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Reassurance & guidance needed please

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JWT1, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member


    This is my first post on here and a big hello to everyone reading. It's really nice to find a place to discuss with what I feel has been happening to my body and am hoping this is the case. An advanced big thank you to anybody who is kind enough to have a read through and offer any advice and reassurance. Also, I wish to apologise for the lengthly post but because of the many things that have happened over the last months I needed to give a full description of this.

    My history - I am a 42 year old man and have been on work sick leave since March this year because of what has been happening. Approx ten years ago I attempted self employment from home but this was unsuccessful and resulted in quite substantial and distressing financial loss which caused a lot of personal stress, the eventual ending of my marriage and many month of panic attacks both in the day and during my sleep. At this time I would very frequently wake up in the night in intense muscular pain and extreme panic. These attacks eventually ended with the help of 10mgs of amitryptaline at night but I experienced ongoing muscular and tendon pain only down the left hand side of my body only for many years.

    Fast forward to the summer of last year. I moved back in with my parents for financial reasons with the plan of moving out again after saving for six months. At this time I was very active and was involved with a lot of gym and weight training. Unfortunately I had to stop this after injuring my shoulder tendon with a poorly performed lift. Some weeks after this occurred I had a attack and then another some weeks later. Both times I was in work and was assisted by my manager. I work for the social services assessing people for health needed and support and can at times by very emotionally draining. In January this year the attacks became very frequent when in work and when travelling to work, then started happening when I went outside which resulted in some agoraphobia and then in my sleep which was very alarming, with me waking up often times crunched up in a fetal position with the sensation of pain spreading through my entire body as I 'came around' from sleeping. This would quickly be followed by a very rapid heartbeat, strong acid reflux, head pain, complete body shaking and an awful feeling of despair.

    After approx two months of these attacks I began experiencing widespread body pain and which is still present. It is very uncomfortable and effects what feels like my muscles and tendons, accompanied by burning sensation on my skin and some numbness/pins and needles in places. At the moment it feels that my tendons are effected more than muscles, with pain in the soles of my feet in my heel, at the top of my feet and around my ankles, in my knees just under my knee cap, around my wrists and hands, and the point where the neck muscle meets the top of the shoulder joint. These location can change each day which some days having deep muscular aching and burning and stiffness (and also including aching in the muscles under the tongue and jaw muscles at the side of the ears). The most frustrating thing for me is that the discomfort is very bad when I wake each day, stays with me for several hours but gradually wears off as the day progressed to feeling normal by late evening, but only to start over again the next day when I wake. This happens every day and is very upsetting for me and my immediate family because I don't now how to stop it from happening. The random out of nowhere panic attacks have now stopped but now occur when the all over physical discomfort is too much to bear when out walking for example. I also have now developed what feels like IBS which has been releived by OTC meds but have had to stop because of a skin reaction I had with them. A fullness feeling in ears and a what feels like a constant awareness of my heartbeat rhythm. My mum has said that I have been a hypochondriac for many years and I am aware that I am a very sensitive person (hyper sensitive). I am currently having CBT to assist. I have been assessed by a rheumatologist who felt I did not have fibromyalgia but that the b12 and d might be the culprits.

    Its has been a very painful journey since the beginning of this year. I was thrown different types of meds by my GP; antidepressants which gave awful side effects such as suicidal thoughts and thoughts of harming my family and anxiety through the roof, Lyrica which had the same effect and gabapentin which gave some relief for a short period but then ceased so was stopped. I began taking 10mg of amitryptaline again to sleep through the night which worked but gave no relief for the daytime discomfort so I have stopped taking them and am trying other natural sleep remedies such as camomile tea before sleeping because I do not want to be taking prescibed meds if unnecessary.

    I have had many blood tests, all came back normal except my vit d and b12 were very low and which I received treatment for. This was some months ago and I was hoping these may have been the causes for the problems by the treatment has not given any relief. I have had many ECG heart tests completed which were all fine and a recent brain MRI which was clear.

    I have purchased and read through The Mind Body Prescription and believe I am experiencing TMS. It was very upsetting reading through the typical person type to experience TMS and felt I was reading about myself word for word - very low self esteem all of my life about my appearance and 'what I can offer the world' and a goodist who will do anything to avoid confrontation and put other people first. For many years I have also been attempting to pursue a writing carers in my personal time for financial gain, but for a lot of years have very much disliked doing this but still forced myself daily which very often resulted in feelings of despair about my future and my incompetence and anger towards myself for not being able do it well (accompanied very much by a feeling of 'blackness' and anger inside of me for being so useless). I have now stopped writing a couple of weeks ago out of realization of the impact it was possibly having on my mental health. I have also considered the impact of moving back in with my parents has had on me and if this has been a contributing factor, going from living alone (I enjoy my own company very much) to house sharing again with some uncomfortable disagreements and some resentment on my part with my parents in the early months of moving in.

    Of course my complete worry throughout the whole ordeal has been that I have some terrible muscular or other system condition, and have spent many many hours researching on the internet but have now released this has probably made the situation worse. My fear at the moment is that because these things are happening when I am asleep that I have some heart condition that is being activated when lying down and asleep at night, and is something the health professional have missed. My first big panic attack in January was after a party night out with quite a lot of drinking involved and me having some cigarettes. I used to only smoke when going out drinking but do not smoke at all now. I was very bad the following day and my body felt 'frazzled'. I smoked regularly some years ago but stopped completed because my muscles all through my body would immediately hurt after inhaling the cigarette, a feeling that my body and muscles could not take the smoke in my body. The worry in the back of my mind is that the small amount of smoking I did in January has somehow caused damage to my autonomic nervous system and muscles, but of course I do not know this for definite and could possibly be me just clinging on for hope of an answer my brain can reason with or thinking to deeply about things which is not unusual for me to do???

    Does this sound like I am experiencing TMS symptoms at all, and if so what can I do to break this very frustrating chain of daytime/night time changes that are taking place in my body?
    Many thanks again to all who have read through my words and for any advice that can be given.

  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, John. Monday, Monday. They're often the hardest part of the week, to get on with our work lives after a weekend off.

    You have gone through a lot that it looks to me like it is causing your symptoms. Your checkups have resulted in no structural damage, so your pain or distress is from TMS, repressed emotions that may go back to your boyhood, and/or having a perfectionist and "goodist" personality, trying to please everyone, probably too much.

    Being out of work and having tried being self-employed are both familiar to me. Not the divorce... I never married. I hated my job and quit and tried being a freelance writer but it didn't work. I think that was because I didn't commit myself totally to it. I got another job but hated that and after three years quit and tried freelancing again. This time I was determined to make it and it's now 40 years later and I'm 85 and still freelancing, writing books.
    It hasn't made me rich, but I am happy.

    I suggest you start the Structured Educational Program which is free in the subforum of this web site. It has helped me and many others to become free of pains... mine was severe back pain. Here is a recent post about how it helped one of us...

    I lost it but give me a minute and I'll find it again.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here it is...

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely readHealing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with aTMS doctorbecause it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.
    IndiMarshall likes this.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Quick answer, since I've got to run out to smack balls with a friend, sounds like TMS! Docs couldn't find anything wrong except some vits--they had to find something for all that money--whoever will be paying it. READ, READ, READ about TMS--the cure is called KNOWLEDGE THERAPY--the knowledge is in the books.

    Regarding you cigs--attack, we've been so programmed by the anti-smoking media/lobby--that our taxes pay for--that smoke is bad--but weed smoke is good?--there's a conundrum--THAT combined with socio/cultural guilt over that plus booze and maybe rich food--walla or voila--bingo=panic attack. I got one from a cappuchino mocha once that spoiled a great omlette brunch sending me to the ER for an treadmill ekg that came back, "Go climb Everest."

    Working in your field you are surrounded by pain and suffering--you don't sound like someone who wants to join the pain choir because you're here--but that's been your daily environment. Living with your parents who probably installed some of your TMS buttons, ain't helping either.

    Bottom line, the white coats couldn't find anything wrong!!!=TMS. But I'm not a doc--only a tennis player, so don't sue me if I'm wrong--but this is the TMS wiki--don't ask a barber if you need a haircut.

    North Star likes this.
  5. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member

    Hi Walt and Tom,

    Thanks very much for your advice. I guess the biggest thing for me is pushing aside any doubs that there is something else going on that needs my attention, something physical I mean with an identifyable source that can be fixed my medical treatment. For instance, I woke up this morning really early, about half four, because I havn't been a great sleeper since all of this started. I woke with no very little discomport, only really a aching sensation in the left sole of my foot, where a tendon meets my heel at the base. I was awake for several hours and I never noticed any other pain in any other location until about two hours later when that old shoulder tendon soreness got a bit niggly. Then a few minutes after then my right foot heel started throbbing like the left foot, and then this travelled up into my right calf, then my right thigh and then about half an hour later I could feel it eveywhere. I evetually got back to sleep but woke a few hours later with what felt like the skin and tissue beneath had been stretched all over and was burning. I has some aching in my knuckled as well and ankle bones. I did though realise after waking and trying to shake it off that my back very tense and haunched which I think reduced the sensation quite a lot. I'll see if keeping relaxed keeps it at bay as the day goes on.

    Its these instances, every day in the mornings, that upset things for me. I've had a brain scan which was clear but what about othe neurolical conditions which effect the nervous system that can be treated? Or is this type of pain pattern something you're familiar with and typical of TMS. I don't really want to go on any presctibed meds so am hoping its something I can solve without them but its times like this morning that make me feel quite fearful.

    Many thanks,
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sounds like TMS is doing a bang-up job on you using your body as a battle ground of symptoms for distractions--just like the good books say. The white coats cleared you of anything structural but you're still doing body-scans in the middle of the night, finding old niggles of pain, that your TMS pain volume control is ramping up. Modern allopathic medicine is really good at DX'ing anything structurally wrong--because they are practicing defensive medicine so as not to get sued for malpractice for missing something. If you keep going for testing they will eventually find something wrong with you that an in and out surgery may "fix"--or open up a new can of structural worms. I just spent the day with a friend who has had three ear surgeries for allergies (that were likely TMS stressed induced) and now she can't get her ears wet or swim anymore which she loved doing. If, repeated medical work-ups didn't find anything wrong, count your blessings and pursue TMS as the cause--or apply to the TV show "MYSTERY DIAGNOSIS" that tries to find causes for mystery dis-eases:


    "Are you suffering from a life-threatening illness? Are your bizarre symptoms baffling your doctors? Are they misdiagnosing your ailment as a result? This program shows how some indomitable patients refused to give up and found amazing conclusions to the mysteries of their diagnoses."

    Sleep's only a problem if you allow your TMS mind to make it one! Here's a great article I'll post once again. I now look forward to waking up and doing productive or un-productive things when the world is quiet (except for 6.0 earthquakes like last night when I was awake reading about Lotus 7's, the car not the petal or the position, it was quite a ride, ready to bail and run). When I want to take an afternoon nap, I fix myself a nice warm cup of coffee and I'm out like a light.


    The myth of the eight-hour sleep

    Comments (321)
    By Stephanie Hegarty BBC World Service

    We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.
    In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.
    It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.
    Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.
    In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
    [​IMG] Roger Ekirch says this 1595 engraving by Jan Saenredam is evidence of activity at night
    His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.
    Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
    "It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.
    During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.
    And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.

    Between segments
    Some people:
    • Jog and take photographs
    • Practise yoga
    • Have dinner...
    A doctor's manual from 16th Century France even advised couples that the best time to conceive was not at the end of a long day's labour but "after the first sleep", when "they have more enjoyment" and "do it better".
    Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.
    By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.
    He attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses - which were sometimes open all night. As the night became a place for legitimate activity and as that activity increased, the length of time people could dedicate to rest dwindled.

    When segmented sleep was the norm
    • "He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream." Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (1840)
    • "Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning." Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)
    • "And at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall have a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will have a slake." Early English ballad, Old Robin of Portingale
    • The Tiv tribe in Nigeria employ the terms "first sleep" and "second sleep" to refer to specific periods of the night
    Source: Roger Ekirch
    In his new book, Evening's Empire, historian Craig Koslofsky puts forward an account of how this happened.
    "Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good," he says. The night was a place populated by people of disrepute - criminals, prostitutes and drunks.
    "Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night."
    That changed in the wake of the Reformation and the counter-Reformation. Protestants and Catholics became accustomed to holding secret services at night, during periods of persecution. If earlier the night had belonged to reprobates, now respectable people became accustomed to exploiting the hours of darkness.
    This trend migrated to the social sphere too, but only for those who could afford to live by candlelight. With the advent of street lighting, however, socialising at night began to filter down through the classes.
    In 1667, Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, using wax candles in glass lamps. It was followed by Lille in the same year and Amsterdam two years later, where a much more efficient oil-powered lamp was developed.
    [​IMG] A small city like Leipzig in central Germany employed 100 men to tend to 700 lamps
    London didn't join their ranks until 1684 but by the end of the century, more than 50 of Europe's major towns and cities were lit at night.
    Night became fashionable and spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time.
    "People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century," says Roger Ekirch. "But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds."
    Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep.
    "If no disease or accident there intervene, they will need no further repose than that obtained in their first sleep, which custom will have caused to terminate by itself just at the usual hour.
    "And then, if they turn upon their ear to take a second nap, they will be taught to look upon it as an intemperance not at all redounding to their credit."

    Stages of sleep
    Every 60-100 minutes we go through a cycle of four stages of sleep
    • Stage 1 is a drowsy, relaxed state between being awake and sleeping - breathing slows, muscles relax, heart rate drops
    • Stage 2 is slightly deeper sleep - you may feel awake and this means that, on many nights, you may be asleep and not know it
    • Stage 3 and Stage 4, or Deep Sleep - it is very hard to wake up from Deep Sleep because this is when there is the lowest amount of activity in your body
    • After Deep Sleep, we go back to Stage 2 for a few minutes, and then enter Dream Sleep - also called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep - which, as its name suggests, is when you dream
    In a full sleep cycle, a person goes through all the stages of sleep from one to four, then back down through stages three and two, before entering dream sleep
    Source: Gregg Jacobs
    Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light.
    This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests.
    The condition first appears in literature at the end of the 19th Century, at the same time as accounts of segmented sleep disappear.
    "For most of evolution we slept a certain way," says sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. "Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology."
    The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleeps and is likely to seep into waking life too.
    Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford, shares this point of view.
    "Many people wake up at night and panic," he says. "I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern."
    But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

    More from the Magazine
    • Margaret Thatcher was famously said to get by on four hours sleep a night
    • That put her in a group of just 1% of the population
    "Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centres where sleep is studied," he says.
    Jacobs suggests that the waking period between sleeps, when people were forced into periods of rest and relaxation, could have played an important part in the human capacity to regulate stress naturally.
    In many historic accounts, Ekirch found that people used the time to meditate on their dreams.
    "Today we spend less time doing those things," says Dr Jacobs. "It's not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up."
    So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.
    Craig Koslofsky and Russell Foster appeared on The Forum from the BBC World Service. Listen to the programme here.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
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  7. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member

    Thanks for replying Tom. My soreness did get worse as the day went on and it really gets to me, which I know I shouldn't but its so hard going through the same routine every morning - going to sleep with mininal pain and waking feeling like I've been battered with a baseball bat in my sleep and now with added symptoms of a tight throat, stinging nerve type sensations in my ear drums and aching under my my tongue. The amitryptaline I was taking was helping with staying asleep and since I stopped taking it about ten days ago the sleep has worsened and the next day pain has worsened with it. I also have alot of dreams and nightmares, a lot more than I used to have.

    The reason why my mind keeps wandering back to a neurological cause is that is feels like my body tissue and nerves underneath are effected by the pressure applied to them when I'm lying down and causing the pain. I don't know though of course, its only a theory of course because it all kicks off at night for me.

    I was contemplating going back on ami tonight because of how I was feeling today but am really not wanting to, only a low amount like 20mgs if I do. What's the feeling about having meds to assist along with pracitising the techniques taught in the books?

    And I know it's mentioned in the books at length about oxygen deprivation that is the suspected cause for TMS, but am unsure how and why this deprivation physically takes place to cause the ill effects? My apologies for all of the questions, this night time sleeping distress is a tough nut to crack!

  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are self-DX'ing, unless you're a neurologist don't do that--if you think you have something neurologically wrong--see a neurologist! As I said in my previous post the whtie-coats are really good at dxing dis-ease--DEFENSIVE MEDICINE. Please re-read my previous post to you.

    Did you read the BBC article on sleep?

    Meds are OK for short term anxiety/depression relief--which are TMS affective (emotional symptom distractors) so you can focus on UNDERSTANDING the TMS KNOWLEDGE THERAPY. You are still stuck looking and hoping for a quick medical/pharamical/industrial solution way out.

    Check with your prescribing doctor on your meds, if it's time to wean-off.

    I'm only a tennis player, but I was a delivery boy for a pharmacy in the 60's and slept at a Holiday Inn Express in Winnemuca, NV. a few nights ago.
  9. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member

    Hi Tom, I had an mri three weeks ago and and was all clear. The neuro discharged me before the results came through because after a hands on examination he was sure there were no problems with the nerves through my body because I could move well and had good strength and reflex. Any neuralgia wasn't discussed with him at the time and a follow up app wasnt arranged.

  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JW, and I'm glad you found this forum because what you learn about here can only help you. Even if you go out and break your leg tomorrow, the mind-over-body theories and techniques we talk about here would help you manage your pain with fewer meds and help you recover faster, so it's well worth your time.

    Neuro symptoms are classic TMS. So is hypersensitivity. So is depression and anxiety and OCD. That's the good news!

    I wouldn't get too bogged down with that particular detail. Dr Sarno himself has said that there are a ton of other symptoms out there which he came to call TMS equivalents - they are equivalents, because they are also created by our brains, but they aren't technically TMS because they don't involve "myositis" which I think refers to muscle tissue. And the equivalents probably aren't the result of oxygen deprivation. For example, all of the various forms of digestive upsets (from which I used to suffer quite a lot, and don't anymore) including IBS, are without a doubt TMS equivalents, but are they caused by lack of oxygen to the affected body parts? I don't know, but I also don't care!

    Dr. Sarno says to use your meds as needed but view them as a tool, and work on weaning off them. Recent studies have found that OTC pain relievers (aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen) can relieve emotional pain as well as physical pain. If I'm having a particularly bad day and feel really stressed out and down, and probably having one or more symptoms, I'll take one of those before going to bed just to take the edge off. And I want you to know that I've been doing this work for four years and consider myself to be about 90% recovered - which I consider to be a success, because 90% allows me to have 100% of my life back. I've got the classic personality for TMS, so I accept that I won't ever be "cured" - but my relationship with TMS and the symptoms when they show up is totally different, and I now live without fear.

    Going back to the oxygen theory, however, it occurs to me that one of the things we always advise is to learn how to breathe deeply and practice calming down, because taking in more oxygen, like drinking some water, IS very calming and is truly good for our bodies.

    Anyway, my prescription for you right now is to immediately read Hope and Help For Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes. Dr. Weekes is no longer with us, having died in the 90s at age 90+, which means that she was practicing quite a long time before Dr. Sarno. The first book I read (almost exactly four years ago) was The Divided Mind by Dr. Sarno, but the second book I read was Hope & Help, and it was tremendously helpful in calming my anxiety, which had been seriously ramping up in the summer of 2011. Dr. Weekes addresses you and me - those of us who are hyper-sensitive and anxious and depressed - and gently advises us how to recover. Please get her book, I don't think you'll be sorry.

    I also suffered from a number of neuro symptoms, such as dizziness, shaky legs, tinnitus, tingling and numbness, in addition to chronic neck pain, all-day headaches, lower back pain, shoulder pain, worsening digestive problems, panic attacks, and incipient depression. The only one that has never really gone away (though it's way less) is the dizziness, which comes and goes with my stress level. I will often experience weird symptoms or a hint of digestive upset, but I can talk myself out of those. And every once in a while I'll have a pain that doesn't go away, such as some shoulder pain I'm currently experiencing. But I'm trying not to baby it, I keep going to the gym where my trainer and I are working on strengthening it, I've been doing some journaling, and visualizing it being as strong and pain-free as the other one. And since the shoulder pain started I've had no dizziness, so, you know, what the heck! The difference between now and four years ago is that none of this stops me from living my life normally, whereas four years ago I was in danger of becoming house-bound.

    The other thing you will want to do is to start the Structured Educational Program on the TMS Wiki

    You can do that while reading Dr. Weekes. When you finish Dr. Weekes, read The Divided Mind, in which Dr. Sarno reviews the highlights of his work and theories, and then turns the book over to five other MDs and a therapist. You'll see that there is a world of information beyond Dr. Sarno, which he himself well knows.

    All the best, JW - we're pulling for you!

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  11. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member

    Hi Jan,

    Thank you very much for your supportive words, they're really positive things to hear. It does really get me down each day, and I get very upset inside when it is at its worst and a deep feeling of despair and fear because my body feels so bad all through it. Some days are better than others but on the good days it is still very sore and the worse days I am sometime beside myself with pain. The aching and burning sensation feel deep inside my tissue and bone and is spread through my body and as I've mentioned in my other posts that it is much much worse in the mornings to the point of my not wanting to get out of bed somedays because I fear what is waiting for me when I rise. It even effects the bone around my eye and my tongue hurts. From a description point of view it does sound exactly like fibro and I know this is something that is covered in the Mind body prescrition which I have read. I also have the divided mind and will start reading this straight after finishing mindbody. I'll look at Claire's readings also. How I feel makes me feel very low and depressed and I often feel detached from people when like this and need my own space because taking and looking appearing normal seems like far to much to be able to do. I really hate that this has come into my life. I have been off work now for seven months but fortunately work for the local authority and they have good sickness leave so am still receiving sickness benefit from them. I think my manager is kind of hoping that I can return to work at the beginning of October and has made comment about me finishing me there with sick retirement at some point after this if I cannot return to. This is weighing heavy on my mind because I feel really bad every day and the thought of travelling to work and being in the workplace gives me feeling of nausea and dread.

    I don't experience dizziness like you did/do, but I do get the headaches a lot, the muscles directly underneath my skull right across my brow feel like they're being squeezed. I have also developed IBS type discomfort, worse after going to the toilet which was quite unsettling, acid reflux and a sore throat which feels like the tissue in my throat and mouth is effected and feels weak. I know in my heart that these are all connected to my mond and body because all of this followed on from months of daily panic trauma and that it possible ravaged by autonomic nervous system. Its the overnight problem which really gets me down now and how to make it better, its gets me down so much somedays, its like Groundhog Day with pain.

    I don't want to go back on amitryptaline permenantly but do you think its okay to take one needed to take the edge off while I'm trying concentrating on Dr Sarno's methods.

  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The only entertaining thing about TMS is how one person's symptoms will be different from everyone else's. This is the brain keeping us on edge with worry and conjecture. I like to keep descriptions vague if possible. In terms of general categories, symptoms can be pain, neuro, digestive, allergic, and, let's see, lymphatic (swelling). All of these can be TMS, in about a gazillion variations.

    You are definitely not alone, not in this community. Please take hope from the many people who have come back from the edge of despair. I was one of those!

    I'm not a health professional (although someone gave me a great article years ago, about CPAs as therapists...) but as long as you've got an MD who has prescribed it, I can tell you that Dr. Sarno says to go ahead and use your meds if they give you relief, but to view them as a temporary aid, with a goal of gradually reduced reliance. I would add that one thing you can do to enhance the value of your medication is to think of it as a tool around which to visualize a different outcome, with the medication taking the edge off, just as you said, and helping you up the first step.

    As for weaning off, remember I said above that research has found that OTC pain relievers ease emotional as well as physical pain, so you will have an option to use one of those (Ibu or Tylenol) after you've gone off the prescription meds. I still keep them around, although these days I buy the small size at the drugstore, instead of the giant one at Costco!
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  13. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    The acronym TMS has evolved to stand for THE MINDBODY SYNDROME. Dr. Sarno and Dr. Sopher came up with this as more and more and more symptoms, other then muscle and joint pain, were recognized as being psychosomatic. Dr. Sarno started out as a rehab doctor therefore the patients he saw had back and limb problems. It's interesting that he developed his TMS theory after conquering his migraines when tipped off by a psych colleague that they were tension induced.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
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  14. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member

    Hi Jan and Tom,

    Thanks for the great advice. I took just 10mgs of ami last night and slept well. I woke this morning with aching and tenderness in my ribs around my spine. I sat up, took some deep breathes for a minute or two and the soreness went! I did go back to sleep but then woke with soreness and burning in the usual other multiple places - burning soles of feet and ankles, an inflamed feeling across the outside and inside of my chest, soreness in the muscles in my temples , soreness in my calves and in the tendons in the tips of my shoulders. And something which has becoming more frequent and have today is tenderness in the throat throat to swallow and touch on the surface, particularly at the base of the base of the throat. Its quite alarming when it's strong and immediately makes you worried its something to do with the thyroid underneath everything on top. I know there isn't of course but its not something that's easy to ignore.

    I think I'm going to stay on the ami for the moment until I get my emotions in check with the education that I've now gotten. I'm going to concentrate on my emotions now and allow myself to understand how and why I got here, and the circumstances through my life that resulted in this, instead of focusing on my body and the real (fake) physical pain. Am I going in the right direction this way do you think?

    I'm going walking with my daughter later today. Previously when walking with her my body would become so sore everywhere; muscles, bones, tendons would throb and scream out at me to stop, and so I would, and with much heightened anxiety, often on the edge of panic because of how my body would be feeling. This would nine times out of ten cause me to ring a relative for a lift back home. It's not pleasant at all but I'm going to try my damndest today to push through it.

    Just something I wanted ask as well. There have been times when I have itched or stroked my neck or back and have immediately felt a tingling sensation down the back of my legs or calves. Its a bit unsettling when it happens because I don't know why it is happening. Of course I immediately think there is a malfunction in my nerves pathways and with all the other pain that I've had as well. Is this something you're familiar with? I mentioned it to my doctor some months ago (my GP, not a neuro doctor), but she wasn't particularly alarmed by it, but is is to me when it happens.

    Many thanks again for all of your help, it's hugely appreciated.

  15. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are still focusing on your body and not your emotions. You do NOT have to ruminate, meditate, analyze, over analyze what was the black bullet cause for all this. You just need to accept the Good Doctor's TMS theory that the physical sensations are psychosomatic, created by the sub-conscious gremlin as a distraction from facing emotional issues head-on because the sub-c perceives them as more painful to face then the physical pain. If your doc is not worried about your above symptom neither should you. You can keep going to white-coats for dx after dx and they WILL eventually find something wrong--what Dr. Sarno called normal anomalies, or in relation to the back, he termed them "gray hair of the spine".

    Dr. Sarno's point was not to ruminate over your problems--but to get out of bed or the house and JUST DO IT! Only doing activity with your body will give you the confidence that it is STRONG. Success breeds success.
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  16. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member

    Hi Tom, you're absolutely dead right. I've got to keep in mind as well I think that whatevers going on underneath the hood in the subsconscious mind that I don't need to actually solve or take action on those, but to just repeatedly tell myself that the physical pain had been created to distract me from the painful emotions in there. Is that right?

    It's funny because earlier today I went out with my daughter as planned, but not the way I wanted to. I was quite sore all over since waking but not bad enough to prevent me from walking. We had planned the walk since last night. About half an hour before we were to leave I suddenly felt much worse and because of this I asked my dad if he could take us in the car instead because I didn't feel well enough. And you know what, within one minute of me asking him I felt a ton of weight and worry lift off of me and I felt so much better physically! This was actually such a revelation to me because I knew then that my brain had created that added pain and worry to try and stop me going out alone with her alone because many times before I have gone out with her, felt really unwell and sore, then had to call somebody to pick us up. I had many panic attacks in the early days before this widespread pain set in when it was just me and her out and scared the life out of me. It actually got to the point some time ago were I dreaded going out alone with her because of what might happen to me and who would look after her if I had a heart attack on the street etc. I think my brain was just defaulting to the norm from what I had always done in the past in pain and panic. I'm sure that's what happened today anyway.

    Afterwards and on my own to make up for it and to prove it to myself I actually went out for a half hour walk and was fine. A few niggles here and and soreness here and there; ankles, chest, shoulders, a few palpitations, but nothing too alarming to stop me. It's crazy isn't it. I was pretty happy with myself afterwards.

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  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

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  18. JWT1

    JWT1 New Member

    Thanks Tom, this is such a great forum, I'm so pleased I found it. I'm going to do the education program soon.

    Thanks again,

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  19. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Hi JWT1 - I just wanted to give you a shout out of WELCOME to the forum and this fabulous resource. So much has already been said, I don't need to add to it. My experience was after three years of debilitating mid back pain - everything cleared medically - i.e. - they could find nothing wrong with me - I was given Dr. Sarno's book from my sister who said, "A friend gave this to me and told me to give it to you... I have no idea why and I don't even know this person very well." In my mind -that was divine intervention. The book led me to the forum. The forum led me to the Structured Educational Program on this site. The SEP led me to many more books and knowledge feeding of all the tricky ways TMS works. The forum and sharing how I was doing, getting feedback and lots of support and hurrahs for recovery milestones gave me more than I could have imagined past the actual TMS healing.

    I am excited for you to start this journey. Not excited that so much pain has brought you here but I can guarantee if you stick close by with all the people who have recovered and participate on this forum, do the work suggested - you will have a pain free life! You're well on your way. Welcome!!welcomeawelcomea
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  20. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    And that's all you need to know to move forward, John. Your brain is going to fight you every step of the way, but if you can greet each new weird symptom (and there will be plenty of them) with the knowledge that your brain has created it to keep you from acknowledging your negative repressed emotions, and as long as you honestly do the work needed to uncover those emotions, you will succeed.

    Two things:

    1. When you do the SEP, you will be invited to post your thoughts and progress on the forum. Now that you're past the introductory phase, you don't need to spend any more time describing your symptoms in detail. Just say "symptoms" when describing their existence, or subsistence, or flare-ups, or disappearance. Or if you really have to be more specific, try to stick to vague one-word descriptors like "neuro symptoms" which covers everything from tingling to burning to numbness. "Digestive issues" covers a multitude of troubles. We don't need to know anything more specific than "leg pain". And so forth. This will save you from a lot of unnecessary typing :D and the rest of us from having to skip over lengthy descriptions that we know are irrelevant. ;)

    2. I prescribe a BIG dose of self-acceptance. Negative self-talk and beating up on ourselves is a huge roadblock to recovery. Louise Hay is one of the authors most-recommended by members for self-acceptance and self-love, but as with so much of this work, there are many other resources - I'm quite sure you can find articles about self-acceptance anywhere on the web.

    Start the SEP ASAP, read Claire Weekes, and keep us posted. All the best,

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