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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Anaya, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Anaya

    Anaya New Member

    Hello all,

    Hope you are doing well today.

    While listening to Dr. Sarno talk about how our minds use the physical pain to distract us from something emotional we would rather not (or, perhaps, can not, in more severe cases) deal with or pay attention to, I had a thought.

    Let me first say, I am not disagreeing that the physical pain can be a method of distraction. I just thought perhaps there was at least one other purpose as well...

    Could it be, at least sometimes, that the exact opposite is occurring? That is, the physical pain is our body's way of getting our attention, so we DO address whatever emotional difficulty/difficulties is/are swimming around in the subconscious mind? It's not like our body and mind can leave us a voice mail or send us a text asking us to please resolve that thing we don't want to think about. ;)

    Perhaps sometimes this is our subconscious mind's way of telling us that we'd feel much better if we just faced up to certain unpleasant things.


    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Anaya, I think you're absolutely right, that the subconscious is giving us pain so we face up to the
    repressed emotions that are causing it. It is distracting us with the pain, but also giving us the pain as a friend,
    to make us delve into our minds to discover the hidden, repressed emotions that often go back to our childhood.
    I think this is what Dr. Sarno meant by saying the subconscious tries to distract us with pain. It does that to help us
    confront those hidden emotions that are causing the pain.

    Journaling was the best way to discovering my repressed emotions that went back to my boyhood.
    It led me to understanding those who caused me to have repressed anger, then helped me to forgive.
    In forgiving, others and myself, my back pain went away.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello. I had breast cancer about ten years ago and at the time I interviewed numerous survivors as I was trying to determine my best course of action. I clearly remember thinking at the time "If I talk to one more woman that tells me that breast cancer is the best thing that ever happened to her, I am going to scream!" There is big difference between how we need to respond in the moment and how we might look back on something. The pain is a signal that something is going on. If you suffer from chronic pain for many years it is very disheartening that so little seems to effect the pain. I began to feel it was just a bad lot I had drawn in life, I was one of the unlucky ones, destined to continuously suffer pain. So pain is a signal from our subconscious that we need to face certain emotional truths, but if we do not respond to the calling or understand this appropriately, then the pain continues. I believe it is most productive to first recognize the pain as a distraction. We might not always be able identify exactly what we are being distracted from but if we begin the process of learning how not to be distracted by the pain and to trust that we will eventually learn what we are being distracted from, then the pain will lesson or cease. You can understand the pain is a signal and still be very distracted by the pain, but if you stop being distracted by the pain, then it no longer works as an effective means of distraction. In the end, you may realize with clarity that this is the purpose it served. It is sometimes difficult to see while you are being distracted by the pain. At least this was my personal experience. I spent many months understanding that pain was a distraction and searching for the reason why it was trying to distract me. It was obvious, and there right in front of me the whole time, but for some reason I was not able to see it. Once I stopped being distracted by the pain, it was harder for me to ignore. It surfaced without me even trying to find it or figure it out. Now I am one of those women that would say that "TMS is one of the best things that ever happened to me."
  4. jeanbee

    jeanbee New Member

    Thanks - this is exactly where I'm at right now - needing to work on not allowing myself to be distracted. Unfortunately just as I get a handle on it another severe pain pops up. This is happening quite a lot but the main pain that was keeping my life on hold has definitely improved. After 30 years I can actually sit for quite a few minutes without excruciating pain. It's a beautiful relief!
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Unfortunately just as I get a handle on it another severe pain pops up. This is happening quite a lot but the main pain that was keeping my life on hold has definitely improved."

    I know it is frustrating when another pain comes up just as you are resolving another one but you should see this as a very encouraging sign. This happened to me for quite a while and all kinds of old pains I hadn't experienced for years came up. The more I recognized this pattern the faster they would move on. But many times it was a big challenge for me and would effectively create fear and distraction. You are on the right path.
    nowtimecoach likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Anaya,

    The problem with the theory that pain is there to get our attention, in my experience, is that it doesn't work. We are much more inclined to be distracted by pain, and look everywhere else for the cause and then the solution, instead of at our emotional/psychological issues. Perhaps if we lived in a world without so many nocebos and professionals telling us to look for structural/medical causes, we might be inclined to see the pain as a message that our emotional issues need to be addressed. After over a year of working on TMS recovery, I now see any flare up of pain as a message to look at psychological issues, but it has been a long road to get to this point.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Ellen. Yes, believing totally that our pain is from TMS, repressed emotions or perfectionist and goodist personality
    is not easy. But you have the right mental attitude about it and are finding relief in working on TMS techniques for healing.
    You're giving Anaya good advice from experience.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  8. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Good point Anne, TMS is the best thing that can happen to us, if we listen to it. So of course it is both a distraction and a message. I think there was a book that said that somewhere on page 194. Can't remember the name of it now but I'm very close to the author.

    TMS is a distraction from the conscious self, but it's sending a message from the unconscious (id is wholly unconscious). The Ego is the door, or moderator in the process. The ego won't allow for certain aspects of yourself to be made known due to shame and guilt. So ego looks, and if it's an objectionable impulse, then ego may displace it through something like reaction-formation in order to prevent the impulse from being known. But that desire still exists even if the person isn't aware, so of course there is a message side to TMS.

    But consciously ego can't allow for the non-perfect person to made-known, even to herself, so the distraction is in effect to keep certain aspects of the individual from herself, and also from others.

    Every event has two reactions, so of course there's distractions and messages. Although both are probably not equally weighted.

    nowtimecoach likes this.
  9. jeanbee

    jeanbee New Member

    But HOW do I discover what these hidden aspects are so as to address them? I'm finding this a slow process mainly because as soon as I get one pain sorted I get another. It's making me so tired I dont have the energy to work on it every day. I make a point of not stopping physical activities like going to gym & always feel better for it but the pain returns after a few hours.
    At the moment I've gone through the gamut of chronic back pain for 30 years (definitely much improved) excruciating foot pain, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, eye infection, etc. Right now it's the foot pain and a severe mouth infection which antibiotics haven't cleared up.
    It all started with trying to deal with the back pain. All the others are things which normally dont happen to me. I even got the flu for the first time in 20m years!
  10. jeanbee

    jeanbee New Member

    Thanks Anne. I've had quite a badtime for a couple of days but realised now that for me the forgiveness process helps a lot (as well as giving me an opportunity to vent my anger on the person who harmed me) After doing this my all over body pain has almost disappeared. It is also important not to stop doing physical activities because of the pain. I often find after refusing to give in to the pain and going to the gym anyway pain disappears. I am so happy to have this advice of Dr John Sarnoe's validated.
    Anne Walker and nowtimecoach like this.

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