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Just joined group - how respond to pain when exercising?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by friedmin, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    I just joined this forum, and am so pleased that there is this community of people who understand TMS and can support one another!

    I have been pushing myself into the world for a number of weeks now. I am just starting to really "get" the TMS philosophy and try to live it. Today, I walked a lot more than usual, which felt okay. But then later when I did exercises that I got via PT (core and stretching), I experienced more pain (low back, buttock and pelvic). Do I continue to do the exercises (because I like them!), despite the pain - or listen to the pain and avoid them? When the pain is really high (not there at the moment), I feel like it's hard to walk and stand for any length of time. So my fear is that the exercises will get me "back there", and I need to be out in the world for work and just to be alive!!!

  2. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    We were just talking about this very thing on the Tuesday Discussion. Chapter 27 of Steve's book The Great Pain Deception has a good section on exercise and pain. Surprisingly, more pain can be a very good sign.

    BruceMC can tell you more about it. Or maybe Steve will post a reply.
  3. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    Thanks, njoy! I'm intrigued! Also wondering how Steve's work parallels/differs from Sarno and Sopher's.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, friedmin.

    It's great that you are back to exercising.

    Steve's TMS healing was based on believing Sarno's theory that most often, after getting a
    physical checkup and no structural damage is recognized, the pain is from TMS
    which means it comes from repressed emotions. Your conscious mind may not think you
    have any, especially anger (or rage which is accumulated anger), but your unconscious mind does
    and is sending you pain so you think about your emotions and discover any repressed ones.

    Sarno and Steve both recommend moderate exercise even if it hurts a little.
    If it hurts a lot, slow down and exercise more gradually. You won't hurt yourself.

    Steve ignored his pain and played tennis and golf and finally healed.

    Pain can move around the body because the unconscious wants you to really do something
    about your repressed emotions.

    The best way to discover repressed emotions is in journaling. Write down what you remember
    about your childhood that may have caused angry feelings. Also, think about what is going on now
    with close relationships or work that may be similar to earlier trauma or anger.

    Read the posts on TMSWiki.org to see what others discovered about their repressed emotions.
    We all have them.

    You've joined a great group of people who help each other to become pain-free with Sarno TMS
    philosophy and various people's healing techniques.
  5. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much, Walt (aka TMS guru!). Helpful info and great to feel the support! One thing that's tricky is discerning the difference between a little and a lot (or at least more) pain. Because I have found that with TMS, the mind is like a headlight focusing on the pain, which then makes it more present and intense. I have been in PT for 6 months, doing exercises that sometimes hurt and sometimes don't hurt. The PT - not a TMS person but open - says to do the exercise; I'm not hurting myself, so this is my mantra. Not always easy though!
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    njoy is right, friedmin. Last night we did cover exercise as a technique for healing TMS pain as Steve Ozanich describes it in Chapter 27 (pp. 283-286) of his book, The Great Pain Deception (2011). To make a long story short, one technique Steve used himself when he hurt (a whole lot!) while exercising involves what he calls, "cognitive transversal". What this boils down to is if, while exercising, you happen to hurt in one area of your body, you should move your conscious awareness to another area of your body that feels great. I think you can hone this skill by practicing mindfulness meditation to learn how to move your center of awareness from one place in your body to another. Some of the directed meditations on the CD enclosed in the cover of Howard Schubiner's book, Unlearn Your Pain, teach you how to do just that. But, of course, there are many other examples of directed mindfulness meditation available on YouTube and scattered elsewhere around the web. Think there are some also under the Media tab in this Forum.

    Chapter 27 also talks about "proprioception deficiency" that occurs when a TMS patient has remained immobile or rested the supposedly "injured" body part for so long that mind and body no longer work together in sync. Steve's advice? Walking in a line heel-to-toe and/or running and walking in Figure 8s to get your coordination back. If a nerve has been in oxygen debt a whole long time, it isn't any wonder that it's "forgotten" its proper role in the central nervous system. Another thing Steve describes in this chapter is the pain that increases sometimes as your activity level goes up while exercising. He thinks that's actually a good sign because the TMS pain is trying again to distract you as you break your conditioned pain response. When the pain starts moving around like that, Steve thinks, after Dr. Sarno, that you're beginning to get it "on the run". This is another example of the symptom imperative.

    If all this technical terminology has you a bit confused, just pick up Steve's book and read the section on "Exercise and Fitness" along with what Dr Sarno has to say himself about returning to a full range of physical activity in his classic Healing Back Pain. You do sound like you're doing the right thing however. Remember that Dr Sarno says that he's never heard of anyone who took his advice about returning to physical activity, even the most strenuous, who hasn't fully endorsed the concept.

    Bet Steve Ozanich has a whole lot more to say on this subject! Steve?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think the thing is, when exercising, don't think of pain or TMS.
    Think about being in the arms, or bed, of Angelina Jolie or some other gorgeous doll.
  8. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    Nice image, Walt! ;-) And thanks for your reply and ideas/suggestions, Bruce.

    I have been dealing with pain for about 6 months, after two small accidents (one with a shopping cart!), with long-standing PT telling me to stop exercising for first two months (!!!!). I had been uber-active, lifting weights and hiking, etc. on a regular basis (I used to be a dancer and feel "addicted" to movement!). So to stop moving contributed to depression/anxiety, etc. Fear of hurting myself. Then I had a couple MRI's and the "professionals" said there was no harm in returning to activity, but by then I had lost a lot of strength. (I went from feeling invincible to feeling like a total wimp! - and now I'm rebounding slowly...) I like the concept of proprioception deficiency - rather than saying that you've lost strength. And while I may not choose Angela Jolie as my cuddle bunny, it's a great idea to shift one's thinking!
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Right, just shift your thinking.
    We're having a cold, snowy winter in the Chicago area
    so I'm shifting my thinking to spring and tulips.
  10. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    Shifting thinking is powerful. Reminds me of one "exercise" I was taught in which you scan the body, focusing on the parts that feel good, finding words to describe "what good means" and as you do this, you develop an awareness of the good feelings as well as the tension as it releases. And as you connect to the positive feelings/sensations, they begin to expand to other areas that were sources of tension/pain. Sounds like a close-cousin to TMS thinking/practice...

    And re-reading Bruce's comments, very useful to hear the interpretation of increased pain when exercising. Still I wonder, IF the pain doesn't migrate to other parts; IF it hangs out on one side of the body, for example, is this the TMS rouring?
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I always get all of my TMS pain on the left side. Left lower back, left hip, left knee, left foot, left wrist. And if the pain goes away on the left side, then I'll get a rash in exactly the same place where the pain used to be. Sounds like if it hangs out, as you say, "on one side of the body" consistently, then it is TMS. But who can say for sure? Base on my experience though, if I get a symptom on the left side, it's invariably TMS-related. I'm assuming of course that you've been check out by an MD to rule out any pre-existing condition. But what you describe does sound like classic TMS to me.

    Sounds like you already have the necessary "skills" in your "took kit" to perform what Steve O calls "cognitive transversal" where when he was out running he "forcefully thought of an area on my back that felt great--redirecting my mind's eye from the pain to a feel-great area" (p. 285). Steve also thinks that "breaking the focus is vital because the obsessive mind latches on tightly to suggestion" (op cit).
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  12. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Bruce. wow - Interesting to hear about your pain-rash connection!

    As for me - I have done a Skype consult with a TMS doc, Marc Sopher, who looked at my MRIs, reviewed responses to a questionnaire that I submitted to him before we spoke and then we talked for 45 minutes. Marc said he had "no doubt" that it's TMS. So that's what I'm going on. The PT I've been seeing was pretty convinced that there was nothing going on, but then as I was about to be discharged from PT (and start a new job) - the last bit of pain lingered and then worsened, and she started coming up with medical explanations (e.g., disc stuff).
  13. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

    Just to finish the thought - It did strike me that my pain increased with the additional stresses. Seems like classic TMS from what I have read about other people's lives... The power of the mind is baffling!
  14. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Marc Sopher trained under Dr Sarno. If Marc says it's TMS, it probably is TMS.
  15. friedmin

    friedmin Peer Supporter

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