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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by donavanf, May 12, 2016.

  1. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    EVERY time I sit in my office chair, my upper back and neck hurt. The longer I sit, the worse it gets.

    I work at home, doing photoshop and computer work, for my photography business. My TMS manifests as chronic upper back/neck and right shoulder pain. Cleared by Dr. Schecter as "107% sure, this is TMS". I know it is TMS. Yet, it persists and won't go away. It gets MUCH worse when I feel angry or triggered by events that make me feel pressured or anxious.

    For a long time, sitting in a car triggered it. That has lessened. Now, it hurts in my chair.

    I can sit on the couch, in a car, in my bed, almost no discomfort. But when I sit in my "work" chair at home, IT HURTS.

    Thoughts? I need some real, practical ways to de-senstitize myself to the chair, because I make money from this chair. I am tempted to buy a "better" chair". But I know it isn't the chair. It's my mind.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I successfully overcame conditioning by using what Sarno refers to as a "top down approach". Your rational, conscious brain can overrule your primitive, unconscious brain with repetition. So every time you sit down in your office chair, tell yourself something like "There is no reason for sitting in this chair to cause me pain. I don't need to be distracted by pain because I'm willing to look at and face my emotions." If pain occurs anytime after that, say to your brain "Stop it! There is no need for you to create pain right now! I'm willing to look at and feel my emotions." Ensure that you are willing to look at the emotions by journaling about them or some other method that works for you. What emotions about work do you have? What are your internal conflicts about work? Be willing to look at all of it and feel it.

    Best wishes,
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
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  3. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Keeping an eye on this thread and wishing you wellness... I have the exact same symptoms going on.
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  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno says sitting in a chair CANNOT hurt you! You must keep repeating that until it sinks into your unconscious. You need to believe that.
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  5. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Would it be too much for us to put our money where our mouths are and sit as wonky and twisted and curved up as we can / feel like? I'm trying it right now, sitting curved over like a hunchback... but in the back of my head I'm still worried that sitting like this must be bad for you and will cause future pain. Confront that? Prove to my brain I don't take posture seriously?
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  6. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    When I think like that, I look at youtube to enforce my beliefs. Our bodies are very much stronger than you think...

    94 year-old fitness fanatic works out like a champ:

    We just have to change our relationship with fear.
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  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your conscious mind can overcome it--deconditioning. The Good Doctor teaches that your conscious mind has to be the boss. It must let the un-c know YOU are the boss, and taking charge to dispel the "chair causes harm myth". Watch X-games and see what abuse the body can endure, and they pop-right up and get back into the saddle again after being run over by their own dirt bike and several others. Tony Alonzo took an unbelievable crash a few races back, his F1 car disintegrated around him, he landed in the catch fence. Everyone feared the worst, he got out of the shell left of his racer, checked to see if he had all his limbs, and dusted himself off. He was a bit sore--he was racing a week later. The body is strong, it's the mind's that's weak.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  8. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I struggle with this part, Tom. the unconscious is VAST and the conscious mind is, well, not as big? Feels that way to me but perhaps the unseen just seems bigger.

    I logged in today because I rode a new horse, trying him out, yesterday and today I am sore. Increasingly sore as the day wears on. Lower back. Hadn't ridden in a month so I should be sore. The fear makes it worse. The grief at my own horse being retired complicates the emotional picture.

    I am icing my back. Normal sore is normal sore. I don't have to pathologiz it... Even Sarno said to rest when you are hurting, right?
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
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  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sarno teaches that our conscious mind, given correct information, can overcome the misconceptions of the primitive un-con, that has been fed misinformation for most of one's life.

    I consider icing more for injuries to reduce swelling and lessen pain. Pro athletes get pre-event and post-event massages--we aren't as lucky. For normal post activity soreness, I prefer a hot-tub with strong jets and a run in the pool using a flotation belt. It would be great to have a massage on call, but we're not pro athletes.

    I believe the reference you make to rest is when all else fails curl up with a bottle of wine and chill. My hip--which may or may not be TMS--feels much better after I run for thirty minutes in the pool, returning it to its complete range of motion. Hope that helps. You may also want to pose that question to one of the TMS therapists here who can probably answer it better.
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  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Q%26A:_How_do_I_tell_the_difference_between_an_injury_(or_overuse)_and_TMS%3F (Q&A: How do I tell the difference between an injury (or overuse) and TMS?)

    Q&A: How do I tell the difference between an injury (or overuse) and TMS?

    I understand that TMS is real, but injuries do occur. My question then, is, how can we tell when it is our damage (i.e. structural abnormality or overuse), and when it is TMS? In other words, how can we tell the difference?

    Answer by John Stracks, MD
    Practitioner Johns Stracks
    Dr. Stracks' Profile Page / Survey Response / Bio Page/ Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (PPDA)Board Member

    This is a great--and complex--question and almost always comes up after the first week of the four-week course.

    Acute injuries definitely occur and the pain that accompanies them is our body's way of telling us to slow down and rest. This is likely the primary purpose of the pain system in our bodies. Luckily, only a very small percentage of pain episodes fall into this category.

    Acute injuries (like sprained ankles) almost always have a memorable instant when they occurred, and they are almost always accompanied by other bodily changes such as swelling, bruising, warmth or redness. If any of those symptoms are present, it is worth getting evaluated by a physician to make sure nothing is broken. If no fracture is present, the pain usually resolves in one to two weeks and full function returns within one to two months, even for severe injuries.

    Another common source of acute pain is the soreness that accompanies strenuous exercise or activity. If this occurs, I advise patients to congratulate themselves on being able to exercise vigorously enough to create soreness; that puts them ahead of about 95% of the American population. That soreness almost always resolves in 48-72 hours; if it doesn't, then one should suspect TMS.

    As for more subtle injuries, such as structural abnormalities or overuse injuries, there has never been a good study that has shown that structural abnormalities cause pain; that is, many people have abnormal MRIs with no pain, and many people with excruciating pain have normal MRIs and CT scans. Even with an identifiable structural abnormality, once pain has lasted weeks or months without any identifiable injury, TMS becomes very likely.

    In short, then, pain that accompanies an injury usually has a easily identifiable onset, is accompanied by other symptoms in the body, gets better with time, and resolves quickly over days or weeks. TMS pain--which is useful psychologically but not generally physically--usually lacks those other bodily changes and tends to linger over weeks or even months, often times getting worse as time goes by rather than better.


    It is important to recognize that no information on this wiki can be considered a specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. Reading information here does not create a doctor/patient or other professional relationship between you and the answering professional. As always, you should consult with your physicians and counselors regarding new symptoms and any changes that you might make in medications or activities.
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  11. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Thanks, this is helpful. Soreness from riding after laying off a month does resolve in 48-72 hours whether I get a massage, rest or keep going. I think I LIKE to rest!
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  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Take note of Dr. Sarno's Daily Reminder #11 : "I intend to be in control - not my subconscious mind."

    Here's a TMS refresher, it has all the answers:

    "Resume physical activity (Excerpted from the above.)
    Once your symptoms begin to reduce and your confidence builds up, begin to engage in physical activity. Exercise and physical activity will reinforce the message that your symptoms are benign. It may take some time for the message to sink into your unconscious. Exercising will help this along. It will also increase your confidence and help you find more joy in your life. Both of these will reduce the emotional tension you have built up."
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
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  13. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Donavan, how you feeling? Please don't tell me you're looking at new chairs on Amazon ...

    Checking in on this thread and allowing myself to sit like a twisted up hunchback all day long is helping me.

    You already know this, but your neck/shoulders don't notice/know the difference between the different sitting implements you mentioned... only your brain does. C'mon! Some structural problem is being aggravated by your work chair and not your sofa, and reliably at that? No way! TMS!
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  14. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    The last 24 hours, fueled by this thread, have made me realize how much bartering I do around the 'protection' of my neck. I do things like maintaining rigid, perfect posture and tell myself that I'm doing that to prevent future 'injury' and pain. I tell myself that what I'm doing is protective, so that I don't have to go through this ever again, and that I'm not doing it to eliminate the current pain which is TMS. But that's sending a message to my brain that this was/is/will be structural. It's like I'm trying to play both cards at once... "sure this is TMS" and also "might as well be careful and sit up straight." That sort of half-commitment has held me back. I think I'm doing that sort of thing constantly, in a million different ways. "Sure it's TMS and not structural, but you've worked hard today and it's hurting a lot so take a load off, lie down, and watch a movie to rest your muscles." I've been giving in... sending the wrong messages. I've got to give up the 'insurance policy!' It hasn't worked!

    Donavan, do you do this bartering too? Commit!
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  15. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Also, (and sorry for ranting, I'm hoping some of this is relatable and helpful to others), I've realized something else. I think I've been viewing things like "posture doesn't matter, structural problems don't cause chronic pain" as lies that I need to trick myself into believing. Like I just need to sneak one by my brain and that maybe believing it, if I only I could do that, would work anyways even if it's not strictly speaking true. In other words, I've been trying to placebo myself. And, tell you what, sometimes I've even gotten that placebo kick. But that's not sustainable, and has lost steam. And that's not what this is about. It really is true that posture doesn't matter, etc. It's not a trick.
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  16. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I love this discussion. Back ache was gone this morning, went and worked the young horse in a round pen for over 30 minutes till he gentled and came to follow me, closely. No pain. Fear, yes, of committing for the long-term to another family/animal living being... In my care. I am the goodist, the responsible one, when it comes to my charges.
    The tension that arises around responsibility can wreck my sleep, give me headaches.
    An hour before I rode on Thursday, I got the auras for a whopping migraine, but no headache. Wild.
    My TMS is never boring, that's for sure.
    I used to hear doctors say "with a neck like yours you shouldn't ride" till a smart doc told there there was nothing wrong and to get back on the horse and ride hard. He was right, he told me to read Sarno over 20 years ago. Good medicine.
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  17. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Hi Eskimo. Your post reminded me of how I used to "protect" my neck too. I used a specific kind of pillow, did neck exercises daily, and babied it however I could. What I didn't realize back then was that this was TMS, and by babying it I was buying into the scam my subC was selling.
    Good for you for figuring it out for yourself!
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  18. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thanks for the support Gigi. It sure is hard to stick with it and lose the 'protective' approach b/c my brain starts screaming "what if you're wrong and now you're doing damage!" But that's just more TMS. It helps to think back to the first 18 years of my life in which I spent no time at all 'protecting' my back, or to look around and see kids playing, or everyone hunched over their laptops at the coffee shop. People without back pain don't take posture seriously, and nor should they.
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  19. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    I just checked in on this thread! Great replies! I am sitting in "the chair" now and my neck is quite sore. Is it from the chair? No. Is it from an injury? Nope. It is from TMS. I am worried and stressed out. About money, responsibilities, etc... About life! And the more I can get in touch with my feelings, I know it is not the chair. I will admit, I did some online shopping for chairs. Some of the reviews on Amazon and Staples for chairs are actually hilarious. I can SEE the TMS in people now. It's unreal. I'm convinced everyone has it, I just have it "on full blast" as Dr. David Schechter told me. I'm turning down the engines, as I journal, learn to harness my emotions, and let my true self out of the cage. Thank GOD for this forum and for you guys. I may just get one of those super powered "hover chairs" like 'Professior Xavier' has in the X-Men comic books and movies. KIDDING. Kinda...[​IMG]
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  20. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

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