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Steven Ozanich TMS Reading Group Discussion of Ch.1 & 2 of the Great Pain Deception

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    During Saturday's drop in chat we had a group discussion of the first two chapters in the book the Great Pain Deception, by Steve Ozanich. We had a vibrant discussion and I really enjoyed reading what people had to say about the first two chapters. Anyways, we decided to post the relevant segments of the chat in the forum so everyone else will be able to read over it. I am always interested in seeing how other people interpret TMS books and different approaches. Since it is an excerpt from the drop-in chat it sort of jumps around a bit and kind of ends abruptly. I would love to hear what other people think of this.

    Drop in Chat Log from Saturday June 23

    Forest: I've prepared a bunch of questions and even some notes about the books and if there are pauses in the conversation or we get off topic, I can jump in and guide our attention to the book.
    Melanie: Got so involved in the book that I just finished chapter 3

    MorComm: Hi Veronica and Pranav and Forest et alia. I just got the Great Pain Deception yesterday and have looked at the first 10 pages or so. Sort of a Sarno summary?
    Melanie: Yeah, lots of Sarno quotes

    Forest: He LOVES Sarno :)
    Veronica: me too :)
    Forest: Me three :)
    Forest: So you really liked the book, Melanie?
    Melanie: I am so tempted to read ahead to see if he stays with his wife.
    Melanie: Chapter 3 is depressing....soooo much pain.

    Forest: All I'll say is that it's a heck of a read.
    Morcomm: But I notice too, that Steve also sort of de-Freudizes Sarno. He says for example, "loss of awareness of negative emotions" without going into the Freudian mechanism of repressed emotions. He steps away from Sarno and synthesizes new material: Like Candace Pert's discoveries in neuroscience.
    Forest: I totally agree! SteveO strikes me as a synthesis of different approaches, much like you'd see on the forum. There are lots of Freudian notes, but to my mind it looks like they are integrated with other approaches
    Jan: He makes a really good case for anxiety being a TMS symptom

    If two TMS’ers have a child would they have TMS?
    Melanie: Steven Ray Ozanich says that two TMS'ers having a child would produce a TMS person, never read this before. Do you believe it's true
    It did make me LOL!
    MorComm: Melanie, Likely.
    Veronica: I think if you were raised by two TMS parents you'll probably have TMS but I don't think it's biological
    JanA: I'd love to hear what others thought of that - he seems so serious, otherwise
    Melanie: JanA, LOL, my Mom was the oldest of 13 so was a Mom from 4 or 5 years old.
    JanA: Veronica - yup
    Forest: Melanie, I think whether the children of TMSers had TMS would depend on how much work they had done. If they had achieved insight, I think they could be terrific parents. But I do think he was joking.

    On using sleeping aides
    Melanie: I like his reference that if you are normal, don't have to sleep with all kinds of pillows, etc. on a perfect mattress. Doesn't matter where or how you sleep.
    MorComm: Melanie, that's way different than me. I was the only kid and my parents channeled their conflicts through me in a pure undiluted form. A real battle royale. My mom had lost her first baby in a failed marriage years before, so was very obsessed about me.
    Forest: That sounds like a real setup for TMS.
    MorComm: Melanie, I've slept on the ground out in the wilderness while working trail crew with Outward Bound. Slept just fine. No aches and pains other than from hard work moving boulders all day. Soft mattress is a bunch of BS.

    Is abandonment the root cause of TMS?
    Forest: One thing I thought was super interesting from the book was the contention that The root of the cause of TMS is abandonment issues, either physical or emotional, that happened when we were young.
    Melanie: Forest, do you believe the abandonment issue as being a Key issue?
    Pranav: Well I had a superb childhood, no abandonment but I still have tms.
    MorComm: Forest, I noticed that too. With my parents always trying to break up, abandonment was a perennial theme during my childhood. My mother running off to Seattle when I was 6. Taking me and moving in with her sis up in Sacto when I was 11. Unstable.
    Jan: Forest, I did have a reaction to that concept
    Melanie: Forest, I was hoping for abandonment. We were always hoping Dad wouldn't come home.
    JanA: I had a very secure childhood, but I wondered how much my mother's anxiety actually left me feeling abandoned
    MorComm: Pranav, Well, there's always narcissistic scarring, even in perfect family setups
    Veronica: I think "abandonment" can happen when someone is physically there but is abusive or not able to take care of you.
    Melanie: Veronica, very good point.
    Veronica: doesn't have to be they literally left you the way I see it
    Forests: Melanie, I'm still mulling that over. I haven't finished the book yet. I'm naturally wary of broad sweeping statements like that, but I think there may be some important insight in it. My hunch is that it may mirror some broad, sweeping themes in psychotherapeutic theory. Perhaps the "relational psychoanalysis" school of psychotherapy is what Steve was echoing when he wrote that.
    MorComm: Melanie, Yes. When my mother ran away to her sisters and left my dad, I had a perfect summer in the country. Hated it when they got back together because I knew the conflict would continue with me at the center of it.
    Veronica: Kind of like Dr. Z's theory on the 4 core existential problems--one is isolation which is connected to abandonment to me
    JanA: Veronica, That's what occurred to me, I suddenly felt it when I was reading that
    Pranav: Welcome guest 620. We are discussing the Great Pain Deception but feel free to ask for help or take the discussion somewhere else.
    Veronica: felt abandoned, Jan?
    Forest: excellent point, Veronica regarding other forms of abandonment.
    JanA: Veronica, it's certainly true that neither of my parents dealt with my anxiety (I think we talked about this on the forum).
    JanA: Also, they started having more kids - ended up with four, so no time or energy.
    Melanie: Forest, we went to my Uncle's for one week a year and got to see how an actual family should/could be - and then went back to the battlefield.
    MorComm: Forest, Yes, as a little kid, I found myself hoping both my parents would die in a head-on wreck so I could be placed in foster care away from them! Don't wish for anything too much or you might get it and find out just how bad foster care is.
    Veronica: :( MorComm I'm sorry. Sounds like it was really hard for you growing up
    MorComm: Melanie, exactly. my aunt's place in the Gold Country was such a distinct contrast from the battleground of my parents' house, I loved to go up there. Such a relief!
    Forest: And probably a great experience for both of you, to see that it didn't have to be that way.
    Forest: The examples that parents set are so important...
    MorComm: Veronica, When my mother put me in the Alpine Club at Carlmont High School, I finally had something of my own apart from my parents' conflict. Climbing saved me!
    Forest: thank goodness. Like a boxing club for an inner city kid. Need to get out of the house!
    Melanie: It's so very interesting to see how your own child looks to you for everything and then you look back and see what you didn't have as a child

    The Two Pillars of Sarno’s Cure
    Forest: Okay, another question: Steve mentions that Sarno's Cure rests on two pillars: Acquire knowledge into TMS and Act on the knowledge and change the brain's behavior. Steve also suggests here that resuming physical activity is the most important thing to recovery. Is this oversimplifying Sarno or is it the right way to go about things? How does this compare to your own recovery?
    Veronica: Forest, most of my symptoms had nothing to do with physical activity...
    MorComm: Melanie, No it didn't. They didn't die in a headon. But my childish fantasy sure demonstrates the level of rage a kid can have at his parents for being so involved with their fight that they ignore his psychological needs as a separate person.
    Veronica: I actually felt better headache-wise when I was active even before I knew about TMS
    Veronica: For me two main things that have helped are 1) knowing about TMS 2) working on repressed emotions
    MorComm: Forest, yes, change your brain and its biochemistry. then deprogam the nerve pathways by engaging in physical activity. i concur with Steve.
    Melanie: Veronica, Bingo, me also: The knowledge and figuring out the repressed emotions. Still having trouble finding the Rage.
    Veronica: Melanie, yes, anger/rage are hard for me too.
    Morcomm: Veronica, those unsent letters in Schubiner seem to be highly effective in my own case. stops the pain dead in its tracks
    Forest: As time has passed, I've been paying more attention to Dr. Sarno's approach. It's very interesting to me that he doesn't advocate deep emotional work as much as, for example, Schubiner or Schechter do. It has me intrigued. He encourages people to write essays, but for most people, education and resumption of activities are very important. Something to think about..... but for Veronica and Lori, the deep emotional work seemed super important. Everyone is different :)
    Veronica: I don't think everyone needs to do deep emotional work but I think a lot of it helped me...and I feel like getting to work on the emotions is "the gift" in TMS
    MorComm: Forest, I find that riding my road bike and just concentrating on feeling good about myself at the same time I push my limits seems to counteract the TMS. Stops the dialog with the internal enemy as Alan would have it. Just focus on expanding my range of motion and coordination. No time for neurotic games.

    The Jungian Shadow?
    Forest: I was a little confused when Steve started talking about the Jungian "Shadow." What were other's takes on this?
    Melanie: Isn't the Shadow just the area where all our anger/rage, etc. is stored?
    Forest: Do you see a difference between it and the unconscious? Or is it just another name for the same thing?
    MorComm: Forest, haven't got that far either. isn't the Jungian shadow like the animus is the shadow of the male anima. I read the Mysterium Conjunctionis years ago. Thought I understood C.G. Jung, but I was young and arrogant!
    JanA: MorComm, I hope he doesn't get into that, LOL!
    Forest: Why the different term? I imagine that Freud and Jung argued a lot and had differing opinions.
    JanA: It's beyond me
    MorComm: JanA, I think Jung said that the male anima is a counterpart to the female animus. Mirrors and mirrors! Like Jacob Boehme!
    Forest: Who's Jacob Boehme?!
    MorComm: Forest, He was a 17th century mystic in Prague who borrowed a lot from the Cabala and Jewish mysticism. Wild stuff!
    MorComm: Forest, very much "can't". Changing the biochemistry of your brain doesn't involve being clever. It's more practical than that. The intellectual stuff can be an evasion too.
    Forest: I think that that is why I hesitate to learn more about Jung. It sounds like that was part of the tension between him and Freud. Freud wanted psychology to be a science, whereas Jung drew inspiration from mysticism. Did I get that right, MC?

    JanA: Chapter 2 looks like all of that Freud and Jung stuff though - Morcomm's territory!
    MorComm: JanA, Steve is going to be a long read for me. I'm already annotating everything and writing comments in the margins!
    rach: Do you find it helps you though, reading so much on TMS?
    MorComm: JanA, Freud and Jung were during my mis-spent youth!
    MorComm: rach, Only if your reading really helps you do something about your TMS. Reading so much can be a distraction too.
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  2. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member

    Very interesting thread! I am posting Steve's website: I hope it shows up as a picture and not just a link :cool:


    I believe I need a refresher in posting a website in picture form ;)
  3. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member


    This one worked! :cool:
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  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    By the way, have others had a chance to get the book yet? You can read more about it on our wiki page about Steven Ozanich's The Great Pain Deception and it's available for immediate download from Amazon (you can immediately read it online once you purchase a Kindle version).

    If people have had a chance to read it, what did you think of the questions we brought up in the chat? If you were there, how is your reading going? I'm wondering if attempting to cover 3 more chapters might have been a bit much!

    Some other questions that we didn't have a chance to get to but which I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on:
    • Steve presents a third healing pillar of letting go and forgiving. What does this mean to you and how can we bring this into our treatment?
    • One of my favorite lines from the first two chapters is “These abandonment issues do not always need to be resolved in order to heal. Knowledge of them and how they are involved in the symptom process—and full belief in TMS—can free the person of suffering in the majority of cases.” If this is true, how do we journal? Is there still a need for it or can is it ineffective?
    • According to Steve there are four phases of TMS that can create the symptoms. Acute Threshold TMS where we get symptoms seemingly out of the blue during a stressful time in our lives. Blood in the water TMS, where we have a physical trigger (i.e. we lift something heavy and "pull our back out") and the pain lingers longer then it should. Back Door TMS, where we have pain from an old injury site during a stressful time. After the Storm TMS, where we develop pain shortly after going through a stressful and trying time. Which one of these phases best describes your situation?
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Whoa, good job on the video, Livvy! Not sure what you mean by posting a website in picture form, though. I've only ever used text as a title for the underlying URL (as in my next sentence)

    Also check out the thread that Steve started here on the forum, titled TMS The Man Sarno

    Livvygurl likes this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Umm, all of them?

    Okay, seriously, in order of frequency, Acute Threshold and Back Door, occasionally After the Storm, and rarely Blood In The Water (what a name).
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'd say both my episodes of TMS could be classified according to Steve as "After the Storm TMS" although the first episode did occur in 2001 after running and the second episode, which I refer to as my 'relapse', took place after taking a fall out running even though I didn't have back spasms until six weeks later. The so-called "herniated disk" I suffered in November 2001 occurred after my father died and I had been taking care of my aging mother for five years, managing several wrongful death lawsuits, publishing two books and working a high-end job in the Professional Services Division of a major Japanese firm. However, I didn't go symptomatic until I inherited my late mother's house. I think of this episode as "After the Storm TMS" because when it occurred I'd buried my mother, won the law suit, published the book, finished the contract, and got my legacy (with all the burdens of survivor guilt thrown in). IOWs: It was only when I was home free and facing freedom that my TMS back pain manifested. I know now what Dr. Sarno means when he says he knows of no greater pain in clinical medicine than a major back pain attack. Rather I didn't!

    Although I didn't think of it at the time, my relapse 2008 was "After the Storm TMS" too because it didn't occur until I'd published the book I was working fanatically on for over a year non-stop. To put even more pressure on myself, I had also embarked on a savage training routine climbing hills on my road bike while pursuing a trophy girlfriend to ratchet things up another notch. I see what Dr. Sarno means when he says that the worst pressure on a over-achieving perfectionist is the pressure he or she puts on themselves. IOWs: The TMS did not manifest until the book was safely published and the trophy GF had bashed my ego, destroyed my self-esteem and flown away. This reminds me of Dr. Zafirides in his podcast on Existential Anxiety and its role in the genesis of psychogenic pain symptoms. When I'd finished the book and was free of the girl was exactly the same moment I had to face unvarnished reality. It's as if because all the old outlets for my perfectionism had vanished, that that same nervous energy went into producing symptoms. You might work yourself up into being a nervous wreck for a good long while and actually accommodate to it, but when the outlet for that nervous energy suddenly disappears, the nervous energy turns around and attacks you by producing pain symptoms.

    When I reflected on the above a bit longer, I see how my "Calm After the Storm TMS" also contained elements of "Blood in the water TMS" because my herniated disk seemed to be triggered by the pounding of running and my relapse occurred after I had taken a fall on my left side. Of course, both pain episodes were centered in my lower left lumbar region and left leg, which was the same side where I had broken my heel many years before in 1989, so there is an underlying element of "Back Door TMS" in both episodes too. So I was thinking maybe every episode of TMS contains combinations of all of Steve's categories with one category predominating? Don't know for sure so would like to hear other people's experiences.
    Ollin likes this.
  8. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    • I think I tend to let go and forgive too quickly, so I personally am working on letting myself feel angry and letting anger just exist within me without needing to act on it.
    A lot of what I am working on now is for my own emotional healing/growth and not about recovering from TMS/pain...I think you can recover from the pain part of TMS without getting into every deep issue like abandonment. I do feel there is great value beyond TMS work in healing abandonment and other emotional issues.
  9. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Forest sent me an email saying there was a discussion about my book here. That's always interesting since there are few opportunities for an author to see how their work is broken down. I just read through the discussion that was posted here from chapters 1 and 2. It's helpful to see, especially for a second edition which will come someday for clarifications. Those are the 2 most difficult chapters, it all gets easier from there. It was heavily front-loaded with techno stuff.

    The book was recently honored in 2 International Book Awards as second place Finalist in Best New Health Book of 2012 and Health: Alternative Medicine 2012.

    It appears Forrest is most in synch with what I mean point by point in his interpretation of my book. It's also important to note that what you're reading is a final work. The main points in the book were hashed out point by point in tedious detail with experts. Dr. Sarno agreed with it, and Dr. Sopher went over it with a fine comb often countering with clarifications and adding great value to it. I also spent years communicating with Clancy Mackenzie, MD, one of the brightest psychiatrists in the country. My editor was also an MD, the father of the worldwide wellness movement. He too added great value and insight. So much of what you read is a consensus, except for my personal story which was all mine and irrefutable.

    I would begin with abandonment. This is the heart of all of our problems in life, not just health. Any good psych knows that rejection, isolation, fear of abandonment are at the heart of all of our life problems and our health. You don't have to actually be abandoned, but the fear of abandonment still remains even of you feel you had a great childhood. It is the fear of isolation that most enrages us. Dr. Sarno once again insightfully noted that it was the residual childhood anger that was the main factor in TMS and health. And abandonment is at the heart of that anger whether it's through real rejection or fear of it, the tension in the early household is key to development of child.

    Some people think they were never abandoned but they were born and so were abandoned, as life begins. It's a good idea to read Facing The Fire to more deeply understand the pain that results from fear of rejection. If people can't understand this point they don't really understand TMS and are merely going through the motions of trying to understand. The same is true for the feeling of rage. Maybe I should wait till you get to the anger chapter 26, but you shouldn't be able to feel rage, that's why the symptom is there, because you don't feel the rage. If you felt rage then you wouldn't have the symptom. Most people miss that nexus. Repression buries the anger in the body once the ego decides to side with superego and avoid id's desires. When id doesn't get its primal needs filled tension is the result, as Freud statedwould happen.

    The first chapter is indeed a summary of TMS. You can't imagine how difficult it is to take all the good doctor's work and fit it into one chapter, and still make sense. In many ways it was the toughest chapter because it sets up the rest of the book and summarizing is so difficult to do well. I needed to establish what TMS was before I began my healing story. I did quote the good doctor quite a bit not to glorify him but to show how his work actually integrated into my healing, how correct he actually was through the years, and to provided reference points for people to access.

    I did not purposefully intend to de-Freud the good doctor. It may have been a byproduct of pulling more information together though, mostly because Jung was a far greater analyst than Freud, IMHO.

    The Jungian shadow is everything in health. It has all the answers and so it most relevant in healing. Even more so than Freud's work. I spent years working with Jungian analysts to come up with the final product. Things like id, ego superego and shadow are only literary devices in which to more deeply understand the human psyche. This is important to note since they are a means to an end, they are not the ends in themselves.

    The shadow lies wholly in the unconscious but is not synonymous with unconscious. It is much more. It also contains our greatest strengths. I highly recommend Debbie Ford's "Shadow Effect" and "The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature."

    I was joking when I said that a Type T is created when 2 TMSers mate. TMS is not genetic in any form, it comes through environmental experiences, although things like anxiety and depression aren't as clear cut. That joke bit me along with a few others. I tried to stay lighthearted to ease people's fears and sometimes if people don't have my sense of humor they get confused. I apologize. Another joke has bitten me on several occasions. Since healing requires much repetition I told people at the end of my book if they needed to read my book again to not do it, but to go out and buy a new copy of my book and read that one. It was a joke to make more money. But many have missed that joke. I've received several emails saying, "I know you don't want me to read your book again Steve but I just gotta, there's a lot of info in there and I need to read it again!" Sometimes a joke just reaches too far.

    I was fascinated to see someone wanting to know whether I would stick with my wife through our tragedy. That was interesting since the opposite was never even considered, would she stick with me through my health problems? Spoiler alert.

    I don't know if people would want me to come by here while they're examining my book. They may want the privacy to freely speak unfettered. I leave that up to your group. If people want me to come by I will try. Either way I'm fine and I consider it an honor that you're giving it the once over. Thank you for taking a look at my TMS tome. And thank you Forest. You know Forest is a great guy, no wonder he has TMS.

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  10. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    "One of my favorite lines from the first two chapters is “These abandonment issues do not always need to be resolved in order to heal. Knowledge of them and how they are involved in the symptom process—and full belief in TMS—can free the person of suffering in the majority of cases.”

    Veronica, Dr. Sopher made me put that line in there, he was quite adamant that people would begin to feel that if they couldn't resolve their abandonment issues that they would feel that they couldn't heal. But we know from Dr. Sarno that healing takes place regardless of the past and regardless of our personalities. When I put that disclaimer in Dr. Sopher was pleased. So that line goes to his credit. I gave credit where it was due, thus, 330 endnotes.

    Livvygurl likes this.
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve, I want to thank you for "dropping by". I love having this extra insight into your process, especially regarding the first chapter - it's going to make it a lot easier for me to explain the book to others. The first chapter was so incredibly dense that I was a little overwhelmed, but at the same time I really liked having so much theory packed into such an efficient number of pages. Giving both you and Dr. Sopher your respective due(dues?) the abandonment discussion gave me a giant AHA! moment - I found a brand-new awareness of how and when I would have experienced abandonment, and that alone was worth the price of admission - and I'm only part-way through Chapter 3, so I can't wait for more gems of discovery.

    I loved the bit about two TMS parents, but I've also learned that if I use the phrase "inherited TMS" it's sometimes taken very literallyo_O

    We thank Forest every day, but LOL, you got him dead to rights! He'd better hope I forget that one :D

    Thanks, Steve - and many congratulations on your accomplishment!

    Jan A.
  12. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    im just beginning to read the book im on the end of chapter 1 but i know that i have this "Acute Threshold TMS where we get symptoms seemingly out of the blue during a stressful time in our lives. " My first pain syndrome in my feet started out of nowhere when I began a new job and my second pain syndrome in my eyes started out of nowhere when I began a new job. Interesting how both had to deal with jobs for some reason. I know this thread is going to get really long because i'll be posting a lot once i get more into the book and im sure others will too.
  13. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Giving both you and Dr. Sopher your respective due(dues?) the abandonment discussion gave me a giant AHA!"

    Me too, Jan. Abandonment has run through my life like a recurrent theme in a novel. The discussion of abandonment in Steve's book let me link all the episodes and see how they interrelated and fed into each other. Important new perception of the root cause of psychic imbalances that lead to the generation of TMS.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  14. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    I wanted to thank the Wiki for the kind invite to speak about my TMS book yesterday. It was refreshing to communicate with people who already believe in TMS and are looking for more answers or a little help. Normally I spend my time defending TMS against close-minded individuals.

    I'm also sorry if I didn't answer anyone's specific question. The format is very tough as questions get fired at you rapidly, especially since I'm not a fast typer. As I tried to answer or read certain questions I would look up and see other questions scrolling up off the screen. I would be happy to try to answer some of your questions about my book as you read along. Maybe you can ask specific questions about how I healed on this thread as you read through the book. I don't know if the thread-name can be changed as the chapters move along?

    There were some great questions about TMS asked Saturday. As you can see I followed Dr. Sarno's "orders" to the T. The first third of my book is about what I did and how I healed. I had hoped it would provide a model to those who weren't sure how to proceed after reading Dr. Sarno. I made many mistakes along the way that I tried to point out so that others wouldn't take as long to heal. My major mistake was monitoring my healing from day to day. Television ads and most doctors and the entire healthcare industry is set up to keep you focused on your health, in worry, every day of your life. This is a major problem with our health and healthcare today. The intense focus on health and body through constant medical probing in defensive medicine is creating as many problems as it is solving. Everything that you focus on will come to light as it penetrates through the conscious into the unconscious (the body). What you imagine or obsess on will come to you eventually as the vision alters the reality. It's more important that we learn how to live instead of how not to die

    So after my healing story in the first third of the book I began to write about what you need to understand and need to do to heal based on my own experience and also on the stories of what others told me they did to heal--and of course on the work of the good doctor and his close colleagues.

    The last part of my book I shifted toward life. This is where our health problems arise. I was happy yesterday to see most of the questions were directed at life since this is the key. Our health doesn't just suddenly fail us (this doesn't include extreme deficiencies or exposure to vile elements). Something alters our physiology, and that something is belief.

    Our current state of health is a report card on the strength of our close relationships, past present, and of course with the Self since there is no difference between others ourselves. We are all from the same spirit only separated by experience and belief.

    I tried to finish the book with a philosophy on life and a state of health that is incumbent upon that philosophy. We live as our very will directs us. We have far greater power than we can fully understand. But if we are unable to let the past go, to release the chains, then we get stuck in a vicious loop of constant self-punishment in which there is no way out. Richard Rohr has often refereed to this concept as a "rotating hall of mirrors." Every day we get up and reflect a life back to us that we have trapped ourselves in, receiving the same feedback, never able to break out, achieving the same results, mirroring the same things. Once you learn that you can break out of that hall of mirrors you will see a new life, a new beauty that you could never have imagined. And yet it is imagination that makes it possible.

    Imagine the life that you want and realize it. If you can't see past your current restraints, many of which are imposed upon us by us, then you can't move forward. Healing comes through a change, and change is one of the most frightening aspects we face. We feel safe in the current state even if we are unhappy.

    Be bold and take back your life. Don't let your mind deceive you into believing that what you see is all there is. Don't get trapped in the hall of mirrors. Use your imagination in healing by forgetting about healing. Have fun, try something new. Find your own path.

    Pain is not all bad as it stands on the edge of the limina where all transformation takes place. It takes great courage to step into the unknown and away from the status quo. I didn't like my situation, I wanted a new life; the old way of living wasn't really living. I made up my mind to change and it has paid off a thousand times over.

    To quote Goethe, "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." Be courageous.

    Happiness first, and good health will certainly follow...

    Steve Ozanich
    The Great Pain Deception
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  15. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have been following Steve's posts from the start. I have read the chat logs. I keep seeing Steve's name and quotes coming up on all sorts of threads. I have had his book on my wish list for a few months but didn't think I was ready to tackle it before now. The other day I placed an order on Amazon after dithering between Steve's book and another fun one related to one of my interests. I bought the fun book. While tracking this order my fingers slipped and now Steve's book is on its way. There is nothing left to do but read it. I feel relief already.
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  16. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    LOL, yb!
  17. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Just found out about this book and it looks good. Good thread to read to see what it's about (other than the info on amazon) and cool Steve is on here and I appreciate his further comments above as well.

    RE Forest's posted questions, here are my comments:

    letting go and forgiving: I believe this is key to healing. There are those who believe that resentment or un-forgiveness lies at the root of many physical conditions, and once really felt these ailments resolve. I talk about forgiveness a bit in my profile page too. I do believe it is important. Holding resentment is toxic (and can cause physical conditions) and forgiveness is for us--not for the perceived offender. It does not mean condoning their actions either. It does feel good to journal about this for various situations and feel forgiveness--for others--and ourselves too. And there are other programs that advocate working on forgiveness for optimal health too.

    I think if someone wants to work on their feeling of or fear of abandonment, that can be viewed through the eyes of the child of whatever age--how did you FEEL when this happened, and let the feelings flow. As an adult we can reason, e.g., well, my parents were going through a rough time, etc. which was probably true and they probably were doing they best they could anyway, but that does not help the child in us who felt abandoned. My feeling is abandonment is good to work on so the person does not carry this feeling, or the fear of it, into their adult life and have relationship issues as a result.

    One thing I recall from my visit with Dr. Sarno is that 1/3 of our overflowing beaker is CHILDHOOD issues, so I learned not to underestimate the effects of things that happened in childhood, and did a lot of writing as they came to mind.

    These are my thoughts on these questions. I realize a deeper delve may be needed and this takes time--even after whatever TMS issue has seemingly gone away. I was one who spent a lot of time journaling because I wanted issues resolved sufficiently so it did not come back to me in a new/different/recurring physical condition to get my attention.

    Hugs all!!
    Livvygurl and JanAtheCPA like this.
  18. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love your whole post Lori, but I highlighted this sentence because it's at the heart of a lot of discussion, and we are often told contradictory things about childhood issues.

    I totally agree with you and Dr. Sarno. Here's my take on it, and this is coming from someone who had a very secure, loving and supportive childhood with two parents and no traumatic events. But my parents weren't perfect, because they were human, and even if they were perfect, they couldn't possibly have protected us from everything that life and relationships throw at us even as very small children.

    When I started journaling, I really didn't expect to find any childhood rage at all. But when I was making my lists, I noticed that my brain kept saying "oh, don't write that down, that's not important" and for some reason the light bulb came on and I realized that my brain was lying to me, and that those were the very things I should write down, and then journal about.

    I still didn't find any trauma or neglect or abuse, but I did uncover a number of forgotten little incidents, disappointments, embarrassing memories... all of those things, be they big or little, that either mold or in some cases explain our psyches.

    Journaling about these things revealed a lot about my self-esteem, and it proved to be a turning point in my TMS recovery. Self-forgiveness, of course, being a necessary part of the deal :).

    veronica73 likes this.
  19. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Jan, yes, I remember when I started making my list I didn't really focus on childhood issues, in fact, I don't think any came to mind at that time. As I was recovering and wanting to continue clearing out emotional trash, I realized that if some memory came to mind, I needed to process and journal it out. I believe it came to mind for a reason. Experiences with school, friends, siblings, relatives, etc. could be still affecting us as adults. Our parents did the best they could, but our child mind was not thinking that way.

    All the best, and cheers to healing ourselves!

  20. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Thanks Steve. This is so so so true.

    I feel like I am in the middle of this one big time and don't know how to get out.

    I can even feel that some thoughts of moving in certain directions in life are more joyful and opening, and release the pain in my body, the tension in my neck, etc. just to think about stopping certain things or doing other new things. But then to actually take action to move in a new direction or away from something that is feels closing... well even the thought of taking action in this realm brings up TERROR. I mean, like panic attack on steroids.

    I feel so incredibly conditioned to choose painful, constrictive safety over what feels more opening but is moving into the unknown...

    Feel like up against a brick wall.
    Shanshu Vampyr likes this.

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