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TMS physicans & therapists?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Sadie, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to posting here but have been looking at these forums for the past couple of months. They are so helpful and have given me a lot of hope! The short story for me is that I had a couple of years of manageable back pain that seems to have gone all out of control about 6 months ago following two back-to-back yoga injuries. Now I have neck/shoulder/back tightness/loss of range of motion/pain on a daily basis. I've had to give up yoga, which I loved and was my main source of stress relief - and my mat no longer feels like my safe space, which is very sad. And I'm really scared to start exercising again.

    But that's all a longer story :) I was hoping to ask you all about your recommendations for whether it's worth it to make the trip to see a TMS physician. My regular physicians/providers have actually been pretty good about describing the mindbody connection and have already pretty much told me there is nothing 'structurally' wrong - my issues are muscle tightness, trigger points, some postural issues, etc. But I am still feeling like it might really help with my recovery process to see an actual TMS physician. I'm in Northern California but am willing to travel out of state. Any thoughts or recommendations of particular physicians?

    I'm also wondering about therapists. I know there are wonderful therapists available via Skype but I prefer the experience of being in a room with someone and having a face-to-face conversation, if possible. I've checked the listing of TMS therapists on this website but didn't see any in Sacramento. Any chance there's someone who's just not listed yet?

    Thanks so much in advance for any thoughts & advice you'd like to share :)
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sadie, and welcome! It sounds like you've found the right place, so give yourself a lot of credit for plunging in!

    I never saw a TMS specialist, and I also was lucky enough to have been told all my life that there was nothing wrong with me except for stress and/or anxiety. Feel free to read my Profile story and the list of resources which helped me. Starting with the SEP (Structured Education Program) on the main wiki. And earlier this year we introduced Alan Gordon's Pain Recovery Program here on the forum, generously donated by Alan.

    You CAN do it yourself. Doing this work requires a mind-shift, which is something only you can do - no one can do it for you.

    You've taken the first step, and we're here to help!

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    plum likes this.
  3. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Hi Jan! Thank you for the welcome & encouraging words. I read your story - it's very inspiring. I appreciate the list of links you provided as well and I'm looking forward to starting to go through them. I've been reading a lot about the mind body connection and it is a major shift in thinking as you mentioned. I'm taking steps to embrace it, like starting to slowly let go of all the physical interventions I've been doing.

    Thanks for your support and kindness!
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  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Sadie,

    I can echo Jan's words and say I never worked with a therapist either. Many here don't yet recover fully. The most important thing is to relax and give yourself the time and space needed to learn about the mind~body connection and about yourself. TMS healing is all about learning to feel again with an embrace of safety that you cultivate for yourself. Like all relationships, building this one with your true and authentic self takes time and as Jan says, only you can do that.

    If you really want to find a therapist in your area it may help to post a fresh thread with an obvious title like 'seeking TMS therapist in the Sacramento area'. Some people here have more of a finger on that pulse and may have a recommendation.

    Lastly, if you go to my profile and skip through to the end of My Story you'll find links to a Yin Yoga teacher I follow. Yin is one of the tools I'm using to fully recover. It is very, very gentle and not at all like the other styles of yoga. Do take a look at Alan's new program because it deals primarily with fear reduction. It's absolutely brilliant.

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/ (Pain Recovery Program)

    Plum x
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  5. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Hi Plum,

    Thank you for your kind words and insights! I have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm confident that it will be worth it.

    I have actually gone through Alan's program - though not the SEP yet - and found it so helpful that I'm thinking about doing it again! I'm further along in my learning now and would probably gain some new and different insights than when I first went through it.

    As you mentioned in your story, I also found Dr. Hanscom's books to be one of the most helpful that I've read so far. I have a looong reading list that I'm really enjoying working my way through.

    Thank you also for the yin recommendation. Right now I'm so nervous about any stretching that I might need to start with just sitting and breathing.

    Glad to be joining this warm & supportive community.
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  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    The best advice of all is to trust your instincts about what is best for you. This covers absolutely everything from technique through to timing. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the reading and learning as I really believe it helps to approach all this with curiosity and a light heart.

    It's definitely worth revisiting books and programs. I gained a lot from combing through Alan's program a second time and then intuitively integrating it with my ever-evolving lifestyle.

    Sitting and breathing sounds like a fabulous place to start, maybe as time goes by layering a gentle bit of somatic tracking and cognitive soothing to the mix.

    May your healing be rich with oodles of playfulness, sweet serenity and love. It's lovely to have you join us.

    Plum x
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  7. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Thank you! I particularly love your sentence above and am jotting it down for future encouragement.
  8. Odrog

    Odrog New Member

    Just a small thought to add here. For some people, literally laughing out loud at their TMS pain is very helpful and therapeutic. You love yoga. Combine the two and I think you should try some laughter yoga! Ignore and laugh through any pain knowing that there is no structural problem, your mind is creating the pain, and it is not going to hurt you or limit what you can do, and that you will deal with your anxieties directly so that the pain is no longer needed. Remember, you are going for outcome independence.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sadie, not much going on in NorCal TMS wise, have you seen the list here? Skype and phone have been shown to be as good as in person. Fred Amir is a TMS counselor, written a great book about his recovery and gives free internet seminars, and is a regular contributor here. If you go to Schechter, in Beverly Hills your total will costs will probably be around a $1000-2,000 out of pocket if you pay cash for the exam and your travel and lodging expenses.

    You are immersing yourself in good TMS info, but this isn't rocket science. You just need to turn the switch in your brain and lose your fear of physical activity. Fearing simple movements like stretching and doing only breathing and meditation IMHO are going backwards. Dr. Sarno was all about "the body is STRONG!" You need to accept that the structural pain is benign and a psychological defense mechanism from facing emotional situations head-on.

    Look at the Holmes-Rahe list : (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmes_and_Rahe_stress_scale (Holmes and Rahe stress scale - Wikipedia) list for the stress causing life situations that create TMS dis-ease--there is your TMS science. Your narrative is all in the vocabulary of anatomical pain sites--you need to shift your thinking to the TMS/psychological--Dr. Sarno says: "When you feel the pain, think psychological".

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  10. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Thanks, Odrog. I love that idea!

    Tennis Tom, thank you very much for your thoughts as well. I've checked the list and I'm surprised there aren't more TMS providers in NorCal, especially with all the mindbody research happening at Stanford.

    I totally get what you're saying about switching my thoughts to think psychological, it's just a process for me to get there. A couple of the challenges for me have been 1) that I was actually doing really well (and was much less stressed than at other times in my life) when all this started, so it's taking a little more work to find out what the triggers may have been. And 2) my muscles are super tight - no doubt caused by tms - but this means I do start getting spasmy and increasing pain with exercise. That said I've gotten back to being able to walk a couple hours a day as I was before, so things are going in the right direction:)

    Thanks so much to everyone for their thoughts and advice! Hope you all are having a beautiful weekend.
  11. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kali is all about the money, it's very expensive to live here, highest gas prices in the country, high taxes--if you can't monetize you won't be able to pay the bills. There's no money in TMS, besides buying a used copy of Sarno for a penny on Amazon + $3.99 shipping. If it's TMS, one visit to a doctor and he's done seeing you. If you need more reassurance then a a physician's dx that it's TMS, then a TMS therapist won't need more then a few sessions to get the point across--not much money in it for therapists either. And, 90%+ of people don't want to hear that it's "all in their head"--they need their TMS for a PROTECTOR. For TMS physicians, it's a sideline, only a small part of their practice.

    The TMS gremlin is a weird little dude, he plays all kinds of tricks on us to protect us, whenever I drive through Santa Cruz, my hands cramp up on the steering wheel like lobster hands--now I just laugh at it and by the time I get to Watsonville, the cramping goes away--must be a contact high thing.

    If you're walking a couple of hours a day, you are a healthy person, some who've come here have been in bed or wheel-chairs for years--think positive.
    Sadie likes this.
  12. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Lobster hands! Lol, that definitely gave me a good laugh, thanks. Maybe I just need to work on finding funnier things to visualize when the pain kicks in.

    Sadly I have to agree with you about how crazy expensive everything is in our neck of the woods. Although, maybe it's a good thing that NorCal needs more TMS practitioners because I've been thinking about a career change anyway!

    Also, I should clarify that my walks are pretty low key - my dog is very contemplative and doesn't like to be rushed in his sniffing. I agree that it's something to feel pretty positive about regardless :)
  13. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Go for it! You may want to get just one more TMS book, it's by Nicole Sachs, LCSW, whose been a contributor here and wrote a nice little book about her TMS journey, "THE MEANING OF TRUTH" :

    She was a patient of Dr. Sarno's and then went on to become a TMS therapist, you may get some inspiration from her story.
    Sadie likes this.
  14. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Thanks! Just ordered it :)
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