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 situation after 6 weeks

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by James59, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I've been studying Dr. Sarno's books Healing Back Pain and The Mindbody Prescription for about six weeks now, and trying to apply his instructions as best I can. I'm not doing anything formal like journaling, rather I'm just reminding myself periodically throughout the day of what's really going on, that the pain and other symptoms are just harmless distractions and all that. So far I haven't had much pain relief, but lots of uncomfortable things are happening.

    A few times a day I'll get twinges of sharp pain in various places, but I'm finding it easy to laugh them off as tricks and they go away pretty quickly. Harder to ignore is the increasing intensity of other symptoms.

    One huge problem is some muscles, especially my thighs and upper arms, are frequently "locking up" and being uncooperative. I'm often feeling frozen in place until I figure out a workaround using different muscles. Sometimes if makes it very difficult to get up out of a chair. I know this is a mental issue, because if I get mentally involved in something like a good movie or good music, my flexibility returns or at least improves. It worsens, though, if I feel any kind of emotional intensity (good or bad).

    Other times, like when I'm eating or typing (as I'm doing now) my lower legs just above my ankles tighten up like mad, as if I'm trying to hold on for dear life. It feels as if tightening my legs provides some sort of counterbalance to something else.

    I'm also having irritable bowel issues, which have bothered me most of my adult life, but which were mostly under control for the past several years until I started practicing Dr. Sarno's instructions last month. Now some of my old troubles are back.

    Finally, my sleeping patterns have become more erratic. I think the irritable bowel problems have something to do with that. I frequently awaken prematurely with an urgent need to use the toilet (sorry if this is TMI).

    Intellectually, I can see these are all just more TMS-style diversions, but since they really complicate every moment of my day, they're hard to dismiss as mere distractions.

    Has anyone else experienced complications like these? Am I correct in assuming this is just a phase of the healing process? Do you have any thoughts to help me get through this?
  2. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think its your body 'acting up' because you are on to it. Also I think you might need to do the journaling etc as well. If the emotional reservoir isn't dealt with in some way ( and there are many ways on the structured educational prog) how can you 'move on'? The way you described it above - " as if I'm trying to hold on for dear life. It feels as if tightening my legs provides some sort of counterbalance to something else." seems like your body IS trying to 'hold on' to the pain, the counterbalance IS the pain. Your body does not want you to address the issues that have put you here. As you DO address them (and I have found the programme works quite well for this) the combination of 'telling' the pain and the healing of the emotions should make you feel a lot better.
    I have days when the programme gives me stuff to do that I really don't want to work on. Sometimes it is tough. Other days it is quite easy and straightforward. But it has ALL helped, I just don't always realise it until afterwards. Things that seem huge in your mind can sometimes be dealt with easily. Other stuff seems almost too silly to work on - but then a great leap forward happens. I still have some issues that I have not been brave enough to address yet. That is ok. I know I WILL get there sometime.
    I am trying to do the programme every day (but I have missed a few days!) and I try and read Sarno or SteveO or look at a website of BodyMind stuff, and/or do some meditation /mindfulness every day too. If I don't - I don't beat myself up - I will get there, by hook or by crook - and I'm sure you will too...
    eric watson likes this.
  3. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member


    It is not uncommon for symptoms to begin to act up more-so in the beginning phase when you are just starting to bring awareness to the process. This is a part of the process and very normal. Have you considered - as Hecate has stated - engaging in more of the work? Perhaps journaling or even seeing a TMS therapist to help bring attention to the underlying emotions and schemas. Mind you, both journaling and therapy can be hard in their own right. Remember, there is a part of us that engages in the symptoms because what can come up in journaling and therapy can be - itself - very uncomfortable.
    eric watson likes this.
  4. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Thanks for both replies above. It helps assure me that I'm not off track.

    For now I'm trying to keep it simple and see how it goes. I'm a little hesitant to try journaling because, while I love to write, I need an intended audience. Writing to myself has always felt like talking to myself. I might try the structured program in time if the simpler approach doesn't seem sufficient.

    As far as I know, there are no TMS therapists in my area.
  5. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member

    Hey James,

    Many patients have made good progress with journaling as a letter writing exercise, writing to people in their life past and present. Often, it brings us closer to the experiential awareness of our feelings surrounding those people and how they may have triggered us in the past and present.
    eric watson likes this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a great post, sounds like well me
    my legs did exactly the way your legs are doing now james59
    hecate105 an AndrewMillerMFTI are right on the money
    it was the tms trying to keep me from winning but I pushed through cause I didn't know how to quit
    Your on the right trail -of course, if you read my post you'll find I love to journal and its really helped me tons
    in a way my first several hundred post were me journaling about my life and situations
    id usually keep the deeper stuff for my notebooks but writing post and having others talk to me about issues was very liberating
    I also had a feel good journal so if the trauma journaling , or anger or fear journaling got to tense I could always go to
    my feel good journal to soothe my mind- hope this helps somewhat..... have a great day
    James59 likes this.
  7. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Eric, I almost started to cry when you said you had the same leg problems. I'm not a freak and I'm not alone! You've also given me some real hope that I can overcome it. Thank you!

    I'll take the journaling advice under greater consideration. I'm still not sure how I'd go about it.
    eric watson likes this.
  8. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    James59)- One huge problem is some muscles, especially my thighs and upper arms, are frequently "locking up" and being uncooperative. I'm often feeling frozen in place until I figure out a workaround using different muscles. Sometimes if makes it very difficult to get up out of a chair

    Eric)- no your not alone, I thought I was alone , I just didn't know how to explain it but you did a great job
    its stress, and tension and the fear of it that always made mine worse
    The SEP program will lay out in detail how to journal those repressions out my friend
    you should be able to knock it out soon enough
    as you go along and if you have any questions -write me ill be happy to help
    I also calm myself down when the above starts to happen by saying peace be still over and over
    its tried to come back on me but im conditioned now to tell it to stop or soothe myself
    youll see itll be whopped soon
    god bless
    James59 likes this.
  9. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    James, being aware is the first step! Then we need to do something with our awareness. And that is process it out--by journaling.

    Think of a topic, let FEELINGS come up, not just thoughts. And let the feelings spew on paper. Write about how you feel. You'd be surprised how when you start writing about something, the next sentence seems to just flow.

    You can journal about anything that stirs any emotion! Or you can start with anything that causes you any conflict--even if you think it's a small issue. Dr. Sarno says ANY CONFLICT can cause TMS conditions.

    Important to end on a positive note--something learned, something to be changed, new perspective, or simply "I am ready to heal this".

    Journaling is truly a great way to process things out of us for permanent relief.
    eric watson likes this.
  10. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Eric, what a good idea to have a feel good journal too, i'll try that.
    eric watson likes this.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    that's great hecate105, im sure glad this thread was helpful
    keep us up to date on how things are going
    its great to hear how your journey goes
    Lori threw some good points out there
    that's a great pic she has of relaxing at the ocean with red toe nails
    an original- that's another thing I like so much about tms wiki
    everyone is an original here , we all have so much in common-
    cant wait to hear your up- dates hecate105
    stay strong and never give up- you will win
  12. Chuck

    Chuck Peer Supporter

    TMS treatment is not a linear process. Some days you will feel like you are not making progress, but if you continue to think psychological and do the work you will begin to see a reduction of your symptoms overtime. It takes time to reverse the conditioning that you developed, but it can be done.
    James59 and eric watson like this.
  13. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I've noticed that!

    I've had two days in the past week where I felt I was getting on top of the emotional subconscious and was feeling less stiff and more flexible. Today is one of those days. I woke up, though, feeling horribly inflexible, but before I got out of bed a whole wave of emotional issues came over me regarding some longstanding personal issues. For a time I felt it was hopeless. But lo and behold, my muscles are acting more flexible today. Other days this week I've felt rigid all day. I'm feeling a little like a ball in a tennis match. Not yet sure which side of the net I'll end up.

Share This Page