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Sitting down for extended period of time.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Stock Trader, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Stock Trader

    Stock Trader Peer Supporter

    I work at an office for 8hrs. Is it true that sitting too much causes back problems? Or it doesn't matter how much you sit at longest you believe in the TMS concept.
  2. JoshB

    JoshB New Member

    Doesn't matter how long you sit. If you are conditioned to believing it will occur, then it will. There would be 3 causes to back problems as put in sarnos books, current stressors, past events and personality traits. Sit as much as you want it doesn't cause back problems.
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I used to sit 8-10 hours per day for years and years cranking out technical manuals. Slouching. Poor posture. Things they tell you to avoid. However, I didn't have a trace of back pain. However, once I started exhibiting TMS symptoms in 2002, it hurt whenever I sat no matter where: at the computer, driving the car, watching TV on the couch in the living room. You name it. However, now that my TMS is subsiding, I can sit at this computer all day long and into the night without a twinge of lower back pain. Well . . . maybe a slight sensation left over from before. I would conclude from my own experience that Dr Sarno is as usual dead right: the pain associated with sitting is programmed sometime during the initial phases of a TMS back attack so that you associate pain with sitting. There are a couple of more things like that: for example, while pushing a vacuum cleaner around or mopping. No real reason that you feel pain while vacuuming. It's all got to do with programming. You just have to realize how programmed so many human behaviors are. It's really mind-blowing when you come to that realization.
  4. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Sitting is a natural function. I don't see how it could cause back pain. It does not cause me any pain. When I had bad TMS years ago, it did hurt to sit--all the time.
    veronica73 likes this.
  5. ktothec112

    ktothec112 New Member

    Any help for getting over this? Currently this is my biggest problem, my TMS gets really bad when sitting still, especially for extended periods of time. I believe I conditioned myself to be this way... Who here has de-conditioned this belief? Any suggestions? Would be GREATLY appreciated :(
    Gmalen and eskimoeskimo like this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lots of us have become deconditioned to these pains ktothec112
    First tell me some of your history like have you read any of sarnos books
    Have you been listening to the call in discussion groups?
    Have you been reading the Structured Educational Program.
    Now with that said lets see if we can find some common ground so
    I can help lead you in a good direction ok.

    Im sure Lori and BruceMC
    Stock Trader and others will be a great help too. Thanks for writing
    cant wait to hear your response so you can get to work on this nagging issue
    Bless You.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, during the initial phases of a TMS attack, it seems as though your psyche is in a highly plastic state, in a word, very impressionable. This is when you get programmed to feel pain during certain activities, like sitting in front of a computer, sitting in the front seat of a car, walking, bending and lifting. For me it was mopping and pushing the vacuum cleaner around. All very typical TMS "triggers". No real physical reason for it, rather the result of psychological conditioning. You'll recognize that the conditioned pain behavior is breaking down at that point where you start to become detached from your symptoms, detached in your mind that is. I don't know how to describe it exactly, but you can tell it's mental because you start to forget your old programmed pain responses. They gradually become more distant, like receding memories, as they fade and disappear. How long that takes varies from individual to individual according to the severity of their TMS. Mindfulness meditation, as practiced by Dr Howard Schubiner, can help you distance yourself from you symptoms, both in your body and in your mind.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    These are all good suggestions, Stock Trader. Sitting doesn't cause back problems. TMS repressed emotions do. A stock trader must live in the fast lane with lots of financial pressures. Especially in this nutsy economy. A friend of mine worked for an investment company and had terrible back pain but it was from TMS. He was a perfectionist's perfectionist. He would tighten a screw so it could never be unscrewed. A think his back was just as tight because of his personality.

    Just keep thinking TMS and the emotions that may cause back pain. Money is one of most common.
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    ktothec, I think the key is creating a psychological distance from what seem to be your physical TMS symtoms. This unmasks them and reveals their true origin in your mind. Lots of techniques for doing just that in mindfulness mediation and journaling. But it's whatever gets you there, what works for you that matters. IOWs: For some people breathing exercises and meditation may turn the trick, but you never know if confronting your symptoms with physical activity might work for you. Very individual process. Different roads to the same end. You just have to believe with all your heart that your TMS symptoms are the result of a psycho-emotional process. When you believe 100%, the pain will vanish. Some people come to this realization slowly and they heal slowly. Some people have a rare insight and the pain disappears. Steve Ozanich believes that those who heal slowly, however, are the ones who recover fully. Too fast and the patient, according to Steve's experience (and he has a lot!), continues to carry along a bunch of extra psychological baggage that can lead to relapses. So, take it easy and, above all, chill out.
    Seraphina likes this.
  10. ktothec112

    ktothec112 New Member

    Thank you all for the considerate responses! What an awesome community we have ;)

    I should write up a longer thread perhaps detailing my journey with tms, but I'll give a brief description here so you guys can help me.

    I first started getting tms after graduating college. I have the typical tms personality type - extremely driven, motivated, perfectionist, etc. I believe my tms was caused by unacceptable emotions and internal rage of living a mundane, unfulfilling life - tedious job I hated, always stressed about money, having no time to pursue my personal goals, passions, hobbies. Sitting in an office, 40 hours a week, doing a monotonous job I hate that doesn't even pay well is completely unacceptable to me (sub conscious rage). This led to absolutely CRIPPLING back pain, although at the time I was convinced it was a physical issue with my back.

    After a year of complete hell, I finally discovered sarnos book "healing back pain" and it changed my life.. I also worked with a therapist who was familiar with his work. Slowly but surely, thing got much better. Although sitting was always kind of irritating, life was worth living again.

    I started getting better around Jan 2013, and by July, I had pretty much considered myself 85-90% healed, although, still, sitting in certain chairs or for long periods of time was still a bit irritating - a conditioned belief that sitting was bad for the back, way back from when I thought it was a physical problem. I know now, of course, this is 100%, without question, a mental problem, not physical.

    Things have been pretty good tms-wise, minus some irritation while sitting - however, recently I've had a bad flare up of tms for the last few days. (although it's been better today, since discovering this website).

    The problem is I have literally zero idea what to attribute this flare up to. Life is literally PERFECT - I am traveling, pursuing my dreams, money is AWESOME, great friends, an abundance of beautiful women in my life.... No stress, no worries,... I am still very driven, passionately pursuing my goals and striving for excellence, but I don't think it's an unhealthy, tms like obsession.. No idea what my subconscious "rage" could be...

    The only thing I can think of is I recently went on a road trip, that involved sitting for long periods of time, to a seminar, which involved sitting for long periods of time... Although I've done one of these before, this time I had quite a bit of irritation from sitting all day, and when I got back home, had a pretty nasty little flair up...

    I also know that my subconscious mind sees being depressed as unacceptable - every time I'm just a little sad about something (in a regular, healthy, way), the tms creeps back in (which gets me more depressed and angry). The rage could also be from the tms itself...

    I just discovered this website yesterday and haven't had a chance to check out too much of it; although it looks ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I will look into this "mindful medication" (although I already do regular meditation), as well working on my beliefs about sitting... I will also do the structured educational program, journaling, and try to get on a discussion call as well. Thanks everyone! :)
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perhaps not? It does sound like you associate sitting with that first low paying, boring job you got out of college. It tended to erode your self-esteem, which, as you seem to be saying, made you mad. Now you associate sitting with that original blow to your ego that was so enraging.

    I think I do. Just being so positive can put a great deal of unwanted pressure on the psyche. That's the real reason people have nervous breakdowns after they become amazingly successful. I think Dr James Alexander, an Australian, speaks about American "happy-ism" where everyone here feels so much pressure to be positive all the time that they feel stressed out.

    I know it does take a long time to breakdown TMS conditioning once it's become programmed in your mind. It seems like after a while my deprogramming is like a kind of forgetting. I now have forgotten to feel pain when I ride a certain stationary bicycle. Don't know exactly when that happened because when it did I'd already forgotten it! I do know that you have to figure out some way of forgetting about sitting triggering your pain. Alan Gordon has an excellent recovery program available here on this forum that describes something called "outcome independence" where you let go of any expectations you might be holding on to about recovering. Check it out:

  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Discovering what causes our TMS pain like back aches doesn't usually happen overnight. We may have to do a lot of
    journaling before we uncover all the repressed emotions. That's what our unconscious mind is waiting for. They may things we never imagined were causing our pain. Then, bingo! We remember something that gets to the core of our pain. We just have to keep at trying to learn what it is.

    Meanwhile, try to take your mind off it all and just find something to do tonight that you will enjoy. Give your head a rest.
  13. ktothec112

    ktothec112 New Member

    Thanks again for the very thoughtful responses...

    I am currently traveling and very busy lately (with hobbies, not work), however, in about a month I will be done, and I will once again seek professional help (Therapist) for my TMS...

    I really have NO CLUE what my "repressed issues" could be. I mean... I obviously still have completely regular stresses that all people have, actually probably MUCH, MUCH less... Things are so good right now is actually pretty remarkable.

    I think the cause of the TMS is literally the TMS itself - I spent a year sulking, outrageously depressed, thinking I was dying and having suicidal thoughts over it. Seriously, all of 2012 was HORRIBLE - I literally spent every waking moment obsessed, depressed, and completely outraged by my pain. 2013 has been pretty awesome though, since discovering Sarno and realizing the pain was of mental origin, no physical.

    I literally think this is a "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself" kind of situation - when I am present and happy and my mind is on other things, I have ZERO pain - but as soon as I let any thoughts of TMS creep into my head, or put any kind of focus on it, the pain creeps back.... and as is evident by the title of this thread, sitting is a major TMS tigger (actually, it's really the only I can think of).

    My theory is that there is no more "unresolved tension". All the issues that were taking place around the beginning of 2012 that I believe were responsible, are now completely gone. And I (believe) I have thoroughly felt the anger, and it has passed, not been repressed.

    I think the TMS actually re-inforces itself thought a vicious feedback loop, as explained in this video:

    I think being on the long road trip and sitting for hours and hours brought my focus back to TMS (since sitting is a trigger), which caused it to flare up again... I don't think I repressed anything, as I am completely baffled as to what it could be. There have been no big events in my life that I am aware of that could have caused it. I really think my brain is just so used to it, after a year of OBSESSING over it, that it's just too conditioned to feel pain and caught in a vicious cycle.

    Perhaps this is why meditation has been so helpful for me.... I meditated on a long drive recently and as I was doing so, it literally felt like the little fists of tension in my back were opening up (think of a tight fist, and the hand slowly opening up). Putting my awareness to the present seems to be the best thing for me at this point, as well as busying myself with stuff so I literally don't have time to think about it....

    Thoughts? Can TMS become its OWN cause after a while (no more repressed emotions, just conditioned to TMS)?

    Also... the more I THINK about it, the worse it gets... I believe I already know a fair deal about TMS... Do you think it would be better to stay present/not think about it/try to forget it, or delve deeper into it (read more books, journal, seek a therapist, post on these forums, think about it a lot, etc.)?
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ktothec, it looks to me like you need to take a break from TMS thinking, You've probably read enough books.
    If you've done all the journaling you think you can, just tell your unconscious mind that you believe 100 percent
    that your pain is from some repressed emotion(s). It really doesn't need to know specifically which one(s) they are.

    But don't spend hours trying to convince your unconscious about that. Dr. Sarno says just spend about 20 minutes a day on the
    12 Daily Reminders. Then get on with your life and try to find ways to make each day happy for you.

    Here are the 12 Daily Reminders:

    1.The pain is due to TMS,not to a structural abnormality
    2.The direct reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation
    TMS is a harmless condition caused by my repressed emotions
    4.The principal emotion is my repressed ANGER
    TMS exists only to distract my attentions from the emotions
    6.Since my back is basically normal there is nothing to fear
    7.Therefore,physical activity is not dangerous
    8.And I MUST resume all normal physical activity
    9.I will not be concerned or intimidated by the pain
    10.I will shift my attention from pain to the emotional issues
    11.I intend to be in control-NOT my subconscious mind
    12.I must think Psychological at all times,NOT physical.

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