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Keeping the belief.. any advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by colls100, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    The recent thread on food intolerance that I replied to a few times has really shone a light on how easily distracted I am from the TMS diagnosis.

    As some of you know by now, I started feeling dizzy constantly and having daily headaches after a very traumatic time in my life. That was 8 years ago and I spent that time investigating the physical side of things - doctors, acupuncture, allergists, ENTs, neuros, MRIs, CAT scans, even lumbar punctures!

    Every result I've had from any test in this time has been normal.

    I developed RSI last year and I found this website. I cured my hand pain in a week.

    And then I started to join the dots and wonder if it's all been TMS for all this time. What a revalation. But I didn't manage to 'cure' myself in a week this time around.

    My main issue is doubt. What if it's not TMS? What if I'm wasting my time? What if I'm missing something else I could be working on. Food is the main culprit - I've never established a link between food and symptoms. But I'm constantly distracted by this or that diet, supplement etc. that could help me.

    I started seeing Georgie Oldfield a few weeks ago, I'm doing the TMS work, but what I am struggling with is BELIEF. I understand on a physical level how TMS works, I accept it could be causing my problem but I struggle to whole heartedly BELIEVE that it is. This means that all day long my thoughts are plagued with what ifs, doubts, negative thoughts.

    I really need help finding faith. I've never had faith in anything before. It's foreign to me to believe in something and stick to it, to be patient enough not to need immediate results.

    Is there anything you guys use to remind yourselves throughout the day that there is no need for your brain to look for other answers, solutions. And to stop those negative thoughts like 'it's not going to work' and 'everyone else can do it but you wont be able to' or 'youre not doing the TMS healing right'

    TL,DR I need help staying focused on TMS work, and not letting my own thoughts convince me it won't work or that there is something else I should be doing like trying new diets etc.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
    Ewok2 and Saffron like this.
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi colls,

    It helps to keep an evidence sheet. Write down all the things about your symptoms that strengthen the case of minddriven symptoms. When you start worrying, just read it through.
    Another thing is to give it time; be patient. When you get frustrated about not seeing any progress, you are actually stressing yourself and that won't help.
    Ewok2 likes this.
  3. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    Might as well write them out here, kinda theraputic.

    it all started after a stressful event
    it got better for a short time when i was taking anti depressants
    its much better on holiday!
    migraines always on days where i have to socialise/have a commitment i cant cancel
    dizziness worse in stressful work meetings
    i am feeling very slightly better since doing tms work
    all my medical test results are completely normal - and symptoms dramatically reduce for a while after normal test results
    i know i internalise my emotions
    georgie has diagnosed me with TMS!
    Ewok2, andy64tms, Ellen and 2 others like this.
  4. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's great! Hope it helps to calm yourself down.
  5. Saffron

    Saffron Peer Supporter

    I have the same problem. Not so much doubt that's it's not TMS. But doubt in its efficacy. Because I've yet to see any improvement at all.
    I have migraines daily on waking. And IBS which flares. As a retired hypnotherapist I understand the mind body very well. But this latest time of trying is 2 years and I'm still getting worse.
  6. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    @Saffron I think it's self-doubt more than anything. 'It works for other people but it won't for me'

    Of course I have a lot more negative evidence than positive, but I have read success stories by people who seemingly had it a lot worse than I.

    I can't quite pinpoint where this general feeling of self-doubt comes from.

    May journal on this tonight.
  7. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    We have a built in resistance to dig in our own dirt; it makes our brain anxious. I believe that is a strong driver for experiencing doubt.
    Ellen and andy64tms like this.
  8. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Self-doubt is a form of lack of belief, as the title of your first post acknowledges, colls. If there were a magical answer to instilling belief, evangelists and missionaries would have found it long ago. But I think belief can be even more difficult with TMS than with religion because of what Gigalos said--digging in our own dirt makes us anxious. We innately seek to avoid anxiety by doing or thinking something that distracts us (what Freud called using defense mechanisms). If I recall correctly, JanAthe CPA has observed that desperation (because nothing else worked to get rid of the pain and belief in TMS is the only option left) helps one to believe that the pain is due to TMS. I think that accounts for my success in overcoming more than two decades of low back pain.

    Unsurprisingly, I have experienced TMS equivalents since then. For example, I had tooth pain for more than a decade. At one point my dentist said I needed a root canal. I declined because I thought the pain could be TMS. Of course, "could be" was not enough for me to get rid of the pain. When I moved and switched dentists, the the new one told me I had atypical odontalgia and prescribed a numbing agent to rub on my gums. I had a eureka moment while still sitting in the dentist's chair. It went something like this: Odontaligia means dental pain; atypical means the cause is not structural like what he usually deals with; so its got to be TMS. I knew then that I did not even need to fill the numbing prescription. The next day the pain was gone, and it never came back. That was seven years ago. How did I go from "could be" (self doubt) to belief that it was TMS? Apparently it was just having a dental professional tell me, in effect, that the pain was not structural.

    Now that I am retired and have lots of free time, I have gotten into studying the science of pain. I still think Dr. Sarno was exactly right about how to treat TMS and its equivalents, but my pain science hobby has broadened my view on how to gain and keep the required belief that pain is psychological rather than structural. Butler & Moseley are leaders in the pain science field. They follow the modern biopsychosocial model of pain, i.e., the view that pain is the product of a combination of biological factors (or structural factors to use Sarno's language), psychological factors, and social factors. They say your brain will create pain whenever it concludes (mostly unconsciously, i.e., outside of your conscious awareness) that there is more credible evidence you are in danger than there is credible evidence you are safe. The "evidence" consists of all the biological, psychological, and social factors that affect your well being. Credible evidence you are in danger can come in many forms, but a big source of credible evidence of danger is what think or believe, e.g., fear that there is something biologically (structurally) wrong with you. Credible evidence you are safe can also come in many forms, but a weighty source is understanding the science of how your nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system can interact to cause pain when there is no biological (structural) reason for it. My current science-based understanding makes it easy to believe what I need to believe on order to be able to get rid of a new chronic pain, if one comes along, by doing what Sarno prescribed. If you continue to have trouble "keeping the belief" after Georgie Oldfield's help, colls, you might consider reading one of Butler & Moseley's Explain Pain books, such as The Explain Pain Handbook: Protectometer.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  9. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ultimately, it sometimes doesn't even matter if it's TMS or not, as even individuals with structural issues can train their brains to get out of the "pain loop."

    According to the below article, this man "has helped patients with a wide range of chronic pain syndromes to diminish their pain, including those with chronic low-back pain from nerve injury and inflammatory damage, diabetic neuropathy, some cancer pain, abdominal pain, neck degeneration pain, amputation, trauma to the brain and spinal cord, pelvic floor pain, inflammatory bowel, irritable bowel, bladder pain, arthritis, lupus, trigeminal neuralgia, multiple sclerosis pain, post-infectious pain, nerve injuries, neuropathic pain, some central pain, phantom limb pain, degenerative disc disease, pain from failed back surgery and pain from nerve root injury, among others. I met many of his patients who had either come off their medications or radically reduced them, so that they have far fewer side-effects. Patients have had successes in all these pain syndromes, but only when they were able to do the relentless mental work required."

    Many of the conditions above, such as diabetic neuropathy, cancer, lupus, MS, etc. are indeed structural, yet patients were able to significantly improve the quality of their lives by engaging in neuroplasticity teachings, sometimes eliminating their pain entirely. As I've mentioned on this forum before, I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, which they said can cause a great deal of pain and other difficult issues. However, the hospital still encouraged me to retrain my brain to get out of the "pain loop," and said I could still live a fantastic life... if I allowed myself to. While I do have a structural condition, anxiety, depression, and stress were what made all hell break lose. Stressing out over anything, including (but not limited to) your diet, is only going to add to that pain loop (and this is coming from me, someone who has already established their strong belief in the food-mood connection).

    You have nothing to lose.

    This is what I personally tell myself.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/training-the-brain-to-beat-pain/news-story/45ad7b7daaaf3c4bbbab6c76b0190ac7 (Nocookies) (Nocookies)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2019
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  10. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    dr. david hanscum basically teaches "neuroplacticity". Follow his expressive writing 2x/day, meditation and getting a good night sleep is basically what he teaches different from Sarno. Dr. Scubiner also is on that track of not being in the "oxygen deprivation " train of thought. I really don't care what causes TMS....just how to break free of it's hold.
  11. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    I don't have pain. Well I do, I get migraines quite often. But I don't have the sever pain people describe here. What I have is constant lightheadedness, my eyes feel strained and tired all the time and an almost constant low level tension headache.

    So I have to try and substitute the word pain for all of the above.

    I'm getting there though. Slowly but surely.
    Click#7 likes this.
  12. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi colls,
    You don't need to believe in tms 100%. You just have to try you hardest not to fear it. You have to stop worrying, thinking, focusing on your symptoms. If you analyze all these mind body theories, they all have one thing in common. They all tell us in order to get rid of our symptoms we have to stop fearing it. We have to focus on anything else but our symptoms.
    According to Doctor Sarno's , our symptoms are there to distract us from some horrible feelings in our subconscious mind. The symptoms were able to grab our attention because we fear it. If we can somehow stop our fear then the symptoms doesn't do its job then it just disappear.
    Doctor Weekes told us when we have symptoms just relax. Utter utter relax. Same thing as telling us not to fear it. You can only relax while having symptoms it you don't fear it.
    Dr. Michael Moskowitz in that article Caulfield posted above pretty much taught the same thing. He advise his patients to really really focus on something else instead of the pain. Take back those brain resource, retrain your brain NOT to think about the pain, then the pain will cease.
    The Buddha said: "you are what you think about." If you thought is all about your symptoms then your symptoms will stay with you.
    Your symptoms want your attention. If you stop giving it attention then it will just disappear. Very simple.
    If you have doubt then just try it for one month and see how you do. Promise yourself in that one month you will do everything in your power to not FEAR your symptoms. You will not think about it. You will fill your mind with anything else but your body. Fill your life with happiness and get your mind busy with something else. So what if you got dizzy and headache. Let it happen. So what.
    Lainey, Ewok2, Nzombro and 2 others like this.
  13. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    Thanks @balto

    Gosh I don't want to start sounding like a broken record on this forum. And I appreciate all the help and support.

    Just sometimes my brain feels like a big jumbled mess of thoughts and i can't work out what is helpful and what isn't.

    I am super grateful for all your help everyone x
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  14. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    After reading this post I actually just went to gym and swimming for the first time in months. I hate going because I am scared I will feel dizzy or unwell. I did a moderate workout and swam 10 lengths - turns out it's pretty hard to feel dizzy while swimming :) perhaps I was too busy trying not to drown lol (I'm not a good swimmer at all) this is a huge step for me. Thanks to everyone again
  15. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    If I recall correctly, Dr. Sarno wrote in one of his TMS books about the patient who told him she could not make the "leap of faith" he prescribed. He told her she did not need to make a leap of faith but rather a leap of understanding. That might have been word play, but I think it is easier to keep the belief needed to recover from TMS and its equivalents, like dizziness and headaches, if one has a scientifically based understanding of what is going on in his or her body to produce the symptoms.

    With resect to science-based understanding of symptoms lacking an identifiable structural cause, I need to preface what I am going to say with the caveat that I am a rank amateur when it comes to physiology. But here goes:

    Sarno's chief psychologist and coworker for over thirty years, Dr. Alene Feinblatt, was trained in and practiced a form of therapy called ISTDP (Intensive Short-Term Psychotherapy). The cornerstone of ISTDP is that somatic symptoms lacking conventional medical explanation are due to unconscious anxiety, meaning physiological changes triggered by unconscious anger, guilt about the anger, and grief. Because we learned early in life that these emotions are dangerous or painful, we innately seek to distract ourselves from experiencing them with defense mechanisms (thinking or doing things that occupy our minds so there is no room for the emotions). At one level, the sympathetic nervous system produces the physiological changes of unconscious anxiety. These physiological changes affect mainly the striated muscles and can cause symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, chest pain, tension headache and so on. At a higher level of unconscious anxiety, the parasympathetic nervous system dominates. It affects mainly the smooth muscles and can cause symptoms such as acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, other stomach and bowel symptoms, bladder dysfunction, and so on. At a still higher level of physiological changes, the symptoms can include migraine, dizziness, tinnitus, visual blurring, fainting, and so on. For example, a leading ISTDP therapist has written that fainting due to "parasympathetic discharge of anxiety occurs after symptoms of nausea, jelly legs, and lightheadedness. . . . blood vessels dilate, reducing blood pressure in the brain, leading to cerebral hypofusion," i.e., decreased blood flow.

    Dr. Allan Abbass, a psychiatrist specializing in ISTDP, and Dr. Howard Schubiner, who is well known to readers of this website, have a forthcoming book titled Hidden From View: A Clinician's Guide to Psychophysiologic Disorders. They wrote it to educate family medicine doctors and other healthcare professionals about this sort of stuff so that more patients will get better informed treatment for psychophysiologic disorders than is the case now. Let us hope it will have a big impact.
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  16. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    That reminds me of something Claire Weekes said in one of the recordings I have listened to. She says it's important to remember that 'your body is actually behaving completely normally in the conditions it is under'. Makes sense to me now I have read your post. You're right, maybe I do need a deeper understanding of the changes on a physiological level. Because what Claire Weekes is basically saying is, it's no surprise your body feels this way (dizzy, tired etc.) given the conditions it is operating in (unconscious anxiety, hyperviligance, tension, worry, fear, stress, overactive nervous system). I just need to workout where the journalling and repressed emotion/rage fits in... like, how does journalling help these physiological changes? If I could understand that I would feel more positive I think.
    Lainey and Tennis Tom like this.
  17. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Hi colls, et al

    This is a very interesting thread. I too have had some success, yet still retain pain in my thigh and hip area. This has been very frustrating to me. Last January my pain was severe. Located in my hip, lower back (sciatica), shoulders, with intermittent pains in my calves, arms and feet. I began journaling in earnest. It was a very dark time for me. Lots of different events had occurred in my life in recent years that brought up old fears and sadness, creating physical pain. After about three months of intense journaling I awoke one morning with my sciatica gone! Just gone. The day before the pain had been excruciating. Over time more of my aches have subsided, if not disappeared, all but my thigh/hip pain.

    My take on how the journaling helps is that it allowed me to write (brain to hand) out issues that my mind was holding onto for years, and sometimes decades. This physical activity, that is, using my body to write, actually formed a cohesive message to my brain in that I was now able to put a voice to the issues that have created this pain loop. Ultimately, my mind was convinced that I knew why this pain was created and that I was okay or going to be okay to move forward without fear of whatever my brain had determined that I feared. The journaling got me in touch with my emotions on a deeper level than my current awareness was allowing me to express. For example, I have anger at a family member that I know I have, but I cannot express what I feel to this person (rage) because my adult self knows that this rage is, and would be unproductive. Yet, expressing it on paper somehow releases the burden of holding it within.

    I have not been diligent in recent months regarding my journaling, but did put my hand to paper yesterday. It is sometimes startling to see what actually comes forth onto the paper. My intention is to be more focused on this until my mind understands that this pain too can be released to the ethers.
    Gigalos likes this.
  18. Neil

    Neil Peer Supporter

    Who is this man? His name? I cant read the article without subscription @Dorado
    gi is this man
  19. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Hi again Neil, I copied the address and pasted it into google and it went to wwwtheaustralian etc and the article opened. It’s about Michael Moskowitz. He has a couple of good YouTube’s cheers marls
    Neil likes this.
  20. Neil

    Neil Peer Supporter

    Thanks again

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