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RSI - Really suffering, Need some help

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by s.mohseni, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I feel like I'm not really getting anywhere with my wrist pain. I'm trying my best but can't seem to make any changes to the pattern of my pain and its really getting me down.

    Just to give a summary, the kind of TMS I have is RSI, specifically burning and shooting nerve pain through my dominant wrist. I am an artist and the pain ALWAYS happens after drawing for a certain amount of time. Sometimes just an hour of drawing is enough to put me in constant pain for a few days. Once the pain is here, its here to stay, and none of the relaxation or stress relief tactics i've tried have managed to make it go away. The only thing that gives me hope that this is TMS is that sometimes if I forget about it, I notice that its not there, but of course it comes right back once i've remembered. After every episode of pain, I usually have to wait a few days for it to settle. I'm in a constant cycle of 'drawing for a couple of hours = chronic pain = wait couple of days for pain to stop = draw again = pain again'.

    Needless to say as someone that wants to be an artist for a living, this is both frustrating and upsetting and I know I'm supposed to just ignore it and live with it, but I dont want to anymore. Just living with it hasnt made it go away, and the fact that it always comes when im drawing just makes me afraid all over again that its structural and not TMS.

    I really really really want to believe its TMS, especially cause the pain is always linked to drawing and interferes with what i enjoy, but the severity of the burning and sharp nerve twinges still frightens me.

    I guess what I am asking for is to hear that I'm not the only one with this sort of chronic burning and nerve pain in the wrist which progresses after repeatative movements, and whether or not those people were able to rid themselves of the pain completely? Is it even possible for me to ignore or forget the pain when it interupts both my job and my hobby so much? For anyone that suffered from joint burning or RSI, what exactly did you do to cure yourself? I'm reading a lot of success stories but I'm not experiencing anything like that myself, when i'm trying the same things. Feel very much like i'm losing the battle.

    Thanks very much for your support. I do try and keep up with the posts in this forum just to see if anything new might work for me, or if anyone else is specifically going through hand/wrist pain similar to mine.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey shaz, I'm sorry that you're not making progress. I would suggest that a big reason for this is right here:
    The fact that you are still looking for confirmation that others are specifically suffering just like you are, shows that you haven't yet accepted the premise and theory of TMS. Which is totally normal, so don't beat yourself up. But DO take this seriously.

    >>>>> There is nothing specific about TMS. <<<<<

    TMS is a brain mechanism, designed by evolution to keep you distracted, in fear, thinking negatively, and always on the alert for danger. It is 100% psychological, and it takes advantage of the fact that brain processes are in charge of every physiological process in our bodies.

    One of the hilarious (and of course bloody infuriating) things about TMS is that it is practically guaranteed to come up with at least one symptom for each individual, that no one else in the entire world has, or ever had. Also, with creative people, it often affects the body part that is essential to their creativity. We've seen that many times, right here on the forum.

    Your post mentions "techniques" but I'm not seeing an indication that you've done the emotional work. Dr. Sarno himself said that book knowledge alone is not always enough. It is my observation that the people who end up on this forum always need more (I sure did). And in many years of working with and being close to all kinds of artists and entertainers, I know that creative people almost invariably need to do the emotional work.

    Good luck,

  3. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member

    Hello Jan, Thanks so much for your response!

    Yes, I definitely feel like I have not accepted TMS fully yet. Its something that I know is true logically, but I'm finding it very hard to believe it at a deeper emotional level. When the pain hits, I know in my head that its TMS, but I still have that gut fear as an automatic response. I'm certain part of me is still doubting that its TMS, and also part of me is still afraid of the pain. I know this is holding me back, but I cant seem to get over it.

    I did some journalling and did try the SEP for a while, but without any kind of results. I really cant tell if I should be exploring traumatic past events, or working on the bad things about my personality (perfectionist, etc etc). I've sort of been trying a bit of both but not really getting anywhere? Is it okay for me to ask just how long you had to commit yourself (to the emotional work) before noticing any results? I get a bit discouraged hearing of people managing to heal in days or weeks when mine has been going back and forth for so much longer.

    thanks again, really appreciate it!
  4. AC45

    AC45 Well known member


    I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel / RSI. I did heal from it but it took time.

    I did the following:

    1. Read the divided mind and followed Sarno’s classic advice. Make a list of all of the things that give you pain. Write an essay as long as you can about each one of those things. Reread it daily for a month to make it lose its grip over you.

    2. Saw an orthopedist and did physical therapy. We don’t want to rule out western medicine when something really could be wrong. While PT didn’t solve my issue, some basic hand care and hand stretches are useful to know.

    3. Saw a TMS physican. A self diagnosis with my journal and a book was a lonely place. I needed a team of caregivers to have more confidence.

    4. Started TMS theraphy with Alan’s team. While I improved about 75% on my own, TMS recovery isn’t a one time shot. You have to learn how to live differently so you take better care of yourself.

    These are the four main things for my hands. My other TMS symptoms (anxiety and insomnia) have been harder to eliminate. It is happening though - one strip at a time.

    Good luck,
  5. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member


    Thanks so much for this!! Your list is very interesting.

    Firstly, a question; Is 'The Divided Mind' any different from The MindBody Prescription? I have read the latter book and I'm wondering if theres anything inside The Divided Mind that I might be missing. Is it worth having both books?

    Also, I have seen all the therapists and still have Chiro from time to time. My Chiro says that my tendons feel 'knotted' but I havent felt any relief with these treatments. I'm wondering if contining with the sessions is only holding me back. I keep my wrists stretched and flexible but dont want to focus too much on their physical state, since most of the specialists I saw couldnt find anything wrong.

    Sadly I dont think seeing a TMS physician is an option for me, because of where I live (UK). There are none nearby. This is upsetting because I agree that being told face to face that its TMS might help me out A LOT.

    Yeah, I agree that its something I'll have to keep working on, and change certain aspects about my personality and behaviour so it cant come back (if I ever do heal). Really glad to hear about your recovery and I hope you improve with the anxiety and insomnia!

    thanks so much again!
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Have any of the "therapists" been TMS specific practitioners?

    Going to PT's to "heal" from TMS symptoms is antithetical to TMS methods--buying the equivalent amount in ice cream will do you as much or more good then your chiro visits.

    Are you aware of Georgie Oldfield in the UK, she is the lead person for TMS in your country, she may know of a TMS savvy physician there--check with her. It says under her bio :

    A physiotherapist is very similar to a doctor, in that they can make diagnoses and order medical tests. A physiotherapist in the UK is very similar to a Physical Therapist in the United States.


    Georgie Oldfield is a physiotherapist based in the UK. She is the founder of SIRPA (The Stress Illness Recovery Practitioners Association), an organization dedicated to educating and training practitioners and other professionals in TMS treatment. Georgie is the organizer of SIRPA's inaugural conference, “Chronic Pain: to suppress, manage, or cure?”.

    Georgie is the author of the 2014 TMS book Chronic Pain: Your Key to Recovery, which includes information about TMS as well as worksheets and exercises and stories from people who successfully overcame their TMS. She has also developed an online recovery program as well as a recovery CD, and runs monthly clinics in London.

    In her survey response, Georgie writes:

    “Despite being a Physiotherapist, Dr Sarno's concept and approach was not a surprise to me. For many years prior to coming across this work in 2007 I had been looking for the answer to the many inconsistencies I had been observing with my own patients. I had also already begun to realise that pain often did not appear to be related to the structural problems patients had been diagnosed with. Coming across TMS was an epiphany moment for me and has completely changed my whole understanding and therefore how I work. Having seen the remarkable and often life changing recoveries in my own patients, I am passionate about working with people with TMS/PPD and 100% of my time over the past few years has been developing this work and raising the profile in the UK.
    “Since developing SIRPA I continue to work in a clinical role working with people who suffer from TMS/PPD. Although based in Yorkshire I also run regular assessment clinics in London and Bristol. Through SIRPA I also run training courses for other regulated Health Professionals in order to help them integrate this approach into their own work. Our aim is to raise the profile of this work by increasing the awareness of stress illness to the public and Practitioners as well as the Medical world.”
    A physiotherapist is very similar to a doctor, in that they can make diagnoses and order medical tests. A physiotherapist in the UK is very similar to a Physical Therapist in the United States.

    Available via Phone and Skype
    19 Longley Lane
    Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK
    01484 452500
    Survey Response / Website / Q&A Answers / Forum Profile / DVD and CD
    Main Wiki Page About Georgie Oldfield
    Miracles of Mindbody Medicine article
    Why You Need to Stop Trying so Hard to Get Better
    Insurance Accepted: Any plan that covers Physiotherapy costs, except BUPA.


    Lettuce Dance said, "I eventually went to see Georgie Oldfield in Huddersfield in Yorkshire. It was a bit of a slog getting there, but it was well worth it. (Even filling out the pre-appointment assessment on my family, background and past illnesses was very revealing.)

    I visited her in February, and felt an immediate improvement. For me, the fact that she comes from a physiotherapy background, and thoroughly understands the mechanics of one's body, was very helpful.

    I chose to do her programme, which I followed in a fairly informal fashion, as I was bogged down with a big work project at the time. The programme included a series of follow-up appointments, which we did via Skype: these were really good. She went to great lengths to help me. I found her sympathetic and professional."​
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  7. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi -

    I’ll try my best to answer your questions:

    1. I have not read the Mindbody prescription so I can’t tell you which book is better. I’ve heard that the core Sarno content is similar. I will say that the divided mind has several chapters from other doctors. I was very inspired by chapter 7 by Andrea Leonard-Segal. Pages 265-270 were extremely inspirational to me with respect to carpel tunnel, self care and self compassion.

    2. I never realized this before but I was (am) a walking ball of tension. I had no idea that hand hand, shoulders and back muscles where not rock hard because I was “in shape”. They’ve been carrying a world of tension for as long as I can remember. Even my PT said that (rock hard shoulder, hand muscles). I used to think massage and other types of expensive treatments was the way to get rid of it. While I LOVE getting massages, i’ve learned how to turn my tense muscles to marshmallows through mindful meditation and using the relaxation response (google it and you’ll find simple how to videos).

    3. I used to work non-stop for hours from sun up to sun down. I’ve learned that I can still work but I have to work differently - lots of breaks, breathing, time with other people. This is key to getting rid of it and keeping it at bay every other day when it tries to come back. You need to relook at what you define success as. It was Claire Weekes who said you can still work - you just have to do it at a pace that your body will allow.

    Good luck,
  8. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member

    Thank you Tennis Tom!

    None of my therapists were TMS practitioners. Only things like Hand surgeon, Physiotherapist, Chiro, etc etc. All addressing the physical side.

    I think I have to agree. I do love having my back massaged every so often by the Chiro, but I dont think it's worth the money I'm spending. I think i'll get the ice cream from now on. My one comfort is that I think anything that could have been fixed with these massages would have been fixed by now, so i can rule out the typical 'scar tissue' fears.

    Thanks so much for this information!! I am considering trying some Skype sessions and will be in contact with Georgie soon! Really appreciate the links and info.

    best wishes
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  9. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member

    Hello again, thank you so much for your answers!

    I will see if I can pick up that book too. It cant hurt! I must say its a tad frustrating that a lot of the focus is on back pain. I understand that back pain is most common, but I would certainly love to read more on TMS manifesting as carpal tunnel and RSI, etc etc. Makes it slightly more difficult to relate when its always back pain being talked about. I am thankful that atleast there are a few RSI success stories to read online.

    I can absolutely believe that my body might be tense!! Often I get finger pain as though I was gripping the pen too hard when I am working. I will have to try some deep relaxation before and after working and see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the tips!

    And yes, I sometimes cant believe that I used to be drawing all day without any pain, and now I have so much. My body feels so weak and pathetic now and it gets me down. I'm still learning to be happy for my little victories, and not get sad over what I cant do.

    thanks again!!
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good! For the most bodywork bang for your buck, put it towards massages, with the mindset that it's for "soothing the inner reservoir of rage and keep it from overflowing" for relaxation purposes only and not for physical "healing" from TMS emotional stuff.

    I've talked to many psycho-therapists in the hot-tub and they have little or no interest in our Good Doctor's TMS theory. TMS therapy is very different then what is provided by your run of the mill therapist, most that I've seen want to be aligned with white-coat thinking when it comes to psychosomatic/TMS conditions.

    Looking forward to your results with Georgie Oldifild, please keep us informed and if she has any physicians in the UK she refers to--as they say here occasionally-"not everything is TMS"--sometimes you get hit by a bus and need to go to the ER--but about 80% of things folks are siting in the waiting room are.

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