1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 8 Little progress...

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by shelley_marie, May 22, 2016.

  1. shelley_marie

    shelley_marie New Member

    So Day 8 of the program i'm writing about my progress so far as instructed...

    I have felt disheartened over the last week as the pain is still really intense. i have forced myself to swim 3 times this week and i can swim for quite a distance. I do find that i struggle to get out of the pool afterwards though with my back having been locked in the same position for 40 minutes of breast stroke, its difficult to hoist myself up the vertical pool ladder. As i expect after my swim, my back gets suddenly worse, i'm guessing this is just it's way of trying to fight me back.

    I would say that my back doesn't feel any better than it was 7 days ago and i'm wavering a bit with staying focused. I know the advice has been not to rush though. i have also signed up to Headspace and have been doing this meditation for the last week every day. Even though i fully believe in the TMS diagnosis, I wonder if i am holding myself back by worrying that the program isn't working.

    The one glimmer of hope is that for the last 3 days i have been able to bend and brush my teeth without having to lean on the sink to support my weight. This is normally one of my strongest conditioned responses so i'm holding on tight to this being a sign of improvement, even though it's the only one.
    Tassie Devil likes this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi shelly_marie,

    I encourage you to do the SEP work, as you are doing, and be patient. Most people who do this program find an improvement by the end, and you are already noticing this. While it is hard to be patient when you are in pain, part of this impatience is usually from fear. Fear that the symptoms won't go away, fear that you have some other condition, besides TMS, and so on. By undertaking Dr. Sarno's approach, you are in a long-term re-training, or education process. This process strengthens itself over time, and this inner understanding or strength does not always become apparent, even as it grows.

    Here is my favorite reference on fear for Forum folks, which might help. Notice he does not have any miracle cures. He more directs you to experiment and find your own way. Here again, your work with fear may become more skillful but not necessarily "feel" that way.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/understanding-and-overcoming-fear.8574/ (Dr. Schubiner's Blog - Understanding and overcoming fear)

    Andy B
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  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Another thing to mention: by doing some kind of mindfulness or meditation every day, you are building the muscle --over time, to be able to observe the pain, the feeling of urgency to get results, the fear, the disappointment ---all of this gets a little bit easier to stay in contact with, without making a bigger deal out of it. Your experience is typical, and not an indication that anything is wrong.
    Ines, shelley_marie and mike2014 like this.
  4. Tassie Devil

    Tassie Devil Peer Supporter

    Hi shelley_marie. I had no improvement until after I had completed the SEP. I am pain free in that area now but have developed another painful area so am working through the "system" again. Small victories are huge for us so cleaning the teeth routine is a beginning of the beginning I'm sure. The brain took a long time to get you where it has and it's not going to give up TOO easily, but you can redirect its outcomes one small step (or stroke) at a time. Good luck
    shelley_marie likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, shelley-marie
    I agree with the others that mindfulness meditation is very helpful in TMS healing.

    Meditation is a time-honored way of relaxing the mind and relieving anxiety, mental stress, headaches, and even physical pain. There are many ways to practice meditation, but many consider the most successful to be a technique called the Relaxation Response (RR).

    It is a wonderful way to practice TMS Mindbody Healing because it changes harmful thinking in the subconscious mind which Dr. John Sarno says causes pain in many people.

    The RR, practiced daily for a few minutes has a profound positive effect on the subconscious mind, relieving or curing everything from inflammation and pain to headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, to even aiding in recovery from cancer.

    RR is like Transcendental Meditation which is taught by TM specialists who charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. But the RR is free and you can do it yourself.

    It is done 20 minutes once or twice a day, before a meal and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal. I do it in bed before arising in the morning and again in bed before falling sleep. Often, I only do it 5 or 10 minutes and it works to calm me and put me to sleep.

    Just sit in a chair (or lie in bed in the morning or at bedtime), close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, and try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as "One " which has no real meaning or association. Or say a calming word such as “Peace,” or add the faith or spiritual element by saying a favorite religious word. Breathe in through the nose, hold the breath for a few seconds, then say the word when you exhale.

    Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 10 to 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    When distracting thoughts arise during the RR, as they will, just tell yourslf, “Oh, well,” and go back to repeating your chosen word. Transcendental Meditation teachers will charge hundreds of dollars to give practitioners a word, but the word you choose yourself in the RR works just as well.

    There are several free videos on Youtube about the Relaxation Response. I especially recommend these two by Dr. Benson:

    shelley_marie likes this.
  6. shelley_marie

    shelley_marie New Member

    Thank you for that Andy, good advice and the forum thread was really relevant
  7. shelley_marie

    shelley_marie New Member

    Thank you!
  8. shelley_marie

    shelley_marie New Member

    Thanks again Walt for your wise words

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