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Really need help to find a book

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by candicemorsaint, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. candicemorsaint

    candicemorsaint New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I would like to read the book of Michael Moskowitz « Neuroplastic Transformation woorkbook ».
    I don’t live in the USA and to buy it, I would have to pay more than 150 dollars (more or less), the price of the book of course but also the shipping and border’s costs.
    I live in Belgium, Europa.
    I tried everything to order it but I am stuck.
    If someone has a digital version or an idea, I would be very very grateful.
    I hope someone will answer me....

    Thank you very much.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The critical reviews of this workbook seem to be from people who have more experience or exposure to mindbody knowledge and techniques. Particularly telling to me was the reviewer who stated that the book mostly just recommends distraction techniques. Distraction techniques do seem to help a lot of people - for a while.... And a lot of reviews mention that it's pricey, even if the review was positive. Personally, I would try to find something that is more up-to-date than 2013 as well as available for purchase in digital format.

    All that being said, it looks like Dr. Moskowitz has a current pain management practice in California, and you could try contacting him to find out if he has a digital version.
  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Have you seen Dr Moskowitz's website? http://www.neuroplastix.com (Home | Neuroplastix). Links to the workbook chapters (plus graphics and more) are listed on the website (on the right hand side). If one of the reviews of the book on the amazon website is to be believed - it seems that there is not much extra to be gained in buying a paper copy of the workbook. Here's what the reviewer said:

    "...the book seems to be just printouts from the website bound together, without any of the additional editorial work that I would expect from a product being marketed as a book.

    While a lot of this material is helpful, and I suspect for many folks it is new and exciting, I was disappointed to basically receive a hardcopy of the website."

    I was going to buy the workbook but, as it seems to be little more than just a hardcopy of the website, I've saved my money.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  4. candicemorsaint

    candicemorsaint New Member

    Thank you very much. Yes, I was yesterday looking on the website and I saw the part « woorkbook » and was wondering if it was the book or a teaser (but quite long with sort of chapters). You answer my question, so great. I will work with his website. Thank you again and I will be very interested to know what you think about his approach and what you have gained (once you practiced of course).
    BloodMoon likes this.
  5. candicemorsaint

    candicemorsaint New Member

    Thank you very much. I still need to read about his approach but in the beginning when he cured himself it was visualisation. After that he added what you call distraction with the idea of activating the parts of the brain who created pain with something else than the pain so it is specific distraction adapted to the part of the brain in pain if I can say. What really interested me is visualisation and so I wanted his first book.

    I will work with his website and will see. I am doing the program of dr Schubiner. I’m on week three (but it took me more than two weeks to arrive at week three lol). I’m convinced that I have TMS, no doubt but getting out of TMS is very difficult. I struggle with the program which I find really good. Are you symptoms free? With TMS?
    I have the impression that TMS is something for your entire life and you always have to work to make the new symptoms disappear.
    In my country, no pain doctor talked to me about TMS and I think that there is a lack of knowledge about it. It is unfair because around me I see a lot of persons struggling with chronic pain and they would beneficiate from that approach (just my opinion).
  6. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, the visualizations are not merely used to serve as a temporary 'distraction' -- done consistently over and over and over again, over many weeks to months, they are supposed to change the brain by means of neuroplasticity. What Dr M worked out is that with chronic pain certain areas of the brain that are usually mainly used for visual purposes are often 'hi-jacked' to process mainly pain instead; therefore, by means of visualization techniques (focussing away from the pain) those areas of the brain can be gradually returned (hi-jacked back) to their main former main purpose. (I believe that this 'hi-jacking' has been shown to be the case in chronic pain patients via fMRI research studies done by other researchers looking into chronic pain.) Good luck, Candice. (I'll certainly post again if I have any success with this.)
  7. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    I read the book. It was decent, but none of it stayed around as I healed. When I have flare-ups and review the material that helped me heal, none of it comes from this book.
  8. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Did you just read the book or did you also actually do the visualizations of the brain maps as suggested/required on a consistent and regular basis for many weeks/months? Nothing I've tried - and I've tried all sorts of TMS techniques with an optimistic and positive attitude - has reduced my symptoms significantly, so I'm going to put the work in and give the visualizations a go for a decent amount of time.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  9. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Hi BloodMoon, good to chat with you again after a year or two!

    I didn't do the visualizations for more than maybe a week. I found that for me personally, it was hard to do the visualizations without wanting to make the pain go away, or trying to "turn off" the pain centers in my brain. I couldn't figure out how to do it any other way than in an avoidance mindset. Once I realized that, I stopped, and put energy more into acceptance and emotionally-focused based practices.

    I definitely don't want to discourage you from trying, if you plan to give it a go! My previous comment was more to say that I didn't find anything in the book that would be a 'magic bullet'. Then again, there were plenty of testimonials in the book about people who became virtually pain free through the method.
  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Unfortunately, changing the brain through neuroplasticity is usually a very slow business (my father-in-law suffered a stroke and it took ages for him to rewire his brain to get the use back of his left arm using a combination of visualization techniques and physiotherapy) so I believe it's unlikely that Dr M's method of endeavouring to rewire the brain would be a magic bullet, not in the sense of it being a quick solution anyway. I'm pleased that you have recovered through other TMS techniques - and I'm far from suggesting that you shouldn't write about your experiences of Dr M's method or any other approach to dealing with TMS for that matter - but I felt that I had to make the point, so that others reading this thread who are not familiar with Dr M's method will realise that if Dr M's method is possibly going to work for them at all (Dr M has said that it doesn't work for all of his pain patients) it would be very unlikely to be enough to just read (or even re-read) the workbook alone...Dr M advises that his method requires the persistent application of visualization techniques throughout the day every day over many weeks/months for it to have any chance of it working to rewire the brain. It feels like a mountain to climb especially because I'm not a very disciplined person, but I've got my metaphorical 'climbing gear' on and I'm giving it a go!
    Best to you and wishing you continued good and pain-free health;
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
    Lainey, Marls and Free of Fear like this.
  11. candicemorsaint

    candicemorsaint New Member

    Hi BloodMoon,

    I’m happy to read your answers to my post. I think that you can help me. I don’t understand how to do the visualization. I tried to read the website and it is not clear. Do I need to memorize the places in my brain touched by the pain as represented on the animation and then imagine the places shrink. I can’t find a place on the website where the method is clearly described. I read the story about the first woman who healed. She was in her hot tub all day long because of the pain and constantly looking at one picture. I wonder which picture. If you can explain me more the technique, it would be very kind.
    I also wanted to say that I’m afraid about something with this method: if you constantly focus on the parts of the brain invaded by the pain, don’t you think that there is a risk that in some way it will give more power to this regions and so more pain? That is why I think that the visualization must be done in a very good way. Maybe it is me overthinking and sabotage. I don’t know.
    Thank you very much. It is comforting to speak with someone about all of this (the TMS journey). I’m convinced that I have what doctors call TMS but the more I practice and read the more I realize that the doctors don’t really know how to cure it. Like in medicine, there are different opinions. Finally it raises some doubt which is not good because I read that you need to be 100% convinced. Just me needing to say this to someone.
    Thank you very much.
  12. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Candice,
    My understanding is that it's best to start off by looking at the pictures each time you do the visualizations. The mere fact that you will be looking at the pictures over and over and over again means that you will gradually automatically memorise them and therefore, in due course, you will be able to stop actually looking at them and just see/visualize them in your 'mind's eye' . (Dr M advised his patient, Jan - the one who spent her days in a hot tub - to do the visualizations 7 times a day, but she decided to do them all day long. So, at that time at least, Dr M was of the view that 7 times a day would be likely to work -- and I haven't read anywhere that Dr M has changed his mind about that.) As well as doing the visualization 7 times a day, I understand that you should also do them when your pain/discomfort spikes or when/if a new pain or discomfort arrives (but only, of course, if you're in a position to do so...for instance, it might be difficult if you're at a meeting at work).

    No, I don't because what you are actually doing is visualizing those areas of the brain that have been 'hi-jacked' into firing up to cause chronic pain shrinking their ability to process pain and, as a result, returning those areas of the brain to their original main purpose which is to process visual images (these areas of the brain that have been 'hi-jacked' are normally only very minimally involved in processing acute - not chronic - pain). However, that said, I don't believe that it actually matters what you visualize. Dr M's website provides the brain pictures, presumably because he knows that visualizing them worked for him and for many of his patients including Jan...but when he first tried out his method on his own chronic pain, he knew that the main, important thing was purely to keep visualizing stuff - he only came up with the idea of using the pain maps/pictures of the brain because he had made diagrams of the brain during his research and they were just there in his office and seemed an appropriate thing to visualize. (I don't know if anyone has has eliminated their pain by visualizing something else that's positive/innocuous of their own choice, but if the theory is correct, then it should still work!)

    What I do is look at this picture first http://www.neuroplastix.com/styled-4/styled-4/persistentpain.html (Persistent Pain | Neuroplastix) which shows the 'hi-jacked' areas of the brain firing wildly causing chronic pain and then I look at this picture which shows the 'hi-jacked' areas less fired up http://www.neuroplastix.com/styled-4/styled-4/acutepain.html (Acute Pain | Neuroplastix) (this picture is also how fired up those areas of the brain get when one is experiencing normal acute pain) and then finally this picture which shows the brain with those areas not fired up at all http://www.neuroplastix.com/styled-4/styled-4/nopain.htmll. When moving from one picture to the next picture I visualize the lit up areas shrinking down and then the lights disappearing altogether. (It ties in with the videos on the website that show the lit up areas shrinking down http://www.neuroplastix.com/styled-99/therapeuticanimations.html (Therapeutic Animations | Neuroplastix).) I'm afraid I don't know which single picture Jan used.

    I'm no expert in all of this, but this is my understanding of it all and is how I'm going to proceed to try and rewire my brain through neuroplasticity. I hope it may be of at least some help to you.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  13. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    I would like to suggest changing the thread heading to include “Moskowitz Neuroplasticity” or something similar. There is good basic information for anyone wanting to try this avenue and it could make it easier to find when searching. marls
    BloodMoon likes this.
  14. candicemorsaint

    candicemorsaint New Member

    Hi BloodMoon,

    Thank you so much. Yes it helps a lot. I understand better.
    I didn’t know that the basis idea was to visualize. I thought it had to be regions of the brain and that the shrinking effect was important. Maybe it helps even more. What is important is really visualize and not only see. I need to process what I see.

    That made me think of something a pain doctor wrote in a book I read (a French one). In his conclusion, he wanted to say that after years of working with people in chronic pain he had a sort of respect for them and was wowed by the ability some had to compose with their pain. To illustrate that, he said that one patient who was a painter before looked constantly at a painting he really liked because it gave him the impression that he had less pain. That pain doctor had no knowledge about Dr Moskowitz I think and he said that for another reason but it is a strange anecdote for me.

    I will do it over and over again. It’s a long road but it is not so heavy to do. Please keep me informed even if it doesn’t work and I will do the same with you.

    Thank you so much again.

    BloodMoon likes this.
  15. candicemorsaint

    candicemorsaint New Member

    Hi Marls,

    Yes, it is a great idea. I changed the tags but I don’t know how to change the thread?
  16. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, that's right. If you want to read more about Dr M's story, to include how he worked out his theory that certain areas of the brain that normally deal mainly with visual things get 'hi-jacked' to process chronic pain, it's in the first chapter of this book - you don't need to buy the book, the whole of the first chapter can be read in the amazon 'look inside'/preview of the book https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NUMV1J4/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
    That does indeed sound like a similar process!
    Will do! :)
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  17. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Candice, you mentioned you are doing Dr. Schubiner’s program. I am going to respond to your inquiry about Moskovitz’s approach with some thoughts that might at first seem like heresy, if not idiocy. They are actually based on something Schubiner said in a recent video-taped lecture about treating psychophysiological disorders (PPD) that he did for the Commonwealth Club of California. Thanks to TG957 for providing a link to the video in another thread in this General Discussion Subforum.

    To set the stage, I need to begin with the topic of placebos. The word “placebo” used to be a term of opprobrium. It was thought that placebos merely conned unintelligent and gullible people into thinking they have less pain than they do. Dr. Sarno more or less reflected this view in Healing Back Pain when he wrote: “A placebo is any treatment that produces a good therapeutic result despite the fact it has no intrinsic therapeutic value.” Modern research on placebos, however, has destigmatized them by showing they work by causing empirically verifiable therapeutic physiological changes. As one example of these physiological changes, placebos trigger the brain to produce endorphins and other endogenous opioids. (The term “endorphin” is an amalgam of two words: endogenous morphine.) These natural opioids are as effective, if not more so, at reducing or stopping pain as exogenous opioids put into the body by ingestion or injection, but with NONE of the adverse side effects of exogenous opioids. (If interested in more on modern placebo research, see the opening chapters of Jo Marchant’s best selling book Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body.)

    At the end of his Commonwealth Club lecture on PPD, Schubiner took several questions from the moderator. One concerned a person the moderator knows who has weekly appointments for his chronic pain with a practitioner of the Feldenkrais method (a type of exercise therapy). The moderator asked: “Do you think that has a role to play?” Schubiner responded that when a patient’s pain is due to the firing of neural circuits in his or her brain “[w]hat we are trying to do is calm the brain down. There are many ways to do that.” As examples, he mentioned Feldenkrais, mindful meditation, acupuncture, and breathing work. What follows is most of the rest of Schubiner’s response to the moderator’s question, as best I was able to transcribe it, with bracketed numbers added by me:

    “The placebo effect consists of people [1] having an explanation for what’s wrong with them, [2] having a technique they can use, [3] having a practitioner that they trust, and [4] having hope and optimism. So when you put all those things together, you get a strong placebo effect. Placebo effect is all you need for brain-induced pain. So what I do is, in a sense, a placebo effect. I am helping people help themselves by harnessing the power of their own brain. Whether you do that through other methods that are body-focused or whatever, Feldenkrais, that’s fine, but my view is that if people doing Feldenkrais and acupuncture and physical therapy would also understand the concepts of brain-induced pain, that will make their work even more powerful, even more successful.”

    It has been several years since I read Moskovitz’s website, and I don’t remember many specifics of his approach. What I remember most vividly is that it did not appeal to me. Putting that aside, one can readily apply Schubiner’s placebo remarks to Moscowitz’s approach. His approach provides a person with [1] an explanation of what’s wrong with her, namely, neural circuits in her brain have gone awry, and [2] a technique (or techniques) she can use to recover, namely, visualization of brain circuitry, etc. If she [3] trusts Moskovitz enough to accept what he says about explanation and technique fully and without any reservations, she will [4] have hope and optimism that implementing the element [2] technique(s) will reduce or end her PPD symptoms. If she then implements the technique, she will get a strong placebo effect. As Schubiner said in his Commonwealth Club talk, that is all you need to treat brain-induced pain. But if she does not understand and accept fully and without reservation Moskovitz’s explanation and technique(s), the essential elements for a strong placebo effect will not be met.

    I don’t see magic in any particular technique for treating PPD whether it be Feldenkrais, acupuncture, physical therapy, mindful medication, breathing work, or Sarno, Schubiner, Moskovitz, etc. The magic—if one wants to call it that—comes from putting in place all four of the elements necessary for a strong placebo effect and then implementing the element [2] technique(s).

    Schubiner’s most recent book, coauthored with psychiatrist Dr. Allan Abbass, is titled Hidden from View: A Clinician’s Guide to Psychophysiologic Disorders. As the title suggests, the book’s purpose is to teach healthcare providers how to treat PPD. (I am not a clinician, but I read the book anyway.) In the first chapter, under the heading “Central Role of a Trusting Relationship,” Schubiner and Abbass instruct clincians: “As a foundation for this clinical work, creating trust with your patient is always key . . . . uch a therapeutic relationship with your patient is a necessary ingredient for success at each step.” Why would trust be necessary at every step? I think the answer is obvious. If the patient trusts the clinician, she [1] will accept fully and without reservation the clinician’s explanation for her pain, [2] will accept fully and without reservation that the clinician’s prescribed technique(s) will end her pain, and [4] will have hope and optimism about succeeding. Element [3], trust in the clinician, is needed to generate elements [1],[ 2], and [4].

    Alan Gordon, whose PPD approach is similar to Schubiner’s, never talks (so far as I am aware) of the need for a trusting relationship between patient and clinician, but if you listen to audio or video clips of him with patients any pay attention to it, he is absolutely masterful at developing patient trust. The necessary trust might well develop more readily in a face-to-face personal relationship between PPD sufferer and PPD clinician that if the relationship is impersonal in the form of a PPD sufferer reading a book written by a PPD clinician. But the trust necessary to generate elements [1], [2], and [4] can be achieved in the latter situation. I did it and am not the only one. Ultimately, success comes down, as miffybunny likes to say, to belief or what I call acceptance fully and without reservation. And as she says, belief is a choice. Without belief in the diagnosis, i.e., the element [1] explanation of what is wrong with you, and belief in the element [2] technique to use to fix it, no technique is going to help you even though it has helped others.

    With necessary belief in an explanation of what is wrong with you and the technique to use to fix it, just about any technique will work. The craziest “success” video I’ve seen was by some guy who claimed vigorous dancing to upbeat music cared his pain. Most of the video consisted of him showing off his dancing. I would not recommend that anyone with PPD try to find the video and replicate his dance moves.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2020
  18. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    This is an outstanding post. Thank you so much for crafting it.
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  19. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I’m reading a Joe Dispenza book at the moment (Becoming Supernatural) which is really interesting. I’m only on the second chapter so it’s early days but I’m aware of two earlier books by him that address the issue of proactively using the placebo effect to heal.

    Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How To Lose Your Mind And Create A New One


    You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter

    Joe’s marketing is awful (I avoided his stuff for ages due to this) which is a shame because his message is good. There are lots of interviews with him on YouTube and I think his ideas are worthy of exploration. As with all theories on this subject he has his own nuance based on his personal experience but in essence the ideas are the same. You can heal by changing your mind or as Rick Hanson says “by using the mind to change the brain to change the mind”.

    To feed into Duggit’s post above, the key is finding someone you believe in who offers ways that feel good to you (simply so that you’ll actually do them), to repeatedly engage with these methods with confidence that they will help you and you keep on keeping on till you heal.

    The placebo issue is where people rest their faith. Countless people had/have faith in Sarno and they recover faster than those who struggle with his theories, especially regarding repressed emotions.

    For others, it’s neuroscience that offers deliverance. For many of us it’s a bit more of a pick and mix but the process remains the same. Sometimes we just need to explore a little in order to understand and from there the investment of belief becomes much easier.

    I have noticed in friends and family who intrinsically believe in the medical model, that they experience a faster and more seamless recovery from all manner of ills than those who tend to distrust or fear both the doctor and medicine in general. Duggits explanation covers this phenomenon. It also accounts for the laborious, challenging and more interesting path of those (I include myself here) who go all around the houses to recover.
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  20. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Duggit

    Before experiencing your cure, had you already assessed that any improvement/cure would be due to the placebo effect?

    What specifically did you 'accept' and 'believe without reservation' was actually 'wrong' with you that was causing your pain and/or other symptoms [1]?

    What technique(s) did you use and believe would work [2]?

    And what gave you hope and optimism [4]?
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020

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