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 it necessary to deal with emotions to rid tms ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by clairem, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. clairem

    clairem Peer Supporter

    ok so it is necessary to deal with emtions that may be underlying the tms symptoms or is breaking the fear habit enough?

  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, clairem. Dr. Sarno and others say yes, it is necessary to deal with our emotions to heal from TMS pain.
    I don't think I healed from severe back pain so much from feeling my emotions but discovering the repressed anger and frustration I carried around for years after my parents divorced when I was seven. That left me with feelings of insecurity. Journaling in the Structured Educational Program led me to discovering that and understanding my parents better and that led to forgiving them. Then I was healed.

    Discovering my repressed emotions probably worked to help me break the fear habit. TMS knowledge taught me to accept insecurity and realize most everyone has it. Probably even billionaire Donald Trump. We don't always have to play the cards the Lord dealt us. He gave us free will and a mind, so we can try to make our lives happier and healthier. He led us all to Dr. Sarno, TMS, and MindBody healing. I add the spiritual element, praying for the pain to go away, and I believe my prayers were answered. Now I am more positive, and when doubts and worry come along, I practice deep breathing, think positive, and even laugh. Laughing even for a few seconds and at nothing always drives the worry and fear away.

    This is a long way to say I think that feeling our emotions works to help drive away the fear.
  3. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    For me, I had to learn how to acknowledge the feelings/emotions I had (mostly anger stuff) to help break the TMS cycle. I didn't even know that I was repressing the emotions...And the TMS was helping me repress them by making me focus on the pain. The best experience I had was when I was journaling one of the exercises from Dr. Shubiner's book Unlearn Your Pain - and as I wrote out these difficult emotions that I was trying to NOT have, the chronic pain just melted away... like it was literally releasing from my words through the pen and on to the paper but OUT of me. That made me a true believer in the mind body connection.

    Breaking the fear habit is really important too. I applied all my TMS learning on all fronts - breaking the fear habit - learning about my personality patterns that were causing me problems and trying to open up instead of repress those emotions - this all led to my TMS recovery!
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Knowledge is the first-line treatment for TMS. Dr. Sarno captured this in Healing Back Pain, still his best-selling book when he divided the treatment chapter of Healing Back Pain into 5 subsections. They are very simple, and they explain how knowledge therapy works:
    1. Think Psychological (i.e. explain changes in symptoms using psychological causes rather than physical ones)
    2. Talk to Your Brain (i.e. remind yourself that you are fine)
    3. Resume Physical Activity
    4. Discontinue All Physical Treatment
    5. Review the Daily Reminders (i.e. remind yourself of the TMS principles)​
    Note that all five of these techniques are about accepting the diagnosis and convincing your body that it is safe. Some of them are explicitly about accepting the diagnosis, such as talking to your brain or reviewing the daily reminders. However, if you think about it, "Think Psychological" and "Resume Physical Activity" and "Discontinue All Physical Treatment" are also about accepting the diagnosis. They are "knowledge therapy" to the core.

    He doesn't mention journaling at all in the book - in fact the only time those letters ("journal") show up in the book are when he is referring to a scientific journal. He doesn't mention journaling because he encouraged people to see a licensed psychologist rather than journaling. However, he also mentions that 95% of his patients didn't need to be referred to a psychologist. (pp. 85-86)

    Some people do a lot of emotional work and heal, others do no emotional work and also heal. Of course, the opposite also happens. Others do a lot of emotional work (or none) and don't heal. In the people who do do the emotional work, it can be hard to tell what it was that caused them to get better.

    In my recovery, I know that it wasn't the emotional work because I didn't do any emotional work. I had done a lot of emotional work in the previous decades and have done more since that time, but around the time when I was healing, I didn't do any emotional work. For me it was just talking to my brain, resuming physical activity and discontinuing physical treatment. Likewise, if I remember correctly, Steve Ozanich didn't do any journaling and didn't see a therapist. He just kept at it with accepting the diagnosis and living a good life.

    So I guess my position is that some people can definitely heal without dealing with the emotions. The first line of defense against TMS is definitely education. After you have gotten the diagnosis and know that TMS treatment is appropriate for you, my advice is to stick with those five steps in Healing Back Pain and you will go far.
  5. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    This is a GREAT answer Forest because the education piece is crucial to recovery. Knowledge of the facts... that sometimes with the TMS pain, it just doesn't make any sense according to the medical model of diagnosis. When I exhausted all testing and nothing came up definitive, it paved the way for me to pursue TMS healing!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Forest like this.
  6. jennaTMS516

    jennaTMS516 New Member

    I was a little girl when the pain started. I was also upset about my parents divorce. I worked on Dr. Schubiner's program and expressed my emotions about that issue, felt it. Then I felt a release from the pain. That being said still working on it
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah, I would think that Dr. S's program would be great for emotional work like that. I've heard it described as being like the SEP, but going deeper into the emotions (and obviously without the community component). He's actually working on a third edition, so it should even get better.

Share This Page