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Day 5 One exercise? Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Bowen, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Bowen

    Bowen Peer Supporter

    If there was one exerecise I would like to do without fear or worry it would be pick up my children freely. I have 2, one is nearly 5 and the other 3 1/2. I dont do this activity coz I am already in so much pain all over and picking them up will make it much worse which will affect my whole day and affect my ability to enjoy my time with them which is very hard a lot of the time and also could make me worse. I can lift them when in water which is great but I dont do it enough as I dont have a pool and its cold here at the moment!

    Steps I could take? Maybe just try it? Which I have done before and even tried to do it without fear and worry knowing that I am not doing damage and it is just pain but it has tsill flared me up. Maybe I could start by holding them while sitting. This is achievable but only for short periods. Realistically though I want to be able to stand and hold them. Give them piggy back rides etc without making my pain worse. Isee others pick them up so easily and it sometimes hurts to watch it as it is something I would love to be able to do freely. I also feel it may be asking a bit much of myself too soon.

    Really appreciate some suggestions?

  2. Ami

    Ami Peer Supporter

    In Brady's book, Pain Free for Life, he refers to the importance of visualization. Research has shown that athletes who simply spend time to visualize succeeding at a physical activity, say skiing down a mountain without falling, will improve their performance as much as those who physically practice at doing so.

    What if for the next few days, your exercise was simply to visualize yourself picking up each of your children in turn, and doing so totally carefree, without pain or worry of pain...KNOWING you can! Visualize this for 5 minutes every morning and night, consciously spending time to really see yourself bending down in love or fun, and joyfully lifting them up into your arms. Feel how natural and easy this is, to lift up your children with ease, grace and painless freedom. The subconscious cannot tell the difference between an imagined or an actual event, the more so when the visualization is filled with imagined colour, sound, and other sensory images, plus accompanied by the powerful emotions of love and joy.

    Then, after a week or so of daily exercising your subconscious with these powerful positive images, if it feels right, remembering that your back is healthy and strong, pick one of your wee ones up, letting your subconscious know that you will no longer be robbed of the joys of parenthood by its Mind-Body Syndrome (TMS) tyranny.
  3. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    I agree with Ami, visualization can work wonders, and may also help you feel you are easing into the activity slowly.

    What I've also found really helpful in combating the fear that I will have a flare up is Outcome Independence. I don't know how to put links in the posts, but there is a great post on this by Alan Gordon in the Practitioner's Forum in early September. Briefly, the criterion for success is achieving the activity rather than doing it without pain (sorry Alan for the poor paraphrasing). But I know how scary it is to feel like maybe you're making it worse.

    Remember too that TMS likes to increase the pain if it thinks you're getting away from it, so you could view increased pain as just confirmation that it really is TMS.
  4. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    Well said, Terry. I went to a party last night where and stood for a majority of time and even danced a little. This morning I was just waiting for the pain, then I told myself what my TMS doc told me on Friday. There is nothing wrong with you, you have TMS.

    Bowen, if you haven't read Steve's book I'd recomend getting it. He was in the same situation with his kids. The story is very intense. The the book itself is a HUGE part of my healing.

    Ami, I like the idea of visualization, I've done it all my life while running. I've started to visualize myself doing the exercise I used to do and being the person I want to be now that TMS has removed so many emotional obstacles from my past.

    Also, Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now is very interesting. He talks about the power of Being and observing your thoughts. This has been particularly helpful for me because my thoughts are racing from the minute I wake up until I go to bed. Observing seems to stop them in their tracks and allows me to create a new reality for the day. And we can only control today, not the future.

  5. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Bowen, I would also recommend Power of Now. It helped me so much to not review past pain and to stop projecting into the future about what was going to happen. This forum is really helping me to move away from the actual pain, but most of my suffering was from my mental attitudes and worries about the pain. I often reviewed how I had missed out certain activities with my youngest, how I wouldn't be able to travel as much as I liked, etc.

    Wow Susan, now you're dancing. That is so great. I know what you mean about the racing mind. Despite often teaching meditation to my clients, I wasn't practicing myself (too busy thinking!). I just felt to revved up and restless. When I got the concept about the sympathetic nervous system on overdrive since childhood it made so much sense to me on a feeling level. Now I am meditating daily and sometimes I can actually feel when it "resets." I think in Steve's book he uses the visualization of the speedometer from 100 to 30 and this does wonders for me.
  6. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member


    Sounds like you are doing great! I have to do a better job of meditating. Even observing my thoughts seems to help on some level. Since Friday, when I got my TMS diagnosis, I've been exhausted and haven't been doing the work and it's catching up to me.

    Keep me in the loop!
  7. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Yikes, put simply, the belief in the sentence above needs to change. Picking up your children is not physically hurting you. I vote for just doing it.

    Best wishes for healing!
    MorComm likes this.
  8. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    I agree with Lori. The pain had me quit my walking routine a month ago and now I am fear to get back to it. It's a vicious cycle. My TMS doc told me I had to get back to running or the pain wins.

    Hope this helps...

  9. Bowen

    Bowen Peer Supporter

    Thank you everyone for all your suggestions. I have read the book the power of now and practiced a lot of mindfulness but it never seems to help the pain levels very much even though I can feel quite calm.

    I have also tried visualization. But I found I was often striving. Striving to get into the state of being able to do things freely coz it was in so much contrast to how I actually felt in the moment which is my pain going off all the time. But I still see the value in it and I will try your suggestion Ami. And also know that it doesnt matter too much if it does flare up my pain. I guess I just need to accept it if it does and try not to stress about it. I know its no doing damage. But coz my pain has been getting worse over a 14 year period it makes it hard. Especially since I have had a number of wind ups and usually they are to do with over doing it physically.

    I also like your suggestion Terry on reframing the way I look at it if my body flares up when I pick up the kids.

    Takes me a while to get back sometimes as even reading, typing and looking at a computer screen flares up my pain. Thats another one Im trying to unravel!

    Thank you all.
  10. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Bowen,

    It's the same for me in that my pain has increased steadily over the past twenty years. The main trigger I'd identified was also overdoing it physically. I would gradually get back to exercise until something would happen, like getting lost on a hike, then I would realize I'd overdone it and the pain would come back. Now I'm realizing how much it's actually the fear causing the problem rather than the overdoing. Last week I walked farther in one area than I had ever before, then thought "Oh no I've overdone it," and had a big flare up. Then on Google Maps I discovered I had actually been going a longer distance in another area I walk in, with no flare up. Never underestimate the power of fear.

    So I've been pushing through and am finding that I still have better and worse days, but they don't actually correlate to activity the way I had thought. What is happening big time is what's been termed symptom imperative-- I'm suddenly getting headaches, fibromyalgia, and dizziness, and anxiety that seems related to nothing. Pretty sure sign it's TMS at work.

    Hi Susan, that is so great you were able to get a diagnosis. Every once in a while it sneaks in, that worry that maybe I am one of the exceptions and really do have a structural problem. This despite being the perfect TMS poster girl. I still struggle with the belief that pain means psychological rather than physical, but this latest flood of new weird symptoms is pretty telling.
  11. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Bowen, after writing the above I went to do Day 34 of the SEP and there is a wonderful, relevant link to an article Alan Gordon wrote called "Breaking the Pain Cycle.'I found it really helpful.
  12. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    Hi Terry:

    I too am learning that a little doubt is normal and eventually believing just happens. I was reading Steve O's book and there is a section about setting goals and keeping them. The one thing I want to do when I get back from my travel next week is to get back on that exercise track.

    My symptoms keep moving around too and have been for a month. My fear peaked this morning again and resulted in a crying spell and then I just got on with my life.

    Tomorrow I see the TMS psychologist, his name is Dr Robert Evans. It will be 8 hours of travel round trip, but well worth it.

    You continue to inspire me with your postive attitude.

  13. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    You're right Susan, a little doubt in the beginning is probably the most normal thing in the world. Especially when all the "experts" are so strongly promoting the idea of structural problems, while our bodies are shouting agreement and our minds are in so much fear. It sounds like you are so committed you are sure to get there! One problem I have with the exercise thing is I'm a bit of an all or nothing thinker-- go all out or collapse and do nothing. I actually went to an exercise physiologist and got a program so I feel like I'm going along in a reasonable, rather than perfectionistic, way.

    Hope you're still hanging in there Bowen. We all know how strong the fear is, and how worrying it is to think we might do something to make it worse. This forum is a great place to slowly start thinking in a different way to how we have been.
  14. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just do it! I have suffered so much pain for more than 20 years. As it was so painful picking up my nieces, I realised that I would not be able to have my own children as the thought of not being able to pick them up and cuddle them was unbearable. Now I understand TMS - I feel that it was me I was protecting - I could not pick up and nurture ME - the child, so I kept on suffering... Till now!

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