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Newbie question

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Loui, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Loui

    Loui New Member


    I'm very new to TMS, trying to heal neck and back pain. In the meantime it seems to help very much.

    My question is: I have been to physiotherapists, chiropractors, feldenkrais and more, and they emphasize how important it is to have right posture, to have a good core, to have the spine stabilized, to do stretches, spine decompressions etc.

    What am I supposed to think and do now - throw all of that knowledge and exercises I'm performing out the window and forget about everything?

  2. teachthis1

    teachthis1 New Member

    Welcome to the club! I'm pretty new here too, and I am dealing with neck and back pain as well. I have done physical therapists, chiropractors, feldenkrais and more, just like yourself. It has only been about three weeks for me, but I do feel better. I still do some stretches but with the mindset that I'm doing these to stretch, not to take away pain. I told my physical therapist that I was done just the other day when he called to see how I was doing.

    As far as posture and what not, I try not to worry about it as much. Your body will tell you when to switch positions or when to move.
    HattieNC and BloodMoon like this.
  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've done all that kind of stuff too - I now just choose to do the movements/exercises that I've learned that actually feel good to me. I find it's quite liberating not to feel the pressure of having a regimen to follow. And I agree with teachthis1, I too find that my body tells me when to switch positions or when to move.
    HattieNC likes this.
  4. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    I've been using a computer for 8 plus hours a day for the past 30 years. I find, the more I try to perfect my posture- the more my back hurts since I'm making my muscles rigid instead of soft. For most of my work life, I had the worst posture you can imagine. I had a rock hard chair with no back support, sat on my knees most of the day, and had awkward keyboard arrangements.... yet I had zero pain! It wasn't until I experienced back to back traumas (with suppressed emotions) that I began to have pain while working. During my lunch break, I practice a guided body scan meditation that helps to relax my muscles (especially useful on stressful workdays!) I downloaded a free app, Insight Timer.
    MindBodyPT and BloodMoon like this.
  5. GetBusyLiving

    GetBusyLiving New Member

    I know what you mean and have only recently begun to adopt that attitude of discarding that old way of thinking and accommodating my pain. Now, when I catch myself about to bend over in a cautious way, switch the way I'm sitting because of what I'm feeling at that moment, etc. - I don't. I deliberately maintain the position I originally wanted to be in, I bend over in a natural fashion...and you know what happened? Nothing. I bend over and is there still discomfort? Sometimes. But I'm fine. If I'm sitting and make that deliberate decision not to accommodate the pain and continue sitting the way I was, after a few minutes I realize I've been sufficiently distracted by whatever else I was doing (working, reading, eating, etc.) that I forgot about the pain and notice it's not there anymore (or very minimal and not a big deal).
  6. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Having been pain free as long as I have I can confidently tell you that all of that posture stuff is bullshit to the eenth degree.... totally fabricated crap. Some doctor in the 1960's needed something to do his grad thesis about.

    I am 52. I roofed today. I carried the rolls upstairs, crawled around on my hands and knees ..... I played catch this weekend ....hard...didn't warm up....lifted weights before work this morning....didn't stretch. It is all a crock of shit. Every admonition is something you have to work hard to delete from the hard drive of your brain

    If you find yourself focusing on that crap you are either A. Conditioned like Pavlov's dog or B. Have a very painful emotional situation you aren't,t aware of yet or do not want to deal with. It is much easier to get rid of A than B
  7. Loui

    Loui New Member


    Thanks a lot for your insightful replies!

    I still don't understand - From what I collected, Dr. Sarno says that pain is not caused by the xyz 'finding' rather it's from an emotional problem. By being aware of that etc. - the pain stops.
    OK, I can get that.

    What I don't understand is - technically every person wants a healthy body. Even if the disc problem is not causing pain - I still want to have healthy discs - to be taller, to have better range of motion, to have better 'cushioning' for the vertebrae, not to hear bones grinding etc.
    I think that statement is a fact (everyone wants a healthy as possible body, regardless if a problem causes pain or not).

    So how does that fit into the TMS philosophy? What about correct posture, looking after the back etc. - not just for the purpose of avoiding pain, but for having a healthy as possible body?
  8. GetBusyLiving

    GetBusyLiving New Member

    The point is that those things don't make your discs or body 'healthier'. These concepts about proper posture, lifting, etc. are all, essentially, 'old wives tales'...myths we have all collectively agreed to believe and thus have been sewn into the very fabric of our culture such that we all collectively nod our heads to say 'yes, we believe that'.

    Going out in the cold or rain doesn't make you catch a cold... and how you sit, sleep, walk, or lift doesn't have any positive or negative impact on the health of a normal back - and herniated discs, bulging discs, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, etc. are all normal.

    Stop worrying or thinking about the health of your back - that's part of the problem. It's fine. Just go live life and do what you love the way you want to do it without thought or concern for the health of your back. It's fine.
    MindBodyPT, kindle123 and BloodMoon like this.
  9. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'd also add that a large part of TMS (at least for me, and probably some others) is the realization that we can't be perfectly healthy...it's normal and HEALTHY to have "abnormalities" of our bodies. We aren't robots with perfect posture. Everyone's discs will shrink and dry up over time, this is normal. Arthritis is normal. We will all get sick and die one day, after all. If we spend our days in pursuit of perfection, we will miss the point. A major part of health is our mental health, and TMS teaches that well. If good posture makes you feel good, do it. If it stresses you out, forget it!
    BloodMoon likes this.
  10. MJA

    MJA New Member

    Hi Loui,

    Here are a couple excerpts from Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno that address this topic:

    "...a common complaint of people with low back pain is that it is invariably brought on by sitting. This is such a benign activity one is mystified by the fact that it initiates pain. But conditioning occurs when two things go on simultaneously, so it is easy to imagine that at some point early in the course of the TMS experience, the person happens to be having pain while sitting. The brain makes the association between sitting and the presence of pain, and that person is now programmed to expect pain with sitting. In other words, the pain occurs because of its subconscious association with sitting, not because sitting is bad for the back." (pgs. 25-26)

    "Perhaps the most important (but most difficult) thing that patients must do is to resume all physical activity, including the most vigorous. It means overcoming the fear of bending, lifting, jogging, playing tennis or any other sport, and a hundred other common physical things. It means unlearning all the nonsense about the correct way you are supposed to bend, lift, sit, stand, lie in bed, which swimming strokes are good and bad, what kind of chair or mattress you must use, shoes or corset or brace you must wear, and many other bits of medical mythology." (pg. 93)

    "Patients are usually shocked when it is suggested that they stop the exercises and stretching they have been taught to do for their backs. But it is essential in order to establish firmly in the mind what is important. Exercise for the sake of good health is of course something else, and it is strongly encouraged." (pg. 97)

    Pages 116-117 address this topic as well. Healing Back Pain has a lot of wonderful information, it's great to read the entire book if you can. Hope that helps and hope you continue to improve!
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  11. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    At @ Loui....
    We are healthy... becoming free of pain and FEAR through integrating this into our lives. I have zero restrictions which means I can participate in any and every activity that I want to.... before reading sarno I believed all sorts of mythology (and lived with a corset/brace on all of the time) I am far healthier at 52 than I was at 32 when I first read hbp.
    I still get a lot of satisfaction (ego) from keeping up with the twentysomethings at work.... being a manual laborer this work essentially gave me a new life... actually better than new because I don't have to remember a litany of do's and don'ts. Those are huge time wasters. Now I can focus on the workout,the game, the job without that albatross.
    You will be able to workout harder and longer and better.... for the sake of being a badass...not being careful!
    readytoheal and MindBodyPT like this.
  12. NicoleB34

    NicoleB34 Well known member

    you can look at it this way, if it makes you feel good and relaxed (and releases endorphins) then consider it having the same health benefits as light exercise and stress relief. i have heard of chiro has being about as helpful as an aggressive massage. There's no science behind it, but it might make you feel good. Yoga is probably better because there are some real benefits to reducing stress, similar to meditation. you want to bring down the fight/flight response. Then there's the good old fashioned placebo. Placebo is the healthiest painkiller you can "take" and the only thing it hurts is your wallet.
    Free of Fear likes this.

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