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Newcomer. IBS issues.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Mazzone10, Mar 10, 2023.

  1. Mazzone10

    Mazzone10 New Member

    Hi all,

    I am a newbie to TMS and I'm looking for advice for a stomach issue. I have put IBS in the title as it's a little vague, which sums up where I am at the moment.

    To give a brief background, I have had a longstanding issue with anxiety and IBS going back around 22 years. I get periods of a few months of intense anxiety, usually at times of stress or change. It's usually pretty predictable. I hate it but it usually dies down and I'm fine.

    With IBS this has been less predictable. The issue was off and on for a few years. At points I stopped gluten and dairy and had a limited life. A couple of years ago I got totally fed up with all the labels I gave myself and decided to just wean back onto foods I classed as troublesome. Apart from the odd week or so a few times a year my stomach was completely fine.

    Fast forward to now and I'm having a lot of issues. They vary each day and sometimes are completely absent. The issues are a burning, twisting pain in the gut, irregular toilet visits, full stomach, gas (both ends ). This has carried on for a few months, which is puzzling to be honest. I am awaiting a few tests from the doctor to rule out anything physical.

    I understand that what I've described above sounds like typical IBS, and I expect the doctors results not to pick anything up. That said I have gotten over this issue myself before so I am completely open to this being pyschosomatic.

    Most advice online is really negative. Mostly people wanting to complain how bad it is and eat a rabbit diet. I understand that but I want something different. I've lived without this for years but it's crept back in and something is trying to get my attention or I've been snagged on old habits.

    My diet is decent and I am taking Omeprozole issued by the doctor.

    If anyone could point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful. I've listened to a few videos but I know very little and TMS.

    Sorry for the long introduction!


    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there @Mazzone10 (Mark) and welcome. Pending your lab results, it sure sounds like you are in the right place!

    Calling your symptoms IBS is perfectly reasonable, because those of us doing mindbody work on ourselves KNOW with a doubt that IBS is the same as what Dr John Sarno called TMS, an acronym we still use in his honor - even though amongst professional mindbody practitioners it's been replaced by "PPD" or "MBS" which stand, respectively, for Psycho-Physiological Disorders and Mind Body Syndrome. There's a still-growing association of mindbody professionals who have banded together in the PPD Assocation (www.ppdassocation.org), and they don't use "TMS" anymore - but we do.

    The other way to think of IBS is that it is one of many acronyms which are applied to mindbody conditions - and which tell you NOTHING. Look at the actual words of IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is not a real diagnosis. Hell, assuming you really don't have anything else that's actually diagnosable and treatable, I could diagnose you with IBS right now - because obviously you have an irritated gut, am I wrong? And I'm a retired tax accountant! :hilarious: Other examples are fibromyalgia (pain in muscle tissue), CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome) and on and on. It's kind of a joke in our community.

    Also, gut symptoms that vary wildly are super-common symptoms in the mindbody world. I have them myself, a lot, and they serve to remind me when I'm not being mindful of my emotions. I imagine the reason they are so common is because there are so many different gut sensations to be experienced, even normal ones, instigated simply by the fact that we're constantly putting stuff in and passing stuff out of our guts, with an incredible array of physiological processes as a result. This provides LOTS of ways in which our brains can create alarming symptoms just to distract us from our emotional issues.

    I sense that you already know all of this - you just need to experience other people who are actually saying it out loud, and to learn that it's possible to use this awareness in our personal recovery journeys. And everyone needs some kind of structure in which to create and consolidate a whole new belief system. This is just a peer-supported forum, but this exactly what we do, and the group effort here has created a pretty amazing and powerful community.

    I highly recommend that you first read one of Dr. John Sarno's books - the one I started with was his last one, The Divided Mind (with chapters by six other mindbody health professionals). It's already over 15 years old, so there are a few things (like his oxygen deprivation theory) which need to be taken with a grain of salt. Neuroscience has made incredible strides since Dr. Sarno's retirement and death a decade ago. Nonetheless, his basic theory about emotional repression and the TMS brain mechanism are still essential to doing this work.

    You can immediately start learning more and access exercises to address your emotional state by doing one of our free programs - either the Structured Educational Program on the main tmswiki.org site, or Alan Gordon's Recovery Program here on the forum. For a total beginner, probably the SEP is the place to start. Neither requires any kind of registration, you just do them on your own (and report on your progress only if you so desire!).

    There are many different paths to recovery, each as unique as the people doing this work. The path is not linear, and there are no established timelines because everyone is too different. The most important thing is to not rush it, to be aware that your brain will try to skim through the exercises, that it will try to get you to be less than honest when doing the exercises, and, if you overcome those two initial obstacles, that your brain will start to fight back by making your symptoms worse or bringing up old or even brand-new ones. This is when people tend to give up out of fear and frustration, which is exactly what our fearful brains want! So you really have to be strong. It can be done!

    Good luck, and let us know if you have more questions - that's what we're here for!


    PS - we've seen much longer (sometimes, ahem, very tedious) introductory stories! Yours had just the right balance of symptom info (not too much), along with why you think that TMS might be a factor, and, importantly, where you're at in your TMS knowledge - which is very helpful!
  3. Mazzone10

    Mazzone10 New Member

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks so much for replying, in such detail too! This has given me some direction now. I didn't know where to start really.

    I think I will start off on the SEP programme.

    Ps I'm an accountant too!


    LoveAfterAll and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Aah, busy season (mostly done for in-house accountants, getting there for auditors, just entering peak stress for tax preparers). For decades I suffered from horrible dry mouth and intense nasal allergy symptoms from February through mid-April. Which disappeared almost instantly after the last extension was filed and the champagne was uncorked on April 15th. Long "before Sarno" I knew these had to be 100% due to current stressors. I was 60 and starting to wind down my practice when I first did this work back in 2011. Better late than never! (and in fact I was in MUCH worse by then - busy season was actually a welcome distraction from how bad my TMS repression had become).

    Here's a link to a post I wrote about doing the SEP. I'm trying to save these so I don't have to write the same things so often - that's how many new folks we've been seeing lately!
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/day-1-am-i-doing-this-right.26418/#post-136853 (Day 1 - Day 1 - am I doing this right?)
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023

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