine now. As if every problem can, or should be solved with the flip of a switch. Like life is a series of tasks on a todo list that are to be checked off one by one. I do think that in some ways we place more importance on the arbitrary scorecards as opposed to what work was actually accomplished. I recall spending nights studying multiple choice questions so I could “pass a test”, not particularly interested in achieving a lasting understanding of the subject at the time.

    And who can blame us for falling into this way of thinking? Such mentality is heavily thrust upon us by cultural influences. But we can choose to live differently. Maybe it’s less a choice to live differently and more of a choice to merely... live?

    So you read a book, congratulations. The fact that you saw yourself on the pages is actually a really good sign. But more work is yet to be done. If you are thinking that the problem should be instantly solved after you read the last word of the book, you’re not quite there yet.

    I do believe you can improve. I believe I can improve too. To be perfectly honest I don’t know if I wrote this more for your sake or for my sake. I know that the way I moralize situations is heavily working against me and affecting my perspectives in life and on the day to day. I could be standing in line at a grocery store and it starts taking longer than I wanted it to. In my distress, I may end up feeling highly anxious, irritated, or even sanctimonious. I would begin to think: “This is ridiculous! Why are there only two cashiers here? How much time must I waste standing here?”

    This is a form of moralizing. And I believe you’re doing it to some extent when you say that you should be cured already. And as hard as it can be to hear, overcoming this particular challenge is highly individualized. One person can read a book and flip that switch. Others have a longer and more involved process. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, it is exactly what should be, for you.

    This ties in heavily with the personality traits Sarno recognized in his patients. I’m indeed fairly high on the perfectionist personality trait. Perfectionists can often have idealistic views of how the world is supposed to be, and when things stray from that particular vision we end up highly disappointed. Recognizing this has been a great step forward for me. I don’t think it’s about changing who you are (I feel pride in my personality traits, and I know that I have a lot of strengths due to the way I view the world), or wanting to force the world to operate how one thinks it should. It’s about meeting in the middle, and recognizing the times when you are letting that personality trait become overly expressive and making your day miserable. Don’t let the should be’s stand in the way of you delving deeper into these concepts. From the sounds of it, you are already on the path to healing. I have faith in you continuing in that direction.
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