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Day 32 My kids call me Turbo...

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by vandy1313, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. vandy1313

    vandy1313 New Member

    My TMS started in my back, but has moved around. Lately however, its been in my left thigh. I will be walking or even sleeping and my thigh musle goes into a spasm, causing me to jerk which sets off my back spasms...absolutely horrible pain that sometimes brings me to my knees. Often I walk super slow with baby steps because my leg feels like it will give out at any moment. Oddly enough, I feel like Im getting better although it looks and feels at times that I am getting worse. Perhaps thats because I learned when the pain moves and worsens, the repressed emotion is coming closer to the surface, which means bye bye TMS! I really hope thats whats going on with me.

    In the meantime, any advice on how to break the link between stressors and pain would be much obliged. I have financial stress that seems to trigger spasms on occassion. When I walk into a store to buy some things, I can feel my muscles beginning to tighten up and a slow limp enters my walk. Many times I have to lean on the cart just to walk/hobble around the store. I need to break apart that trigger that causes an episode.

    Getting over the fear of the pain is the other hurdle i have, but perhaps thats another post. Any help in the breaking the chains department, please advise...


  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Vandy,

    I think you've already taken a major step in breaking the chain of a stressful trigger and TMS, and that is by shining the light of awareness on it. You are on to your unconscious brain's role in creating these symptoms, and know there is no logical reason for walking into a store to trigger spasms and pain. And you've made the link to your issues around finances as the underlying stressor. For some people this awareness or knowledge is all they need to alleviate their symptoms. But for most of us there is a need to "unlearn" these conditioned responses.

    You are working on the SEP, so you are likely journalling about these financial issues and looking deep into why they are so distressful for you. Not everyone who has financial stress has TMS, so looking at the role your personality plays, as well as early childhood experiences may help you to see patterns that need to be "unlearned" and replaced with healthier ways of coping and living.

    But conditioning often also plays a role in triggering TMS. I have found the best method for counteracting that is to use logic and reason in "talking to my brain". This takes repetition to be effective. For example, before you walk into a store try saying to yourself "Stop it brain--there is no logical reason for walking into a store to trigger spasms and pain", and then "I am perfectly healthy and can walk anywhere I want anytime I want without pain", etc. It sounds kind of silly, but it does eventually work if done consistently.

    But I learned recently that you have to stay vigilant and catch these conditioned responses early. I started getting tense and achy while getting ready to take a trip, and let it get a little too far for the self-talk alone to work to keep this conditioned response from kicking in. But it did resolve pretty quickly once I was "on to it".

    I think TMS operates much better in the dark, and seems to shrink away when the light of awareness is turned on it. But it is work to keep that light shining.

    Best wishes...
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good advice, Ellen. Telling ourselves there is nothing to fear by doing things or going places.
    I tell myself, "I can do this. It's a piece of cake." Or, "I can do anything I set my mind to."

    Deep breathing helps a lot.
  4. vandy1313

    vandy1313 New Member

    Thank you Ellen and Walt for your advice. I used it today and I got through it....slowly, but got around today with out a fall. I was thinking that prior to starting this program, I was seeing a PT and felt like I was better than I am now. However, I believe it was just short term relief of the symptom and not addressing the root cause. Now that I understand that TMS is a psychological issue, is it a good idea to do both?

    I remember reading that when you start this program, you have to commit to it and stop doing anything that reinforces that its a structural injury....like back exercises and stretching. However, I then read that we need to get over the fear by going back to being active as much as possible. I cant run or even ride the bike that long due to leg spasms. Do i need to just power through the pain and get my blood circulating on the bike or maybe do some of the core exercises I learned? Is that OK or counter productive?

    Sometimes I feel my legs are weak bc I limit using them. I thought if I can somehow get stronger, walk more, it will give me the confidence to overcome the fear of falling. The conflict I have is does this then fuel the TMS? Do I persistently remind myself that Im exercising to get healthy and not to cure the pain? i find myself going in circles with this.

    Any suggestions??
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Vandy, you pose a good question. Dr. Sarno says not to exercise with the hope that it will cure our TMS pain,
    while he also says to resume normal activity, and Steve Ozanich says to exercise and not think about any pain.

    I'd just do moderate exercise for over-all good health and not tie it in to TMS healing. If it hurts as little, okay.
    If it hurts a lot, stop it.

    Try to just walk when you can, even if only in the house or apartment. And do some leg exercises, even sitting.
    Youtube has some good videos of that.
  6. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    I hung onto PT for two weeks after learning about TMS and after I got my books. I think progress goes faster without PT. Also, the reward is greater when you know you did it with just self talk. Exercise can replace PT, even if it is some exercise, whatever you can handle on a given day, pushing your boundaries without overdoing it. When I quit PT and survived the next couple of days I realized I had given PT way too much power. Those tiny little exercise making me better? They didn't make me better, they may have brought me out of my hole a small percentage only.

    Walking sounds excellent to me, along with positive self talk. I haven't done any core exercises for 10 months now and I am surviving fine. Tell yourself you are using core muscles while walking and while standing straight, every time you get out of a chair. You are strong.

    Ellen gave some great advice on self talk as well, that would take you far as well as all of the knowledge penicillin on this forum.

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