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New to TMS, question about shoulder pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by rmorrisette, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. rmorrisette

    rmorrisette New Member

    I have recently discovered Dr. Sarno, and TMS. My awareness came about because I developed low back pain about 5 months ago that didn't resolve. I have really gotten into fitness again, (I'm 37), and began running and lifting weights regularly about a year ago. I've lost 100 pounds over the past year! But I really love running, and was being told by my father and others to be really careful about running with back pain. I finally asked my doctor about it a couple months ago, and long story short, I went to physical therapy for a month, after 2 weeks, the pain resolved. But during this time, a few weeks ago, I developed pain in my left shoulder again like I had received a steroid shot for a few years ago, then some in my right as well. The PT told me I had 20% weakness in my left shoulder, and to do cuff exercises and lay off the pressing exercises for 4 to 6 weeks. Then I tried to start running again, and the low back pain reappeared. My doc ordered an MRI, and before I had it I read Healing Back Pain, and my back pain started feeling better almost immediately. Then my doc messaged me that the MRI showed I had 2 herniated discs, pain in lower back reappears, surprise, surprise. She said I could see a neurologist and we could look at doing a cortisone injection back there. But I told her about what I had read, and about Dr. Sarno and TMS, and she agreed that "mind over matter" as she put it was very effective, and to continue running, and if I needed her help later to contact her. So even my doc, a non-TMS physician, seems to agree with Dr. Sarno about my back. So I'm running. I still have pain in my low back, but it's not down my leg anymore, and sometimes goes away completely. My question is, should I take the same approach with my shoulder pain? Should I just keep lifting weights, including chest pressing exercises? The ortho doc I saw a few years ago said to never do bench press again, which seems silly and unreasonable. I am becoming a serious believer in TMS and what Dr. Sarno taught, especially what he said about the symptom imperative. But I guess I'm still timid about completely tearing my rotator cuff, or if I'll lose function of my arm if lifting weights did that. I welcome any guidance.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @rmorrisette and welcome! We're glad you found Dr. Sarno and our forum, and we certainly like hearing all stories of successes - big and small.

    Here's the thing about your question. Unless someone sees this and answers it who has the same symptoms and diagnosis and doctor-prescribed prohibition against doing bench presses - and who ignored that advice and went on to recover (and you're quite unlikely to find all of those things in any one person who actually responds) we can't really advise you to ignore an MD's advice. That's because we are not qualified health professionals.

    I realize this is frustrating. But an important aspect of this self-healing journey is learning to listen to your brain, understanding and really paying attention to your body in spite of what your brain is saying, and eventually learning to trust your own instincts.

    One question you could ask yourself, based on what you were told, is whether you are in danger of seriously injuring yourself by ignoring that advice? What's the worst that can happen? Is it worthwhile getting an updated opinion from a more enlightened orthopedist?

    Of course, having read Healing Back Pain, you could also ask yourself "What Would Dr. Sarno say?" He'd probably agree that the original prohibition against chest presses was silly and unreasonable. But Dr. Sarno was a qualified medical professional :D

    Anyways... even though you may not get an answer to this question, you can certainly read posts on our Success Stories subforum where you will find many examples of people with similar symptoms, doubts, and diagnoses, and get a sense of how their successes relate to your own situation. Success stories really help fill in around the basic knowledge with real-life experiences, and are particularly valuable since everyone's individual experience is unique to this process.

    Consumer Reports, the magazine for the middle American consumer, has been saying essentially the same thing for a couple of years, culminating in a recent article which includes at least two quotes from Dr. David Hanscom MD, former back surgeon-turned mindbody advocate (he recovered thanks to Dr. Sarno after his own failed back surgery). This understanding is thankfully becoming much more mainstream, and good for your MD for being on top of it!
  3. rmorrisette

    rmorrisette New Member

    Thanks for your response @JanAtheCPA ! I completely understand what you're saying about no one here being able to advise against something an ortho doc told me a few years ago, that makes sense. And I also see the sense now in what you're saying about the unlikelihood that someone here has had the exact same experience as me and would be able to speak to it. And I absolutely think I know what Dr. Sarno would say, that the idea that I should never do chest pressing exercises again is completely silly and unreasonable, haha. And the truth is, the physical therapist that doc sent me to said it was silly for that doctor to tell me that I shouldn't ever do chest pressing exercises again. It's amazing what the "fear of something serious" happening can do to your mind, like Dr. Sarno described. I started developing shoulder pain a few ago from other upper body exercises, not even chest or shoulder exercises. And concerned about injuring myself, I asked the opinion of a Sports Medicine doctor I know, and he said absolutely not. There's no way you could damage your shoulders lifting weights for your biceps or triceps or back for example. And wouldn't you know it, those things didn't bother my shoulders any more, it actually seemed they made them feel better. I'm reading the Divided Mind right now, and chapter 4 describes exactly the education program that he had patients follow for a few weeks, and he said it was perfectly okay to follow it for a few weeks, then begin the activity that you were programmed to associate with pain again. I think that is a reasonable approach for me to take with chest pressing exercises.

    I appreciate your response so much, and I'm so thankful to have discovered Dr. Sarno and TMS and this forum. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety previously, and basically cured those things with acknowledgement and fitness, and now the symptom imperative is causing these pains to show up around my body, I believe I have a "textbook" case of TMS. I am still trying to workout the most practical way to acknowledge any repressed rage or sad feelings, so as to speed my recovery. I think the treatment description I just learned about in The Divided Mind will be a good framework. Thank you again!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. keenie82

    keenie82 Peer Supporter

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  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Those admonitions are a crock of shit. I have been told never to run, never to lift , throw....and I went ahead and did and continue to do all of them ....pain free.

    I was told I risked paralysis, worse problems, more problems and different problems. I am 17 years older than you and do whatever I want whenever I want...and I work in construction.

    Sarno was reeeeally clear that ALL of those warnings were BS and just made life hell. He said so in context of the medical world being culpable in the explosion of pain issues in our culture.

    Read the literature, do the daily reminders and try to unlearn all of the crap the 'system' taught you. WE aren't at the top of the evolutionary chain because we're delicate little blossoms.... Do any exercises you feel like doing and focus on the real causes...repressed rage, fear (partially brought on by them) shame, and all of the other feelings that our conscious minds won't allow us to feel.. If you catch yourself paying attention to any distracting pain symptoms, simply redirect your thoughts to something unsavory (financial or personal problems)...that tells the unconscious that we know what it's doing and that we won't listen to it....

    Keep it simple and do the work and 3 weeks from now your symptoms will be gone... maybe sooner

    plum, JanAtheCPA and keenie82 like this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    plum likes this.
  7. rmorrisette

    rmorrisette New Member

    Man, this is so incredibly encouraging to hear. I completely understand the truth of all this. Just working on truly accepting it. Thanks man!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. rmorrisette

    rmorrisette New Member

    I've only really just started recovery from TMS, I just started the self-reflection exercises a few days ago, and the pain I have had has gone haywire, at times disappearing completely, then wandering to different parts of my body that did not hurt all all before. And it is seriously convincing me about the symptom imperative thing that Dr. Sarno wrote about, and that I'm really onto curing this, especially when pain will completely disappear from my back, then it's in my shoulders, then neither of those hurt, and my left knee which has never bothered me hurts. It feels like the desperate attempt of my mind to hang on to this nonsense and continue to distract me, but the jig is up, I can feel it coming. I listened to Healing Back Pain last week in a day. I'm finishing up The Divided Mind right now, and have started doing the self-reflection exercises the past couple days. Honestly when the pain travels around now, it kind of makes me laugh to myself a little bit, because it's so obvious what's going on now. I'm not sure if the fact that I find that funny helps or hinders healing, but I'm extremely hopeful that I'll be cured of this pain in a few weeks or less. Thanks y'all.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, you definitely gotta laugh at it :hilarious:
  10. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    That is actually a GREAT attitude to take towards the pain... Sarno said to assume an attitude of disdain and Laughing at it would definitely fall in line with that. That haywire moving around thing is all part of it. I try too look at it like an annoying younger sibling trying to get my attention... Ignore them and laugh at it and it will eventually give up and go away...

    it's also usually a sign that it's on the way out...soon...days , hours...

    it's the "nah nah nah nah---ay ay ay ...good bye" of TMS
    MWsunin12 likes this.

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