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Spreading advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by interstellar, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. interstellar

    interstellar Peer Supporter

    I love reading people's success stories. I also dream of the day that ive beaten my TMS 100 percent so I can write my own. But like many of you, im not quite there yet (or some of you may be frustrated and making little to no progress.) But the common theme I notice when reading most success stories is that they dont really give the greatest advice on what actually helped them the most throughout the healing process. Most stories go like this:

    I had the worst back/leg/shoulder/neck/foot/arm/etc. pain for x amount of months/years!....
    I tried EVERYTHING! Chiropractor, PT, surgeries, special pillows, special shoes, special exercises, etc....
    I got to the point where I was so desperate that I was willing to try anything and happened to find Dr. Sarno...
    (A) I read his book and was healed a week later! or (B) I read all his books and after a month or so im healed!
    Im so grateful that Dr. Sarno saved my life! Read his book and you will have your life back too!...

    While I think its great that some people have been able to make such rapid progress without putting in much work, this simply isnt the case with most people. I had a three hour conversation with Steve Ozanich (the author of the best TMS literature out there, "The Great Pain Deception") and he agreed that healing almost never occurs that quickly. Healing from TMS is usually a long process and you have to be willing to buckle down and fight it for as long as it takes. Everybody heals at their own pace. But I feel like most people read these stories and get frustrated when they dont heal right away, or as fast as they would like. I would also be one of those people. I was an extremely active person before my TMS hit, and I lost a year of my life letting myself be consumed by fear. So when I first learned of TMS and starting applying methods, I was ecstatic! I made a lot of progress rather quickly, but still of course had plenty of pain. Being a perfectionist like most of us are, I expected my healing to progress at the same rate for a few weeks until my pain was gone. Boy was I wrong. If there is one thing I learned from Steve Ozanich that really sticks out, its that you have to work on fixing your life. Not necessarily ridding your life of all stress and anger (which is impossible), but work on doing things that make you happy. Dont measure your success on how much pain your in after you take a walk. Measure your success on how little you care about your pain after taking a walk. You WILL have good days. You WILL have bad days. Learn to expect this, and do your best to be happy either way. Remember, becoming active will NOT hurt you further. NOTE:(This is assuming that youve ruled out anything serious)

    I didnt start this thread to talk about myself for hours. I started this thread to ask people to simply share the best advice they can possibly think of that helped them the most with their healing. My hope is that this thread can become a long list of extremely helpful advice that all TMS sufferers can learn from. Of course Dr. Sarno and others have offered piles of information on how to beat TMS. But nothing is better than hearing advice from others who have conquered this mountain. I myself have made tremendous progress in the past however many months ( I dont like to count ), but even I would like some help on how to overcome that last 25% that just doesnt seem to want to leave. It seems as if the closer I get to being cured, the slower the progress and the harder it is to notice. The key is looking back and realizing how far youve come. Please, whether it be a couple sentences or a couple paragraphs...Share your wisdom!

    What single piece of advice did you find to be the most helpful in your journey?
    suky, Aurelia, laugiss and 6 others like this.
  2. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    I discovered Dr Sarno in 2009, and am still doing inner work. He said you must be educated. You have a secret weapon - your brain. It may be the instrument of your physical symptoms, but it is also the means by which those symptoms can be abolished.
    Then I heard Steve Ozanich on a radio clip that the message has to sink into our unconscious. It is like a sponge the size of a car that you are making wet with an eye dropper. You need to soak that car sized sponge to alter the brains behaviour but it takes one drop at a time. Forgive yourself and love yourself each step of the way.
    suky, adria, Boston Redsox and 5 others like this.
  3. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    This is a great thread idea, interstellar!

    Zumbafan said:
    Then I heard Steve Ozanich on a radio clip that the message has to sink into our unconscious. It is like a sponge the size of a car that you are making wet with an eye dropper. You need to soak that car sized sponge to alter the brains behaviour but it takes one drop at a time. Forgive yourself and love yourself each step of the way.

    I love that! Thank you!

    I think what helped me the most was to read posts of struggles and then success. Kind of a before and after. I began to see the same "confused thinking" and then a change in later posts as people "got it". The stories were different, but voice or tone was the same. That gave me hope! Then I began to see how I should try to think!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    Forest and interstellar like this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree, interstellar. I wish more people posting their success story would share with us the "ah ha" moment(s)
    that led to their healing.

    For me, it was journaling. I discovered that I had been repressing emotions back to
    when my parents divorced when I was 7. It left me with feelings of abandonment and insecurity.
    In journaling, I realized they had their own emotional and physical pain from TMS going back to their childhood.
    Mom had frequent migraine headaches, and Dad had bad back pain.

    My older brother bullied me and beat me up a lot. Years later I learned that he resented having to look after me
    and our sister while our parents worked. He wanted to be with his pals and felt cheated by watching out for us.

    I put myself in their shoes and it led me to better understand them and that led to forgiving. Forgiving was a
    major step toward severe back pain going away.
    believer-but likes this.
  5. interstellar

    interstellar Peer Supporter

    Great response walt! I have unearthed some of the same problems in my journaling. Im wondering how you were able to really unlock the emotions you felt from what you learned? I have journaled over and over about the same things and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse. Or should I maybe be working on how to forgive and let go?
    suky likes this.
  6. 3rdCoast

    3rdCoast Peer Supporter

    Your synopsis of success stories is spot on and made me laugh. You’re definitely not alone in how you feel. Ah, a swift book cure would've been awesome! Guess I’m in the longer haul group. And I’m trying to be OK with that. Accepting TMS as part of who you are seems to be one of the keys. TMS steered me towards things I needed to work on. Begrudgingly of course. Good topic, thanks for posting.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
    Forest likes this.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    If I had to pick one, it would be the concept of Outcome Independence. Which I think more broadly is about acceptance, not just of pain or other symptoms, but everything. That is why I use that Jon Kabat-Zinn quote in my signature. I think the concept is also embodied well in the Eckhart Tolle quote, "Suffering can end before pain ends." And "what we resist persists". Things don't have to be perfect for me to accept what is, including my self. Just let it be, breathe, and experience all the present moment has to offer.
  8. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    Crowding out the thoughts of pain and how I'm feeling and fear/anxiety surrounding pain with

    living in the moment,
    thoughts of gratitude,
    finding & savoring joy in every little/big way possible,
    expressing creativity at every opportunity,
    positive connections with positive others & connections with nature/animals (isolation is not healing),
    vividly imagining how my life will continue to get better as the pain fades over time.
  9. interstellar

    interstellar Peer Supporter

    Great advice everyone. I also agree that working on outcome independence is key. I've made great progress in reducing the pain, but I think the thing that has helped the most is teaching myself not to care about whether a day is a "good day" or "bad day". I'm confident that once I've mastered not caring about my pain that it will simply disappear.
    suky, Ellen and Helenback like this.
  10. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    before I came across TMS and Sarnos idea I checked out meditation rather skeptically. I discovered a body scan gave me slight relief and was surprised to find this. It probably made me more open then in going on to check out Sarno. Shinzen Young has a good Bhuddist message for suffering that really resonated with me and can help those in pain(even if they don't think TMS is the cause).
    I have put a link to a synopsis of his book below but here is the excerpt that really knocked through the ceiling and let in some light at a dark moment.

    ''In order to understand how pain becomes suffering, you need to know a deep truth about the nature of suffering. Most people equate suffering with pain, but suffering is a function of two variables, not just one.

    Suffering is a function of pain and the degree to which the pain is being resisted. (S = P x R)

    Your nervous system has built-in structures that produce and transmit pain signals. We might refer to them as “pain circuits.”They are part of you, and left on their own, they function spontaneously and effortlessly as part of the flow of nature, like wind through the trees or ripples on a lake. They have one job and one job only: when stimulated they produce a kind of energy wave which we humans call “pain.”

  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    IrishSceptic likes this.
  12. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi all!

    For me the first thing I do when I feel a relapse creeping up is I just talk to myself - often aloud. I talk to my pain, in a caring and compassionate way, asking it what is it trying to tell me. I sit somewhere quiet and allow myself to be aware of how my body is feeling. I notice tension somewhere and then examine what it is that's causing this. I usually get to the heart of the matter and then allow those feelings - often uncomfortable - to be felt. I check in on myself several times a day, and try to be aware of thoughts and emotions all day, every day. I also pay attention to my thoughts NON JUDGEMENTALLY! Oh and I read and reread my TMS rescue remedy: my print out of ACE1's post "Repeating the keys to healing", which lives in my handbag.

    I suggest to all newbies, to comb through this wiki and copy/paste all the useful advice into your own compendium for future reference. Take the time to really explore this forum, and cherry-pick all the stuff that resonates with you. You'll find it reassuring once you have done this, as you will have your own emergency kit to hand when the TMS unwelcome guest comes knocking.
  13. interstellar

    interstellar Peer Supporter

    I just read through this post again and its full of great advice. I thought id comment on it so newcomers can view it and others can more advice!
    suky, IndiMarshall and JanAtheCPA like this.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    My success was in establishing a different relationship to/with my symptoms (particularly fear and anxiety), and to understand that there is no such thing as a TMS "cure", because it is part of how the human brain evolved. I still have symptoms, and I expect to have them off and on all my life, but I have my own personal techniques to keep them from ramping up. I have accessed different resources other than Dr. Sarno and strict TMS theory (they are listed on my Profile page). And I posted a "success incident" on the Success sub-forum last summer, because I think it's important to know that we each have the potential and the power to overcome crisis moments. And I think that any success is a success story worth telling.

    In that thread I said:

    Knowledge - Belief - Faith
    I have Knowledge about how my brain creates symptoms for reasons that are emotional rather than physical
    I Believe that there is nothing wrong with my body
    I have Faith in my own strength and ability to change my brain and heal myself

    Great topic, interstellar, and thank you for reposting - that's how I found it today (and being a tax accountant, I most certainly missed it in March :^D )

    suky, thecomputer and mike2014 like this.
  15. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

  16. adria

    adria Peer Supporter

    Thank you for this thread
  17. Aurelia

    Aurelia New Member

    I'm new to this site.. are there any replies? It's a great post!
  18. Jocko1

    Jocko1 Peer Supporter

    What has helped me the most is journaling, focused breathing, seeing a psychotherapist and most importantly exercise. You may have to try a few different exercises which suit you. Before my TMS started I ran beteeen 20-25 miles per week. I got back into running and was able to build back up slowly to 6 - 10 miles a week. But I switched to doing the Stairmaster 30 minutes 4 days a week and felt it was lower impact and a better fit for my body. I felt running was causing non TMS pain. I also lift weights 3 days a week. I have no pain when exercising and I feel my best after a workout.

    Stress brings on my pain. Also, I’ve been conditioned to expect pain in certain positions such as sitting too long or standing in one spot. During these times of pain I take a “time out” and focus on my breathing and put a pleasurable scene in my head and take a moment to realize why the pain is here, laugh at the pain and move on with my life.

    Pain is a message that’s somethings wrong, even if that something is not a physical issue with your body. I’m so happy I’m not going through the medical gauntlet anymore. The cure is within you, no one else can do it for you. This takes time.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all!
    Aurelia and Tennis Tom like this.
  19. Aurelia

    Aurelia New Member

    How do you know when it's conditioning and when it's something like your running, that's causing your pain?
  20. Jocko1

    Jocko1 Peer Supporter

    It’s hard to tell difference. It very well could also be part of my TMS but something tells me this type of pain is not psychological. I don’t really have a good answer.

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