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No general consensus?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Day-Cee, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Day-Cee

    Day-Cee Peer Supporter

    Hi all, it's me again,

    I'm currently progressing in the Structured educational program and I start to realize that there seem to be no general consensus between practionners about TMS. What I mean by that is that sometime the information provided is not the same from a practitioner to another.

    For example, Dr. Sarno is claiming that there is a purpose to TMS, this purpose is to distract us from our unconscious anger or emotions. Dr. Schubiner on the other side seems to say that TMS is more a reaction of the body caused by these emotions. I know the difference is not obvious but I find it is there... On one side the body is creating symptoms for a purpose, on the other side the body is REACTING (not purposely), just like we would react if we would stumble in front of a raging bear.

    Even in the Divided mind, although all of the writers agree on the fact that unconscious emotions can cause pain, the details on how the process is happening and who get this syndrome is slightly different from a MD to another.

    Anybody had that same interrogation? Is it important?

    I agree however that the treatment for most of them (except for some rare exception) is the same... Knowledge, Awareness and journalism...


  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, there is quite a bit of internal debate within the TMS community about the exact way the mind and the body interact to produce TMS symptoms. But they all agree with you that the treatment "for most of them (except for the rare exception) is the same . . . Knowledge, Awareness" and journaling. There are also a whole host of so-called Power Therapies that different practitioners use to treat TMS patients, including ISTDP, EFT, EMDR, the Presence Process, and, of course "plain old" psychotherapy. Name your poison! Whatever works for you!
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dom, you're over-analyzing this TMS thing, it's not rocket science, you don't have to do a whole lot of cart-wheels before being "cured" of TMS--There is no cure-- it's the HUMAN CONDITION. Life will present you from time to time with events (see the Rahe-Holmes list for the events) you don't have to do psycho-archeology to find them, they are listed right there. TMS symptoms are defense mechanisms, distractors from being overwhelmed by the events. One of Dr. Sarno's contributions is terming these symptoms PROTECTORS and not punishers from a psychological perspective. The symptoms protect from being emotionally overwhelmed by the events.

    You just need to understand that the symptoms come from the mind--the sub-c mind, they are painful but harmless, they are psychosomatic. Dr. Sarno presents clinical evidence for some of the physical changes that can cause TMS symptoms, such as minute oxygen deprivation in muscles. But he says it's irrelevant to healing as to the exact cause for the symptoms, that the workings of the mind are so complex, the "scientific" origins of the symptoms may never be found.

    What's important is not to be fooled by the symptoms from moving forward with your life. What is it you want to do? Life is fight or flight--TMS is being stuck. What is TMS preventing you from pursuing? What would you like to be doing if your life wasn't on the sidelines due to TMS?
    BruceMC likes this.
  4. Day-Cee

    Day-Cee Peer Supporter

    Thanks Tom,

    You are right, I might be over analyzing this thing. Actually, I over analyze everything in life...

    I just want to be sure to make things perfectly, but I guess this is actually counterproductive in TMS... I just need to believe in the general concept I guess...

    Thanks again, I think you're advice will help me a lot going forward.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  5. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Frankly, Day-Cee, I agree with you. I find the TMS literature to be generally confusing and not very helpful. We do need to believe in the general concept of TMS, that it is ultimately our minds causing most of our discomfort. However, I have never believed that you can separate mind and body, so therefore the problem can never be all mind. But the devil is in the details, which I believe is mostly conjecture or just not there in most of TMS materials available today. Personally, I would not visit a TMS therapist and I don't take the literature too seriously. I have have had a lot of therapy and have always accepted, on some level, that my pain was mind-driven, but therapy never helped. It all boils down to: Ok the mind is the ultimate cause, most of us get that. But then that just says we all need some sort of psychological re-working, which is where the quagmire resides. It seems to me that most people are not cured by the "knowledge" therapy. Most of us cannot get rid of doubts that our pain is harmless. And the TMS personality seems to be hard-wired in a lot of us. I have read over and over again that hypochondria, which is what TMS really is, is probably the area in which most forms of Psychology have been completely unsuccessful. It is the most ancient of mental problems.

    The biggest thing that helped me was to STOP trying to get rid of the pain. I don't let the pain run my life, I never stay in bed or cancel activities because of it. I know it will come and go, but I accept that. I also try, often unsuccessfully, to mitigate my personality quirks that cause me mental anguish. At times, I think that always trying to change my personality away from the "TMS type" is what makes my pain worse and that I would do better to just accept the way I am. That is why I like spiritualism better because it teaches us that we are really NOT broken, that nothing can break us. On the other hand, Psychology starts from the assumption that we are broken and that the therapists are going to fix us.
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    The Indians used to deliberately put mistakes into their works for the evil spirits to escape from. Wanting to be 100% fits the TMS PERFECTIONIST PERSONALITY. It's that last 2% that will make you TMS crazy--98% is good enough. Save the perfectionism for the things you love to do like artistic endeavors. You don't want them writing on your tombstone, "He Died Perfectly". Practice screwing up--praktice maks purfect--led goe ov id.

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    My book publisher boss thinks he's perfect, but he is a very lazy perfectionist.
    I save his bacon every day by being a more careful writer and proofreader.

    I have had to modify my own perfectionist personality and when I screw up, I laugh at myself.
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have to agree 100% with Tom on this:

    The idea that TMS symptoms are classic psychological defenses against unpleasant emotions that often (but not always) arise in response to Holmes-Rahe life stress events is perhaps Dr Sarno's greatest contribution to the true origins of such psychogenic symptoms. This places Dr Sarno squarely in the camp of modernist neo-Freudian revisionism with its emphasis on repression and subconscious intentionality.

    But whether you should use some exotic Power Therapy (ISTDP, EMT, EMDR, etc. etc.) to dissipate those unpleasant emotions in your unconscious mind is subject to much debate. If my own experience is any indicator, just breaking the spell of fear TMS symptoms produce by returning to a full range of physical activity is probably the best way of eliminating the obsessive preoccupation with those symptoms that perpetuates TMS. I think of Steve Ozanich's ah-ha moment when he remembered that Nike slogan: "Just do it!" TMS is not cured by reading about exotic psychological theories, but by taking practical steps to return to a full range of physical activities. You might have to keep hammering away for longer than you expect (or want), but the time span will vary from individual to individual as much as personal psychological scenarios vary from individual to individual. Fast learners vs. Slow learners.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree with a lot of your post, but not with the above. There are hundreds, maybe thousands who have come and gone from the TMS boards, leaving their SUCCESS STORIES, never to be heard from again. Dr. Sarno's "cure", for those who accept and believe in it, is the KNOWLEDGE PENCILLIN--the pain emanates from the sub-c mind, exhibits in body structures or in affective symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  10. Day-Cee

    Day-Cee Peer Supporter

    Chikenbome thanks, you are right, I have to stop trying to get rid of the pain. I think I did not realize that I was still doing this... Trying to get rid of the pain is still giving it to much importance and probably still influence my choices, therefore, still playing its role of distraction. Big thanks...

    However, I strongly disagree with one statement, that most of us don't get cure by the knowledge therapy. Actually, from what I can read everywhere, most people do get cure by knowledge therapy... Of course if you look at the forum here you won't see this since people who got cured by the knowledge therapy are not seeking for further help or answers since it worked...

    This is actually a reason why I was reluctant to use this Forum at the beginning, based one my past experience, health forums have not been of great help, it has been actually quite the opposite, it is usually filled with negative energy and horror stories and I can see why. People with hope story are now going well and are just going on with their lives, therefore they don't go into forums anymore...

    However this community here seems to be different, people are here to help each other and I can't thank you guys enough for taking the time for doing so...
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Day-Cee. I'm glad you're finding this site helpful. The members are really serious about helping each other with TMS techniques for healing.
    I think believing that TMS is the cause of our symptoms is of primary importance. Anything less than 100 percent belief in TMS won't work.

    Dr. Sarno has a great video on TMS healing that you can watch at YouTube by typing in Sarno 20/20.

    Herbie, another very helpful member of these forums made this also excellent video:


    And his expanded version of Dr. Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders are good to practice every day:

    Herbie’s Extended Version of Dr. Sarno’s 12 DAILY REMINDERS

    1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but its caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does cause real pain too.
    2. The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you get in pain or in anxiety then the the blood is restricted from going to your lower back for instance. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain - remember, where theirs no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, The pain stays because of fear and focus to physical organic symptoms and repressions.
    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from tms healing knowledge causing damage to anyone, it only helps.
    4. The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER -- this means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. Tmsers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits,traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks its helping you.
    5. TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you wont have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed cause you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.
    6. Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear then I feed the pain, If I fear Its impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.
    7. Therefore, physical activity is harmless.If I want to work against the pain I could but its better to lose some of the pain so when I start my life over I=t have to be in pain trying to heal cause facing the repressions and all the other activities that cause the pain and reversing my fear and focus to them then I can heal.
    8. I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my bodies ability to heal now. I can move how I want. I will not fear moving with a bent back anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.
    9. The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how its hidden -- its illusion, Its fear.
    10. I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face everyone of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present, in flow.
    11. I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.
    12. I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling. The science behind mind-body/tms healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of tms. Tms will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off psychical symptoms and on emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore thus making the tms of no effect. This will in return, give us the cure.
  12. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi Dom,
    I agree with you, it is important to understand whether the pain is serving a purpose or is simply a purposeless consequence. I can assure you that currently (in most cases at least) Dr. Schubiner believes that the pain is serving a purpose just as Dr. Sarno did. In fact, Dr. Schubiner is a big proponent of ISTDP, the same modality Arlene Feinblatt, who essentially invented TMS therapy, practices.

    Read this for an even more in depth explanation of the purpose of TMS symptoms:

  13. Day-Cee

    Day-Cee Peer Supporter

    Wow very Nice article Alan...

    I actually read it about a month ago but completely forgot about it... It makes a lot of sense!

    Same thing for the twelve daily reminders Walt... I'll start carrying my book healing back pain with me in order to refer to those reminders once in a while :p

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