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

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Linnea, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter


    I´m a 33 year old woman from Sweden who slowly starts to realize that I have TMS, this is my first post here. I´m very excited about this, to me, new approach to pain and trying to learn everything about it, although I can´t find anything in Swedish. This forum and John Sarnos books are my lectures, and I´m especially grateful to all you who write here! What an amazing well of information and support!

    I have pretty severe pain in all my upper body, going on my fifth year of pain (a sad, sad insight). It started 5 months after my little brother died after many years of sickness, of course a very stressful period, in addition to a load of emotional luggage from before. The pain is there almost every day, escalating as the day goes by and depending on how much activity I do. No doctor has been able to help me that much. At this day I manage to work 50-75 %, working my way up from almost zero hours about a year ago. Many days when I get home from work I´m in so much pain that I hardly can cook my own dinner, let alone do some evening activities. I´ve been doing meditation for 2 months now and really believes that that is one of the keys. Discovered Sarno about a week ago and have ordered most of his books.

    This feels like my final hope, what if it doesn´t work? What if, what if… I will do everything I can, cause I can´t bear the thought of this being what the rest of my life would be like.

    This is my day 1 of the program.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome, Linnea! I'm very sorry to hear about your brother's passing and about your being in pain.

    I was in pain for 8 years, though not constant. At one point I suspected certain emotions were triggering the worst episodes. Somehow I heard about Dr. Sarno's books and remember my mother saying how his back pain book cured her 10 years ago. I started to feel a little better after just reading the first book. It's been 2 months for me and I am a lot better and still healing. No matter how long it takes, I believe we will all get there. The forum is a supportive place.

    Feel better soon!

    Forest likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dear Linnea:

    I am so sorry about your very tragic loss, and I am so glad that you have found Dr. Sarno and the TMS Wiki and Forum. As you do the work in the Educational Program you will read many different stories and discover many different ways to do this work, and I sincerely believe that you will also find hope. Discovering TMS is often the "last resort" of many people who have exhausted all other possibilities to find relief from their terrible physical and emotional pain.

    The fact that your doctors are unable to tell you what is wrong is one of the best signs that you have TMS. That's the good news! There is a medical doctor here in the U.S. who has written a book about TMS, and he titled it "They Can't Find Anything Wrong!" That title says it all.

    A lot of us also experience anxiety along with TMS symptoms, and if you think that describes you, you will find lots of discussions about that here on the forum. Conquering fear and anxiety are important aspects of recovery, as is your ability to openly face your negative and frightening emotions, the ones that your brain tries to keep hidden. You know that you have emotional luggage (or baggage as we say here). It's one thing to know it, it's quite another to face what is really in there. It's not going to be easy, and it's definitely not going to be nice to look at it. Keep remembering one thing: the more willing you are to face it, the less power it has over you.

    I may be the first, but I won't be the last member of this community who connects with you here on your journey. We wish you the very best, and we want you to stay in touch, and, most importantly, have hope!

    Forest likes this.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiya Linnea

    I know how disheartening it can feel to be in pain for such a long time. I had severe pain in my wrists, arms, legs, shoulders for over 16 years. One question that I asked time and time again was What if I never get better. I remember doctor after doctor telling me that there is simply nothing they can do for me.

    But discovering TMS and Dr. Sarno gave me hope that I could become pain free and after reading and reading and reading about TMS I became 100% pain free. If I can do it, then you can do it. The program is a great introduction to TMS and will hopefully teach you some of the tools that will help you uncover your repressed emotions and become pain free. I would also encourage you to simply read other people's stories. We have a great collection of them in our Success Stories section. This forum is a great place to receive support and learn more about TMS. I am very glad that you found us, and if you need anything at all please don't hesitate to ask.


  5. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for the support, it almost brought tears to my eyes, (didn´t know I was that easily effected!), but what a powerful feeling it is to know that there´s people out there who understands! First time... It´s a drop of hope and the last 2 days I´ve been really positive and the pain has even decreased a bit. I keep on working at the program and reading at the forum, big thank yous to all that is contributing their storys.

    :) L
    Max likes this.
  6. Max

    Max Peer Supporter

    Hi Linea,welcome to the forum where you will find many others who have a similar problem to your own. The forum is friendly,understanding and very supportive. You are now most certainly in the right place! As you have just mentioned you already feel a little more positive in your outlook, with some pain relief.That is a very small step in the right direction, on your journey to recovery.I am sure that you have the capacity to heal and recover,and have every confidence in your ability to do so.Good luck in your journey,you have already made some significant steps already.Focus on them,they are a good positive start.
  7. Jesse MacKinnon

    Jesse MacKinnon Peer Supporter

    Linnea- welcome. Your comment "I didn't know I was that easily effected" might give you a clue. What do you know about yourself and what affects you emotionally. I was raised to be stoic and overt displays of emotions were unseemly especially for a man. These might be just the repressed feelings your looking for. I have a dear friend living in Lulea (?) Well known yoga teacher, Nina Berg. We Americans often think people in Sweden must know each other. Heh heh. Loved the girl with the dragon tattoo books and movies.
  8. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Thank you both Max and Jesse!

    Well, I know I´m a pretty emotional person, always been sensitive (a bit too sensitive many times) both up and down and more willing to share “dark” emotions with close friends than many people I know, but I didn´t realize until now how lonely I felt in this pain! But suddenly at least that has changed! But of course there must be more hidden feelings that I don´t know of yet, otherwise I wouldn´t be in this pain.

    Luleå, that´s actually not that far from my hometown Umeå (about 30 Swedish miles), at least not with the more forgiving way of thinking of distance up here in the north of Sweden, where the population is modest.. But I don´t know any Nina Berg. :)
  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Welcome Linnea!

    So glad you've joined us. I hope through your reading and trying the Structured Program as Jan suggested, you'll start to feel better soon. I've been working the program here, and also another for about 3 months. I've suffered over 10 years with lower back pain. Like you, nobody with the word "doctor" before their name could tell me what was truly wrong.But since I've been working with the TMS program, my pain has greatly reduced.

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. This could be where the pain set up camp as that is one of those experiences that one never quite recovers from. But with Dr. Sarno's words, his books, the wiki, and the forum here, our hope is that you will truly find the wellness you seek. Seeing yourself on the pages of his books is a great place to start. Hearing the stories of others here who are in the same place you are is a place to feel at home. And being able to let out your emotions to people who really do understand - is a place to feel accepted. This was my experience and I hope it will be yours.

    Please post as often as you like. As you can see by the friends who posted before me, we're all here to help with our own experiences.

    I did want to comment on a comment you made. "what if...?" This is the voice of anxiety. I know it well. The "what if's" that plague us especially with pain, can be exhausting. A trick I learned in a book on anxiety says that when we say "what if?" we answer our own question with "Well then...."

    This is all to say, if at first this seems overwhelming and you aren't feeling the progress you had hoped for, well then, there is always more information, a new workbook, a new meditation that you haven't yet discovered.

    Here's to a pain free life for you Linnea!

  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome Linnea! My heart goes out to you over your tragic loss, which no doubt affected your whole being greatly. It reminded me that my lower back pain and sciatica did not begin until 10 years ago after the death of my mother who I supported working two jobs while she resided in a retirement home suffering from dementia. Prior to his death five years earlier, my late father had her in his care at home. Your loss of a sibling sounds like a common trigger that I have noticed in almost everyone I have encountered with lower back pain or TMS. In any event there is invariably some major life changing event that took place immediately prior to the onset of symptoms. I think Sarno notes somewhere in one of his books that people seem to hold up fairly well while they're holding the torch, being the hero, and striving in the care-giver role, but then after the loss of the loved one without an outlet for your self-sacrificing energies symptoms comes on either gradually or catastrophically in the form of a major back attack. Peter A. Levine in Waking the Tiger also talks about how animals go through a state of "hyperarousal" when confronted by danger that they later easily shake off without being traumatized. Seems as though when humans are confronted with a family crisis they too become "hyperaroused" to sustain themselves through the traumatic situation, but then become TMS symptomatic later on due to their inability - for a lot of reasons - to release the internalized anxiety afterwards. But at 33 you have plenty of time to undo the programming that has created your TMS symptoms. This forum and the structured program offered here has greatly contributed to the slow, gradual reduction of my TMS symptoms until I am functioning normally most of the time. In fact, I am at least 80% better than 10 years ago. Noticing the similarities in the life-lines of people with TMS in this forum has given me the added confidence to accept Dr. Sarno's diagnosis which I think you'll find is a necessary first step to really eliminating your pain problem. All the best and good luck, Linnea!
  11. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Thanks BeachGirl and MorComm for your thoughtful posts, every ones support makes me feel stronger each day! How peculiar to think that not even two weeks ago my knowing in TMS was about zero, when today it feels so logical and has really changed my way in looking at pain in big ways! Not that the pain is gone, but just the change in my thinking regarding hope for the future and so on.

    (What lead me here was actually a book about natural medicine, written by Andrew Weil, which I picked on random from my mothers bookshelf in a desperate search for alternatives. In the short chapter about chronic back pain, his only advice was to read Sarnos books. So I did and here I am. Astonished that no doctor, pain specialist or similar never more than touched the subject about mind and body connection. Sometimes they´ve mentioned stress and it´s effect on pain, but never the mind as the sole producer of the pain and that I have the ability to stop it. Now I want to buy a bunch of copies of Sarnos Mind and body connection and hand them out to every person I´ve met who I think should learn about this…)
    Enrique likes this.
  12. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    I feel this way too. It's this Universe of Hope that I stumbled onto. I love it and am trying hard to get my subconscious to follow suit.

    I love Dr. Weil and have many of his books. I don't think I ever saw this mentioned - but I don't think I was looking either. Figures he would know about this too.

    Enrique likes this.
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr Weil, Yes! I keep a list of links to send to people who are interested in learning more about TMS, and one of them is a link to a Dr. Weil article. It's not that Dr. Weil himself offers anything particularly specific, but he is a well-respected and well-known source of good advice, so it's helpful to show that he highly recommends Dr. Sarno's books.
  14. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Oh, I would love to have that link, could you post it please? I also have an audiobook with Weil, about the importance of breathing right, which I was really into some month ago, but I didn´t do the exercises that many times, maybe something do take up again..
  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Linnea, you should probably just go to Dr. Weil's web site ( http://www.drweil.com/ ) and put "Sarno" into his search box to find his articles that mention Dr. Sarno. He doesn't really say all that much, and he still recommends lots of other self-care for back pain, many of which (such as physical therapy) I personally now ignore, because for me, TMS was the answer :^)

    However, yoga and meditation are ALWAYS good things to practice for overall physical and mental health.
    Linnea likes this.
  16. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hey Jan: If it would be helpful to people here, how about starting a thread with your links? I know a lot of people follow the breadcrumbs and maybe you have topics in their links that would be helpful. This would be after your work is done however.

    Linnea: that tape/book is amazing. I have it too and after years of being a non-smoker, I did one of the exercises and found myself coughing my head off! He is really an amazing wealth of knowledge on east meets west.

    Linnea likes this.

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