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Prison of Fear

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by finches, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. finches

    finches New Member

    Hi Everyone!
    I hope all is well, I'm happy to find a community of support dealing with TMS and just wanted to introduce myself, my story and my excitement. It's hard to contain oneself when such a revelation is experienced.

    I've made the realization that I've basically conditioned myself into a prison of fear. Although I don't normally have severe chronic pain, I have dealt with tremendous anxiety and fear of pain. I've conditioned myself progressively worse ever since my battle against crippling episodes of back pain two years ago.

    What once was a simple methodology of "I'll stretch more and see the chiropractor" turned into an obsession of "I'll stretch 3 times a day especially targeted at the back (Foundation Training), rigorously every other day, I'll crack my back every time I get up from a seated position, I'll start massage therapy, I'll limit physical activity, I'll stop holding heavy things, I'll stand for 80% of the day instead of sitting at a desk, I'll stretch my leg straight before getting out of a bar stool, I'll go to the bathroom as much as I can to stretch, etc etc etc."

    I had this long list of MUSTS, it was crippling and I wasn't even experiencing pain.

    Well, after divulging in everything I could the past few days about TMS, I've not felt more calm about my back fear in a long time. I did a small set of tests Sunday, removing each MUST one by one, and man, was this, not physically exhausting, but mentally exhausting. I had created so many roadblocks for myself and this entire time it was all in my head.

    TMS makes sense to me in more ways then one, all the way from my random weird bout of IBS in high school, to hives, to panic attacks, to my latest battles with back pain. It keeps moving around. But now, I have the weapon, the weapon is knowledge, and I intend to use it. I'm so grateful to have found an answer (Dr Sarno, the community resources, youtube), and I'm excited to start this journey to live again.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Msunn like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Msunn likes this.
  3. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter

    Hi Finches.

    Appreciate your post here. I am an absolute fear
    obsessive almost to the point of impasse. I have
    chronic pain issues, mostly lower back, that are
    now so embedded that I feel beyond a return to
    any normality. But it has bought me here & to
    working with TMS psychologist (Dr James Alexander)
    which is challenging & enlightening. Also I attend
    regular Alexander Technique lessons in my locale.

    I can absolutely vouch for the role that fear, both
    conscious & unconscious, plays in the TMS complex.

    It is that which underlies much of my own journey.

    Welcome aboard!

    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Pete. Forest's suggestion is excellent, to read that post in the TMSWiki about fear.
    It has lots of good advice on that awful subject.
    And Dr. Alexander cam help you overcome fear, too.

    I hope you will go to war against your fear by substituting positive feelings such as being happy and laughing.
    Laughter can drive out fear. If I fear something or worry about something, I immediately laugh
    and the fear or worry goes away. Try it. It's easy, free, you can do it at home, and it works.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  5. Aurora

    Aurora Peer Supporter

    I found this post to be very helpful. Even though I know that I can experience a lot of pain in my hands and nothing irreversible is happening to them since this has happened many times. It's the fear of experiencing that pain that keeps me from typing too much.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, finches that was an awesome revelation. I believe if you take this one day at a time you will be doing super well very soon.
    This is an inspirational story and I thank you so much for telling us. Now to tackle the fear. Have You heard of the Claire Weekes Audios?
    Let Me know, bless you
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    PeterO could you tell me some of the Alexander techniques origins - like if its like any other system.
    I saw where you wrote on the Sedona Method once or a few times actually so I bought the book and love it -- thanks
  8. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter


    Thanks for thread inputs...

    Assisted me in realising of how much fear
    I generate & its early developmental origin.
    Another realisation is my behaviour of self-punishment.
    I find it difficult to self-forgive (& love) and often
    over exert myself in an effort to be pain-free.
    I push myself on a daily basis as if afraid of good
    health. Or more to the point, fearful of being able
    to enact any meaningful personal change.

    It is a confronting revelation. It hurts!

    Anyway Eric, Alexander Technique is a remarkable
    mind-body learning which looks as our patterns of
    physical use & subsequent interference we create
    on both a physical, behavioural & emotional level.

    Rather than asking the participant to physically enact
    bodily change it is sending out a call, asking for a letting
    go of habitual tension & then replacing this with a new
    direction. As opposed (but not in opposition!) to traditional exercise
    programs, Alexander Technique is a mental effort of attention,
    as if getting out of the way of oneself to enable the body to find
    its optimal health.

    The Alexander Technique attempts to bring a coordinated,
    integrated lengthening of the whole body musculature, as
    the postural reflexes function to evoke full height and expansion
    in response to gravity. It looks for expansion in the mind-body rather
    than our continual habit toward learnt response, usually contraction.

    It is not unlike TMS learning in this regard.

    I find remarkably complementary to my work here.

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I found this when I was checking into the Alexander technique some time ago - thanks PeterO -- Now I have to study it so I'll let you know in a few weeks what I think. So far I've heard in the above video how tension creates pain -- that's the same as tms knowledge. The alignments it seems is the next thing that they address and tight muscles -- which is the physical body. I'd take that part as being healthy for my body . What do you think PeterO, You think the tension release is the most beneficial? Thanks for your comments. Awesome
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  10. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter


    My experience is that 'tension release' is a key tenet of
    the Alexander Technique. George Bernard Shaw wrote of
    the practice that the change (release!) is so subtle that only
    he (FM Alexander) could see it. Obviously since then many
    people have been trained in the technique & much
    written. I have posted a link below in which well known
    teacher Carolyn Nicholls discusses how the Alexander
    Technique can help deal with chronic pain.


    Personally I believe that understanding and application of
    Alexander Technique requires time spent with an experienced

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014

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