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Pain Recovery Program vs. Structured Educational Program

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by SuperKev, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. SuperKev

    SuperKev New Member

    Howdy! I have been a long time TMS sufferer -- my entire life I think,. I am 48. I first encountered Dr Sarno when I was 21, and I was one of those "I read the book, now I am healed!" people. Not so fast. For the last almost 3 decades I have had a series of TMS related challenges, most of which I end up conquering aftera short period of fear and despair.

    I have a lot of stress at the moment at work (and some at home), and have had recent bouts of skin issues and now massive foot pain. I should mention my first TMS experience back in college was diagnosed as Achilles tendinitis. That is the one I got over by reading Dr. Sarno's book -- so foot pain and I go way back. The last few days I have had pain in my arch on my right foot as bad as anything I have experienced. I am sure this is the same old TMS bugaboo.

    I just discovered the Pain Recovery program on this site. After dipping into the Structured Ed Program for years, I am getting a little confused. The traditional TMS approach embodied in the SEP seems to be about getting in touch with the emotional causes of the "distraction." The Pain Recovery approach recognizes the pain not as a "strategic" distraction but as a misfiring fight or flight response, and the solution has less to do with the emotional work and more to do with retraining your neural pathways away from fight or flight pain responses.

    Am I accurate in making this distinction and if so, what do I do with it? Frankly the emotional work and the talking to my brain to get it to stop tricking me works in the short term but has failed miserably in the long term... Maybe the Pain Recovery Program could prove more effective? But that seems neurological and not emotional/psychological

    Any insights would be welcome and thank you!
    Saffron likes this.
  2. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I actually have wondered the same thing. I’ve been doing this work for a number of years, and thought I had it licked last year. I’ve also come to realize that the brain is neuroplastic, but that it can be sensitized very easily and quickly. I think you can become so conditioned to pain, that it is stuck very deep in your brain somewhere. I do wish there was a way, either through hypnotherapy, or some other modality, to get the brain to decondition it’s self, and do a reset, if you will. I believe that we can definitely be so used to pain that it becomes a habit that is very hard to break.

    I believe after some time of doing emotional work, the retraining of the neural pathways is a must.
    Saffron likes this.
  3. talldrinkofwater

    talldrinkofwater New Member

    Your distinction is accurate.
    For me, the Sarno-based stuff provided a lot of insights, but no matter how much journaling, reading, etc, I did, it didn't give me much relief.
    The PRP is what worked for me. I think it is a very important breakthrough in TMS therapy.
    I believe the two are connected in a way.
    The PRP says that you basically have an over-active danger sensor.
    The reason you have that is because of past trauma, which you can get more in touch with via the SEP.
    In my opinion, you don't necessarily have to know the details of the trauma to experience relief via the PRP.
    mm718 likes this.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Day 16 of the PRP addresses emotional repression. It states:

    "One of the goals for recovery is to teach our brains that the psychological stressors that it learned to fear are not actually dangerous.

    There are many things our brains can interpret as psychologically dangerous, but today we’re going to focus on emotions.

    Emotions aren’t inherently dangerous, but if you grew up in an environment where it wasn’t okay to feel certain feelings, you may have learned that these emotions aren'’t safe. This means that later in life, if a threatening emotions arises, your danger signals are activated, and you can feel pain.

    One way to break this pattern is to teach your brain that the emotions it believes are dangerous…are actually safe."

    So there is an overlap with Sarno here.

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