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New Guy Needing Help

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Scozza, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. Scozza

    Scozza New Member

    I am new at this and am really trying to believe it works. After reading the books and reviews etc, I have had pain come and go. I was diagnosed by doctors with a herniated disc at the L5 after an MRI image was produced. I get relief when I do the updog aka cobra pose. My main pain is nerve pain that shoots into my right leg. I want to fully commit to the TMS program, but worry that I will cause my disc more harm by ignoring it like the book says to. It says to even bend over and pick up heavy stuff however you want. The pain from this all started after I went paddle boarding 4 months ago.

    My questions are:

    1) Will my disc herniation continue to worsen if I ignore it by doing the TMS program?
    2) If the MRI shows the disc pushing on the nerve, is this not the root of the pain? What else would make the nerves pain shoot into my legs if it is not the disc pushing on the nerve?
    3) I am trying to dig up suppressed feelings, but It is hard for me to find any. I had a pretty darn good childhood. I was picked on slightly as a kid do to dyslexia, but I feel like I am stronger from that. I had to leave my professional career in cycling over in Europe due to stomach issues, (doctors pinned it on unspecified colitis). I realize leaving my dreams to pursue another career has been tough, but I do notice it. Last, my relationship with my dad and wife have been hard off and on, but I am working on it and not running away from it.
    Any suggestions how I can find the suppressed feelings that will free my back from pain?

    Thanks to all that read this and take the time to help me with information and support.

  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Steve. Your herniated disc should not be causing pain, according to Dr. Sarno in his book.
    You may have repressed emotions stemming from your wife and father having relationship problems.
    Your TMS pain may not be from repressed emotions going back to your childhood.
    They may come from a perfectionist or goodist personality. If you journal about those things
    and discover you have them, you might try to modify them. You don't have to change, just live with them better.

    And keep hope alive that your wife and father will get along better. Those things can take some time.
    donavanf and mike2014 like this.
  3. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Steven,

    Welcome to the forum. Walt always gives fabulous advice and I am in full agreement with his post.

    It's great that you have started reading up on TMS - I take it you have now read one or all of the Dr Sarno books?

    It sounds from your posting that you do have TMS and your pain is not caused by a structural abnormality. Dr Sarno also states in his book that there is no correlation between abnormalities within the spine and pain, people with quite abnormal spines can be pain free.

    With regards to your question, TMS feeds on our emotions, the principle ones being - fear, anxiety etc, so if you don't fully accept the TMS diagnosis, it's plausible that you will worry and increase levels of pain within your body and slow down your natural healing.

    Our thoughts, and responses trigger the intensity and severity of the level of pain we feel by switching on our body's fight or flight response. With that said, not only must we accept it's TMS but we must be gentle, caring and loving to ourselves and think psychologically from moment to moment. Embracing our emotions and processing these. There are many great techniques which are illustrated in this forum - particularly the SEP which encompasses, journaling, meditation, visualisation etc.

    The important thing is to realise you will not be able to change other peoples behaviours, thoughts or actions, that is beyond anyone. But you could learn some useful skills to not internalise issues when they do arise, I know personally, that I have a tendency to do this too. Just learn to accept and love others unconditionally for who they are whilst being gentle and kind to yourself. We cannot change the world, but we can change, how we perceive and re-act within it and learn to accept.

    Remember to be kind to yourself and understand your feelings and thoughts as if each moment matters, once you have mastered this you will notice significant changes in your health and particularly the intensity in which your mind serves the pain onto your body.

    God bless you Steve, may you come close to your thoughts and heal within.


    donavanf and Ellen like this.
  4. Scozza

    Scozza New Member

    Thank you Walt and Mike. I have started to realize today how much of the stresses from my job I actually take on personally and internalize it all. I am believing and taking it step by step. This forum is so helpful. Thank you.
    donavanf likes this.
  5. tigerlilly

    tigerlilly Well known member

    Hi Scozza - I read your post and related to everything you wrote. Great childhood - check. Picked on and better for it - check. Stomach issues causing a life change - check. Daddy issues - check.
    I also relate to your herniated disc issues. Check. In fact, I was bedridden for 7 months - horrific pain - because of an MRI showing a herniated disc in L4/L5, and S1 areas. Surgery was scheduled. But I remember having read some comments about some book by a Dr. Sarno. So I looked it up on Amazon, overnighted the book to me. Read it. Cancelled the surgery. Pursued TMS healing. I'm now 99% pain-free and living a normal life. Here is a post I just sent to another member - perhaps you will find it helpful as you pursue your journey into TMS healing.

    SI joint dysfunction, leg length changes, herniated discs, etc. It's all farce. I have had amazing success in treating my symptoms as TMS. In fact, I would say I am 99% pain free - I can function as a normal human being and there really isn't anything that I can't do, which is a pretty amazing success story if you read my original posts. I was in bed for a total of 7 months. Worst thing I've ever experienced in my life.

    I know that it's a hard leap of faith to buy into TMS and ignore everything the doctors are telling you. But you MUST - you must divorce everything you have learned conventionally and you must believe TMS 1000%, no matter what. I don't care how much it makes sense on paper and in your mind to say that "x symptoms = a structural problem." Trust me when I tell you that I know how hard that is to do. Your mind will never give up in trying to convince you otherwise, even after you've made progress. I don't know if you have read my other posts or not, but the BOTTOM LINE that I have learned from the pain is this: PAIN EQUALS FEAR. Everything that you want is on the other side of fear. Remember that. It's an important mantra as you start this journey. Conquer the fear, lose the pain. It's that simple. And yet.........that difficult. We live in a society where fear reigns supreme. If you stop and ponder that, you will see it. All the fear from the media. Entertainment (books, movies, TV, etc). All the doctors journals and ads telling us about all those diseases that are out there. Fear. Fear. Fear. Divorce it - do not buy into it anymore!!!

    What is interesting is that as I was starting to make progress, my back would "go out," or at least that's what I would call it. That horrible crippling feeling where you can hardly move, and you feel like the only thing that will help is by going to get a chiropractic adjustment. That's what I used to do in the past. This time, I ignored the pain, and I did as much as I physically could do (albeit in slow motion!) I would repeat over and over again that there was nothing physically wrong with me. Three days later, guess what? The pain went away. I didn't need a physical adjustment; I needed a mental adjustment!! It worked. After that, no matter what my mind/brain tried to get me to believe, I fought it and repeated over and over again (silently and out loud depending on the situation): THERE IS NOTHING PHYSICALLY WRONG WITH ME, AND THERE NEVER HAS BEEN. And then I would move forward in doing as much as I physically could do in that moment. The pain eventually started to melt away...........SO slowly. But it did melt. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't experienced it myself. So you are probably going through all of those doubts right now that everyone experiences on this journey. Use this forum to read success stories and build up your faith. If you fall momentarily, be determined to get back in the saddle. You WILL be successful.

    Here are the tools that helped me personally to heal, for whatever it is worth:

    • Healing Back Pain (Dr. Sarno) - both the physical book and the audio book (there is something soothing about hearing Dr. Sarno speak, and you can replay it over and over again as you have doubts)
    • The Great Pain Deception (Steve Ozanich). Nothing short of amazing. A must read.
    • Hope and Help For Your Nerves (Claire Weekes) - both the audio version and the book. Again, hearing Dr. Weekes voice on the audio is so helpful - it is like she is holding your hand through the journey.
    • Journaling. I created a journal on Microsoft Note, and typed my little fingers away. Face the past. Face the fears. Let the tears run. And allow yourself to heal.
    • Breathing exercises. Meditation. I didn't do this as much as I would have liked, but found it to be very soothing and helpful in calming my nerves and pain.
    • My two favorite mantras that resonated within me (and you will find your own that works for you): "There is nothing physically wrong with me, and there never has been." "Everything that you want is on the other side of fear." "I am fearless."
    The old nerve pathways of pain will always be there, programmed in our brains and waiting for an opportunity to rear their ugly heads. What we choose to allow our brains/mind to do with those signals is entirely up to us. It's empowering to learn that we can control those pathways - to make a choice to let the old ones go and to allow the new ones to become stronger.

    How do I do personally do that?

    I make a choice to let go of the fear. The bottom line is that fear = pain. If you can learn to let go of the fear, the pain will leave you. When I start to feel pain crop up, I will simply say "There is nothing physically wrong with me, and there never has been" and I will push through and ignore that pain. I must choose, at that moment, to quickly make a conscious effort to dismiss that initial fear that quivers in my gut when I feel a twinge of pain. That mind process that resonates deep in my belly and goes "oh no - what if?" I choose to ignore. To dismiss it. I push through. At the times that I do have pain, I respect it. But I won't fear it. I choose to be stronger than the fear, and I won't let it feed off of me. I won't be its victim. It is a conscious decision that I find I need to make on a daily basis. I won't over-think or analyze it anymore, however, I do feel that doing so is definitely healthy in the beginning of discovering yourself through TMS. You must become immersed in it - you need to do this in order to discover yourself and to find out what makes you tick - and to learn how to create those new positive nerve pathways within yourself.

    Wishing you the best on your journey - you can do this!!

    Jason32, Enrique, donavanf and 4 others like this.
  6. Scozza

    Scozza New Member

    Hello Tigerlilly,

    Your post is extremely helpful. Thank you. It helps reassure me that what I have is TMS. I am just two weeks into this discovery and the pain has come and left. Yesterday I had the slightest twinge of nerve pain in my left leg, but all day I told myself it was BS and that it was caused by pent up emotions. I cleaned out my garage yesterday lifting heavy items. Today, I have no pain what so ever. If my herniated disc really was the cause of pain, then after lifting boxes all day yesterday, I should be in crazy amounts of pain today. Since I have no pain today, I feel this is proof that it all starts in my brain.

    I will keep pushing on. Please know that everyone who writes post of support as you have on this forum, are really saving lives. Thank you!!!!!!!!

    Steven Cozza
    Enrique, donavanf and mike2014 like this.
  7. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well done Steven, i'm so glad you are feeling better and have discovered the true sense of the MindBody connection and that each moment matters.

    I'm very proud of you, please keep up the great work until these new thoughts are embedded into your unconscious and become second nature.

    All the best,

    Scozza likes this.
  8. tigerlilly

    tigerlilly Well known member

    So glad to hear the news, Steven! You are proving TMS to yourself.

    Suggestion? Start an "Evidence List." Put it in a safe place (I created a TMS folder in Microsoft Note that includes all of my journaling, my evidence sheet, Trigger/Core Issues to journal about, TMS threads that were helpful for me, etc).
    List on here everything "odd" that you experience that proves to you that this is TMS, and not something physical. Such as what you describe in your post above. It sounds silly - like, oh, I'll remember this. No you won't. Trust me. In the depths of pain, you forget this evidence of proof because your mind is searching for justification to make you believe that you have something structurally wrong with you. I just revisited my personal evidence sheet and I forgot half of these things - I'm so glad that I have the reference. When I started to latch onto TMS, the following strange things started happening over a period of time - some of them being things I've never experienced before - proving that my brain was trying desperately to keep me distracted from knowing TMS!

    • I was MUCH better and able to sit for short time periods and could walk much more freely before 1/31.
    • Have felt let up in pain level after meditating and/or journaling
    • Pain increases when I allow fear to take over
    • Pain changes day to day - searing or burning or tight or stabbing or tingling/numbing or pins/needles, spasms, restless leg
    • Rainbow jagged headache
    • Sharp bladder pain
    • Headaches
    • Mini "allergy" attacks
    • Lump on R. thumb
    • Anxiety
    • Mini panic attacks
    • Mind chatter
    • Facial eczema mystery spots that come and go
    • Changing eyesight (blurry, watery)
    Keep giving your pain the finger!! You got this!! - There is nothing physically wrong with you, and there never has been!! ;)
    donavanf, Ellen, Scozza and 1 other person like this.
  9. Scozza

    Scozza New Member

    Thanks Mike for your comments of support! Tiger lilly, Great idea about an evidence list. I will add one to my journal today.

  10. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    Tigerlilly, such awesome replies. And I LOVE those affirmations! ESPECIALLY, "There is nothing physically wrong with me, and there never has been.", that one really is POWERFUL medicine against TMS and hits home!

    I also love "Everything that you want is on the other side of fear." and "I am fearless." Brilliant keys to undoing the shackles of fear, which are such terrible shackles indeed.

    This is a great thread.

    Steven, I too left my dreams (I gave up a career in the arts to study the healing arts and alternative medicine, ironically, because alternative medicine helped me with what I know know was TMS, diagnosed as "Irritable Bowel Syndrome").

    "Giving up your dreams" is not merely a suppression of feelings, it is the ULTIMATE suppression. Of your destiny! Look no further than that and you will no doubt find a lifetime of deeply repressed rage and resentment, not to mention sadness and nostalgia for a life that could have been. I wish you much luck in re-defining and re-finding your dreams. It is in going back to mine (the arts) that I am finding the secrets to undoing my nearly lifelong battle TMS and regaining my LIFE!

    PS- Just my two cents, but I know a bit of Yoga and technically, cobra pose should make a herniated disc feel worse, IF and I say IF the "herniated disc" was the cause of the pain. Nerves being compressed (if they are being compressed at all) become irritated when the spine is arched. So if the cobra pose makes your back feel better, perhaps the pain isn't coming from your back at all, but from your brain.

    Just something to think about?! Or not think about. Trying to believe is a great first step, but when you KNOW it is TMS, your back will go from bad to healed. I'm right there with you, the minute I doubt it's TMS and get on my foam roller, start stretching, doing yoga, or doing ANY kind of remedial exercise for my neck/back/shoulders/etc..and/or start obsessing about my posture (a big one for me) my TMS goes into high alert. The moment I can relax, breathe, let go, trust my body and say, "There is nothing physically wrong with me, and there never has been." and KNOW those words are true, I'm halfway home. And halfway home is practically sitting in the living room. In any posture I want.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
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