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

My decade+ neck/shoulder tension is clearly TMS, but

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Orzabelle, Aug 8, 2023.

  1. Orzabelle

    Orzabelle Newcomer

    Hi all - I have finally really accepted that TMS is the issue. I've had a tight neck/headaches, shoulders up in my ears for more than a decade and several MRIs and x-rays and wasted PT/chiro appointments.

    I'm a very physically reactive person, definitely due to a traumatic childhood (abuse and neglect) & having to be on the defense all of the time. The muscle tension/pain started around the time I was trying to conceive my second child: many miscarriages, an ectopic, and then a doomed pregnancy with a baby that had fatal anomalies. The fact that I wasn't able to easily have a second child caused me a lot of stress, and the physical 'bracing myself' for more stressors has not stopped. Now, more than a decade later, I have two beautiful, wonderful kids, one of whom is pretty challenging. His contrariness can set my body off: I can feel my blood pressure rising and my muscles tensing and it sometimes gets worse as I sleep. But I also have a physical reaction to so many everyday stressors, like prepping for the classes I teach or packing for a weekend trip, or even an imaginary conversation with a family member.

    I do (finally) believe that my muscle tension and pain is 100% TMS. For the past two months, I've been aware of my nervous system's response to any perceived stressors, noticing it as it happens, when my kiddo refuses to brush his teeth the sixth time I ask, etc. My question is: what now? Knowing that I'm causing my own pain and noticing it when it happens has not yet reduced it. I've just started working through the curable app and hoping that I can learn about what's missing, but I'm hoping to find some answers here because everyone knows so much. I feel as though I'm primed to react to everything in this tensing manner and I want to learn how to change.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Orzabelle
    You are off to a great start, acknowledging your body reacts to your emotions.
    Curable is a great resource.
    Have you read a book by Dr. Sarno? It is highly suggested, and much of what is found on Curable is based on his work. Dr. Sarno related inner rage (his protogee’s often talk about associated emotions such as sadness, guilt, shame). I think you might be able to relate to Nichol Sach’s story. She was both a patient and worked with Sarno, having back pain at a young age. Eventually she recognized both some childhood issues, personality and unexpressed rage at being a parent, and at her children. She was shocked because of course she loves her kids. Recognizing that writing her emotions down and tearing the pages up was helping her, she founded Journalspeak based on exercises she learned working with Dr. Sarno.
    It simply takes your acknowledging emotions one step further by letting you express them (and feel them in the body, if this is difficult for you). Curable takes you through this journal process a bit, and has a podcast featuring Nichole: https://www.curablehealth.com/podcast/journaling-and-physical-pain (Can Journaling Help to Release Physical Pain?)
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Orzabelle

    Orzabelle Newcomer

    Cactus flower, THANK YOU SO MUCH. This is exactly what I think I needed. I absolutely have a ton of rage. Some of it is related (embarrassingly) to being a parent and being the one who is supposed to take care of everyone. My big thing right now as my oldest leaves for college is...what about me? I love her so much and I didn't have someone like me to give so much support, love, and care. The amount of rage I have about my own bad luck as a child seems to be never-ending. I'm sure it isn't, but it seems so! And with this big transition in our lives - the first leaving the nest - it feels very emotionally dramatic.

    It's interesting that acknowledging the anger/sadness/grief isn't going to be enough - I'm sure in some way my soul knows that I have to deal with all of it, to process it in order to be free, and perhaps it's all so hard now because it's pushing me into take care of myself in a real way.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2023
  4. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nichole Sachs has her own podcast called The Cure For Chronic Pain. You might want to listen to an episode with Mouse, (within the last 5 or so episodes)… she found her pain skyrocketed when her parent roles transitioned.
    It sounds like you may have had some very difficult times in the past. Keep working through these things gently, with loads of kind understanding towards yourself.
    if you find you need support, folks are here.
    An important part of this journey is learning to step outside of your mind, if you are an over thinker. TMS is a form of anxiety, and we often don’t even know we are that anxious or that our minds can’t shut off. Curable has meditations. As a busy mom it’s hard to find time, but especially now, you need to support yourself and try to learn to step away for a few moments of the day. You can learn to give yourself the support you never felt you had.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Self compassion is hard enough for most of us who were properly nurtured in childhood. It's really really hard for anyone who did not receive care and love as children. This may be your first goal. You have got a great start. In addition to the resources and advice from @Cactusflower, also check out Kristin Neff and Tara Brach, pretty much the queens of self compassion and self-acceptance. In fact, if you google both, you'll find a 1-hour talk between the two. In any case, you can focus your inquiry towards practices to work on childhood abuse.

    You can definitely do this!
  6. Orzabelle

    Orzabelle Newcomer

    Cactusflower, you seem like a lovely person. I did listen to some of her podcasts, based on your recommendation, and am really looking into how to support my most vulnerable childhood self.

Share This Page