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Steven Ozanich Lying Around or Exercise= PAIN

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Josue, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Josue

    Josue New Member

    Okay so I'm convinced I have TMS. For the last month or so I have been reading and re-reading the last 3 Sarno books, and I am currently half way through Schubiner's book. I have been seeing improvements for sure, I am off all medications, doctor's appts., and physical therapy. I had been diagnosed with a "herniated disc" with severe sciatic pain down my right leg before.

    I've been trying to get up and be more active lately, but it seems like every time I do some exercise, while I generally feel good during and after, I tend to get pretty severe pain the next day that lasts for a few days. In particular I fear the "forward bend" type of activity, as in yoga, and whenever I do a stretch like this, it is pretty unbearable. On the flipside, just lying around all day doesn't seem to help either, so I feel like I am kinda stuck between two extremes and am not sure what to do. Fortunately, it is much easier for me to sit in a chair, drive, or sit or lie down than it used to be, without having an ice pack and being hopped up on vicodin. Please help with any suggestions. I know I need to be exercising and not sitting around, but it's like I have forgotten how to bend over or tie my shoes without being scared.

    linnyc87 likes this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you don't have pain during or immediatly after you exercise than you most likely have TMS. It sounds like you unconscious mind is increasing your symptoms the next day to keep you focused on your symptoms. The closer you are to recovering, the harder your unconscious mind will try to get you to bring your focus back to your symptoms. But if you continue to thinky psychological, this increase of symptoms will only be temporary. When you have this increase of symptoms it is important to remind yourself that you do not have a physical problem.

    From there you could probably try a variety of different things. A lot of times continuing to be active is very helpful in moving past this initial increase. I also remember a part in Great Pain Deception, where Steve says to lean into your pain. In other words, don't twist or turn your body to avoid feeling pain. Whenever you do something to avoid the pain, you are validating it and fearing it. The idea here, is if you lean into your pain, and don't worry if sitting up or bending down hurts, you are taking away your fear of it and its power over you. This can go a long way to accepting the diagnosis on an unconscious level, and thinking psychologically.

    All in all it sounds like you are doing a great job at getting better. If you continue educating yourself and putting that knowledge to work, you will be able to move past this and heal.
    linnyc87 likes this.
  3. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Josue:

    I hear you loud and clear! I have profound fear of pain since I spent many years with my SI joint out of alignment. Now in order for me to do anything physical takes a great deal of work to get over the fear of the pain. I can get out on the beach and walk - pain free, but am sore later. I chalk this up to sore muscles that haven't been used. The pain is not generated by the injury anymore, but the injury site is not letting go of the pain either.Typical TMS.

    Usually, we don't suggest things that are to assist the physical body as this is TMS, it is a psychological issue. But my husband has had bad bouts of sciatica this summer. I know it's from stress. But one thing that I found was that he had a Magnesium deficiency. Since I got him on some Magnesium, his sciatica has gotten much better. I got a homeopathic remedy that has Magnesium in it for him and he was lifting heavy objects and running around like a kid again. Maybe this would help you too. PM me if you're interested in what I gave him.

    If it's truly TMS though, you are in a battle with your brain. It wants you to get out the feelings and possibly some type of anger before the pain will let up. Are you working through Dr. Schubiner's program? Are you journaling along the way? And perhaps you're trying too much too soon. This is not a race (as I always say) but instead an incredible journey and chance to learn more about you.

    Hang in there - rethink your exercise. How about swimming? That is what we're going to do together as soon as all the kidlets are back in school.

  4. Josue

    Josue New Member


    Thanks for the great tips! I had seen your recovery videos a few weeks ago, and I like how you point out the importance of continuing to read about other people's recoveries as a major factor in getting better. I am also in the middle of Deception and I just read the "lean into the pain" part so that's perfect that you mention that. I will try to think about doing that. I've heard people say GPD is the best book out there it is so LONG though ha ha. I'm almost on part 3 so I'm getting there with it...
  5. Josue

    Josue New Member


    Thanks for the detail how thorough! It could be possible that I am "getting my Sarno on" a little too much. I'm pretty obsessed: books, audiobooks, videos, Schubiner's exercises, TMS exercises, I'm setting up some psychotherapy soon...., It's just so hard to know the correct route to take and I didn't feel like shelling out 500+ to see a TMS doctor. I am not trying to count my days anymore, and have been trying to accept the fact that this could take up to a year (I sure as hell hope not) but gawd I want to get to the finish line yesterday!!! Ya thanks I will pm you about the magnesium business and some suggestions about swimming and exercise:)
    linnyc87 likes this.
  6. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Hang in there Josue, it took 10 years to write, take your time reading it. It took two more years trying to get Dr. Sarno to read it, he rarely endorses anything. TMS is his baby and protected wisely. The notion that my book is long shows how quickly you want to heal, which of course slows healing down. But it's a hell of a long book isn't it?? Some people aren't understanding why certain things are in there, but those who get it are emailing me that they have healed. It's not about the pain, it's about life and the philosophy on which that life is based. Those things like separation rage, and personas, ego and criticisms are very important to deeper understanding of the self, and ultimate reversal. It all begins in childhood.

    Don't fall into the trap I see people falling into where they think reading more will bring them healing. Knowledge therapy does not work that way and that's not what Dr. Sarno meant by it. I liked that you felt it may take up to a year to heal but that can also attenuate healing by the mindset. It's good to give yourself time and not to force healing, but putting a far away goal of healing is not good either. Then you will adapt to that goal and extend your healing time. That's why I opened my book with that Lipton quote inside the first page. We adapt to our perceptions of our environment.You set a far goal, you get far away healing. You set a short goal, you MAY get short healing, but that is rare due to added stressors which raises anger levels.

    To heal, you need to stop trying. Forget about healing. Did you notice how many times I wrote that watching my daily healing kept me from healing? A watched pot never boils and a watched back never heals. Go live and have fun knowing you are ok physically. Easier said than done right? That is the doubt holding you.

    I'm supposed to come here in Oct for a talk on my book. I hope people read deeper into it before then. I came by tonight to answer a very nice email from Quasar731. The best thing about studying TMS is meeting all the nice people. The major factor is niceness. So of all the problems I had with TMS it was great to know I was part of a brotherhood of great and nice people who are by and large extremely intelligent--another curse, part of the survival mechanism. Ayurvedic healing has a few basic tenets, one is that intelligence is the root cause of disease. Another is that doctors who are wealthy get rich off the suffering of their patients. If they knew what they were doing they could heal them faster, but it's the faulty diagnosis that keeps people in constant suffering. What I consider to be the most basic principle of Ayurvedic as it relates to TMS is that pain and disease come about because the people cannot reveal their true selves, and so they create illness to hide behind. That's another reason I spent so much time on persona, facade, superego, shame, etc. When we can't be who we want to be, for various reasons, we punish ourselves to save "the others." Once again, "your brain thinks it's doing you a favor." ..as the good doctor had said. This is not blaming the victim, it is outside of awareness and so not known.

    Slow down Josue, read slower, everything you need is in that book but if you gloss over most of it for expediency it doesn't work. Try all the things I laid out. Take them to heart and live by what really connects with you.

    linnyc87, Peter Zafirides and Forest like this.
  7. Josue

    Josue New Member


    Great to hear from you, wow I never would have expected this. The reason I mention my healing "taking up to a year" is actually only from reading your story of taking 15 months:) I certainly don't want to make any projections about how long it will take for me to be well, short or long, I suppose I am just programming myself not to get discouraged if it doesn't happen in the next two months or so. This may be counter-productive and you are right I should not think about healing, I think I should think about enjoying life, laughing, and that there is nothing physically wrong with my back! I will definitely try to incorporate this type of mindset from here on out. I am pretty obsessed with reading a lot of the books, but part of the advice on this website is to try to keep reading books and educating yourself as much as possible. But I think I understand what you mean about how reading a bunch of books is not necessarily more education.

    Yesterday, I had an idea, and I went out and shot some hoops. Not in a game or anything, and I was barely jumping or running around at all, but like you chose to hit golf balls every day no matter what your pain level was, I think I will try to shoot daily baskets for my version of your advice. I am enjoying your book very much and would like to shoot you an email when I am done, and attend any speaking engagements of yours. Your book is beyond thorough and I am not skimming it so you know ha ha. Thanks for all the help Steve-O!
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is the best approach you can take and I hope it has been working out for you. It is essentially what I did and something I always try to tell other people to do. One of my favorite parts of the Structred Educational Program is the Self Care day, which is designed to encourage people to treat themselves for a day. Of course, it is important to be active more than just one day a week.

    It can be very easy to want to read a lot of books, and, while they will help you gain knowledge, you always need to do more to recover. Recovering from TMS invovles taking what you learn from a book or post and applying it to your life. It doesn't sound like you are doing this, but one thing I have noticed, is that some people think if they read book after book after book, one of them will heal them. Books and education will provide you with knowledge. But you need to apply that knowledge to recover. It all comes down to what you do with it.

    I love that you decided to shoot hoops no matter what. This is exactly what I mean by applying TMS knowledge to your recovery. For me, playing broomball was the activity that really helped me recover. I primarily noticed that the more active I was, the less I viewed myself as disable or fragile. When you are in chronic pain, you avoid doing certain things. You think this will actually help, but in the end it only conditions you to view yourself as weak, fragile or disabled. One of the best ways to overcome this conditioning is to push yourself physically. Reading about how your don't have a structural problem is great, but being active really puts that knowlege to work and allows it to sink deep into your unconscious.

    Of course sometimes you will have to work your way up to being active. Starting small and building your way up from there is always a great idea. It sounds like you are doing this, by simply shooting hoops. Maybe in a couple weeks you will be able to play in a pick-up game.
    Josue likes this.
  9. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Once again Forest has crystallized my thoughts, both of them.

    By being physical, this begins to replace doubt with confidence. It teaches the brain, or the deeper doubt, that it CAN.

    No one heals without uprooting old beliefs and replacing them with new ones.

    Is Josue still here?

  10. Josue

    Josue New Member

    Thank you greatly, to the both of you, Forest and Steve, for continuing to follow up on this post. My apologies for not checking in.

    Unfortunately, things were going downhill for the last month or so. I gave in, and went and got a third epidural. This was two weeks ago. I'm feeling good right now, placebo or otherwise, tying to exercise, trying "not to heal", trying to enjoy life, getting psychotherapy, not reading any more books. Overall my spirits are up. However, after the epidural, my doctor took a closer look at my mri, and said it was a pretty severe herniation, and that "usually" her patients with this severe of an mri get surgery. Now I know, I know, so many people who suffer from TMS have been told this exact same thing. I know Steve that you, have been told a million things like this before for example.

    But the thing that is confusing me, is that this doctor is actually well aware of Dr. Sarno, and supports his views (or at least to an extent). First she told me that she knows about Dr. Sarno, and that one of her colleagues in the hospital has even worked with him. Then, not 15 minutes later, she is suggesting I consult with a surgeon. Now to be fair, she is part of a small and pretty rare pain psychology/pain management department for Kaiser (an enormous corporate HMO) out here in the Los Angeles area. Many medical doctors do not even consider emotions playing a role in pain, so I have to give her some credit. We spoke a lot about major tension factors that I have experienced right as this horror of pain started, and she was receptive. But then suggesting there might be structural damage, I was completely shocked. I took this news very well and have been quite happy lately to be honest. Is it the epidural? I don't know. However I have a mountain of factors that lead me to believe I have TMS. I swear to god I could set a record for checking off just about every tension inducer and source of rage and repression that Sarno suggests in Healing Back Pain. But is there such a thing as actually being in that 10% that does have a "structural problem"?

    I want to know, are there cases that even Sarno would recommend surgery for? Could I truly be part of that 10%??? I am so confused right now friends...
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    In the Divided Mind Dr. Sarno writes: In my experience, the many structural abnormalities that are claimed to be the basis for the surgery described above are usually not responsible for the pain so that neither surgical nor even conservative physical treatment of any kind is appropriate. I have taken to advising my patients that the worst indication for musculoskeletal surgery is pain attributed to some structural abnormality.

    I am not a doctor and neither is anyone else on this site, so we can't tell you for sure if you need surgery or not. I would say however that if you fit the TMS personality as completely as you say you do, there is a good chance TMS is the factor.

    It is somewhat common for people starting out to think that they will be in the small percentage of people that either have a real structural problem or who just can't get better with this approach. Part of this has to do with the fact they they haven't fully accepted the diagnosis and they are letting their unconscious continue to distract them. The other part is that they may have some resistance to doing the work. For a lot of people surgery is preferred because you don't have to be proactive in your recovery. You don't have to explore your emotions and understand that you have deeply repressed emotions. These thoughts, of course, are generated by your unconscious which is trying to get you to ignore your emotions and have you continue to think structurally.

    Again, I'm not a doctor so I can't say if you need to have surgery or not. But perhaps you could ask yourself what having TMS means to you. When you think that you may be in that 10% who needs surgery, what are your underlying thoughts and emotions. Be open to the idea that these thoughts are being driven by your ego which is afraid of letting out the deeply repressed emotions.
  12. Josue

    Josue New Member

    Thanks Forest!

    I love The Divided Mind and you bring up a great point there, its good to hear again. I absolutely DO NOT want to get surgery, and I have really no intention to either. In my heart of hearts I believe I have TMS, so I will continue to think that way. Let me tell you, I feel absolutely amazing right now. I've been doing daily light exercise, mindfulness, and some of the tips from Great Pain Deception. I think one of the reasons I am also feeling good is because I recently got a job that I am enjoying and that is not getting in the way of my recovery. I have had major financial problems over the last few months so this is a major weight off my shoulders. Anyway I feel that I am healing instead of "trying to heal". I am staying very positive and will let you guys know how things go.

  13. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's great to hear that you are feeling great and seeing results from doing the work. Having a positive outlook will have a tremendous impact on your recovery moving forward. It is also great to hear that you are finding some of the tips in GPD to be helpful.

    A couple of my favorites are: Lean into pain, Don't avoid it; Your pain is both a distraction and a message; and Become more appreciative of what you already have, and stop craving for unmet desires. If you have any trouble appreciating, then this is part of the problem. Appreciating what you have is definetly something I struggle with from time to time. What tips have you found helpful?
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm starting my third week of Sarno's and Brady's 4-6 week pain free programs and feeling better but back pain is still there when I walk.
    I tell my subconscious it's not physical but repressed emotions and can get through a walk with my dog, about a city block.

    I usually go to bed with no pain but sometimes wake up with some back pain. Early this morning it was bad so I told myself it was repressed emotions and lo and behold the pain went away and I slept.

    So I must have TMS and am healing. I have to keep reminding myself, because I am 82, that I should not think I have back pain because I'm aging because that tells my subconscious I don't believe totally in TMS. And although some relatives and friends my age have back pain and are walking with canes or walkers, not every senior citizen has back pain. A cousin younger than I had a back operation I don't think he needed... he needed to know about TMS and get rid of the anger he has for his wife divorcing him after 27 years.
  15. Josue

    Josue New Member


    I just got home from a very reluctant trip to consult with a neurosurgeon (on the urging of my doctor and my wife) and I couldn't be happier. No surgery was recommended (not that I would have agreed to it) and the surgeon actually happened to know Dr. Sarno personally, so I knew that I was in good hands. He said I was getting physically stronger and to avoid physical therapy if it wasn't working for me, which it wasn't. It felt really good to walk out of that office and feel confident that I truly do have TMS! Yay for TMS! At first it seems like horror but I think, as they say, it truly is a gift and sometimes we have to thank our brains for it. I'm getting better day by day and I know that my pain will eventually be gone!!!
    veronica73 likes this.

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