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Saw Forest's videos and wanted to introduce myself

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by ian360, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. ian360

    ian360 New Member

    Dear all

    I wanted to write to you all sometime ago after watching Forest’s videos on YouTube but never got around to it. After reading his story and watching his movies etc, I realised that we have quite a lot in common with regards to pain and TMS. To cut a long story short, I started getting pain in 1995 when I was only 21 years old following a traumatic event. At the time, I played music a lot, in particular drums. It started with pain in my thumb joints. Doctors told me it was RSI and eventually I had to quit playing completely one year later. I became anxious and quite depressed about it all as music was my life at that time. A year later, after a terrible year, I decided a change was needed and went to uni to train as a school teacher. A few months into uni my hand pain settled a bit (due to not playing music I assumed) but I started getting terrible pain in my neck instead. I attributed this to a car accident I had had 4 years earlier which gave me a whiplash. The neck pain got worse and worse until I could no longer move my head to the right. The pain was located from the atlas joint down the left side of my neck and involved trigeminal nerve pain across my face. I tried everything I could to fix it - physiotherapy, chiropractors, osteopaths, massage, exercise, hot and cold, alexander technique, had pills, potions, shots etc, nothing helped for more than a few days or hours. I had all the scans etc but nothing was found. The pain was so sensitive that just touching me around the head, neck or shoulders would bring or terrible pain for a week or more. I have been told from 3 rheumatologists that I have fibromyalgia.

    Now, the really bad news - I still have that pain today, and I have not had one complete pain free day for 20 years now. The pain has decreased a bit but still exists. My girlfriend will massage my neck when it is really bad and that eases it a bit. But that and a good dose of tramadol are the only things that help. In the last 20 years I have also had many surgeries on my teeth and jaw due to pain which would move around from tooth to tooth or jaw joint to jaw joint. Oh, and I can add ear pain to the list and restless leg syndrome (both since 2008).

    In March, I lost my teaching job due to cut backs. I decided to leave teaching permanently and I started designing again. I was also a website designer for about 8 years but now I create 3D artwork for architects and building companies. I use a computer a lot for this, and so what started happening recently? Yes, surprise surprise, the thumb joints start hurting and burning again, just like 20 years ago! My doctor said it sounds like tendonitis blah blah blah…

    About a year ago, I read The Mindbody Prescription by Doctor Sarno. It sounded like me a lot. I then read The Great Pain Deception by Steve Ozanich (a brilliant book) and more recently I read The Hidden Psychology of Pain by James Alexander which also tackles the subject. Deep down, I think I have TMS. Strange pains that build up in intensity and sometimes move around with no concrete medical evidence of its cause. I’d say I have a typical TMS personality - I’m a perfectionist, ambitious, organised, responsible, feel guilty often, self-critical etc… Even though I think it is TMS, something in my head still says maybe it is physical and doctors just can’t see it. My mother is crippled with rheumatoid arthritis, as was her mother and sister. That plays on my mind despite the fact that I know I don’t have rheumatoid arthritis as my symptoms are different and no test showed any signs of it. My other thought I get is, do I deserve to get better? Maybe this is a punishment for something? Or maybe I’m just punishing myself?

    I saw another psychologist a few months ago and told him my TMS theory. The more I told him, he seemed to think it sounded like a really physical problem but had no solution except to meditate and relax more. Him thinking it could be physical actually put me back in my recovery a bit.

    I’m sorry this post is kinda random, it is hard to put it all in one post.

    Thanks guys. :)

    JanAtheCPA and IrishSceptic like this.
  2. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    I'm making a guess Ian and assume u are from the UK?

    If so I can't recommend Georgie Oldfield enough. google 'SIRPA' . she was a Chartered Physiotherapist for 30 years before overcoming her own issues with pain via Sarno.
    Im saying this because I think many people could benefit from seeing an actual Pro reassure them this is TMS rather than a physical problem.
    as long as you have had all the checks done by doctors from every possible angle you can imagine then go for it!
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Ian, or should I say Mate. I'm sorry you are in pain and have been for so long. Arthritis and neck pain are typical pain symptoms of TMS, and you know you are a perfectionist, etc., and still think your pain is structural, or may be caused as punishment for something. I am confident that your pain is not structural and is not punishment (that last is your "Inner bully" beating up on you. Tell it to go to hell).

    A perfectionist personality is often the cause of TMS. You don't have to change your personality, just modify it, or that part of it. Don't be so hard on yourself or others. And Dr. Sarno says whiplash won't cause any neck pain that lasts long. It's part of TMS pain that can move around until you discover the emotional causes of your pains, then your subconscious will stop the pain.

    If you haven't done the Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum of this web site, I highly recommend it. It takes you through short daily mental exercises to help you learn more about TMS and techniques to heal.

    Meanwhile, enjoy yourself and be confident and positive that TMS knowledge and techniques are going to make you pain-free, and soon.
  4. ian360

    ian360 New Member

    Thank you so much Walt and IrishSceptic.

    Yes I am originally from the UK but now I live in Australia (so Walt is correct to say MATE). :)

    You are right that I do need to modify parts of my personality. I told my partner about what you had written and she give me the "what have I been telling you all of these years?" lecture. :) I had quite a violent and abusive past. Now things are much better but I still seem to carry stuff around with me which will creep up on me when I least expect it. At New Year I decided I needed to help myself a bit more and so I decided to be more selfish. It has, surprisingly, been very difficult to do and I have to consciously think to myself to stop helping everybody else before myself as I find myself trying to please others way too much. But I'm slowly learning to smile only when I want to and not to smile just to make others feel better.

    All of the above probably made very little sense - nevermind.

    I will try the Structured Educational Program for sure and each day I will work on my recovery bit by bit.

    Thank you again.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  5. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    best of luck Ian, it feels incredible to come across TMS. dont waste time trying to convince a Doctor as most will dismiss it. it is difficult to carry it through because of how unusual it is but go for it!
    Dr James Alexander is based down under and Peter O'Sullivan and Lorimer Mosley are two Aussie Physios who set up Bodyinmind. they are knocking at the door that Sarno has already opened but its great to see top guys in that area come to several of the same conclusions.

    May be worth trying to contact Dr Alexander as I have found going it alone is really tough. maybe your partner could help in that regard?
    Colly likes this.
  6. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Ian I live in Australia and have been in touch with Dr James Alexander. He's in NSW and I'm in Melbourne so we spoke on the phone. He's a wonderful and caring man who can help you through this. If you're in Melbourne I'd highly recommend Jenny Johnston who practices EFT. Her therapy accelerated my recovery when I had a relapse last year. She's wonderful. I also have a great GP who embraces mindbody healing (if you're in Melbourne - Dr Tina Toh in Brunswick).

    Pat yourself on the back as you're now on the right path, having found Dr Sarno, SteveO and the wonderful Forest. You now need to devote time every day to "doing the work" (essentially reprogramming your mind), and the SEP is a great place to start.

    I had chronic pain for over twenty years and through TMS healing I'm now pain free. TMS healing is an amazing journey of self discovery. You will get there Ian.
    nowtimecoach, Forest and IrishSceptic like this.
  7. ian360

    ian360 New Member

    Thank you so much everybody. Your support really means a lot to me.

    Colly, I read your profile with your story does sound very similar to my own - I also noticed that Irish related to it too.

    Like you, I started getting pain with I was 21. I was also in the UK when it started. I also made it to Australia, after admittedly living in another four countries between the UK and here. I am currently living in Perth, and glad to be here. I have no desire to go back to the UK. I left the UK ten years ago but only arrived in Australia in 2013. I was worried that my partner wouldn't like it here. She is originally from Poland and belongs to a close family. I felt a bit guilty dragging her away and she didn't really like the idea. That was until she got here and everything changed very quickly as she loves it here and is so happy to be here too.

    I don't know any TMS doctors in Perth but I will start the SEP. You were pain free at 44. Now, I am 41, if I can also be pain free by 44 it will make me a very happy person!

    Thanks again to you both.
    nowtimecoach and IrishSceptic like this.
  8. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Ian, contact Dr James - he might do Skype sessions. Would be worth a try [drjames.psychologist@gmail.com]. Also, perhaps contact Jenny and ask is she can recommend an EFT therapist in Perth. Interestingly, Peter O Sullivan was my physio when I lived in Perth, but I saw him before his approach evolved into mindbody. He might be worth seeing anyway, though a shiatsu massage would be more effective if pain is tension/TMS induced rather than a strain/sprain (where a physio session is more appropriate).

    Although there are few, if any TMS doctors in Australia, there's a number of excellent TMS doctors in the US that might do Skype sessions, so would be worth looking into. Here's two that feature prominently on this site:


    Also I highly recommend you arrange a Skype with Steve Ozanich. His guidance was and continues to be invaluable to my ongoing recovery.

    Oh and weekly visits to Cottesloe beach would also help - oh how I miss that beach:)
    nowtimecoach likes this.
  9. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    I am very new to this site and this community, and I welcome you. TMS is clearly a huge public health problem! The stories I read are heartbreaking. I hope this work helps all of us.
  10. ian360

    ian360 New Member

    Thank you so much for your support guys and girls. It helps me so much. Today, I have started the Structured Education Program that is available on this site. I have been working, working, working (I recently started a new business), and of course I kept putting off the SEP. But the pain has recently been getting so bad that I can no longer ignore it again and it is time to start making some progress.

    I do have one thing in the back of my mind at the moment which is not helping though. I was recently informed about a condition called Chiari Malformation. After been informed I started thinking hmmmm.... the symptoms do sound like mine. Of course TMS seems more likely but it is giving me some doubts which I know are essential to discard to have a successful TMS outcome. Has anybody ever had any experience of this. You can read a little about the condition here:


    And Colly... When I read your story, I could certainly see quite a lot of overlap between your history and my own.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  11. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    I would get that ruled out as it's fairly serious and many AC sufferers have multiple surgeries to ease pressure.
    Lizzy likes this.
  12. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Welcome to the forum and this wonderful healing community. I can't say enough good things about the SEP and want to encourage you to immerse yourself into everything this site offers along with every book recommended. I gave it my all during my recovery and am pretty much pain free these days. What I received in terms of healing 'my whole self' is what I'm more excited about - although living life without TMS pain is pretty damned great too! Just take it a day at a time, do the work suggested and you will start feeling better. I promise!
  13. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    I looked at webmd and it sounds like if you get checked out they should be able to say yes or no to AC. The symptoms are so close, it would ease your mind to find out what you have. Always make sure there is nothing wrong that really should be fixed. In the meantime, mindbody work is still going to benifit you. Good luck!!
  14. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member


    My story is very similar to yours, adding the Chiari Arnold diagnoses that I do need to be confirmed.
  15. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    It's good to be medically cleared, but most things are TMS.

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