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Physiology question: Who's right?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by James59, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. James59

    James59 Well known member

    It has been said here that in order to be cured of TMS, one must be thoroughly convinced there is no physical cause for our pain. Before I became completely fed up with the medical community's inability to solve my problem I bounced around between doctors and therapists and back again, and kept getting contradictory information that still has me hung up a bit.

    At the time, my pain was focused in my neck (it's all over me, now). My neck was also visibly distorted. Doctor #1 had my neck x-rayed and nothing abnormal was found. A couple months later Doctor #1 sent me to Doctor #2, an orthopedist who had me get an MRI on my neck and again nothing abnormal was found.

    Doctor #1 concluded my problem was "stress" and recommended counseling (which I did for a year and a half with no improvement). There was some evidence to back that up, because at the time my neck tightened up more at home than elsewhere. In fact, I took a short trip to visit family for a few days, and the pain almost disappeared and returned exactly five minutes after I got home! Doctor #2 said "I don't know what your problem is, but whatever it is it's highly unusual." I asked both doctors if my neck distortion might be caused by something misaligned farther down. They both said "That's not possible."

    But the therapists I saw, and some books about relieving pain I read, said it is indeed possible. They said because everything is interconnected a misalignment somewhere can cause a chain reaction that causes pain to show up somewhere else. They said doctors often miss the real cause of pain because they refuse to look beyond the part that hurts. This seemed to ring true to me because my experience seemed consistent with that theory. For example, I found that if I stood with my feet perfectly parallel, by neck would straighten out, but then my legs would hurt. And sometimes in bed, when I move my hips I get a toe cramp.

    So who was right? Is it possible for a problem in one area to cause a chain reaction that makes something else hurt? For the past few years, before I learned about TMS early this summer, I was thoroughly convinced the answer was YES, and that the doctors were wrong. Now I'm not sure what to believe anymore, but I'm leaning towards the doctors being right and the therapists being wrong. I'm thinking I need a definitive answer otherwise I'll keep bouncing between these two opinions and continue to wonder if my problem is physical or psychological.

    Who's right?
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am not a doctor, so I can't say for sure and please take everything I say with a grain of salt. One principle I have, and that is very prevalent on this board, is to listen to your doctors. Only a physician and diagnose a condition, so if they are saying you do not have a structural problem listen to them. Your unconscious mind is using what the therapist said to create fear and doubt in you. This is what it does. Our unconscious mind will use anything it can to keep us from accepting that your symptoms are benign and caused by repressed emotions.

    Why do you have symptoms in multiple parts of your body? Because it is TMS, and it can occur everywhere with a wide range of symptoms. Anytime you become more aware of your body, for instance when you have your feet parallel, your unconscious will attack you with some symptom to make you think you have a physical problem. The key is to tune these symptoms out. Focus on your emotions and take the steps to believing your symptoms are benign.
  3. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    I'm like Forest, I studied hard in my life not to be a doctor. But I've spent years speaking to the TMS docs and I can say for sure that you can't have a domino effect like you're describing. I also went through that phase of standing one way, and having pain shift to another area, tilting, lifting, pulling....sheer madness. It's all TMS and how your brain is fooling you. You're thinking too structurally. You have to get out of that stage. There's no chain reaction in the body, unless you assign that thought to it. If you believe it, it will continue. Free yourself from your own mind.

    James59 likes this.
  4. NolaGal

    NolaGal Peer Supporter

    I would say give this TMS thing a good solid chance. Read the books, hang out here on the forum, do one of the programs, whatever. I wouldn't focus too much on "proof", either, because it may be decades or centuries after our lifetimes that the brain/nervous system connection is fully understood. Even the best doctors and "rock solid" scientific knowledge can be overturned when new information is presented. I think some form of quieting the mind would be very helpful so you can listen to what your body is REALLY trying to tell you. I think your story about the vacation and the pain coming back as soon as you got home is some pretty interesting info that you might want to explore further. Best of luck, whatever you do :)
    James59 likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I too think your movable pain comes from something in your home life.
    Something triggered your pain when you returned home after the vacation.

    If journaling or meditation doesn't reveal the repressed emotion that caused the pain,
    not to worry. Dr. Sarno and Steve Ozanich both remind us that we don't have to
    discover the repressed emotion, just believe it is causing the pain. Let your
    unconscious figure out what the emotion is.
    James59 likes this.
  6. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Thanks everyone. I'm trying my darndest to think psychologically, but when performing the numerous mundane tasks I need to do to get through the day, it's really hard not to think structurally when engaging in mechanical movements that don't do what I need them to do. It's easy to think psychologically when I'm at rest, but how do I think psychologically when I'm struggling to maneuver a toothbrush or spread peanut butter on some bread?
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    When you can't think psychologically, while "struggling to maneuver a toothbrush or spread peanut butter on some bread,"
    try laughing. I find that when I've been in pain or stressed out or anxious about anything, if I just laugh it really helps.
    I've read in Sarno that laughter releases the body's natural pain killers.

    Maybe give laughing a try. If nothing else, it could take your mind off the pain.
    tarala likes this.

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