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Re: 'You Are Not Your Brain'

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BloodMoon, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I thought I'd post up about (yet another!:)) mind/body book that I'm reading atm - just in case anyone might find that it 'hits the spot' for them, and because I've only seen it mentioned in one other thread on this forum. The book seems to encompass TMS principles with other mind/body approaches. It's called 'You Are Not Your Brain' by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., and apparently combines what the author calls 'the best of' CBT and mindfulness in his own 4 step plan. (I've had CBT in the past and it didn't help me at all, so I'm dubious about it especially as it's also had some bad press in recent years; however, when I had CBT it wasn't combined with mindfulness, so I'm willing to give it another go - especially as it's supposed to be 'the best of' it!)

    This is what @Dahlia said about the book in this past thread http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/any-advice-on-reacting-to-pain-anxiety.3520/#post-21255 (Day 8 - Any advice on reacting to pain/anxiety?):

    "Here's a different approach. The pain/fear/anxiety is a well-worn, deep groove in our neural pathways. So another tool to address the pain/anxiety is a process for building new neural pathways. It is a 4-step process for changing your brain and hence your experience. This process was developed by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D and explained in detail in his book You Are Not Your Brain. http://www.youarenotyourbrain.com/ (Jeffrey Schwartz, M.D. - Neuroplasticity, Neuroscience, Mindfulness) Although the book does not mention pain specifically as a target for treatment with this method, it does work for pain and anxiety.

    Here's the gist of it:

    Step 1: Identify what you are feeling. Is is pain? Is it anxiety (about pain)? Is it both? Tell yourself, "I don't have to listen to this."

    Step 2: Tell yourself, "These are the brain patterns that I am changing."

    Step 3: Add something neutral or positive to your experience, like listen to music, sing/hum, put yourself in a trance state (focus on a candle flame, watch random patterns in nature), focus on your breathing, focus on your hearing (identify 5 different sounds you can hear right now), focus on the feeling in another part of your body (like the tips of your ears).

    Step 4: Reinforce yourself for interrupting the old pattern. Congratulate yourself on the effort, not the results.

    Some of these skills might take some repetition to learn but the potential rewards are great."


    karly_mac likes this.
  2. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Sounds great! Sounds similar to Moskowitz too - not letting any pain signal go unopposed by other signaling (thoughts, sensations, images, memories, etc.).
    BloodMoon likes this.
  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, indeed - it is very similar to Moskowitz. Moskowitz's main method of: 'when the pain spikes visualize the pain processing centres/areas of the brain lit up, but then the light gradually diminishing and eventually being snuffed out altogether' would, I think, fit nicely under 'step 2' (re changing the brain patterns).
    Carolnina and Free of Fear like this.

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