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Should one expose oneself to chronic pain in order to heal it?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by PurringCat, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. PurringCat

    PurringCat New Member

    I have been reading TMS books by Sarno, Schubiner, and Ozanich for a number of years, but it was only through Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program that I realized how strongly fear is linked to sustaining chronic pain.

    Because of this, I've read a few books about anxiety and panic attacks. There it is always written that you can only resolve fear and panic if you put yourself in the fearful situation and stay there for some time. Basically, anxiety treatment is all about that one point.

    But what about chronic pain? Should you consciously enter the painful situation and stay there?

    With panic attacks you have to stay in the situation so that you can see that nothing bad actually happens when you expose yourself to fear. This is the only way to resolve the fear in the long term.

    But is it also a good idea to be in chronic pain for a certain period of time and to endure it? Because if I did this in the past, intentionally or involuntarily, the pain lasted for several hours or several days. It also increased my sensitivity to pain. I never really benefited from this approach.

    How are your experiences on this topic? Do you purposely put yourself in pain-inducing situations and then stay there? Has that brought you any improvement in the long term?
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes the term for this is "graded exposure". You start with the lowest level...imagining doing the activity or engaging in the trigger you fear, and then work you way up. The key is to tolerate and challenge fear. If you can only walk 3 steps with no fear, that's what you do. It's gradual so as to not freak your brain out. The goal is to resume life and re engage with things you enjoy and need to do. That's how you train your brain out of the old neuro pathways.
  3. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Purringcat,

    That’s how you show your subconscious mind that you are not afraid of pain and it will stop reducing blood flow.

    You have to go at it with a plan so that when pain worsens or persists you don’t give in or give up.

    In this interview with Omar Pinto I explain in detail how you can do it.

    Omar Pinto is the host of the very popular Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery podcast (SHAIR). He invited me to provide a natural drug-free treatment option for pain.

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  4. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    By the way, I forgot to mention in the interview that not only all my pain was eliminated, my hay fever of 17 years, heart murmur and gastritis also disappeared. And then this: when I finally after 25 months was able to go for an eye exam my ophthalmologist said I no longer needed my reading glasses of 14 years. That was 28 years ago and I still do not wear glasses.

    So once you seriously go after TMS, the improvements in your health can be incredible.
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  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a really good topic. I actually did exactly what you are asking here, when I fully recovered from pain. Having read in "Healing Back Pain" about the effects of conditioning, I knew that If I didn't break that conditioning, it could be triggered again.

    So, as the pain went away and the information was sinking in, I went to virtually anyplace I had been before in pain, IN PAIN. That meant doctors offfices, Jobsites, theatre's,gym's, sitting in certain positions and places, not to mention all of those activities I had shunned. I would try to put a wrinkle in them too , to break any old idea's I had. I rode my bike the 7 miles to where I had PT and surgeries. I too extra swings at the batting cages, with a heavier bat. I went to different Jobsites and took long drives in my car (that was the last symptom to leave btw)
    Each time I went there 'mindful' of everything I had learned about TMS. At some of them, the pain returned. I simply used the tools, and ambled around inside my head wondering 'What it is that angers me about this place?'
    Sometimes the answer was easy (Like in stores and places of commerce) sometimes it was hard... it really just was conditioning and the place had nothing to do with it. I never left until I was 100% painfree.

    For some peculiar reason I realized that places of commerce really bug me.... not the regular market,gas station,etc. but places like MALLS where most of the stuff purchased is 'conspicuous consumption'. It's childish, but now that I know that about myself, I avoid them because I don't like that about us as a society, not because being at the mall causes pain.

    Each one of us has particular things that irk us, so each persons recovery is going to include learning lots of things about themselves like that. This is one of those cases where the TMS is instructive.
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  6. PurringCat

    PurringCat New Member

    Thank you very much for your detailed answers.

    I don't have classic TMS, so no pain in the musculoskeletal system.

    My problem is that I have developed sound sensitive hearing after a noise trauma.
    Noises of all kinds, especially loud and high-frequency sounds, cause severe ear pain and loud tinnitus.
    All the doctors I have seen, however, certify that I have completely healthy hearing. This leads me to believe that my hyperacusis is really TMS.

    Just as movement is fearful and conditioned in other TMS patients, in the same way, sensitive hearing is conditioned and fearful in my case.

    So far I have unfortunately not been successful with the TMS theory, although I have already tried a lot.
    If I expose myself to unpleasant or loud noises for too long, I get stabbing ear pain and increased sensitivity, which can last for a long time.

    Hence my original question, whether one should really expose oneself to the pain for a longer period of time in the case of chronic pain. For me, this means a permanent worsening of my problem, which I cannot undo again afterwards.

    I am therefore no longer so sure whether the TMS techniques can really help me.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  7. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Sounds to me you need to focus on sensory treatments to calm the brain, such as the Faldenkrais method. There are practitioners all over the world.

    You may also consider acupuncture if you have not tried it already.
  8. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    My father is struggling with this right now. Check out Dr. Bruce Hubbard...he is a CBT tinnitus specialist and there's a video presentation. Your'e supposed to habituate to the tinnitus using another sound app. Dr. Hubbard suffered terribly himself and now he's fine. I actually have a zoom meeting with him in 20 minutes with my dad lol! I personally believe that the tinnitus can fade out, so I take it a step beyond habituation (where you don't notice it any more). Others have used the TMS method to overcome tinnitus. My dad is 83 so old age is a big factor.
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  9. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Don't discount TMS as a reason it continues to be there. I have had readers, like Alan Massison of Weymouth, MA, whose back pain and sciatica were healed and tinnitus went away as well. So keep that as a possible source as well as conditioning.
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  10. PurringCat

    PurringCat New Member

    Thank you for the suggestions.

    In fact, I haven't tried acupuncture yet. But I've tried EFT and tapping for a period of 12 years without any success.
    EFT works with the same meridian system as acupuncture, and EFT has not worked at all for me despite numerous attempts.
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  11. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    One more option I can suggest is the work by Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. He is distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland.

    He has audio programs that help with auditory hypersensitivity and nervous system dysregulation. Hope it helps.

    Science of Feeling Safe - Integrated Listening
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