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Alan Gordon The Ultimate Guide to Somatic Tracking

Discussion in 'Tell Me About Your Pain Q&A' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi guys,
    We just did a podcast episode on somatic tracking, the single most effective technique for overcoming pain. Somatic tracking teaches your brain to reinterpret signals from your body through a lens of safety, thus deactivating the pain.

    In this episode we show examples of somatic tracking, and explain how you can use this technique to eliminate your own symptoms.

    If you’re interested in listening to the episode, click here.

    You can also subscribe to future episodes via Apple Podcast or Google Play.

    If you had any questions about somatic tracking, free to ask them below.
     
  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    It was excellent will be talking to my TMS therapist about it tonight
     
    plum and Forest like this.
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Alan Gordon LCSW

    “even my analogies have analogies...”

    That’s because you are a Matryoshka doll of wisdom my dear.

    Excellent episode in an excellent new podcast. Thank you for the abundance of resources you share here and elsewhere, and for making them free and so readily available. This has helped me more than you may ever know. As a long time carer (caregiver) I have never been able to afford therapy but you have helped me make a beautiful and totally unique patchwork of healing. You also empowered me to have faith when seeking and trusting alternative methods to recovery that veered from the fundamentalist script of “pure Sarno-ism”.

    Keep Shining ❤️
     
    Katya and HattieNC like this.
  4. Lonewolfbunny

    Lonewolfbunny Peer Supporter

    Is it wrong i have a crush on him lol!
     
  5. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    Great episode.

    I do have a few questions with my experiences with Somatic Tracking over the past few months.

    I have been doing it not just to my symptoms, but over many body parts (sort of like a "body scan" in mindfulness parlance)
    I typically don't do it if I'm particular upset / anxious / fearful.

    1) Even if I do it when I'm not fearful and I feel safe, the focusing aspect tends to make it significantly worse. I also have the situation where if it goes away for awhile when I'm distracted and then I "remember" it it comes back on instantly like I was playing a game of Bloody Mary. Perhaps somartic tracking just isn't in my bag of tricks? Or am I doing it wrong?

    2) TMS/MBS healing options can be quite confusing - I've also heard advice that focusing or giving attention can reinforce the pain (neurons that wire together and all that jazz). How does that not apply here? Are we simply assuming that in the first case the individual is doing it with fear?
     
  6. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Great questions! To answer #1, it may just be that it’s too difficult for you to attend to the pain without fear right now. Which is totally fine. In episode 5, we’re going to talk about another way to overcome your symptoms without even having to attend to the pain.

    As far as your second question goes, that totally depends on how you focus on it. If you focus on the pain with feelings of fear/frustration/despair, etc., it reinforces to your brain that that sensation is dangerous. If you focus on it while simultaneously in a positive emotional state, it can reinforce that that sensation is safe. And pain is nothing more than sensation + danger, so by taking the fear out of the equation, you neutralize the pain.

    The tms wiki is actually starting a new program where people can listen to the episodes and then ask questions about the episode that will be answered by a tms therapist. Here’s a link to that program:

    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/forums/tell-me-about-your-pain-q-a.76/ (Tell Me About Your Pain Q&A)
     
    Angel8 likes this.
  7. Tc35

    Tc35 New Member

    Alan, I try to tell the pain to bring it on and it does it will ramp up. Why does it do this if I’m taking the fear away??? I know the key is to not care if it does but it can be very scary and discouraging
     
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  8. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    I think it’s more false empowerment. I used to do that too. I’d say “bring it on!” And then brace and hope it wouldn’t come on.

    That technique doesn’t really work unless you’re already authentically indifferent about the pain because you know in your heart that it isn’t dangerous.

    We’re introducing a technique in episode 5 of the podcast that I think would be helpful for you, given your current level of fear around the pain.

    Alan
     
    Luz and Angel8 like this.
  9. Oscar B.

    Oscar B. New Member

    @Alan Gordon LCSW

    Hello and thanks Mr. Gordon for your work and your great new Podcast.

    I am a TMS success story using Dr. Sarno's books as well as Dr. Schubiner's books for back pain. Notwithstanding horrible diagnosis and multiple hernias, I am pain free after two back operations with prosthetics..yada..yada..yada.. I think Forest published my background story somewhere else in the forum, so I won't go deep into the background, but I am a big believer in TMS and the power of brain in pain cycles, having seen first-hand that I can change my reality with some consistent self-care.

    I have, however, suffered for over 30 years with debilitating migraines. I know they are stress-induced (usually come on with high stress situations and lack of sleep). My question is: Is it possible to use SOMATIC TRACKING to help eliminate migraines in a similar manner to pain? I believe that, since it is a non-physical manifestation (no broken bones or muscles/tendons or the like), that it is possibile. I would like to know what your take on a possibile solution could be and how you would suggest I approach this painful occurrence.

    As soon as I see signs of symptoms (aura, visual disturbance), I have tried somatic tracking, but the pain comes on quite quickly and I cannot seem to dedicate the time necessary to observe the pain, as it is excruciating and often leads to nausea e light-headedness, such that I cannot be conscious enough to feel the pain without completing the exercise.

    Do you have any ideas that could help? I think it would be a great topic for a future podcast as well and I would be happy to get any insight into my plight as I think others may benefit from your expertise.

    Thank you so much for all you do, and continued success with helping people enjoy a fuller life.

    Kindest regards,
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
    Luz likes this.
  10. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Yea, you never want to do somatic tracking when the pain is that bad. At that point you just try to give yourself messages of safety and wait for it to pass.

    What I would suggest is that you do the technique we introduce in episode 5 (coming out tomorrow https://www.curablehealth.com/podcast/your-pain (Tell Me About Your Pain Podcast) ) regarding leaning in to positive sensations. In fact, using this technique regularly can actually help prevent the migraine from coming on in the first place.

    Alan
     
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  11. Oscar B.

    Oscar B. New Member

    Awesome, Alan.
    Thanks for the insight. I will be looking forward to this podcast and others. Keep up the great work, and thank you so much for your help!!
    Best,
    ob
     
  12. Angel8

    Angel8 Newcomer

    I'm confused about the podcasts. Surely this is Episode 4? I can't remember where it was but there were 4 episodes and this was the fourth, so where is Episode 5 to be found, please?

    I feel I should perhaps experiment more with Somatic Tracking, but it always seems to make my bladder pain worse. Do you have any suggestions please as I'm really struggling with this. Thank you
     
  13. rileshoops

    rileshoops Newcomer

    Hi Alan!
    Thank you for all that you do. I just listened to the podcast episode about somatic tracking and I was wondering -- are there any recordings by you or other practitioners that can help keep people on track while somatic tracking? I've done many of the Schubiner guided meditations and would love something similar for somatic tracking just to start me off on the right direction and keep me on track until I feel more comfortable doing it on my own.
    Thanks!
    Riley

    Ooh also, which one is the most up to date posting on your pain recovery program?
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/ (Pain Recovery Program) has a link on the top to a new program but the link doesn't work?
    And I also found https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program (TMS Recovery Program) is this the new one? Thanks!
     
  14. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    How does somatic tracking relate to symptom imperative?

    On one hand I'm getting over the fear of symptom enough to move it in the moment. But it always shifts between anxiety depression pelvic pain and dizziness. They just take turns or present with a weird mix. So I'm haviy some success but just feels like an exhausting and endless game of whack a mole.

    I have done tons of journaling so I don't think it's an emotional repression issue. Fear probably, but oh what I remain unsure.
     
    momx2 likes this.
  15. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    I can manage on occasion to get the symptoms to leave while doing somatic tracking. They always morph into something else and take turns between pelvic pain, dizziness, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes a weird mixture of them all. Whatever symptom left will come back an hour or so later.
    So how to rid this endless symptom Imperative? I've done plenty of journaling and don't think I have any more feelings to look into and current stress is minimal (for someone with a job and two toddlers).

    I think I have a generic fear problem but don't understand what the fear is about it why it doesn't calm down any.
     
  16. marco

    marco New Member

    Hi Allan
    I wonder if somatic tracking is something for me to try. I have a chronic disorder named MHE of Multiple Ostechondromas. It is a skeletondisorder that roufly said couses exostoses to my skeleton. These exostoses can cause pain when they pushing of muscles or nerves.
    Untill my 50th year i had never chronic pain due this condition. In 2014 I had a churgery where one exostose was removed out of my pelvis. After that -for me a trauma when it happened - I begin to get pain while sitting. I had many MRI and other investigations but they never found anything that could be linked to my pain while (prolonged) sitting.
    I read a lot about TMS and did paintests on several websites (Schubiner, Buglio). They all came as a result TMS. Now I wonder if these symptoms are TMS, condition responses or something like that because the pain is present while seated but not while standing or walking.
    Do you have an advice to go further with in a attempt to reduce or heal my symptoms? I can tell that my pain now is much lower as it started back in 2014/15
    It was always left but now I'm beginning to have symptoms on the right side as well

    Hope to hear
    Marco
     
  17. Anniemaude

    Anniemaude New Member

    Thanks for the podcast @Alan Gordon LCSW
    Can you use somatic tracking for palpitations? Associated with CFS/ME and anxiety and digestion.
     
  18. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

  19. marco

    marco New Member

    Hi Allan
    I wonder if somatic tracking is something for me to try. I have a chronic disorder named MHE of Multiple Ostechondromas. It is a skeletondisorder that roufly said couses exostoses to my skeleton. These exostoses can cause pain when they pushing of muscles or nerves.
    Untill my 50th year i had never chronic pain due this condition. In 2014 I had a churgery where one exostose was removed out of my pelvis. After that -for me a trauma when it happened - I begin to get pain while sitting. I had many MRI and other investigations but they never found anything that could be linked to my pain while (prolonged) sitting.
    I read a lot about TMS and did paintests on several websites (Schubiner, Buglio). They all came as a result TMS. Now I wonder if these symptoms are TMS, condition responses or something like that because the pain is present while seated but not while standing or walking.
    Do you have an advice to go further with in a attempt to reduce or heal my symptoms? I can tell that my pain now is much lower as it started back in 2014/15
    It was always left but now I'm beginning to have symptoms on the right side as well

    Hope to hear
    Marco
     

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