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Stretching....to do or not to do?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by tasy, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. tasy

    tasy Newcomer

    I have a dilemma. Since I started my TMS journey 8 moths ago, I stopped doing stretching exercises and also stopped physical treatments. I still do my normal training, swimming and fitness. But unfortunately, my muscles have become even more tight and painful, slowly day by day. So the training I still do, is now very difficult for me, and it's far from comfortable to do. I have decided to start with my stretch exercises again so that I can get a little less pain and more movement in my body. My dilemma is, that I know it maybe will get me to focus more in my pain as John Sarno says, but in the last 8 months my body has just become tight and worse, and every muscle in my body is in a state of cramps. And that also makes me focus on my pain. So I think that no matter what I do, I will focus on my problems.

    Does anyone here have experience with what might be the right thing to do for me?
  2. ash86

    ash86 Peer Supporter

    Hi Tasy! I totally get where you are coming from. Here is my take: TMS pain is all about fear. So if deep down you think not stretching is causing your muscles to tighten, then its more than likely the fear of not stretching is the cause of your pain and not flexibility.

    Science is showing that flexibility is less about stretching your tissues and more about familiarizing range of motions to your nervous system, thus reducing the protective response of pain.

    I am currently working with Erin Kershaw, she is an exercise physiologist who is studying tms and has TMS herself. Its been a big help for me, maybe check her out!
  3. had

    had Peer Supporter

    Stretching isn't bad for you. Stretching because you re afraid you will be in pain if you do not is bad for you. I stretch every day because it feels good to do it. Days I have been in a rush and did not I didn't have more pain until I started thinking about how I hadn't stretched. The idea is, and easier said than done I know, if you want to stretch then stretch and if you hurt after remind yourself that the stretching didn't cause it...TMS did...and hopefully doing that enough detaches the connection in your mind.
    JanAtheCPA, tasy and cdub like this.
  4. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Stretching does certainly feel good. I've never known it to help my symptoms. Actually nothing seems to help my symptoms recently. Frustrating but that's for another post.
    tasy likes this.
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    First of @ ash86 thanks for that info...gotta look that up.

    @ tasy.... that tightnees might be your tms sneaking in the side door. As the other posters said, it could be a fear of not stretching but it also could be an encroachment of the symptom imperative. Have you had a check in on your self in awhile? Like when you got better the first time... is everything 'ok'... Usually when I get any type of issue like that There is something to look at.

    I still lift weights, play hard catch with baseballs and work physically hard every day with zero warm ups. I know that a little stretching and movement tends to make me a little more accurate when I throw but skipping it doesn't cause pain (except to my ego)
    ..and recently when I had a weight lifting incident that seemed to be from not stretching it was actually unexamined anger at my son I was working out with... as soon as I realized I was pissed at him the 'stiffness' and cramp went away..like it always does.
    tasy and birdsetfree like this.
  6. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    Tightness is TMS. My muscles were so tight before reading Sarno that I couldn't lift my foot more than 6 inches off the ground! Then, a week after reading Sarno, voila - I could lift my leg as high as I wanted, as high as a tabletop. I regularly play 90 minutes of small-field, 6v6 soccer (so tons of sprinting) with no subs, and I never stretch anymore, unless I just feel like it, because it does feel nice sometimes and it's a nice way to cool down and relax after. It's been a year since reading Sarno and playing soccer again (without stretching) and I have pulled absolutely nothing and suffer from no tightness. Prior to reading Sarno I pulled my groin muscle almost every game and stretching did zilch. I haven't even felt my groin muscle in a year.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    My trainer has me warm up by striding/running on the treadmill for 5 minutes, and then doing some leg and arm swings. That's it. Sometimes we go to the stretching area after my workout, but only if she has a specific exercise to do on the mat.

    My trainer is very experienced and stays current in the training world, and her specialty is geriatrics, disabilities, and obesity. I'm only 68, and not obese or disabled, and I'm a little too advanced for the classes she teaches, so I pay for personal training every week because I won't push myself - partly because I'm a master procrastinator, and partly because I have exercise anxiety.

    Anyway, I've been doing this since 2011 (which is when I self-diagnosed with TMS) and since then, my bone density numbers have stabilized, I've clearly progressed in terms of the weight I can lift, and I know that I will always feel better after a workout even if my symptoms are flaring, so I don't skip.

    Bottom line: I suspect that the so-called requirement to stretch before exercising is old news, and in your case, it's just a distraction.

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