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Newbie - Day 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by kdog, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. kdog

    kdog New Member

    Well, not only am I new to TMS, but being on any sort of chat site is also new for me. I don't do any sort of social media or talking online so I have to say this is a bit strange and stressful in and of itself.

    I am not yet in full acceptance of a TMS diagnosis. On paper I think I absolutely fit the bill. I have already read Sarno's Healing Back Pain and am on my second read through. I think if I were to see someone who could diagnose me they would say I have it. I have the symptoms and I have the personality traits. I think what's holding me back is my timeline. I have some personal events coming up that I need to be able to participate in and I'm afraid to let go of my other therapy (rolfing/cranial therapy) because it may actually be helping. I already gave up my PT exercises, but I still do a few simple stretches because I think they are good for overall halth and for physical activity. I guess one question I have is how important is it to completely give up all other forms of therapy? Can someone put in the work and time necessary for TMS treatment and still explore other therapies? Does one have to exclude the other?

    I had already started journaling after reading Healing Back Pain and I have to say that journaling is not really enjoyable for me. But I think that having a structured program will help me to keep up with it. It also helps to see so many people who have improved through Sarno's treatment. It's getting harder for me to accept that I'm somehow different from everyone else out there with pain who has recieved help through this process. I guess I'm still just skeptical because I have a diagnosis and my father is disabled from back pain. I assumed it was genetic and then there are the diagnoses from doctors that stick in my head as well. So, I guess I'm not quite there yet in terms of acceptance.

    One of the hardest things for me to implement is the self talk. I do try to do it, but it never feels quite right. It seems distracted and like it's not getting through. I've tried certain phrases or even visualization. Any suggestions for how to tell my brain to stop sending the pain signals would also be appreciated. (PS I clicked on Create Thread about 5 times and kept getting a server error message. I had to close out and then open a new thread window in order for this to post. Is that normal?)
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiya kdog and Welcome to the wiki,

    Doing the TMS approach can always seem a bit odd in the beginning. We are so programmed to think of our symptoms in a structural mindset that all of this think psychological talk is difficult to absorb. That's where the forums come in. This wiki is a great place to ask any questions you have and learn more about how other people recovered. We are a no judge zone. There is no wrong answer or comment. At the same time we want you to do whatever is comfortable and feels right to you.

    The best parts about the TMS approach is that there really isn't one big technique that people have to do to recover. Yeah journaling and self talk have worked for a lot of people, but for other simply educating themselves on TMS and the true cause of their symptoms is enough. Personally, I didn't really love journaling either, so I read a whole bunch of success stories. This really helped me gain confidence in the approach. We have a whole bunch of them at Success Stories by Symptoms & Diagnoses. You may also want to check out all of the wonderful reviews of Healing Back Pain at http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-...iewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending .

    One other thing I would recommend doing is to simply ask yourself why you have doubts about TMS and why online sites like this are stressful for you. There is nothing wrong with either of these things, and I think most people feel this way at some point. But part of recovering from TMS is identifying our emotions and then asking WHY. What are our doubts about TMS and why do we have them. The key to recovering from TMS is making the connections between our symptoms and our emotions. This involves asking how we feel and why we feel that way.


  3. kdog

    kdog New Member

    I took your advice and have been thinking all day about why I'm not fully accepting TMS. Ultimately I think it comes down to a fear of failure. If this treatment works and TMS is real, and I follow the treatment and don't get positive results, then I failed. With other treatment methods there is another person involved and you can blame them. They misdiagnosed you, or they didn't give you the right exercises. But if it's all about my emotions, my thoughts, and my ability to uncover what's causing my pain, then it's all up to me. Does anyone have advice for working past this?
  4. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi kdog:

    Welcome to the forum! One thing that struck me about your first post was that you've read Healing Back Pain and are on your second read. Something in there caught your attention, so there must be a part of you that accepts this diagnosis. But there is so much more information available! Doing the SEP on the wiki will hopefully interest you more and more and you'll find out for yourself this is something you can do.

    I think what I love about this forum is there are no "wrong" questions or answers. If it takes time? There is no "fault" - it simply means you haven't hit the core of where your pain is originating from. The more you learn, the more you'll know about TMS/PPD and the more comfortable you'll be.

    There is no time line either. There is another member who started about the same time I did on the SEP. She is now pain free - whereas my pain has moved from my lower back into my shoulder. This is because we're different people with different life experiences and situations. I know I'll join her in the Pain Free Zone eventually. But I'm not any kind of clock. I just know the more I put the things I've learned into "auto practice", the sooner my pain will go away.

    I tried every kind of therapy (I think twice) for my back. I had really bad lower back pain when I first read "Healing Back Pain". But I've had different TMS symptoms (mentioned in "Mind Body Prescription") all my life. But I've learned so much I'm extremely happy my pain has moved to my shoulder area - although it's very annoying, it's a really good sign.

    And wouldn't it be cool if you find this resonates with you so much that YOU get yourself out of pain? No one to "blame" - but something to be extremely proud of. Another way of looking at the same thing.

    Good luck, post as often or as little as you like, and you'll find that posting on this forum is a positive experience.

  5. Clio O'Toole

    Clio O'Toole New Member

    Day 8.
    i am a little confused about how to post. pain still the same. i am journaling every day and doing the educational exercises and alot of stuff is coming up for me emotionally. i have felt for a long time my back pain was not structural. i just know in my heart that i am a little stuck emotionally and that the work needs to be done there. trudging the road to happy destiny.....
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    kdog, you are describing me, exactly. The first time I posted while I was doing the Structured Ed Program it was pretty scary, because I didn't know what I was opening myself up for, it was not something I'd ever done, either. But I was amazed at the community of caring people that I found here, Forest being the first one to reach out, as he often is :), but soon followed by others who were on the same path as myself. The main thing I love about this group is the positive attitude, the belief that everyone can benefit from this knowledge, and the understanding that we're talking about a universal human experience.

    The other thing is discovering that there are SO many different ways to achieve the goal of relief and healing! There is no one way, no one author, no one practitioner, and, amazingly enough, not everyone who provides help in this area is a devotee of Dr. Sarno (hard to believe, but it's true) because there are many practitioners and authors who have been doing excellent mind-body work on their own for a long time, and their methods are valid and valuable and they resonate with TMS sufferers in different ways. You'll find some of those authors and practitioners in the Structured Ed Program, and you'll also find them by keeping up with the conversations we have on the forum here.

    I'm also not a fan of self-talk, although Forest had good advice about affirmations recently - Forest, do you remember what it was you said? I copied it from the chat last Saturday, but it's on my home computer (ugh, yes, 8pm, I'm still at the office). Let's see: something about how if an affirmation doesn't ring true, change it into something that does.

    And I also didn't want to journal, but it was in fact very helpful, because if you're honest with yourself and write down even the littlest things that you "think" are unimportant, you might be surprised. It's actually your brain trying to convince you they aren't important. You have to try not to be judgmental about it, and just let it flow. I do it on the computer, which makes it too easy to edit - I try to not do that...

    Hm, if I didn't know better, I'd say that sounds like our old wetpaint server site, not our wonderful new forum site here. I don't think I've ever started a thread - I'm always responding to threads! Anyone else experienced this? It could have been a temporary glitch - those things do happen (as a webmaster for another group I field these questions all the time, and I've decided that sometimes, it's just gremlins).

    Well, in the meantime, kdog, Welcome! Stick with it, stick with us, explore and see what's available, and above all, have faith in the process. And like Forest says, read success stories. My favorites are at the Thank You Dr. Sarno project

  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Clio, and welcome! I have to admit, we're still figuring out the best way for people working on the Ed Program to post their progress. The old site was laid out really differently, where the forum was integrated into the wiki, so people just wrote their daily updates on the wiki page for each Day's activities. That's where I wrote my first post ever, in fact, which was responded to by Forest and Sienna - I still remember.:)

    One thing you can do is from the All Forums page (which lists just the five main forums), choose "Structured Ed Program & Blogs" and then in the list, look for other people who've already posted using the particular day you're on. For example, I see a couple of Day 8s on just the first (most recent) page of postings, and one of them is very recent. That way you can find people who are working on the same things. Unfortunately, the "search" function is not useful (I put in "Day 8" and to search titles only, but it said the search term was too short or too common. Huh.)

    Or look for threads which seem to be about a topic that is of interest to you in the moment. The search function should work well for that if you have a particular topic in mind.

    If you respond to an existing thread, original posters to that thread will be alerted and may come back to respond or add comments.

    Or, start your own thread!

    :cool: You can make that your tagline in your Profile - I'd love to see it every time you post, it's a really good one!

  8. Clio O'Toole

    Clio O'Toole New Member

    thank guys!!!!

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