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Day 1 My Personal Story of SD, TMS

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by jdb49, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. jdb49

    jdb49 New Member

    My TMS story begins with the gradual diminishment of my voice. After hearing Diane Rehm talk about her own vocal problem--spasmodic dysphonia--on her NPR radio program, I made an accurate guess that this was likely the same problem that I faced. A visit to a vocal specialist confirmed this. As a singer-songwriter, this diagnosis way especially depressing. The thing that I loved was being taken away by this debilitating condition.

    I desperately searched the internet for answers, and that's when I somehow--through chance or divine intervention--came across the name Dr. John E. Sarno and his suspicion that spasmodic dysphonia (SD) was most likely an equivalent of TMS. TMS? Never heard of it. But the more I looked into it, the more the personality types and symptoms seemed to fit. I already had personal evidence that my SD had an emotional component because I had experienced a few rare "miracle moments" when my voice mysteriously returned to normal or near-normal. And, thinking about it, I realized the common denominator of these miracle moments was that they were times when I was in a particularly relaxed, worry-free frame of mind. This frame of mind, unfortunately, is all too rare for me. As one with poetic sensibilities, I tend to take on the woes of the world--all the suffering, injustice, what is happening to our good Earth, etc. My mind all too often is a hall of horrors, roiling day and night with negative images, plus all the endless things that need fixing, need doing...on and on...

    I read all of Sarno's books--The Mindbody Prescription, Healing Back Pain and The Divided Mind-- and they offered hope that I could gain control over harmful hidden emotions produced by my unconscious mind and by doing so regain my voice. But progress was slow.

    A couple of years ago, I ran across a book, The Presence Process by Michael Brown--a ten week program of uncovering repressed negative emotions so that they can be "integrated," as Brown defines the process. I was in week ten of my second round of the process when I suddenly had more than the voice problem to deal with. I had just done my morning 15 minute session of the connected breathing exercise, followed by some yoga, when I proceeded to do some pushups. Attempting my first pushup, I suddenly found my shoulders racked with pain and I also had a feeling of sudden weakness in my arm muscles. I could not do a single pushup because of the severe pain! (I have wondered if I somehow connected with negative emotions while failing to "integrate" them. Has anyone else had such an experience?)

    From the shoulders, the pain has moved around to many parts of my body (as is typical of TMS)--neck, chest area, hip and knees. There have been nights when I could not roll over in bed without crying out. My primary care consultant has only offered pills for treating the symptoms, while I am determined to treat the source--TMS!

    A part of me is a bit skeptical of Brown and parts of his program, though many praise it very highly (a subject for another time). In addition to his book, I have read many other works that directly address TMS, including Rapid Recovery From Back And Neck Pain by Fred Amir, How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by David Hamilton and The Great Pain Deception by Steven Ray Ozanich, which is quite thorough. All of these books have their place and add to the subject. But...it wasn't until I returned to the source--Sarno's books--that I actually felt really discernible improvement. For my money, he is The Man--a man who, if there's any justice, will someday be known worldwide for his genius. And he deserves the title of saint for his service to humanity.

    Also, I am finding the TMS wiki an invaluable resource. So important to know we are not alone and to be inspired by the success of others. For me, this is Day One of the Structured Program, and I am already feeling some relief. May we all prevail over TMS!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great post, jd49! Welcome to the Forum! I look forward to hearing how you're doing. Keep posting.
  3. ss02

    ss02 New Member

    Welcome to the forum and the structured education program
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Jdb49. You have done enough reading (maybe even too much because it can be overwhelming to read about others' journey in TMS). On the plus side, it has all led you to believe more in Dr. Sarno's theory that so much of our physical pains are caused by our emotions. You are a perfectionist and "goodist," two major character traits for developing TMS.

    I suggest you focus now on Dr. Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders, in Healing Back Pain. They are the cornerstones of TMS healing.
  5. jdb49

    jdb49 New Member

    Thanks, Walt. I think your comments are spot on. Great advice on focusing on Dr. Sarno's Daily Reminders!

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