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Derek S. Overcoming pain during sleep

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Guest

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    Question
    I have had shoulder pain for 30 or more years. After completing the TMS recovery program I've been able to control it the majority of the time during my waking hours but I still cannot sleep in bed without a lot of pain. How can pain that wakes one up at night be overcome?
     
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Thanks for your question.

    First of all, NICELY DONE with the symptom reduction! Recovery is hard work so really stop to give yourself credit for how far you've come thus far.

    There is no real difference in approach when it comes to day or nighttime pain. You can't acutely control whether symptoms come on, regardless of whether you are awake or asleep. What you can do is change the way that you react to these symptoms so the mechanism doesn't get reinforced any further.

    In other words, consider what your cognitive and emotional reaction is when you wake up in pain. Do you get scared? Do you feel defeated or frustrated? Do the symptoms launch you into a problem solving mentality?

    Once you've identified your response to the symptoms, practice altering that response. The exact same way you did with the waking pain. Manage any symptom-related anxiety, breathe, and practice mindfulness. Try not to catastrophize, get deflated, or go into problem solving. Be there for yourself in a warm and authentic way and reinforce your mind-body approach to healing.

    Do this relentlessly and focus on honing a general attitude of self-compassion and outcome independence and you will get there.

    Best of luck!

    -Derek


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  3. jayMck

    jayMck New Member

    I feel your pain, literally!
    After suffering with back pain for 20 years, I was cured simply by reading HBP. However, about 6 months ago I started having neck and shoulder pain. It really began to worry me when it woke me up at night. How can this be TMS when I'm not even awake? Why is my subconscious bugging me when I'm asleep? Maybe there really is something structurally wrong with my neck? All these thoughts went through my as I laid in bed trying to fall asleep.

    Doing the structured program has really helped me (I'm in Day 29). But I think this is really going to be a constant battle to remain mindful, breath deeply and just keep telling my stubborn subconscious that I'm on to its little game. I keep telling myself that I can now ride my bike (an obsession of mine) pretty much pain free. Something that was impossible before I read Sarno.

    Keep reminding yourself that the success you've had controlling the pain during the day means that you are on to something and that TMS's days are numbered! You can do it!

    Jay
     

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