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TMS combined with structural pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Flarmichron, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Flarmichron

    Flarmichron Newcomer

    Hello everyone! I have found the TMS phenomenon fascinating and I think it has helped with some of the pain I have experienced in the past.

    With that said, I have also seen a lack of conversation about combinations of different types of pain. It is my personal belief that TMS, structural pain like herniated disc/pinched nerves, and muscular pain or contracted muscles that pinch on nerves can exist simultaneously. I would agree that generally such pain should usually go away or simply lead to numbness, and not become chronic (read: last for years), but I think too much emphasis is placed on an 'all-or-nothing' diagnosis.

    That would seem to leave out people who saw (as this website recommends) a traditional medical practitioner and were correctly diagnosed with a structural problem. Is it not also valid that some portion of their pain is caused by TMS, leading to much more suffering than would normally be caused by the condition diagnosed? Could this be why people have chronic, lingering pain after the physical source of it has been corrected? Could this be a factor in why people have such hugely different pain responses to the same physical ailment?

    After researching this and finding very little on such perspectives, I thought I would post here and see if anyone else has any resources or opinions on them.

    Edit: Grammar
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  2. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    It's all or nothing.

    There's either something wrong with your body or there isn't. With TMS, there's nothing wrong with your body. The notion that there is something wrong is the thing that prevents people from healing, and also the great discovery of Dr. Sarno--in that your brain wants you to believe something that isn't true. That's one of his great revelations.

    Now, on the other end. If there is a physical structural problem (as with an injury, or degradation), there can be an emotional process piggybacking on top of it that will make it worse, especially with the Type T personality that over-reacts, and needs a diversion to hide anxiety. In this case, this is not TMS because there is something structurally wrong. But as the good doctor stated on many occasions, "there's a psychological component to all pain and disease." He's right, of course, we are psychological beings, and when we are scared with pain and with illness, our emotions make us worse, and often prevent us from healing, Phase 1, 2, 3, and 4 TMS intertwined.

    It's often made worse when so-called "TMS physicians" tell a person they have a real structural problem, when they don't. I've seen several who were told they had a real structural problem when they didn't. They saw another TMS doc and they healed. You can't have it both ways. You're ok or you're not.

    There are very very few people who have real structural problems, but it can happen. However, it's the easy way out of a diagnosis. The real TMS docs are very brave people to make the diagnosis of TMS. They take the gamble that their experience trumps their training. I admire them.

    I hope that helps. You cannot have "both" TMS and a structural problem. You can have a structural problem with emotions that sliver inward to use that problem to help you cope, but that is not TMS as defined by Dr. Sarno. The wound will heal as the body knows how and emotions will arise, but once it heals in short time, and if the pain hasn't left, then that becomes TMS once again. It's a timing thing, like cooking.

    It's a TMS stew. mmmmm...
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  3. Flarmichron

    Flarmichron Newcomer

    Thanks for the reply! Been contemplating what you've said. What do you think about pain in different areas of the body? Is it possible to have TMS in the leg, and structural pain in the back, for example?
  4. Barb M.

    Barb M. Peer Supporter

    Doesn't Dr. Sarno say you can have a herniated disc (which would be a structural "issue")... but that it isn't necessarily what is causing the pain? Maybe I'm splitting hairs here. I guess I also wonder, like Flarmichron, about the "all or nothing" approach. I also think that sometimes what starts the pain isn't necessarily the same thing that maintains it, but maybe that's a separate issue.
  5. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Frankly, I don't agree that it is "all or nothing". That whole idea, to me, is a silly construct. I simply can't make my brain believe something that may or may not be true. The search for certainty is one of the main problems that TMS'ers and hypochondriacs face. I believe, and this has been critical to my recovery, that I had to let go of the search for 100% certainty. I simply accept the fact that my brain likes to create pain and fear and stop obsessing about whether there is anything physical that could be causing or contributing. Modern medicine is not even close to 100% certain about these things. How many times have people who thought they had TMS turned out to have serious disease? I just don't think that any rational person believes in 100% physical or 100% mental. Suffice it to say that the mind and body are not separate and can influence one another.

    I think we can all agree that the condition we call TMS is really all about our mind's need to create or intensify pain or discomfort. The mind than creates a frightening story about what this pain really means. We live in and accept the "story" our minds present to us without examining the reality of the situation. We are literally prisoners of this often fabricated "mind story". This is the essence of our struggle. I don't think it helps us to make it a condition of our recovery that we must accept the concept of 100% psychological. No one can tell you that for sure, that is why doctors are so afraid of being sued. So we would do well not to get all wrapped around the axle of "100% certainty.

    I think the best we can do, in light of the fact that we will all get sick and die sooner or later, is to enhance our quality of life by using our minds in a healthy way to minimize any pain - be it mental or physical.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
    Barb M., Peggy and Ellen like this.

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