1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 1 Ready to DO this!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by KevinB, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hello, my name is Kevin and I'm so grateful to be learning about TMS and all the success people have had.

    I'm 38 and have been dealing with this current low back/left buttock/left leg pain for nearly 6 months now. I say this episode because I've had 3-4 in the past, the first major one when I was 32. For that first one, I had an MRI show herniated disks in the lower region touching nerves and was prescribed PT, which seemed to work (placebo, as Dr. Sarno would say). I had another episode about a year later, and that time chiropractic care seemed to work. Then 2-3 years went by sans issues, only to return once I started weight-lifting. One was alleviated by an energy healing session, the next by PT and home stretching.

    This recent one happened while weight lifting, on XMAS eve day, 2014. This one has been different from the rest because I felt a "pop" in the low back/L buttock and the pain commenced immediately after - I wobbled out of the gym, hunched over and in extreme pain. Before, the symptoms seemed to come on gradually, not straight away like this time- I was terrified and sure that I seriously injured myself. Moreover, I had a gnarly trunk shift and was leaning significantly to the left for several weeks, terrifying me even more. The symptoms were also different this time- before it hurt to sit and lay down, but now standing and walking were the most painful, which sucks because I love to walk (I live NYC, we walk here!).

    I tried all the things that had worked before: chiropractor, ice, Advil, PT exercises, energy sessions, even tried acupuncture - nothing was working. I finally went to the doc, who ordered another MRI because it had been 6 years since previous, and found disk herniations again, touching nerves. He sent me to a specialist and I was examined, prescribed medications and PT, and told to schedule an appointment for an injection. I decided against the shot, for I had heard some horror stories, and decided PT & drugs would surely do the trick. The drugs made me feel strange, and really didn't seem to help anyway, so I stopped those and focused on PT, which seemed to help at times. One thing I did before even reading Sarno or learning of TMS was I got back to the gym because I knew I would have to break the fear of lifting weights....but I returned full of fear and modified my routine to be "safe" for my back. That was about 2 months ago, and there seemed to be some improvement, but standing and walking were still very painful, and I was scared to do many of the activities I love. I was out of ideas and I was getting very depressed and obsessed on my back - even having suicidal thoughts, which scared me even more, which triggered more pain....the vicious cycle, as it were.

    A few friends told me about Sarno, and I was skeptical, but I finally did some research online and read some of the success stories and thought "well, nothing else has worked, I'm FED UP with this shit dominating my life, so I will try this - what have I to lose?". So here I am, Day 1 of the Educational Program. Oh, I also just finished reading the entire book Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. I read it over the past 5 days and my back is already beginning to feel better. I've taken the advice and stopped all PT exercises, obsessively monitoring how I sit, stand, walk, bend over, etc., and am telling my brain that this is psychological, not physical.

    Like Sarno says, I feel like I can accept TMS intellectually, but it may take some time to "sink in". This 6 week program seems like a great way to help the unconscious mind accept the information and the diagnosis. Regarding the prompts for Day 1, the only doubts and worries that pop into my mind from time to time concern my MRI results, which stated, in medical jargon that I can't really understand, that there's "contact with nerve roots", and "encroachment on nerve roots". Again, I don't really even know what that means, and the doctors didn't make a big deal out of it, but because I haven't come across these precise terms in the literature or from my research, it messes with me a bit. I assume that a "herniated disk" implies contact with a nerve in medical speak, but my mind is latching to the fact that I haven't actually SEEN those words, telling me that maybe my case is different because there are actual nerves involved. I guess if anybody else here has had a diagnosis of nerve contact from an MRI, their sharing that with me might help to accept TMS even more.

    Finally, with regard to the QUESTION TO PONDER, life without TMS would mean to me, at this point, TERROR!!! Why, because if this isn't TMS, that means it is structural, and that would SUCK. I'm finding relief in the diagnosis of TMS, so I hope it IS a life with TMS, for now. But then, once TMS is accepted and the actions are taken to do away with it by psychological means, life would look much more manageable. Walking and standing free of pain and fear; going to concerts; going for walks with my wife; not dreading a subway ride because I may have to stand; really, just living with a lot less fear and being able to focus on more important aspects of life, not to mention enjoying it. I'm hopeful. This has worked for so many people, I have faith it will for me as well.

    Thanks for reading. Kevin
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Kevin,
    Welcome to the SEP and welcome to the Forum too. So many of us here have had similar experiences --the fear, the pain, the fear to be active, and the SEP has been successful for many, many people. I appreciate the zest and faith that you are approaching this with. Be patient, notice changes and exceptions, celebrate the "inner knowledge" you gain as you go through the program. Good luck!
    Andy B.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Kevin. It's great that you learned about Dr. Sarno and TMS. The MRIs saying you have herniated discs don't mean anything,
    as many others have learned. The disc problems aren't causing you pain, it's the TMS that is causing the pain.

    The SEP will help you to learn the emotional reasons that are causing the pain. Journaling helped me to realize I had been
    repressing feelings of abandonment and insecurity going back to my parents divorcing when I was seven.

    Read the success stories and watch the TMS healing videos on this web site, and watch the Yoputube videos about TMS to learn more about it
    and see how people healed from it.

    I also recommend you read Steve Ozanich's book, The Great Pain Deception. He tells how he learned about TMS and healed from years of pain by discovering the anger he felt after a surgeon nearly killed his wife in an operation. He also says he kept playing golf despite the pain and
    that that also helped him heal.

    You have begun a wonderful journey toward self-knowledge that will make you healthier and happier than you ever thought possible.

    Practice deep breathing which is profoundly relaxing.

    How to Breathe properly?

    In order to breathe properly you need to breathe deeply into your abdomen not just your chest. Even in the old Greek and Roman times the doctors recommended deep breathing, the voluntary holding of air in the lungs, believing that this exercise cleansed the system of impurities and gave strength. This certainly is of great value to you in your work in the world. Breathing exercises should be deep, slow, rhythmic, and through the nose, not through the mouth. The most important parts of deep breathing has to be regulating your breaths three to four seconds in, and three to four seconds out.

    1. Inhale through your nose, expanding your belly, then fill your chest. Counting to 5
    2. Hold and Count to 3. Feel all your cells filled with golden, healing, balancing Sun light energy.
    3. Exhale fully from slightly parted mouth and Feel all your cells releasing waste and emptying all old energy. Counting to 5.

    Schedule your deep breathing exercise just as you would schedule important business appointments. Set aside a minimum of two 10 minute segments of time everyday although you can begin with two five minutes segments if you prefer.
    Honouring yourself enough to schedule time with yourself is the first step in mastering stress. Tend your relationship with yourself and your relationship with life and with others will be enriched and deepened accordingly. Remember to share with your children and all your friends and loved ones so that they too can reap its untold benefits.

    Breathing Resources
    - See more at: http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2010...p-breathing-and-how.html#sthash.3XxY7aXW.dpuf
  4. Reddi2bbetter

    Reddi2bbetter New Member

    I have similar pain symptoms as you in my left back, buttocks and leg. Mine started after surfing five hours a day in Hawaii on vacation. Like you, I started modifying everything I did. After reading Dr. Sarno's book, I started surfing again and it felt wonderful. Most of my pain happens at night, and I have to walk and stretch for hours. It's frustrating that I've spent so much money on various health providers, and no one has helped. I even went to a naturopath that had me on a special diet and using hundreds of dollars of supplements. I'm already having a brighter outlook, just from reading the success stories in this site.
  5. zero76

    zero76 New Member

    Hi Kevin,
    I am also 38 and started experiencing increasingly severe sciatica last December. My Mri results are similar too, herniated discs pressing on both s1 nerve roots. My Mri sounds serious, but it was almost identical to an Mri I had 10 years ago, so how can the pain be so terrible all of a sudden? I cannot stand, walk, sit or lie down without pain. I have read healing back pain and am almost finished with The Great Pain Deception which I would highly recommend, as it has solidified my belief in my TMS. I am both happy and scared of this diagnosis because it means that healing relies on ME and me alone. I also tried PT, a cortisone injection, and pain meds, none of which gave much relief.
  6. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Thanks for the encouragement and sharing your similar situations. Today I seemed to be struggling even more with the damn MRI crap...I kept looking at it, trying to decipher what it meant, then comparing my diagnosis to others, going back to Sarno's book, etc.... it's straight freakin' insanity the level of my obsession. Then I sat down to do Day 2 work, and kept getting distracted, looking through forums, looking for TMS doctors, etc etc, until it occurred to me, dang, this may be my brain distracting me from doing the work!!! It sounds a bit nuts, and perhaps it is, like there's more than one ME in me, but shit, I find that less disturbing than this obsession with my back pain - that to me is much more insane! Anyhow, I finally got it together and finished Day 2 work, including the Program Commitment. When it asked to set a date for the activities I'd been missing, which in my case is walking far distances, I got scared....but I set a date, 6/30/15, to do a far walk that I used to do several times a week, and love so much....man, it makes me nervous just thinking about it, but that means I still have much work to do on accepting the TMS diagnosis.

    That's it for now. Thanks again for all your kind words.

  7. Beamandme

    Beamandme New Member

    Hi Kev

    I am familiar with your utter obsession about your condition. Doing research on google ceaselessly about your spine (webMD. Spine-Health websites would definitely captured your attention for a bit). You read through tons of forum conversations. The more you read and research, the more you fester and before you realize it, half a day has gone and all that occupies your consciousness is your back pain. I dare say, you're now (with all that collected researched data) even more sensitive to your pain or bodily sensations. In your journey, you may have netted some nuggets of useful or positive hope filling information, but the cost is the 95% of other negative information you trolled in the process. And your mind registers everything - good and bad.

    Google at this juncture and in this capacity is the purveyor of all bad shit ass news.

    It will take you a little while and patience, but you will pass through this phase. Remember it is a phase. And maybe even necessary as you tire yourself out continuously researching and almost ending each session either where you were previously (not knowing anything new) or discovering something negative but new. You WILL inadvertently tire out either from the constant searching or depressing discoveries. As you tire out of this particular avenue, you'll start looking elsewhere for resolution (we are all hard wired with HOPE). This juncture sets in motion the opportunity for you to focus your obsession on another target.

    TMS will be your next obsessive endeavor. After which you will begin to spend less time googling and even be conscious of google being an evil purveyor of bad shit ass back news.

    You are also correct in assessing that googling itself serves in the distraction. Your subconscious will throw everything at you to hold your attention captive. And remember, it is engaging in this self-defense mechanism inspired by self preservation. It is doing you a favor by helping you cope with repressed emotions which it assumes will utterly wreck you if allowed to surface or be experienced consciously. Like a mother looking out for a child, its protecting you.

    We are definitely more than we think we are. There's a whole lot more to you and that you are consciously aware of. The very knowledge of that is empowering because it paints a poignant picture of untapped, unrealized and unexperienced potential. How your harness that potential, whether you choose to even harness that potential and where you choose to focus that potential is in your hands.

    Be patient and educate Mr ME (your subconscious). Tell Mr ME, you're all grown and mature and strong. You can handle the emotions, there is no need to expand unnecessary energy at diversion. The saved energy could be better expanded on realizing your potential.

    Remember Kev. The phase WILL pass - irregardless of whether you like it or not!

    Don't be anxious. You'll be fine.


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