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Tips on creating new neuropathways?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Dexy, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    I'm stuck in an old, self-abusing neuropathway (focusing on my TMS symptoms, feeling angry at them, feeling lots of physical pains), and I am wondering what your tips are for creating new neuropathways. How do you keep creating new neuropathways when your symptoms are so strong?

    When I am really "TMSing", I have constant symptoms and they do everything I *know* they "shouldn't"--frustrate and enrage me, preoccupy my 100%, dictate my mood, scare me, and have me wondering if I will ever be happy and unoccupied by these G#$% #$#$##$@ pains! (When I am heavily TMS'ing, I can get really, really angry inside).

    I no longer believe my symptoms to have a physical cause, which is great, but I still get just as frustrated and enraged (at times) that my symptoms won't abate NO MATTER WHAT I DO! AGHHHHHHHHH!!!!

    I am currently experiencing a really frustrating TMS morning. I went for a run and my body was going CRAZY. I know that I shouldn't get angry and I often have success with not getting angry and shifting how I react to symptoms which helps everything: I feel empowered, my pain usually lessens (paradoxically because I don't care anymore), my mood lifts, I'm energized, and I feel like I am on the right path in terms of TMS healing.

    On other days (today being one), I feel like I'll never get this, that even when I've been on the right track, it never lasts long, why am I still battling this day in and day out, when will I ever figure it out, when will I ever be happy, etc etc etc. I get really down and angry and I feel tremendously disempowered. However, I know this is just my repetitive, negative thinking taking the reigns.

    Even when I know this, at times it's so overpowering, I can't change the thoughts or accompanying emotions. I DO, however, now trust that this is just a mood/phase/bad morning that will pass. It doesn't mean it doesn't frustrate the heck out of me. I remind myself that these are just neuropathways in my brain and I need to keep creating new ones, but I still seem to not be able to do this, or not for long?!!

    Just looking for some forum words of wisdom, since I am always so inspired and helped when I post on here.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Wow...could have written this myself quite literally word for word. It is so frustrating having those days when the pain is just a backburner annoyance and you feel that you can take on the world only for the pain to flare on a sixpence and to then fall into despair and the negative thinking.

    I don't know if you have seen this thread which has been popular recently?


    The book which is mentioned is certainly worth checking out and it does a good job of explaining about negative thinking patterns in a really concise and easy to understand way...the basic tenant is that we first need to learn to divorce ourselves from our thoughts and recognise that they do not construe our reality in any way whatsoever. The author believes that it is only then that a healthier thinking pattern can develop.

    edit: sure you have probably read it but this thread is also good.

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
    mike2014 and Dexy like this.
  3. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    I'm also interested in this subject. So far, I came across several strategies for "rewiring the brain" which can be grouped into either "use it or lose it" or "overwrite". The first one recommends focusing away from the pain on other things, and thus not feeding the pain pathways, which after certain time should cease and fall apart.
    So, engaging with distractions that make you forget about the pain and its impact on your life will direct the energy to building new, independent pathways.

    The 2nd approach - mainly 'reframing', i.e. changing the meaning and relationship to the pain to take away its power over us. This one involves actually a closer attention to the pain (mindfulness), facing your fears, hurts, doubts and all the negativity head on, in order to release it. The effect is similar - once we stop emotionally feed these pathways they should cease.

    I suppose the combination of both might be most effective, probably sequentially, i.e. #2 before #1.

    But only if Sarno is wrong.

    TMS theory says that the pain has a purpose, and as long as it's somehow useful its neural pathways will persist. Only undermining its purpose can heal TMS, all other approaches are just "management". Which is where I'm stuck.
  4. silentflutes

    silentflutes Peer Supporter

    how beautifully things you wrote matches my realization. i came to realize that first we need to observe ourselves, accept ourselves and accept our self, which is #2 you mentioned, reframing by accepting + forgivenes.. then follow your self expression through healthier ways which is #1 you mentioned, rewiring brain.

    meditation observation acceptance forgivesss and self expressiond does reframing + rewiring of brain.
  5. silentflutes

    silentflutes Peer Supporter

    the journey begins with accepting what is. observing what is. write dairy or meditate. when you start realizing what is happening, door opens up.
    best wishes.
    Dexy likes this.
  6. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    Dexy, have you ever worked with a TMS therapist?
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think undermining the purpose of the pain is done through your two approaches outlined above, and so, isn't inconsistent with Sarno. I think that looking at TMS through neuroscience is just a different paradigm in which to understand it, but isn't inconsistent with Sarno's theories. Schubiner weaves the two together well in his book Unlearn Your Pain, especially his newest 3rd edition.
  8. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think a big part of tms is due to conditioning. Our body is conditioned to produce symptoms in many situation. Our body will learned short cut and produce symptoms in situations. An example is we had a panic attack while we going to the market. Our body will very likely produce another anxiety/panic attack each time we go to the market again. The body can be conditioned to produce symptoms in many situations. When we bent down, walk, sit at computer, drink or eat something, meet the in-law, go to some place... Some people got it so bad they avoid going anywhere. They avoided doing many things because of it.
    It is tough to overcome negative conditioning but it can be done. Our mind can think of only one thing at a time. Pay attention at your symptoms. Be an observer and see when, where, and in what situation it happened. Talk to it. Tell it the "truth". The truth is our body is ok, it is healthy, it doesn't make sense for these symptoms to happen. Then going doing, enjoying your life as best as you can. Show your mind that you can be happy and "normal" despite all those pain and anxiety. Just float. Just live. Just show it you're not afraid. Fill your life with activities and DO IT. Keep LIVING your life no matter what. In time those conditions will "extinct" and life will be beautiful again.
    We think ourselves into this mess we can think ourselves out of it. Just do it and be very patient. Don't show any anger or frustration.
  9. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    I haven't, Giantsfan.
  10. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Feeling much more hopeful the past few days, and feeling that I AM creating new neuropathways even if sometimes it feels slow-going. Something that really helped me was reading out of Claire Weeke's book "Hope and healing for your Nerves", particularly about 100% acceptance of symtoms. Often we think we are 100% accepting the symptoms, no matter what they are, or when they occur, but we are not. She emphasizes that even if you are 99% accepting, it is that extra 1% that makes all the difference. I have been reminding myself to accept 100% when I feel symptoms, and I've kept living life as I imagine I would "if" I were symptom-free (thus taking away the frustration with how my life would be x,y,z better if these g#$# symptoms would abate), and it's made for a great weekend!
  11. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    Dexy, that book sounds great. I've heard a bit about her and I agree with what she has to say.

    That point about 1% fear or frustration is so true, just that little bit can make a big negative difference.

    I'm glad you're feeling better and are having a good weekend. Those words you repeated from Claire are gold.

    Take good care
    Dexy likes this.
  12. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Thank you very much, giantsfan. I'm glad you found those words helpful. Take care and cheers to kicking some TMS butt!
    giantsfan likes this.
  13. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Dexy, I have been following Dr. Joe Dispenza for a long time now. His books are awesome. This one is fantastic but it takes, practice, practice, practice to rewire the brain. I totally understand your frustration. Have a look and see if it might help you on your journey. It's called, ''Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself''. Best to you.


    Here's one of his great Ted Talks. Worth every 17 minutes to listen to it!!


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