1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Physical treatments to help the body catch up with a calmer mind?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by thecomputer, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    Hi everyone

    I have told my story here before. In brief, I had extreme pain when speaking or using my voice at all, and my voice started falling apart. I went to every specialist I could find, cameras down the throat etc. I was told I had muscle tension dysphonia. I have suffered from chronic anxiety for as long as I can remember, and also quite extreme insomnia, and my throat was always the place I had problems. Now because I this I knew my throat problems were in a huge way due to my constant worry.

    I tried all the physical treatments, anything you can think of, I spent thousands. Any relief was temporary.

    When I read one of Sarnos Books I had a fair bit of relief, more than anything else, yet it didnt last either. But steadily things have been getting better over many months. I gave up all physical treatments, even yoga and stretches.

    So this is where I'm a bit confused. I had my tonsils last year because I thought it may be worsening this problem. It did not directly help my voice problem straight away, but my nervous system calmed right down. I have slept well every night since the day of that operation, sometimes 9 hours! It's so unlike me. I feel so much calmer in general, its a massive change. It has also made me realise how much intense anxiety and tension I have been living in for 15 years or more. I just wish I had had them taken out earlier and avoided a lot of it! I guess if something stays inflamed for years after tonsillitis in my case, then it is still reacting, and maybe on red alert that something is wrong. My nervous system had me in fight or flight all the time! Now it feels quite balanced.

    I really believe in TMS for many things, and I know it has played a huge part in my problem. The way that my throat problem differs from say a back problem, is that I only felt pain when using my voice and after, never when silent for some time. If I don't talk for a month, I will feel no pain in that time. In many ways my problem was in the mechanism of speaking, I was engaging the wrong muscles, which is what muscle tension dysphonia is. Now of course this tension could be due to TMS, which I think it was, but also a lot of it was habit, as I had learned to speak in a way that ingrained this tension.

    I have just been seeing a very good voice and singing coach, and she noticed straight away that my voice placement was right down in my throat, croaky and deep, no resonance in the chambers of the face. When she said it I realised how right she was. In one session we started to get my voice placed higher, in the mask of the face as they say. It made a huge difference, and hurt much less.

    Now even though the root cause of this problem may be TMS, the habits that have formed around that tension have been deeply ingrained. So now that I feel much calmer, and I don't feel I am adding all that tension i used too, the habits are still there. It doesnt feel that dealing with my TMS/emotional issues will reverse 15 years of habitually speaking in a way that is causing tension. I hope that makes sense? It seems to me that there is the tension caused by TMS, and then the muscular/functional habits that form around this tension. Maybe its much more extreme with the voice, as its easy to get into bad habits with it, and the some of the muscles are so tiny and delicate its easy to cause conflict with the surrounding tension.

    I feel I hit a wall with my TMS healing, and working with this woman is helping to move things further along. It is not a physical treatment, it is basically learning how to talk and sing in the right way.

    I am considering going for some laryngeal manual therapy in London, which is intense throat massage. I went before and it was very painful, but there was no doubt that this man released huge amounts of tension, as mI felt it afterwards, and my voice was almost back to normal. Of course, I put the tension back on at that time.

    But now I feel I am not putting on that extra tension, but my body is taking a while to catch up with my new found calm! This is why I feel that some physical work to really iron out some creases, will help because I feel my mind will not bring it back into extreme tension.

    I wonder if this makes any sense, and if anyone has opinions?

    It's not the usual question of 'Can I do physical therapies and TMS work', or 'I think my problem is structural'. It's simply wondering if the muscles and the body can be helped along the way to catch up with the mind. I realize this is a unique situation, as I went from extreme anxiety to relative calm in a few hours or an operation. I dont imagine many people who suffer with that kind of anxiety will get almost complete relief in a day. This is why I ask...

    Thanks for all the support on this forum, its been such an interesting journey ( and a painful one)...I hope to be writing a success story soon :)
  2. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    A lot of us go for massages. We make sure that the m.t. isn't giving us feedback or comments or even approving or disapproving grunts and we go in with the mindset that it's relaxing. I go to someone now who is silent the whole time and as much as I sometimes want to ask for a 'report card', I don't.
    Re:yoga, nothing wrong with doing yoga. Namaste.
  3. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    It is really interesting that getting rid of your tonsils solved your anxiety and insomnia. Thanks for sharing this information.
  4. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    Yes it was very strange. When I was 18 I had been smoking a lot of cannabis for years, all day every day. I felt fine in most ways. Then I got this terrible throat thing and my tonsils swelled up and nearly touched each other, covered in white ulcers. I stopped smoking because I had to and began having extreme panic attacks. I could not smoke anymore. This was the beginning of a serious nervous breakdown, where I could not function for months, was in tears all day every day, brain frazzled, full of fear. It was terrible, at such a young age. But my tonsils never got smaller. They just stayed that size.

    I then struggled with extreme anxiety from then on. About 7 years ago when having this lump in the throat feeling frequently, I became obsessed with my large tonsils, feeling desperate to get them out. they wouldnt do it on the NHS, or even in Thailand whenI tried and apparently they werent big enough, and I didnt have recurrent tonsillitis. I kept going back to the doctor and getting told no!

    Then when this voice problem began I decided to go privately and have them lasered out. It was literally the day after I began to sleep again. rather than waking in a state of panic each morning way too early, gums aching, mind racing, heart pumping...paniced! I just woke up, and even felt like staying in bed! It was very strange.

    Of course old habits were still there so I could get stressed and anxious, and my mind still goes to similar places, but as I keep sleeping and being calmer, it keeps changing. As I said, it feels like everything is catching up and adjusting to this new way of being. I have been sleeping for 9 hours a lot recently, and feeling I have enough energy to get through the day. For the last few years I would need a few breakdowns in priavte to get through most days, mostly due to lack of sleep and the resulting torment.

    Its strange, I cant finds any info on other people online having this happen to them. Although the surgeon did say most people feel much better after having them removed, mostly more energy. Its definitely interesting. I am very grateful to be able to live again, because before I felt I was on a road to despair and at times even suicide when it was repeatedly unbearable.
  5. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    Now it is more clear with all the context information.

Share This Page