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'Pushing through' vs respecting/listening to symptoms...VERY confusing

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mcplums, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. mcplums

    mcplums New Member

    I feel like this is the area that I am most struggling to grasp. My TMS therapist and my favourite author on the subject (not Sarno- Steve Ozanich!) I think have a different outlook on this.

    I have a TMS therapist who is of the opinion (unless I misunderstand, which is possible) that symptoms should be respected and listened to, and that when you do something that you don't 'feel' like doing as a result of symptoms- such as physical exercise despite having pain- it is in full dialogue with your 'inner self' that the symptoms are not necessary so 'I'm going to do the exercise anyway'.

    Whereas an alternative view- expressed by Steve Ozanich in his book 'The Great Pain Deception' is much more of the 'fuck you TMS' attitude, and advises you to just do what you would do if you were well, and stop giving two fucks about your symptoms.

    Both perspectives make sense. In conclusion, this is my question:

    Should I 'listen' to symptoms, or tell them to go fuck themselves!?
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi mcplums,

    I'd say do both.

    Inquire into and learn what the underlying "think psychological" causes are for your TMS symptoms. This is "listening." I am listening to the real causes of "danger signals" and for "what does not want to be felt." I am learning to feel and know the deep underlying psychodynamics which cause symptoms.

    Also, proceed to push ahead with activities which challenge the way you've seen yourself as physically not OK. This sends a deep signal that we're not believing the fears, and that we're healthy, and that the symptoms can stop.

    So you can be totally attuned to the parts of you which need to be felt, learned about, held with love, and at the same time teach your mind-body that it is safe to do things.

    Andy B
  3. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    This is probably not the answer you are looking for but for me there's no specific way to get rid of symptoms. TMS recovery is about forgetting about pain all together. Any attitude that enables you to reach this state will work.

    In my opinion being mad at the pain will cause frustration which will lead to more symptoms. To me the key is acceptance. Accepting yourself, accepting your life and accepting pain.
    MindBodyPT and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @mcplums and welcome.
    I echo Andy. I definitely do both, depending upon the current circumstances. When I'm at the gym, where my lifelong exercise anxiety can rear its ugly head, I just push through, while assuring myself that whatever I'm doing is not only NOT harmful, it's providing important health benefits. Other times, I am much more reflective, journaling and mindfully exploring what might have triggered symptoms.

    And as @deafheaven also indicates, there is no specific way to "get rid" of symptoms. Pain and other symptoms are generated by our brains, not by specific body parts, so the goal is to change your brain. The first requirement for that is to believe beyond a doubt that the symptom messages are false.

    This will be a lifelong process, and one which is unique to you. I also agree that it involves acceptance. In time, you will become more accepting, both of your symptoms and of yourself, and you will find the techniques which work for YOU, allowing you to take back your life.
  5. mcplums

    mcplums New Member

    Thanks chaps. This definitely does help.

    Also, you have indeed stumbled onto my weakness in this area- the desire to 'get rid' of symptoms!! This is definitely an area that I struggle with- my first thought is how to 'get rid of them' whereas, as you say, this isn't really the appropriate approach. This requires a fundamental attitude shift that can only be achieved with time and introspection I think. It is perhaps only when you stop trying to 'get rid' of them but instead accept them and seek the underlying reason for them, that they shift.

    It's like instead of invading from the front, you have to go in backwards and say you are leaving :)
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    Exactly, best way to get rid of symptoms is stop trying to get rid of symptoms. Give up, accept them, to the point that you don't notice them anymore. It's a tough and long process though.

    One day you'll say to yourself: "oh wait, where's the pain? it's been months since I haven't thought of this crap"

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