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TMS & Body Work = helpful and/or harmful

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by lexylucy, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    I decided to give up my physical therapist and revoke my PT morning regimen. I have found this helpful and a part of my recovery that feels in line with what Sarno suggested in his writings. Giving up any treatments aimed to fix the physical "problem."

    I do have a body worker who I love who offers Craniosacral body work and light, gentle, and supportive swedish massage. I am continuing to see her and just want to share my experiences. I am finding that a light holding of the places in question and work with an intuitive body worker who offers a holistic and whole body treatment to be wonderful and effective.

    While lying on the table I will bring up anything that I feel in question of including emotions, life stressors, feelings, any thoughts, or decisions I am open to.

    Though on the table there will be times where I can feel the pain in my left hip start to blare -like a child with a loudspeaker trying to blare out as a distraction from anything I am saying. I am learning that this is what makes her feel safe. And as Louise Hay references. It is like our old reptilian brain saying "beware!! there is a bear!!" I am learning as she suggests to say "thank you" and not give it much attention.

    Anyone else have positive experiences with a body worker or massage therapist??
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    lexylucy, I think it's wonderful that you are getting a regular massage.
    And saying "thank you" to any pain or discomfort.

    For several months, a few years ago, a Mindbody healer gave me a massage and
    it felt great. But he moved out of the country. I miss those sessions.
    He never even touched me, just ran his hands over me and meditated,
    sending me relaxing and healing vibes.

    I never got regular massage but a friend's son is a massage therapist and
    if and when I can afford him, I will ask him to work on me.

    When I was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, one of the editors spent every
    lunch hour getting a massage. He said it helped relieve the emotional stresses of his job.

    We can massage ourselves, too. If I feel a headache coming on, I massage my forehead
    and do deep breathing, and it usually helps. Massaging any part of our body that gives us
    any pain or notice usually helps.
    lexylucy likes this.
  3. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    I also got some craniosacral therapy for a while, and I am still occasionally seeing a trigger point therapist. Whatever physiological effects TMS has on me, it results in tight muscles and fascia, so she works on that. I have found both to be helpful but I also don't see my PT or do those exercises anymore. I liked the craniosacral therapy because it helped me relax, and the therapist would point out where I hold tension and we would chat about it, and about how I felt. But it was a bit expensive and inconvenient so I haven't gone to her for a while. I don't have the trigger point therapy too often. About monthly right now down from every two weeks for a while.

    Interesting fact: recently I was at the trigger point therapist and she referred to my "ankle injury" not as a past thing (which would be accurate as I have had two actual ankle injuries) but a current thing. I did not think it was accurate, it annoyed me, although I chose not to dispute the point with her because that's certainly how I originally presented to her. But that was one time recently that I knew that part of me was definitely a believer in TMS. :)

    I am realizing that there is still part of me that thinks I am somewhat exceptional because "oh, well, I did have this injury, so things might be different for me". I think I will want to change that thinking, or I will keep having trouble.

    I think a lot of it is about how you relate to the body work. You relate to your bodyworker as a supportive partner in your healing from TMS. That's lovely!
    lexylucy likes this.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Frances Sommer Anderson worked as a member of Dr. Sarno's core team centered at Rusk for more than 30 years and had an interest in bodywork. The following is taken from the bio page on her from our wiki:
    Dr. Anderson has authored several publications about TMS and chronic pain, including a case study in the book Relational Perspectives on the Body which she co-edited with Lewis Aron. She also was a contributing editor of the book Bodies in Treatment, The Unspoken Dimension, in which she also wrote the chapter, "At a Loss for Words and Feelings: A Psychoanalyst Reflects on Experiencing BodyWork." In this chapter, Dr. Sommer Anderson describes how she developed a TMS symptom that was related to early childhood emotional trauma.​
    I'm an extremely slow reader, so I haven't read the chapter, but my hunch is that she views the body as a way of accessing the unconscious mind. This makes sense to me, as the body is closely connected to the prehistoric emotional centers of the older portions of our brain. Often, when I hear "the unconscious," I think people are referring to the reptillian and paleomamallian portions of the brain, which also tend to be completely unconscious.

    Looking at the title of her chapter, it sounds like she may be suggesting that when, as a psychologist, she sees that her clients or herself are at a loss for words or feelings, bodywork may have a way of accessing unconscious emotions. The 2008 book the essay is from is from an academic press and is therefore expensive. Further, most of the other chapters are written by people who, presumably, are (relational) psychoanalysts, like Fran, but, unlike Fran, aren't within the TMS tradition. As a result, if you are looking for a pure TMS approach, it wouldn't be your best bet. However, if you'd like to read the personal account of someone who worked within Dr. Sarno's core team at Rusk for over thirty years, feel free to send me a PM, and I can lend you my copy.

    More info can be found at Dr. Anderson's web sites, which are linked to from our main biographical wiki page on her:

    I'd encourage anyone interested in the subject to also like the Facebook page she manages with Dr. Eric Sherman, another 30 year Rusk veteran who provided several of the case studies found in the treatment chapter of The Divided Mind:
    lexylucy likes this.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If it's TMS, it's not about the form of body-work, it's the relationship between the practitioner and the client-TMS'er. It's about TRANSCORDIFICATION, a term SteveO coined I believe, which may not be in the dictionary yet. It's the trust relationship that distracts and overcomes from the TMS sub-consciously created pain. I had an amazing cranio-sacral experience once but in hindsight it had to do with the time, the place and the practitioner. I tried it again at a different time, with a different practitioner and nothing.

    Massage, accupuncture, chiroquacktic, and other structural approaches are a placebo approach to pain if it's from TMS, which 80% of the time it is if you like playing the horses. These things are good for some temporary relaxation to quell the overflow of rage from the TMS reservoir. As soon as the needles are removed and your off the practitioner's table, your back in the parking lot of life trying not to back into someone in your blind-spot, having to file an insurance claim. The respite is fleeting, nirvana would be to have endless massages. As Wavy Soul Katie says in her sig: Love is the answer.

  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Tennis Tom. As usual, your reply hits the nail right on the head.
    I've had acupuncture and chiro, and massage, and all felt great while I was getting them
    but I was quickly back to square one of pain and anxiety, until I learned about Dr. Sarno and TMS.

    I also agree that love is the answer. Forgiving is part of love and I found that forgiving those
    who I thought had given me pain got rid of the pain.

    I also found that if I just can't forgive someone, it's helpful to me to pray for them.
    Then I go on with my life, trying to enjoy every moment of it, and living in the present,
    not the past or the future.

    And I believe strongly in distracting myself with thoughts or activities I enjoy.
    And laughing. I never stay angry or worried long, if I just laugh for a minute or two.
    It is like sunshine that drives the shadows away.
  7. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Thanks for all your wonderful responses.

    I was in a meditation yesterday and I went inside and followed any pain I had and said "you are a psychological cause and nothing to be concerned about" "the result of oxygen neglection and tension caused by the brain." "there is no structural problem" "this pain is not real."

    Self talk really helps me. I felt a big shift from this.

    Then I went for a walk. What I realized is that the right part of my chest was a little caved in. This is a structural pattern that I have been aware of mentally but I never "felt it." I realized there was a feeling in there. And I got an immediate image of what the feeling was about. I remembered when my father left and my mom was so stressed financially and she had to dive in to working and I had no siblings and I was left alone. And the feeling was "there is no one here." Not only in my life & house when I was a girl but literally no one in my heart anymore. But for the first time in a great while I took a deep breath and I felt this space open up. And this feeling of empty space was absolute ecstasy. There was no need for this loss feeling anymore...bye bye...and my heart began to open up. It felt so good. And with that new open space and presence any pain in my lower back subsided.

    Thanks guys!!!
    armchairlinguist and cishealing like this.

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