Question To Ponder When was the last time you exercised or did another physical activity? What was this activity? How did it make you feel physically and emotionally? If it is has been a while since you last exercised, why? Response: As I stated in my very first post, I actually continued exercise throughout this entire episode (nearly six months now), mainly by lifting weights, which is how I triggered this episode. A lot of my instance to keep lifting weights stems from fear of losing muscle gains and self-image insecurity, things I've become more aware of through all of this. I ceased all activity for 7-10 days after the "pop" in my back, but then went back to the gym, terrified, stiff, wearing a weight belt, hobbling around the gym, in pain during every exercise. Again, it was mostly ego driving me, but I also knew deep down that I needed to overcome the fear of lifting weights right away, or else I'd risk never getting back to the gym again. So I went and did modified weight lifting for several weeks, always in fear, overtly cautious, and in pain. I wasn't getting better, and thought that the weight lifting was likely retarding my recovery, so I finally scheduled a doctor appointment where I was told to STOP all lifting right away, at least until the MRI results came back. After the results showed herniations, the back specialists told me to do PT and follow what they said. The physical therapists had me doing light exercise at the facility and after 4 weeks ok'ed me to return to the gym, but to be cautious, wear weight belt, avoid an entire list of lifting exercises, many of which were my favorites, and gradually work back up to the weight I was lifting prior to the injury. That was 8 weeks ago, and I am happy to say that I'm back to lifting the same weight as before on a FEW exercises, but up until 4-5 days ago, before reading Sarno and finding out about TMS, I was still full of fear. Since then, I've stopped wearing the weight belt and have enjoyed lifting much more. There is still some fear and tightness when in the gym, but I feel it improving consistently. But even still, there are lifting exercises I'm still very reluctant to do, namely squats and leg press, because squats with dumbbells are how sparked this TMS flareup.... But to be honest, I'm OK with keeping those out of my routine for now. I didn't particular "like" those anyways, and I'm doing others that hit my quads, hams and butt, so it's OK for now. The activity that I have avoided is long-distance walks.... I love to walk. I would typically do 4-5 mile walks 3-4 times a week in NYC. I love to walk over the bridges into Manhattan and back. It's meditative for me, gives me time to think, to listen to music, to people watch, to look at the city, etc. Because of the pain caused by walking, mostly in low back and left buttock, sometimes going down the leg, I haven't done a long walk since Dec. 2014. I miss it. Although I've been active in the gym, ride my bike everywhere, and do short walks when I must, it just isn't the same. I'm starting to see that I get tense every time I know that I'll have to do any sort of walking. I'll try to find ways that I won't have to walk, or just decide not to go if it involves lots of walking or standing. I get scared, even before I'm actually walking. Then once I start walking, I'm constantly monitoring for pain, and sure enough, it comes. It's become something like a tick, I'll be walking, the pain will build up in my back and butt, and I'll have to do some strange movement, usually leaning forward for a moment, to relieve the pain, which it does for a bit, then builds up again, etc. As it's been pointed out in TMS literature, at this point I'm not certain if there is actually pain or if it's just because my expectation, intensified by the fear of the pain. I will ad, however, that just in these past few days, walking has improved. The pain does still come, but it doesn't feel as intense. There's also been less fear of walking, although it's still very much there. I find that if I keep telling my brain that it's TMS, it's emotionally based, the pain lessens a bit. But I'm new to all of this, so I realize it will take some time to become accustomed. I'm feeling very hopeful, positive, and grateful for this chance to truly face these feelings and conquer this back shit - and not just "temporarily", which had always been my focus in the past - to just get through "this" episode of pain; but this time I aim to cure this shit by way of this TMS treatment.