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Amber M. TMS pain and preoccupation

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    It has been roughly a month since I decided my pain is a result of TMS. I have been making great progress in many of my pain areas since reading dr. sarnos books and applying his methods. My groin pain has reduced significantly, and my pelvis pain has basically disappeared. But i am curious as to why my spine pain/extreme tightness in and around it hasn't diminished much. Im wondering if either A) I know that for a lot of people one pain will go away, and then another, and then another until theres none left. Or B) Maybe I havent found the root problem of my spine pain when dealing with my repressed emotions.

    When I first started with the sarno methods, I moved around very gingerly and basically only stood, lightly walked, or laid down. A month later I have got to the point where I no longer fear any of my pain (because i know that it is harmless), and I am now running a mile once or twice a week and doing a lot of my old workouts with slightly less weight. I can do anything but bend over forward. Its not that im afraid of the pain or afraid of making it worse, it just simply hurts and feels like my spine is going to explode out of my back, so its frustrating. I know its harmless, but given that I have made so much progress in other areas and in general, it just bugs me that i cant figure out whats stopping me from making progress with this area. I tried just not thinking about it at all for a couple weeks thinking that I may have been focusing on it too much, but now im wondering if theres some repressed emotion that im not finding within myself which is keeping me from making the final step to being completely pain free. Any ideas on this would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Amber Murphy LCSW

    Amber Murphy LCSW TMS Therapist

    It sounds like you have made tremendous progress in a very short amount of time. In only a month, you have reclaimed your life. You have rejected the fear, you are running again, working out and have stopped much of the pain dead in it’s tracks. That is quite an accomplishment and deserves celebration!

    TMS can be very sneaky. Sometimes, in working towards recovery we implement the same strategies that helped create the symptoms. As I read your question, I could feel the weight of this tremendous pressure you are putting on yourself to get 100% better, and to get 100% better NOW. In addition, you are desperately searching for this one magic repressed emotion that might cure it all. That.is.a.lot.of.pressure.

    90% of our emotions are subconscious. You may never know if your hypothesis is correct or which subconscious emotion is the culprit. That is ok. Breathe. Be kind to yourself. Take the pressure off. You don’t have to be perfect in recovery. It took a long time for you to learn this pain and it is ok if it takes some time for you to unlearn it. Assuming you have ruled out structural causes for your pain, you will continue your progress towards the finish line.

    It sounds as if the motion of bending forward is still getting a lot of attention. It seems to still hold the power of preoccupation over you, as you track the pain, test for it, worry if it will go away or wonder which particular repressed emotion may be causing it. That is a lot of activity to keep your brain very busy and thus reinforce the pain. Assuming it is indeed TMS, once you take away the preoccupation, the pain will lose it’s fuel source and fade away. I suggest, re-reading this article by Alan Gordon on breaking the pain cycle and start noticing how hard your brain is working to distract and preoccupy you.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

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    Durga and Wow - Really?! like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Guest, you got some good advice form Amber Murphy.

    If you monitor your pain, it will stay with you. Much better to try not to think about it or gauge how strong it is.
    Instead, focus on the TMS causes of your pain... repressed emotions, perfectionist or goodist personality.

    Practice deep breathing and affirmations. Tell yourself you are going to be able to bend, walk, etc. without pain
    and that your symptoms are TMS psychological and not structural.

    Have a great holiday and happy and pain free new year.
  4. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    The catch 22 here how do u go about your day in pain....I am in the construction business and I can't work if I am in pain this is the issues regarding caving into meds to get threw the day
    Wow - Really?! likes this.
  5. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very true Boston, I guess it boils down to the severity of the pain - it's not always possible to resume all physical activity, but as long as you can be mindful throughout your day and incorporate TMS healing practices as a norm, you will gradually come off the meds as the pain diminishes.
  6. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Exactly Mike

    I practice mindfulness every day and tell myself that the meds are not the cure, it's part of my self care to get me threw every day. Some are lucky then others threw this journey. I wake up every morning being thankful for what god as given me and move on when the pain comes I open my doors and except with open arms. God Bless

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