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Alex B. Obsessing over every tweak

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Emile54, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Emile54

    Emile54 New Member

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    I have been aware of The Sarno books for several years and they have helped me out of my worst bouts with pain. While getting much relief, I still find myself obsessing over every little feeling, tweak and/or pain in my back. In addition, I either roll on a tennis ball against a wall to elicit a crack or pop in my mid back, or with no ball available, I put my hand in the usual spots and lean against something to get this pop. I would say it is similar to someone who cracks their knuckles all the time. Most days I do this probably 40 times or so. This, along with fear of re-injuring the back, seem to be the last hurdles for a slow healer like myself. Thanks so much for your help!
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi Emile,

    These last hurdles are all one thing, and you name it yourself in your post: fear. Fear drives the behavior you write of and it is the primary factor behind those minor tweaks pains. Fear that you won't get better, fear that these minor pains are the first sign of a blowout, or that you're doing something wrong in your approach to healing. With the tennis ball, it is the fear of what will happen if you don't crack your back and adjust it, which is in turn mixed with the fear that maybe you're actually doing more damage. You're attacking yourself from two directions at once! So long as you respond to every little shift in your body with heightened vigilance and fear, you will continue to perpetuate the cycle. The purpose behind the pain is to keep you preoccupied; the more you buy into it, the more effective it is.

    Try to confront these symptoms and remind yourself that your body is strong and robust. We often think of ourselves as being far more fragile than we really are. Remind yourself that you have had success with Dr. Sarno's books, which wouldn't be the case if this was a primarily structural problem. Begin to practice awareness of these fear thoughts as they arise: see them for what they are, and that you don't have to buy into them. The more you start to question that fear and put it aside, the less reinforcement your symptoms will receive.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Emile. Alex has given you some great advice.
    Dr. Sarno encourages anyone in pain to resume physical activity
    and assures them they will not hurt themselves further.

    You need to discover the repressed emotions that are causing the pain.
    Those most likely go back to your childhood, as mine did, and they did for thousands of others.

    Your subconscious needs to know that you recognize what emotions (usually anger)
    you suffered as a child, then it will stop the pain. Dr. Sarno says you dont even have to change
    anything, just recognize the cause(s) of the anger. It's there. You just need to find it,
    ande the Structured Education Program will help you to find it. Journaling was the way
    I healed from severe back pain, discovering my childhood stresses, which led to forgiving
    those who caused them.

    Good luck and keep posting here. We are all here helping each other.
     
    North Star likes this.
  4. Emile54

    Emile54 New Member

    Alex

    Thank you for your answer. I am trying to focus less on physical sensation and more on how I am thinking and feeling emotionally. I did contact a TMS doctor that recommended I see my primary doctor for a X-Ray and/or MRI to exclude any structural problems. If the protocol they gave did not provide relief then to contact his office for further consultation. . I will buy a pair of Nike Air Max running shoes that I used to love and start running again. I ran to train for races back them (very competitive of course) and I will look forward to running just for pleasure at this point of my life.
     
    North Star likes this.
  5. Emile54

    Emile54 New Member

    Walt
    Thanks for your advice and I do think it is spot on. I've spent my first 58 years thinking I had a wonderful childhood and that my anxiety was "normal" I am working with a therapist to resolve significant childhood trauma that I've ignored for a long time. I am writing a journal and many buried emotions are starting to come out. Keep up the good work and bless you!
     
    North Star likes this.

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