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rate of strength gains after TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by music321, May 7, 2017.

  1. music321

    music321 Well known member

    I'm putting the last nail in the coffin of TMS. I'll be healed from most of its effects in a month or so. While dealing with TMS, gains made while exercising have been very slow. Can I expect to gain strength/muscle mass more quickly after TMS has resolved? My gut feeling says "yes". Once mitochondria and cellular machinery are operating optimally, how could I not see improved gains?

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Depends on how totally TMS-free you've become I suppose. You might be a whole lot better, but the underlying TMS condition continues to persist, interfering with strength gain and muscle mass increase. Which brings up another question: Is anyone with TMS ever completely TMS-free? Or is a TMS self-cure really an ongoing process that can last throughout your lifespan?
  3. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Musci321:,

    I did not experience any loss of strength from TMS. In addition to back, knee, and foot pain, I had pain and numbness in both legs. I could barely climb two steps. Two days after I began my Rapid Recovery I climbed 17 steps with amazing ease.

    I could barely bring a glass of water to my mouth because of pain and numbness in both arms and hands. Two weeks into my recovery I carried both my children weighing more than 40 pounds. I did not notice any loss of strength and the need to be completely TMS-free to gain my strength.

    I have seen the same experience from readers who wrote me, as well as my clients. You can read their stories on my website to build your confidence that it is possible. For example, Allan Massison was walking with a cane due to weakness and sciatica in both legs. His biggest problem with the pain of sciatica was climbing stairs. He had to hold on to the banister. Even then, he could barely do it. By the second day of his Rapid Recovery, he climbed an entire stairway two steps at a time.

    Botanist Ailsa Howard of New Zealand was in a wheelchair and definitely not using her muscles much, yet recovered rapidly to hike and climb mountains again.

    Just don't rush into doing too much, too fast to avoid scaring yourself if you feel some pain. Otherwise, keep going forward.
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  4. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    What I have seen for the past twenty years or more of studying TMS and TMS patients, it is possible to live a relatively TMS-free life as long as you work on dealing with internal and external sources of your tension.

    Will there be times that due to stress and tension you will experience TMS? Of course! Dr. Sarno has many times. As long as you realize it is TMS and deal with it constructively, you should be fine.
    BruceMC likes this.
  5. music321

    music321 Well known member

    This has raised more questions for me. In the post above, Fred Amir mentions "external tension" as a precipitator of TMS. I thought, according to Sarno, that TMS was the result of repressed emotion, not conscious stress. Frankly, I can't imagine a life free from external tension. Does this mean I'll always have TMS? Non-TMS sufferers can handle tension without experiencing pain. Has my nervous system become permanently sensitized to the point that TMS disability will always be one stressful event away?

    As for Ms. Howard, for how long was she wheel-chair bound, and how long was it before she was able to hike, etc.? I was bedridden for three years, ending in 2011. At that point, I started to recover. By mid 2016, I could walk five miles at a time, two times per week, over moderate terrain. I was discouraged that after so many years, I'd only made it that far.

    I am asking the original quesion in relation to the link at the end, in which an MD comments on metabolic muscle dysfunction associated with "fibromyalgia". In my own life, I really thought that I was on a road to recovering physical ability. I strained a muscle that lead to further injury, and then to months of inactivity, and finally a loss of years hard won strength and endurance. I wonder if I was more injury prone as a result of TMS, or if I was simply too deconditioned for what I attempted when injuring myself.

    Thanks for the detailed replies.

    http://answers.webmd.com/answers/1189950/can-fibromyalgia-cause-muscles-to-tear (Can fibromyalgia cause muscles to tear more easily? - WebMD Answers)
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Emotional repression is a defense mechanism that the unconscious uses in the the context of a stimulus (trigger). We come into contact with these triggers all the time. Thus, recovery from TMS is an ongoing process in which we change our response to these triggers that are inevitable in life. I can easily fall back into using the defense mechanism of repression unless I remain mindful of my past thinking and emotional patterns, and choose instead to respond differently. This is why relapse is common for many of us who have recovered from TMS. So rather than thinking that I'll always "have TMS", I see myself as being "prone to TMS" due to personality and early childhood experiences.
    Duggit likes this.
  7. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Here is Ailsa's full story. Hope it helps.

    This story was written in January 2004, and was sent to a rapid recovery news-group. It has been updated in June 2006.

    My name is Ailsa and I am currently 42. Since my pregnancy in 1995-6 I developed pain in my body that eventually reached a point where almost all the activities in life I loved were no longer available, and trying to get well became an obsession.

    The critical symptoms were an upper leg that felt like it was being sawed, RSI in my hands and arms which developed over a period of about 2 weeks, (and at it's worst prevented me from dressing, toileting or eating without assistance), and eventually my feet (both) which became painful after I twisted one ankle as I was running down a street with my daughter. At times my back and neck were too sore to travel in the car, and of course there was a year when I couldn't drive myself at all. As the inflammation reduced with constant AK (Applied Kinesiology) and Osteopathy treatment I was able to drive for about 15 mins or so without a flareup. Eventually in Oct 2002, after one foot mishap after another, I ended up in a wheelchair, pushed around by my husband.

    In my past life I received a degree in Botany and worked as a Botanist in the field. NZ is rough and rugged and I've always loved to tramp and climb. My other passion is the piano which I have played since I was a little girl, and of course as my pain levels went up I became severely limited in playing, particularly using the pedal which I could not depress at all without sending spasms up the back of my leg.

    This episode has had a huge impact on my life and that of my family. Of course we spent thousands and great amounts of energy seeking a cause and a cure. We saw several specialists. The one that seems to have had the greatest impact suggested that the tendons in my feet had been stretched to the point that they would not longer work and that it would be unlikely that they would improve. I asked about surgery. He said (and now of course I'm so glad he did) that even shortening them may only give me perhaps twenty minutes tramping before they would stretch again. I asked how I would manage from here. He said that all he could suggest was that I must be careful only to walk on level surfaces.

    This was the beginning of a profound loss of freedom for me. No paddling at the beach with the sand between my toes. No walking (shopping malls don't count to me, and the footpaths where I live could never be considered level). No wearing bare feet. No outdoors, and all the time being careful, careful, CAREFUL to avoid injury. And the pain got worse despite my commitment to avoiding any activity that might be a problem.

    Wendy (who had been through a similar experience, and supported me throughout the process of recovery) wrote to a friend of mine early last year and she passed the letter to me. I finally got hold of a copy of The Mindbody Prescription in mid-March. I didn't believe Sarno was on track for a moment, but when I got to the place where it explains how to deal with getting rid of pain, I allowed myself to take a quick look at an incident that had traumatised me in my mid-teens, and noticed to my amazement that my back which had been really troubling me, was suddenly pain free and remained so for around 3 days. Of course I sat up and took notice.

    I didn't seem to have much cohesive improvement at first but devoured Amir's book when it arrived in the mail. What really stuck out for me was how I linked activity or events with pain.

    It seems crazy now, but I believed that I only had one pair of shoes that didn't cause damage to my feet. Of course I'd worn them non-stop for 3 years and they were almost worn out, and I was starting to panic because I couldn't find a replacement. Not to mention that because they were sandals rather than full shoes I had freezing toes in winter, and used to wear socks with them, which didn't look too good. Several years before I'd spent almost $300 on a pair of Italian leather boots. I'd bought them because they were comfortable (so I thought) and they really looked great, but as my foot pain developed, a piece of me thought it was something to do with these shoes. I sent them to a shoe specialist to see if he could alter them in any way so that my foot was aligned as in my "comfortable" sandals. He said no, so I hid them in my cupboard so I wouldn't have to look at them.

    On reading I suddenly made the connection that this could be association. I went and dug out my shoes. I put them on. Much to my shock I found my heart racing in fear. And my feet hurt a lot. I decided I would introduce myself to them gradually which is what I did. In the beginning I would put them on for half a minute or so, then take them off. I hurt. Then I practiced walking up the hall with the thought in mind that I would have one pain-free step, then two etc. Over a few weeks I got to be able to walk up and down the hall 6 times! One afternoon I decided to leave them on for twenty minutes, and if it worked go out and buy myself a present. After twenty minutes was up I realised my feet felt great, so I kept them on and went out wearing them. That evening I realised that I would try the pedal on the piano for the first time in two years. I did and I've been playing the piano without trouble ever since, playing whatever I want. In fact I've just given two ninety minute concerts in the last couple of months (wearing my boots of course).

    I designed my 9 step plan incorporating walks and bounces on the trampoline. I made my ultimate goal walking to the Harris Saddle on the Routeburn track, a very special place for me. (It involves a three-day return journey through mountainous terrain carrying a pack, along a track that is anything but level). At the time I designed this plan I was still attempting to do a pain-free step along the hall. In November I achieved my goal. It was amongst the most special experiences of my life.

    I still experience some pain from time to time but nothing like the pain I had had for several years. I am comfortable in bed, and I can read, carry things, drive where I like and vacuum the house. I seem to need to continually visualise myself doing activities without pain, and usually my body cooperates very well. If I am not disciplined my mind runs its association of pain and activity that it has practiced for years and my body behaves accordingly. I have just returned from a day at the beach, kayaking with the kids, paddling in the sea, and carrying the kayak up from low tide mark. No problems. Not bad for a woman that not so long ago had trouble cutting up a carrot.

    One of the most amazing things for me is that my hayfever/asthma problem has next to totally disappeared. Other than reading that this might be part of the same emotion cycle, I have not tried consciously to get rid of it in the same way that I've worked on my body. It is especially amazing as I developed severe hayfever at five, (that's nearly forty years ago). Now I can sniff the grass, and poke my nose into Christmas lilies and Lupins, and have the cat in bed. This is like a miracle to me.

    In conclusion I can only give you a taste of how joyous it has been to have my life back. I have freedom again and spend leisure time in the outdoors, or playing the piano, or engaging in physical playing with my daughter, and can spend time at work working hard without fear. And I can talk on the phone without a headset for as long as I like. I can go 4-wheel driving, or fishing. There have been so many things that have been restored to me I can't remember them all. If Wendy had not been in touch my likely future would have remained dependent and stifled. I can only say that the results are well worth the input and that I owe all those who are committed to sharing this approach a great debt.
  8. music321

    music321 Well known member

    Thanks, I appreciate the replies.
  9. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Remember since TMS originates in the mind, you can set your mind anyway you like and your body will eventually follow.
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I reread a few of your past posts and feel you are looking for reasons why TMS does not apply to you. A TMS doctor told you to exercise but not to be masochistic about it. You didn't go away from his advice sounding confident that he was correct. You continue asking questions about muscle strength, whether they can be strained even if you're a TMS'er and the physiology of muscle on a cellular level discussing such things as mitochrodria. You went from being totally bedbound to walking five miles, and felt you weren't making enough progress--then came up with a "strain". Five miles to me, is a good chunk of real-estate, and I've run thirteen marathons. I responded to your questions about whether you could get a physical strain "even" if you're a TMS'er. I believe NO, you can't get a strain by walking five miles, unless it's up Everest. You appear to be looking for excuses, as SteveO has enumerated, for why TMS does not apply to you, looking for technical loopholes, either not responding to posts for you or asking more questions to your questions. My recommendation is keep reading your Sarno, it's your "owner's manual" to mindbody health, and when you have a new symptom substitution, go back to your TMS doc or a competent doc, to get checked out if it's anything needing treatment. After six weeks, as BB65 has reinterated what Dr. Sarno said : The femur, the biggest bone in the body, heals stronger then new, after being broken. If you're worried about whether "strain" is TMS or not, get an MRI and if nothing is torn assume it's TMS. Give it a couple of days, a week or two.If it takes longer then that to heal, it's most likely TMS. From your history, I think your "strain" is TMS. After walking five miles, without a traumatic event like tripping on a curb or a step, you would just feel tired and stop to rest. Your body is MUCH stronger and resilient then you are giving it credit for--or you could drive another five hours and have the TMS doc tell you the same thing again. I would have been tickled pink, if a doc had told me it was TMS and just go out an do it! Good luck to you!
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  11. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    I agree with Ellen. I think TMS recovery is an ongoing process. I believe that it needs to be a part of our "self care" routine - daily. I actually wish the sarno books did not talk about the "book cure" people. While TMS knowledge is incredibly powerful, I believe it needs to be exercised - like a muscle. I healed my hands (carpal tunnel / RSI) and 80% percent of my newfound anxiety with TMS (I didn't have anxiety until a year ago). However, I feel little aches and pains in the hands and light anxiety thoughts daily. They try to grow back like weeds. My healing is successful because I have realized that I must make self care a priority in my life. I think many of us on this forum have experienced a lot of good from TMS. However, most of us are still here because we realize it isn't a one time deal. It is a change in the way we think, act and take care of ourselves. Good luck! You sound so smart for your age!
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    TMS is my hobby;).
    AC45 likes this.
  13. music321

    music321 Well known member

    Thanks for the reply. I read this soon after you posted, and have been thinking about it. I now know, full well, that I have TMS. My recent thinking, to the extent that I've been thinking about the physical, has been along the lines of determining "what" is TMS, for lack of better phrasing. A member recently shared a powerful insight into how to determine if muscle pain might be TMS vs an actual strain (strains usually don't hurt when the muscle is at rest, but then hurt if the muscle is used AT ALL). This allows me to know with certainty, that my calf muscle pain, for instance, is TMS. This changes the way I think about using it, and the lack of treatments (and lack of focus) I put on the muscle.

    I don't really like the "femur" analogy. ANY broken bone will be as good as new six weeks after a break. I suppose a broken bone is seen as a dramatic injury, which is why the example was included in the book. Bones take far less time than tendons and ligaments to heal, however. I bad tendon tear can take up to 1.5 years to recover fully. Catastrophic ligament injury takes up to 2.5 years to heal completely, though the ligaments will be functional much sooner.

    In many ways, I still don't know how to deal with my body. Last summer, I was doing upper body exercises with 8-pound weights. I stopped, and became very weak as a result of an "injury". In retrospect, though I might have had a minor injury, it wasn't nearly as severe as I perceived it. Unfortunately, time off caused me to lose strength that had taken years to acquire. Recently, I slowly ramped up weight lifting intensity. A few weeks ago, I was using a 3 lb weight. To have gone from #3 to #6 in a few weeks was fine for the muscles, but I don't know how strong my tendons are since last summer. Two days ago, I felt some mild discomfort in my triceps tendon as I was doing reps 7 and 8 of an 8 rep set with a 6 lb weight. I have pain and tenderness two days later. I really don't know if I should ice it and rest it for a week or two, or simply keep exercising. The risks are injury vs deconditioning. I'm faced with these sorts of dilemmas all the time, and don't know what to do. It's very frustrating.

    Aside from this, I'm making progress psychologically. I'm continually envisioning myself as "functional", not just physically, but as a member of society. I realize that before long, I won't be chronically tired and foggy mentally. It's all I can do to make it through a day without a nap as I live with my parents. It's challenging, but fruitful, to go from this mind set to one in which I envision not only pulling my own weight, but also being able to take on increasing responsibility at a company, and eventually care for a family. I am trying to discard my self-image as a victim.

    Thanks again for the replies.
  14. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    You don't lose muscle fiber once it's created. Muscles atrophy from non-use but quickly tone after a couple of weeks of re-conditioning. You don't need a lot of muscle to stay on this planet, just enough to remain erect and get up from a chair. You are on the fence regarding TMS and giving greater weight to the physical then the emotional in your posts. This is the TMS site, so I can say that because we come from an emotional view point here versus disparaging the anatomical/structural aspects. One point that all TMS authors make is you have to be in 100% on the TMS theory or it won't work as fast or as well or not at all. It's like believing the earth is round and flat at the same time, can't be done--although the earth looks flat from our perspective, from above it's definitely round--TMS belief requires a leap of faith.

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