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Question on "vigilance" to pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by livlive, May 26, 2018.

  1. livlive

    livlive Peer Supporter

    Hi fellow TMSrs,

    Id love to learn what people’s opinions are in terms of what the end goals are of a TMS approach to pain. What I mean is, is there a philosophy of total vigilance to pain until it’s eliminated? Or is it more to just get to the point where you live your life with pain, in can be a bummer, but you just get used to it.

    I’ve not posted in a long while, so just to give a summary of my situation I had a long spinal fusion for progressing scoliosis about 4.5 years ago and was left with terrible pain. Then a little over a year ago I had a second surgery to remove some of the hardware and it helped tremendously, though I had a long road of slowly building back my body.

    So where I’m at now - I live a pretty good life- am active every day, can do most things without thinking about pain too much, but the pain is underlying every day. I journal and read and practice a lot of things to soothe my nervous system.

    I’ve read a lot about neuroplasticity and really like this website by Dr. Michael Moskowitz http://www.neuroplastix.com/ (Home | Neuroplastix). He believes that one should have the goal of total pain elimination-that it’s totally possible, but you have to be vigilant every time you feel the pain - practice somatic tracking, self-soothing etc.

    Just wondering what people’s thoughts are? I’m not one of those (lucky) people who read the books and then was cured over night. I have felt pain relief very slowly over time. But I wonder if I’ve plateaued and if that’s just how it will be and that’s ok? Should I just be thankful I’m not debilitated and I’m able to do most things, just not all things?
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi livlive,

    I think that a slow, steady, non-obsessive approach, similar to what you may be doing, is best. By treating pain with awareness, self-soothing, somatic tracking ---and without trying too hard to "make it go away" or "track its existence" moment-to-moment, you are on the right track.

    I don't know what else you are doing to support your TMS work, but there are more in-depth practices which will help. See the Wiki for programs.

    I still have some occasional pain and stiffness in my foot, and what is helpful is to simply acknowledge to myself: "Of course you have pain, you're prone to TMS; this is a natural part of the human condition." Then I dismiss the issue and bring my mind to other things, like the environment or sensations. Then there is no pain, or at least awareness or worry about pain. You have more acute symptoms than I do, so this approach may be more challenging, but that is the jist of what I recommend.

    Not being worried about pain is the greater goal, and will take you farther than "fixing all pain." And be patient in the process. I think in time you will be able to do "all things."

    Andy B
    Lizzy, Ellen and westb like this.
  3. livlive

    livlive Peer Supporter

    Hi Andy,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and for your encouragement. I am going to incorporate your words as a mantra "of course you have pain, you're prone to TMS; this is a natural part of the human condition." I love that for its simplicity.

    It's been a delicate balance for me, as it is for everyone I'm sure, not letting the pain run in the background all the time without acknowledging it, but also not wanting to become preoccupied.

    I think I'll just have to stick with the slow and steady approach while continuing to challenge myself.

    Thanks again,
    Lizzy likes this.

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