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My first visit with a TMS therapist

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by North Star, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had my first appointment with Daniel Lyman from the Pain Psych. Center today. It almost didn't happen due to a fiber optic cable getting severed so we visited by phone instead of Skype.

    I have been toying over talking to a therapist but kept putting it off because of the cost. With my TMS being so persistent and intense I decided that we'd figure out how to pay for it. I could have gotten a local therapist that insurance may have covered but just on my brief interview calls, it was clear I would have to educate the therapist on TMS. I really felt like I needed a pro on TMS. And besides, I'm no longer spending $$$ on doctor visits, etc.

    Sarno talks about "tough cases" needing a therapist and after nearly two years of working hard I needed some professional help. So I contacted Daniel.

    I'm so glad I did. I had thought about finding and older woman but decided it was the TMS experience I wanted and Daniel's been trained by Alan Gordon. Also, I had contracted Francine Shapiro but her rates were really beyond my reach. (She sounds like a lovely woman.)

    We first discussed my background a bit. It wasn't too long before he gently asked, "Are you aware of how you're breathing?" My anxiety was going up recounting some stuff and it was apparent to him by my faster talking and more shallow breathing. This feedback was offered more than once and I found it very helpful to hear his outside perspective.

    I also told him how I really hated talking about some stuff because I don't like dealing with "messy emotions". Boy, he landed on that one. (With grace, of course.) I felt like it really opened my eyes as to how anxiety will climb (with its TMS signs reflected in an ache or other symptom) up in an effort to keep those "messy" emotions from surfacing. I hate crying in front of people. (Gotta keep that stiff upper lip! Yeah, right. That works really well.)

    So we talked about the teeter totter effect of the sub conscience and the conscience. We talked about how when I'm not feeling safe, the anxiety will begin to climb and by deep breathing and pausing, I can send the message to my sub-c that I am safe. Of course, some of this was just from talking to a therapist for the first time too.

    More than once he asked how my body was feeling. My back felt tight. Talking about some other issues, my shoulders felt very heavy. This was VERY helpful in pointing out the topics with physical sensations. I've been learning how to do this on my own (learning to listen to my emotions by how they're expressing in my body) but having real time feedback from him was especially helpful.

    He said a few things that made me pause. One was, "You have empathy for people but not for yourself." (*tears*)

    Some of his final comments where that I was very hard on myself. He asked me what I thought about that. I felt resistance to that idea and told him so. My thoughts were, "well, he doesn't really know me yet, etc, etc." I told him I suspected that reaction was probably a defense mechanism.

    He pointed out that having been well-trained by my mom that I "needed to be strong" when I was a kid that my "normal" is a LOT of internal pressure. (My family brought dysfunction to a whole new level. I purposed at a young age not to add to my mom's grief.)

    Anyway. I noticed after getting off the phone that the tension in my back and head….were gone. I had experienced this after my visit with Dr. Schubiner last year too so I wasn't totally surprised.

    If you're dealing with severe TMS like I have, do consider talking to one of the therapists here. I'm really grateful that I feel like I know the therapists here a little bit from the Ask a Therapist section so it removed some of the anxiety of talking with a stranger. And as it clear from that section, these folks know their stuff.

    He was thinking, as was I, that 5 or so sessions is probably a good place to start and then I can check back in…sort of like meeting with a fitness trainer to get started with a new program and then a later follow up.

    I am hoping this will help me move past the severe flareups I've been dealing with and to help me sort out direction for this "after 50" phase of life.

    If you have any questions about my session, feel free to ask.
    Dahlia, Barb M., Lizzy and 3 others like this.
  2. Laudisco

    Laudisco Well known member

    Thanks for sharing North Star! I'm so glad to hear that the tension in your back and head were gone after getting off the phone. This is inspiring me to see a TMS therapist!
    North Star likes this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for sharing your experience, NS. It's very helpful to know how these sessions go.
    North Star likes this.
  4. Lindahope

    Lindahope New Member

    Thank you for sharing your first session with a TMS therapist, North Star. I think we met in the chat discussion group on Saturday, which was very helpful by the way. I am the one who developed a cough. I am going to a TMS therapist Dr. Margaret Chan, who I have seen 3 or 4 times now. It's been very helpful. My husband and I decided it was worth it to spend the money for the obvious reasons. Dr. Gwad was very helpful too. I was thinking about calling him about the cough and sore muscles from coughing which has gotten worse since yesterday. I have some stressful situations coming up and I'm wondering if its that. Thank again.
    Laudisco and North Star like this.
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Linda, I am so glad to see you here! And yes, by all means…if some prescription cough syrup would help while you continue to use a TMS approach…by all means! I'm glad Dr. Chan has been so helpful to you…it is amazing how having that TMS angle fine tunes the therapy.

    After a positive end to the day, excruciating pain woke me up again in the wee hours. Is it no wonder…my young daughter's divorce gets finalized at 8:30 this morning. I've been getting up when pain wakes me to deep breath and do some guided imagery. It really does help.

    BTW - Linda….it just occurs to me. By focusing on our breath and slowing it down, it sends a message to our body that "I'm safe". A persistent cough sounds like a pretty clever TMS strategy to keep you from drawing a long slow breath and tapping into that calming power.

    Laudisco, do let us know if you see a TMS therapist. :)
  6. Barb M.

    Barb M. Peer Supporter

    Did you select which therapist you wanted to see there? I have thought about "seeing" one of their therapists, although I have never even used Skype before. Thank you for sharing your experience.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Barb - I just went through several of the therapist posts and really…it came down to an eeny meeny sort of decisions because they ALL seem kind and skilled. I really don't think you can go wrong with any of them here. I had also hesitated because I'm a 50-year-old and these folks are younger. But I resolved that by telling myself I am after their skill set and experience. Sure, I could see a therapist closer to my age and life experience…and they'll have either no or very limited experience with TMS. I'm probably old enough to be Daniel's mom (granted, a very young mom, ha) but that was completely irrelevant in talking to him. He knows his stuff.

    Our first session was via the phone due to internet crashing in the city. The next one will be over Skype and I think that will be even better since seeing expressions, body language, will be helpful to both parties.

    Give it a try, Barb!
    Laudisco and Barb M. like this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Cough medicine reminds me of what my mother made for me and my older brother and sister when we were kids.
    She made us a hot drink... tea, honey, some rock candy (bought at the drug store), and a little bourbon.
    It was relaxing and good for a sore throat, too.

    I was asleep almost before finishing the drink. Just the thought of it makes me sleepy.
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    good for you taking this big step..I also did the same thing a few months ago and had the same concerns I did about 5 session with a terrific therapist from the same place a set me on my way. I then switched to a regular therapist explained my issues and her approach was really the same, and my Insurance paid for it. Have your session or 2 then look for a therapist that takes your Ins…they are all familiar with the going ons of the mind causing pain from repression emotions and so on. After 6 sessions with my regular therapist I have reduced my pain meds by a 1/3

    God Bless You.
    North Star likes this.
  10. Lindahope

    Lindahope New Member

    North Star, I understand what you mean. Divorces are very stressful. I cried when my sisters was finalized. I felt sad, mad, and torn between my sister and her husband and my nieces and nephews. Soon after my other sister got divorced! It's been a few years and things are still messy, but it does get better. Hang in there! Take good care of yourself through this stressful time. That's what usually helps me. Also, you're right. Breathing in deep hurts. Ugh..
    Laudisco and North Star like this.
  11. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Marco, thank you for your encouraging words! I am so glad you've found help…and especially the bit about finding a therapist who will take my insurance because it's a chunk o change given our business start up phase.

    Linda, yeah, divorces stink on several levels. I was in tears yesterday morning by the time it was finalized. Then I my ex-son-in-law had to call me to get some more info. (My daughter didn't even want to hear his voice.) I had a hard time talking, I was so choked up. This would be a lot easier if I didn't live this boy like one of my own. (He was best friends with my son before my daughter caught his eye.) It's a terrible loss rife with conflict.

    One thing I've been doing is this tapping thing. There is a 10 day Tapping Summit going on right now so I figure I'll give it a whirl. I honestly think it is helping! I don't understand it but much of the language fits with Sarno's work. Also, what I reading about activating the Meridian points, as identified in traditional Chinese Medicine, is helps release trapped emotions from the body.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I especially like this Youtube tapping video:
    "Louise Hay sits down with Tapping Solution's Nick Ortner."

    Even the "queen of positive affirmations" finds that tapping helps her.
  13. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've made a note of that video, Walt and will watch it again. I watched it a year or two ago and dismissed it as hooey. Sort of like I did with Dr. Sarno. hahahaha
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    The video is worth watching every day. Hay's belief in tapping is contagious.

    Have a great weekend.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm slowly learning not to respond instantly to people's demands on me
    or things that I feel I have to do immediately. It's helpful in relaxing to think of not jumping
    through anyone's hoop, especially my own. Scarlett O'Hara had it right when she said,
    "After all, tomorrow is another day!"
  16. Lindahope

    Lindahope New Member

    I like that quote Walt. I'll have to remember it. I go on a website for free videos of tapping, meditation, and yoga. All kinds of holistic stuff. It was recommended to me by someone I met while I was on retreat. She's a Ti Chi instructor. It's called ChangeYourEnergy.com You can join for a fee, but I've been doing the free videos. On the top is the categories. Hit videos and scroll to free videos. I like creative visualization for manifestation.
  17. Lindahope

    Lindahope New Member

    Has quite a few meditations. Release your emotions is one of them. I am interested in the Louis Hay one. I really like her.
  18. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi North star,

    I'm so very happy for you. I hope you find peace and healing through your appointments with Daniel. He is definitely right about the fact that you definitely do have a lot of empathy for others. Your posts are always so full of well-thought advice, compassion and mama bear hugs.

    Thank you for reporting back on how these sessions unfold. That gives me a good idea about this type of help, which I am considering as well.

    Take great care of yourself.

    Mama bear hug right back at you!
    Laudisco and North Star like this.
  19. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    You are so brave North Star!! Keep up the good work.
    North Star likes this.
  20. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Blake, I read and re-read your kind words..they made my eyes leaky…thank you. :) (And I receive that mama bear hug back too.)

    Lexylucy, thank you. You are brave too, my friend.
    blake likes this.

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