1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

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.

Share This Page