1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Dr. Zafirides Stress, Chronic Pain and ... Musquitoes??

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Peter Zafirides, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician

    Hi Everyone,

    This week's podcast focuses on stress, chronic pain and TMS/PPD (and mosquitoes):


    Using some fun examples to introduce the principle, I explain how our emotions normally generate physical reactions in our body. I then discuss this process in the context of TMS/PPD.

    I hope you find the podcast worthwhile.

    Dr. Z
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Peter. The podcast was helpful.

    I had a stressful phone call this morning from an electric energy provider to my home and got tired of answering
    his questions so I blew up at him and yelled and said to cancel me.

    I then learned it was a recording I had been listening to, so no matter how angry I got at the caller, he wasn't even there to hear me.

    So now I'm laughing and having a cup of hot milk, hugged my dog, and am calmed down.

    It turned out that I was stressed out by an electronic mosquito. haha.

    That's the age we live in. I have to learn to live with it, not fight it. It ain't easy.
    plum likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I also came to realize that I was stressed out about that phone call
    because an hour earlier my very demanding boss for whom I do all kinds of favors
    and all the work he demands (to be perfect, too), said he wouldn't do something simple I asked.

    That angered me and I took it out on the energy caller who wasn't there anyway.

    So it was all boss and work-related stress.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    How to Stay Cool Under Pressure

    How to keep cool under pressure: Handling anger, nervousness, fear & indecision

    Published on August 4, 2013 by Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. in Communication Success
    Most of us experience some level of stress in life. How we handle stressful situations can make the difference between being assertive versus reactive, and poised versus frazzled. When under pressure, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep your cool. Here are some quick tips:

    1. If you feel angry and upset with someone, before you say something you might later regret, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. In most circumstances, by the time you reach ten, you would have figured out a better way of communicating the issue, so that you can reduce, instead of escalate the problem. If you're still upset after counting to ten, take a time out if possible, and revisit the issue after you calm down.
    Related Articles

    For more tips on how to communicate effectively, see my articles Are You a Poor Communicator? How to Improve, and Seven Ways to Say “No” and Keep Good Relations.

    2. If you feel nervous and anxious, put cold water on your face, which triggers the mammalian diving reflex and immediately slows the heart rate between ten to twenty-five percent. It's also helpful to get fresh air and take deep breaths from the diaphragm. Avoid caffeinated beverages which can stimulate your nervousness (1)(2)(3).

    3. If you feel fearful, depressed, or discouraged, try intense aerobic exercises. Energize yourself. The way we use our body affects greatly the way we feel. As the saying goes - motion dictates emotion. As you experience the vitality of your body, your confidence will also grow (3)(4).
    For tips on how to reduce negative emotions, see my articles Five Keys to Enhancing Your Emotional Intelligence, The Break-Up Cure: 7 Ways to Heal & Find Happiness Again, and The Facebook Cure: 5 Ways to Get Rid Of "Facebook Envy."

    4. If you feel overwhelmed, confused, stuck, or uninspired, go outdoors and clear your head.

    Go into nature and surround yourself in colors of green and blue, which have a calming effect (5)(6)(7). Find a panoramic view and look out into the distance. Walk. Take deep breaths. Empty your mind. Come back with a fresh perspective.

    For tips on staying strong in the face of life's challenges, see my articles Eight Keys to Life Hardiness and Resiliency, and How to Be Ultra Productive — 10 Tips for Mastering Your Time Now.

    5. If you feel uncertain or indecisive, do a cost-benefit analysis. For example, if you’re having trouble deciding between staying at your current job or leaving, put each choice on a piece of paper with a line down the middle. With each option, list all the pros on one side, and the cons on the other side. If you like, score on a scale of 1 to 5 each pro and con item on the lists to weigh their relative importance. As you do so, the most logical decision will often emerge.

    However, if you still feel uneasy after making a logical choice, put the analysis away and sit with the decision for a while. Go for a walk as recommended in tip #4 above. A good decision, especially an important one, should be one that allows you to feel more at peace.

    For more on personal and professional success, download free excerpts of my publications: "Communication Success with Four Personality Types," "How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People," "The 7 Keys to Life Success," "Wealth Building Attitudes, Values, and Habits," and "Branding Your Career Like Steve Jobs — Seven Essential Lessons in Work Success."
    plum likes this.
  5. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, its like building a mosquito net. You don't mind the buzzing anymore because you know they won't be able to draw blood from you.
    plum likes this.
  6. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician


    Thanks for taking the time to listen to the episode!

    I am glad you found it helpful.

    If you - or anyone on this forum - has a specific topic you would like covered (TMS or not) please just let me know. I would be happy to tailor some podcasts specific to the needs of the forum!

    -Dr. Z
    plum likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Gigalos, a great thought you posted.

    Dr. Z, I'll think of a possible podcast. Maybe others on the forum will suggest some, too.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Z, Emily posted this today and it might made a good subject for a podcast, since
    so many people working on TMS healing wish they could heal RIGHT AWAY!

    Topic: Importance of taking your own time with recovery programs.

    Hi Leslie, This is a problem that so many people struggle with. Just one additional aspect of the perfectionist personality TMS trait, we want to be perfect at recovering as well! This is a hard aspect of TMS...we want to get better as soon as possible, but that doesn't always mean working on recovery as much as possible. At a certain point, focus on recovery becomes stressful and, ultimately, can be counter-productive.I just read PepperGirl's Day 33 (SEP) post today, and it really hit home for me. The importance of taking your own time with recovery programs cannot be talked about enough.

    All the best,
  9. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician


    This is great, Walt. Thank you! I have been meaning to do a podcast on this topic for some time. It applies to many forms of healing, including TMS.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    FYI, I am happy to announce this week on the podcast, I will be interviewing the author of Letter To A Young Psychiatrist, Dr. Seyyed Ghaemi. I had posted the article in its entirety on the forum here:


    I believe his article is one of the most profound (if not THE most profound) I have ever read as it relates to psychiatry. I agree with him 100%. If you have the time, I would highly recommend it.

    Dr. Z
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Would you truly tailor a podcast?
    On impulse I make a very personal request. It would help me and doubtless the many others in my position to hear your sage and supportive thoughts on caring/caregiving. While it is universally acknowledged as been unrelentingly stressful and lonely (we are invisible, others cannot respond to what they don't know is there), somehow actual solid advice is strangely absent. There's tea and sympathy and good intentions, and while all these have there place, it can strangely add to the debris that was your former life.

    I just read the Mark Epstein piece you posted and find parallels there. Carers and the cared for certainly mourn the life they once had and it's a state that seems to hold no meaning before someone offers a receptacle of grief. Naming things helps.

    Assuming I'm not even vaguely unique in this next regard, I'd also flag the burden of the romanticisation of care. This can generate a measure of guilt, of perceived failings. Carers are angels and children playing with dirty feet and maids praying with dirty minds. In sum we are the same people we were before, only now we cock one questioning eye at God.

    Goodness, didn't intend to pen so much.
    Bless you Dr. Z, for in your way you are a consummate carer too.
  11. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, you are ever the tonic. I read your post and laughed and thought 'there but for the grace of god...' because I am currently embroiled in the most tedious of exchanges with my isp. It's circular and repetitive and redundant and then I read your words. What does it all matter anyway. Love your dog. He is so cute. Please give him a cuddle from me.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    My dog is a big girl, Annie, a 70-pound 11-year-old lap dog.
    Here's one of my favorite photos of her, showing me her love with her beautiful eyes. annie on couch.jpg
    Gigalos and plum like this.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Plum, I'm glad my telephone crazy stuff gave you a laugh.

    You're right about a podcast on care-giving and I hope Dr. Z will do one.
    I tried caring for my elderly mother but had to give up after two years,
    then it left me with guilt that I am sure contributed to my repressed emotions and TMS back pain.
    I've forgiven her and myself and it sure helped.

    A friend's mother wrote a book on aging and caretaking:
    IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME by Avis Carlson.
    It's out of print but used copies may still be found at amazon.com books and other online book sellers.

    I'm going to read it again and see if I can post excerpts or full chapters from it on aging and caregiving.
    She was in her 80s when she wrote it, and included her experiences and others from a newspaper column
    she had written for years.
    plum likes this.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just looked online and
    IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME by Avis Carlson is available used on amazon.books and alibris.com real cheap.
    If you or anyone is looking for help and inspiration on aging and/or care-giving, it's a terrific book.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Now that I browse through the book again I see it is more on aging and coping with our mortality
    than it is in care-giving. But what It did for me was to help me to have a better understanding and empathy for
    my aging mother. The book offers many suggestions on how to cope with aging and our mortality.
    Both are subjects that cause TMS pain, so I will post parts of the book from time to time under a new
    topic called Aging, Mortality, and TMS Pain.
  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Maybe caring for our (and others) mortality is the ultimate caregiving.
    I'm seeking out your post on this now...
  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Plum. I was fortunate enough to know Avis Carlson, my longtime friend Eric's mother,
    and she was a treasure. A school teacher, then columnist on aging.

    She wrote another book I love: SMALL WORLD, LONG GONE, about her girlhood in Kansas.
    It's not about pain or healing, but about how wonderful life was before technology plugged us in.

    I'll post more from her book IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME real soon.

    You're right about caring for ourselves. It's so important in our TMS healing.
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Some people wish they were twenty again, or even forty or sixty.

    Not me, at 83. If I turned the clock back, I would not have known some of my best friends and my three fantastic dogs.

    I also would not have known about Dr. Sarno, Steve Ozanich, Forest, Becca, Herbie, you, or others who have become
    some of my best friends.

Share This Page