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Problems accepting TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by heleng, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. heleng

    heleng Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone

    I have been doing lots of reading and am trying to fully believe the pain I have is TMS. I was lying in bed last night feeling the usual pain in my back and legs and trying to think positively and accept this was not real but a manifestation of my emotions. I then had a thought which has really bothered me a lot.

    Dr Sarno talks a lot about how we have come to see out spines and indeed our bodies as fragile delicate structures when in fact they are robust and flexible. He talks about the rise in problems with RSI and back pain compared to a few years ago, all of which I can accept. But...if back pain and leg pain and all the other TMS pains are a manifestation of our emotions and not actual physical problems then what did people in the past do differently to deal with their emotions so they didn't get crippled with pain in their bodies? Surely we are more open about discussing emotions than out grandparents so why hasn't TMS always been around, why is it a seemingly new phenomenon?

    I feel this idea has really derailed my ability to accept TMS because it simply doesn't seem to make sense that all of a sudden people get pain due to repressed emotions where in the past people rarely got back pain and RSI.

    I hope you can understand what I am trying to say....I want to believe my pain is due to my anger/stress/emotional pain but this new thought seems to have made it hard for me to fully believe.

    Does anyone have any thoughts about this issue?


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  2. EricFeelsThisWay

    EricFeelsThisWay Peer Supporter

    In his book, Sarno says the mind-body disorder of the past was what Freud called hysterics. Psycho-somatic conditions change and evolve over time and in different cultures depending on what's in vogue and considered acceptable. Schubiner uses the example of the many cases of whiplash in one country (Iceland I think?), while the almost non-existence of it in a neighboring country. It seems like we're always looking for something else to complain about except our emotions.
  3. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Helen,

    There's a few points here...

    I would say, people didn't do anything differently in the past to avoid their ailments, they still suffered as we do today.

    The phenomenon of mind body healing is not new, it's always been embraced in Eastern culture, but it's always been brushed aside in western society because of a different agenda - $.

    I think with technology and the ever increasing demands from society, family etc we have gradually embedded false beliefs and have become more detached from who we are, our morales, values. Our very being has shifted from what we are to what everyone expects from us. I think alot of the work is about conciously getting back to our true self and being happy.

    Like Eric states the ailment depends on what's in vogue, the sub conscious is a very tricky beast. As I recall, Dr Sarno said, ulcers used to be in vogue in the 80s as these became less fashionable, we saw a rise in other ailments. It's nothing more than the minds mechanism to trick us and keep us in fear.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
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  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Helen, great question. Eric already mentioned Freud's study of what we call TMS, and you can find examples of what are clearly psychosomatic conditions throughout history and literature.

    Back in very primitive times, when this mechanism evolved for our survival, the distraction was that raw survival. Life was short, and our one and only job was to live long enough to breed and raise the next generation. We were fully distracted with day to day survival.

    Your symptoms are less when you're really engaged in something, right? That's what I'm talkin' about.

    The problem with modern life is that we have way more time on our hands, most of us live very safe lives, and we have this awareness of many many years ahead that we need to plan for. And it's killing us.

    No wonder we're seeing an epidemic of mind-body disorders!

    Great points by Mike, too.
  5. Scott.Cameron

    Scott.Cameron Peer Supporter

    Hi Helen,

    I'm pretty new around here but I'll Give you my interpretation...

    Yes of course our grandparents suffered forms of TMS, they just had different symptoms I expect, maybe not even physical symptoms, but what I would say is that they did not have nearly as much conditioning in their lives.

    One thing that has really stood out to me is that our brains are VERY easily conditioned and your id will play on this and use every trick it knows to convince you that this is a real problem.

    For example : when I personally discovered my very real symptoms could be turned off through thought I had to question where I could have got the idea that I would have a bad back in the first place? Well I think I know, I remember when I was a small child, one of my mothers friends, only in her 20s had bad back pain. She had surgery but has still always had problems. I clearly remember thinking... Oh, so you don't have to be really old to suffer back pain, It happens to young people too. Later in life I then worked with other people who did the same job as me who also had back pain. Then doctors advice that this happens... The seeds have been sown. My conscious would easily beleive believe my back pain was real. You need to watch this, my experience so far says, if you give it an inch of doubt it will take a mile of pain!

    The sort of things that put doubt on our heads are all around us, constant advertising of meds, Other people with symptoms, you really need to be carefull. Advice from doctors that this is normal, etc. you really need to be careful.

    I like Sarnos quote of.

    " if you broke your pelvis bone, it hurts but the bone repairs itself in 6 weeks, if an athelete tears a muscle it repairs very quickly, THE HUMAN BODY IS AMAZING AT REPAIRING itself. why do we not believe our minor injuries will not heal? " ... This was a big help to me because it's what I believed myself deep down, I came to realise my beliefs that I could have this pain were all put in my head by society and media and of course if u believe it your TMS will use that

    it's simple when you understand how easily the human mind is conditioned. you start to notice the conditioning going on and you start to notice how you have been conditioned. Think about this and try and notice this programming. This has certainly helped me.
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  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Scott, you could make this your signature line! Love it.
  7. Scott.Cameron

    Scott.Cameron Peer Supporter

    This is an interesting topic, and has got me thinking. I have to admit that I had that same question pop into my head about my grandmother, but ignored it because I suspected it was my subconscious trying to put doubt in my head.

    She was the eldest of 9 children. Her mother died when she was 14 and she became the primary carer for her 8 younger siblings, her father was not a nice man and although she never admitted it we strongly beleive she was abused by him. Then when she married my grandfather she became a mother of 4 children of her own as well as helping the family business, all seemingly without any TMS symptoms, but wait, I always remember her having bad migraines, she also had a terrible temper with her kids and grandkids should they step out of line, she has always also battled with her weight, then at 60 her pain symptoms started to increase (hips, knees, wrists) and her condition has only worsened over time.

    I suspect there were some symptoms when she was younger but I would say she was largely distracted by family responsibilities until later life. And even then she consumed her spare time with jigsaw puzzles and suduko. Don't forget, the purpose of TMS is to distract you, if you are completely distracted and your brain knows of no likely ailment that you will accept, it would be less likely to produce symptoms.

    So, all of a sudden it seems clear to me that she in fact, has been suffering TMS for a long time. I'm sure if it was normal in her day to have a bad back in her 30s she would of had one. I hope this helps you and don't let your unconscious throw you off track by its presenting of them sort of questions!
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  8. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    My grandmother had crippling hip pain for as long as I can remember and I believe it was TMS. She was a very bright, creative person. She loved acting and was one of the best storytellers I have ever known. And she had an incredible singing voice. She was married to a minister. He was a kind, gentle man, but they were extremely poor, raising 4 children... I know she felt very stuck in her life and did not have much outlet for her creative and adventuresome spirit. For many years the hip pain was a big focus of her life. I often see people dealing with very difficult life circumstances and yet we as a culture still turn to the physical, in particular drugs and medication, rather than offering counseling and support. I regularly see elderly spouses taking care of an ill partners, and the caregivers have all kinds of chronic pain, back pain, shoulder pain, dizziness, stomach troubles... And I have observed that clients who are still very active, get out of the house, volunteer, are involved with their grandchildren, still doing the hobbies they love, don't seem to have much pain.
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  9. Scott.Cameron

    Scott.Cameron Peer Supporter

    Yes agree ^^^ how many times have you seen someone turn 60, decide they are old, then deteriorate rapidly. Then like you say you have the opposite, like my dad who has two young children at the age of 57 that seem to keep them fit and in good health. Another example of how attitude alone can affect health.
  10. heleng

    heleng Peer Supporter

    Hi guys

    Thanks for all your great messages. You have helped me a lot.

    I was thinking back to people in my family and yes I can definitely see some examples of what I would call TMS. I know my dad suddenly developed a very painful hip after the death of my mother and was told he needed painkillers and had to slow down. It seems glaringly obvious now that the pain was a reaction to the grief he was feeling.

    My problem is believing and my mischievous brain is looking for a reason to not believe in TMS because I think the ramifications of it not being physical are actually hard to bear. It makes me feel genuinely sad for myself to have done this to myself and I also find it hard to imagine how I can undo this problem. I guess I am just struggling at the moment, and belief is probably the hardest thing to achieve as it takes confidence and you need to feel certain. I want to believe

    Again, many thanks for all your comments, really helpful

  11. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Helen, I understand. I felt incredibly sad when I first started working on the TMS. I tortured myself with the realization that I could have saved myself over 20 years of suffering if I had just committed to Sarno's work when I was first introduced to it. I read his book after I had a ruptured disc in my lower back in my early 30's. I tried to work on his principles for about a month and then gave up. I even told my therapist a few years ago that I felt I was punishing myself for some reason. Why else would I still be in physical pain when it was clear to me I had TMS? Why else would my subconscious create this physical pain when I was trying so hard to uncover all the potential psychological reasons? It made no sense to me what could possibly be worse than the physical pain. I can't say I found "the answer" or had some big aha moment, but I do remember as I finally accepted and settled into the process, that I had moments in which I sensed what it was all about.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
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  12. Scott.Cameron

    Scott.Cameron Peer Supporter

    I'm glad that helped, don't beat yourself up mate, I too felt ashamed that I had let this have me over for so long but really, it's not our fault!! This is human nature and it's just a natural defence mechanism. It's not our fault we have been subjected to a lifetime of conditioning to think otherwise.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I believe God led me to learning about TMS, when I was 82. Three years later, I still thank Him for it and do not agonize over how long it took me to learn about it. I'm like Anne. I accept that it took so long and go on from there.

    Helen, being a caregiver to an elderly person (my mother) was very stressful for me. I had to give up after two years and ask my older brother for help. He wasn't much help to Mom, but she was impossible to please. Too bad many elderly are like that. They make it hard on themselves and everyone trying to help them.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Helen, you're right on the edge of figuring this out. The first thing you need to believe in is yourself. You can do this, but you need to love yourself enough to know in your heart that you deserve to recover.
  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Three often-recommended books on self-acceptance:
    • Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
    • Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
    • You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
    And you can still download all of the free interviews at The Self Acceptance Project by giving SoundsTrue your email address - they don't send very many emails and they have great books and audio programs in any case. The contributors to the project include Kristin Neff and Tara Brach.

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