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TMS Newbie

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Sussex TMS, May 22, 2014.

  1. Sussex TMS

    Sussex TMS Peer Supporter

    Hi All…

    Well where to begin? I’ve had back and leg pain (both legs) varying between mild and severe for 4 ½ years now. I’ve had several MRI scans (which have showed bulging/degeneration at L4/5) and recently saw one of the top neurological consultants in London. I’d been bracing myself for surgery but even he didn’t think it was severe enough to cause the pain that I’ve been experiencing.

    Over the last four years I’ve tried physio, TENS, the Egoscue technique (as suggested by the consultant mentioned above) various exercises, swimming and of course shed loads of drugs. I’ve also seen three or for neurological consultants, numerous GPs, pain specialists, etc. None have helped (except perhaps swimming, a little) and most have actually made the pain worse.

    Over the past year I’ve started getting increasingly miserable, particularly when the consultant said I may not be able to ever again do the things I enjoy (climbing, badminton, cycling, etc.). This has been compounded by a number of stress factors: I started a new job a couple of months back, I’m getting married at the end of next month, my fiancée started a new job last month, my fiancée and I are in the process of buying our first house, we have money issues due to the above and one of my closest family members has been seriously ill in hospital for two months!

    Anyway, two weeks ago, I Googled “back pain caused by stress”, upon realising myself that the worst episodes have coincided with high levels of stress. I came across Dr Sarno’s “healing back pain” and bought it about 2 weeks ago. I felt a little better by the time I was a third of the way through the book (the same evening it arrived in the post)! As with many others on here it seems like the book was written about me! This week I have felt a little worse, largely as I’ve read how much some people struggle… and seeing a 60 day programme on here is a little daunting!

    In some ways I feel like a fraud as I know that I’m very lucky; I had a great upbringing and have a loving family. But I am a worrier and I know that I have repressed a lot of feelings, from bullying at school/work amongst other things. I’m exactly the personality type that Dr Sarno speaks of; particularly in that I always worry about other people before myself. I also have a history of other stress related illnesses: eczema, hayfever, headaches, stomach ulcer, etc.

    A number of aspects of my pain make me believe that I have TMS. Particularly the fact that the sciatica switches from one leg to the other (which several specialists have basically said they don’t believe, after the disc bulge could only cause pain in my left leg!) and I am very hung up on certain positions/movements. For example there are certain types of chairs that I know I will experience pain when I sit on them. Having said that, I’ve already improved since reading Dr Sarno’s book. I’ve ditched the “special cushion” I had in my car with no ill effects, and I did a vigorous 10 mile cycle ride at the weekend, with only minor pain after – which I told to “go away!”

    I’ve accepted a diagnosis of TMS by about 99%. I realise I need to get this to 100% and wonder if I need to see a professional to get it there; but can’t afford to at the moment. I’m hoping I can get there without and would appreciate any advice; this is a fantastic resource. I have at least shown that there is nothing seriously wrong with my back. I’m very sceptical about “alternative therapies” such as homeopathy, but this seems to make a lot of sense.

    Blimey. I didn’t realise how much I had to say and that’s not even half of it. I really do appreciate the support on here and think talking about the issue could be exactly what I need.
  2. PaulBlack

    PaulBlack Peer Supporter

    When I started maybe 15-20 years ago, I really went to Sarno's book (like a manual for aid) a lot to keep reiterating certain bullet points.
    There are some good youtube vids by Monte Hueftle too, that seem to keep you focused better.

    That said, some of the best stuff that has worked for me is, staying active but relaxing and not trying to make things a work or job type schedule. Not focusing constantly on any pain or trying to get rid of any pain (as hard as that can be sometimes) and when I find that is all I am thinking about, I try to focus on something I just love and or am passionate about doing.

    All the very best to you and there are some great people here, with great input and info...!
    Sussex TMS likes this.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    You have a great understanding of TMS!

    You can't expect a lifetime of conditioning to be reversed over night. Give it some time and sleep on it.

    Steven Ray Ozanich who wrote the great TMS book "THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION" does Skype consultations for a reasonable fee.

    There is a TMS support group that meets in London and also a TMS practitioner Georgie Oldfield who's contact info you can find at this sites sidebar; see TMS docs, etc.

    See the RAHE-HOLMES stress list to confirm the causes of your probable TMS.

    Sussex TMS likes this.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    United Kingdom
    Additional UK Practitioner
    Liz Dyde BACP

    Practitioner Louise LevyLouise Levy
    Louise has a Master's degree in Guidance Counseling and diplomas in both Clinical Advanced Hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Hypno-Psychotherapy (Hypno-CBT). Louise was one of the first practitioners to go through the SIRPA Practitioner Training Programme with Georgie Oldfield, MCSP, and became an Advanced Specialist of Chronic Pain in 2011. She says, “Working as a therapist means I am consulted on a range of conditions affecting the mind and the body. I am particularly passionate about supporting people with TMS and chronic pain as I myself suffered from severe TMS back pain for 12 years.” Louise offers both face to face and telephone consultations.
    Available via Phone
    Lily House
    11/12 The Shrubberies
    George Lane
    South Woodford
    London E18 1BD
    Tel: 020 8530 8888
    Tel: 07984 011429
    Fax: 020 8530 5566
    TMS Wiki Profile / Survey Response / Website / Lily House Website
    Main Wiki Page About Louise Levy
    Insurance Accepted: NHS Complementary Health Registered Therapist (Funding through PCT)

    Toireasa McCann, CABP (Therapist)
    Integrative Body Psychotherapist
    Clinics in London SW2 and NW6
    07789 267171

    Practitioner Georgie OldfieldGeorgina Oldfield, MCSP
    Georgie Oldfield said, "Despite being a Physiotherapist, Dr Sarno's concept and approach was not a surprise to me. For many years prior to coming across this work in 2007 I had been looking for the answer to the many inconsistencies I had been observing with my own patients. I had also already begun to realise that pain often did not appear to be related to the structural problems patients had been diagnosed with. Coming across TMS was an epiphany moment for me and has completely changed my whole understanding and therefore how I work. Having seen the remarkable and often life changing recoveries in my own patients, I am passionate about working with people with TMS/PPD and 100% of my time over the past few years has been developing this work and raising the profile in the UK.
    Since developing SIRPA I continue to work in a clinical role working with people who suffer from TMS/PPD. Although based in Yorkshire I also run regular assessment clinics in London and Bristol. Through SIRPA I also run training courses for other regulated Health Professionals in order to help them integrate this approach into their own work. Our aim is to raise the profile of this work by increasing the awareness of stress illness to the public and Practitioners as well as the Medical world.”(Source)
    Georgie also runs monthly clinics in London.
    A physiotherapist is very similar to a doctor, in that they can make diagnoses and order medical tests. A physiotherapist in the UK is very similar to a Physical Therapist in the United States.
    Available via Phone and Skype

    19 Longley Lane
    Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK
    01484 452500
    Main Wiki Page About Georgie Oldfield
    Survey Response / Q&A Answers / Forum Profile / DVD and CD
    Miracles of Mindbody Medicine article
    Information on the Stress Illness Recovery Practitioner's Association (SIRPA)
    Insurance Accepted: Any plan that covers Physiotherapy costs, except BUPA.
    Lettuce Dance said, "I eventually went to see Georgie Oldfield in Huddersfield in Yorkshire. It was a bit of a slog getting there, but it was well worth it. (Even filling out the pre-appointment assessment on my family, background and past illnesses was very revealing.)
    I visited her in February, and felt an immediate improvement. For me, the fact that she comes from a physiotherapy background, and thoroughly understands the mechanics of one's body, was very helpful.
    I chose to do her programme, which I followed in a fairly informal fashion, as I was bogged down with a big work project at the time. The programme included a series of follow-up appointments, which we did via Skype: these were really good. She went to great lengths to help me. I found her sympathetic and professional."

    Practitioner Jane ParkinsonJane Parkinson, UKCP
    Jane Parkinson is a registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist in the United Kingdom. She trained at the Bowlby Centre and has over twenty years of clinical experience, 7 of those years has involved patients with TMS. In October of 2012, she attended the PPDA Conference: When Stress Causes Pain, where she developed relationships with other TMS practitioners. Parkinson uses an Attachment-based form of psychotherapy that has at its core an understanding of the importance of relationships to human growth and development throughout life. In addition, she works with TMS physician Nick Straiton, and does conduct therapy sessions using Skype.(Source)
    Available via Phone and Skype
    Brighton, United Kingdom, BN1 3RR
    Tel: 01273 739281
    Website / Survey Response
    Insurance Accepted: Bupa

    Additional UK Practitioner
    Rachel Stevens

    Nicholas Straiton, MBBS (Physician)
    Dr. Straiton is an English doctor based in Brighton. He says:
    “I am a medical practitioner and registered osteopath who works in the NHS but also has a private practice where I treat patients suffering from musculo-skeletal disorders. For the last ten years I have been working in the NHS for the Back Pain Service at the local hospital. I have always been interested in psychosomatic medicine and a few years ago a psychotherapist colleague introduced me to Dr Sarno's books. His description of the frustration of working in a hospital environment where high tech investigations and treatment strategies fail to alleviate many people suffering from back pain mirrored exactly my own experience . I became fascinated by his approach and eventually went out to New York to sit in at his clinics at the Rusk institute in order to learn first hand the process that he uses to diagnose and treat patients with TMS. This experience was truly valuable and enriching to the degree that I would say that my practice has changed significantly since that time. I believe that many, but not all, of patients suffering with chronic back pain are manifesting emotional distress through a physical symptom and for any long lasting relief to be achieved the factors relevant to this distress need to be recognised and addressed.” (Source)
    Available via Phone
    1, Glover's Yard, 121, Havelock Road
    Brighton, East Sussex BN1 6GN
    01273 540303
    Survey Response / Website
    Insurance Accepted: Most major providers

    Additional UK Practitioner
    Honora Totman
  5. Sussex TMS

    Sussex TMS Peer Supporter

    Thanks Paul, that's good advice and I think that was actually beginning to stress me out - the fact that dealing with TMS could be like taking on another job! I guess I'm not the most patient.

    Thanks Tom; there's so much information out there, it's hard to know where to start. I guess I just need to read a little every day.

    I think one of my key issues could be that I'm dyspraxic, which makes me quite disorganised and clumsy, yet at the same time I am a bit of a perfectionist, so it's like I'm always fighting myself. Does that make any sense?
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    What's that? Maybe you've come up with a new TMS equivalent! Your post and your TMS understanding is very clear and organized. Maybe you're being too hard on yourself.
  7. Sussex TMS

    Sussex TMS Peer Supporter

    Dyspraxia - a bit like dyslexia but it affects motor skills rather than reasoning. So I'm very good at, say, spelling but I've never been any good at sports that require a lot of coordination, or handwriting, or anything like that. Having said that I'm not a big fan of labelling people, so you could just say I'm crap at throwing and catching!

    I probably am being too hard on myself, I'm just desperate to get rid of the pain and now I feel I finally have some hope. I had OCD/ME when I was growing up too and now I see that they could be / probably are all linked. In fact the fear of going through that again could be my problem even though it was 20 years ago.

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