Steve Ozanich’s The Great Pain Deception – Chapter Four Chasing the Changes – A Time for Reflection This chapter is full of great advice on healing TMS pain. It focuses largely on triggers that set off repressed emotions that cause TMS pain. Steve says triggers result from both conditioning and suggestion. We tend to think something is physically wrong if we hear a popping sound in our body. I’ve heard that when I’ve sprained an ankle. That’s a conditioned response to the pain. Steve suggests that in those cases when we feel pain, we need to look at what is popping in our lives. Suggestion triggers can come from people warning us to be careful not to lift anything heavy or they may throw their back out. Another trigger is the admonition. Steve says an admonition ignites pain when a person has been repeatedly warned to be careful of something they may previously have been unaware of. He knew a man who suffered severe hand pain after he attended a course on repetitive stress injuries and hand pain. Warnings of pain can bring on pain because it gives some people a focal point to hide within when he needs a mental diversion. There also is what Steve calls the human compassion trigger. He knew a man who suffered from an extreme burning lung sensation and icy cold waves from his head to his toes, symptoms that are common when a person is under extreme tension. It all began when a co-worker asked how he felt and although he had felt okay, he suddenly began feeling a general weakness in his body. He dropped to his knees because he was afraid he would fall. Then the burning sensation began. He spent two days in a hospital, and when he returned to work the co-worker again asked how he felt, and he felt the weakness and cold again, worse than before. It led to a panic attack. The man said the co-worker’s genuine concern for his health had triggered an emotional weight he felt upon himself. His symptoms passed when he talked with emergency room staff and found that a doctor’s caring ear were soothing and powerful healing mechanisms which “untriggered the trigger.” But what relieved the man’s pain was discovering his repressing his emotions. He was repressing something, holding back what he could not face. Steve said there are other triggers that set off pain but “the king of triggers” may be the aging trigger which may visit us on our birthday as we grow older and think about losing our health or looks. He reminds us that Dr. Sarno listed six basic needs that make us angry and frustrate us if they are not adequately met. Number six on the list is “to be immortal, but we are unconsciously enraged by the inevitability of death.” Steve relates the case of a man who had lost friends and acquaintances, and when he turned 70 it triggered thoughts of his own demise sometime in the future. He worried if the end could be a year away, a month, a week, a day, or an hour. “He made the mistake of peeking into the future and not living in the moment,” Steve writes. “Not only does this prove that it is an error in thought alone that creates the imbalance in the mind body process, but it also gives great credence to (the baseball player) Satchel Paige’s question, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?" Jack Benny, the comedian, never admitted to be older than 39, and lived decades after that. The man who worried about his mortality was told he had severe spinal stenosis and needed immediate surgery, but he declined that. Eventually he recovered completely through TMS healing. Dr. Sarno has said pain is a “cradle to grave” thing, but it is often a part of midlife crisis as family and friends pass away which can create separation rage. The are curious about a life beyond what they have. Steve Ozanich quotes Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: “Among all my patients in the second half of life, that is to say over 35 years of age, there has not been one whose problem, in the last resort, was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.” People need soothing answers, Steve says. “If they can’t find it in knowledge therapy or counselors, then they need to look more deeply within themselves for a spiritual awakening.” I agree wholeheartedly. Mind-body healing can be faster and more complete and lasting when we add the spiritual element, especially if we are among those, as I am, of advancing years. I hardly ever thought about my mortality until I turned 80. Now I’m 83 and spending a lot more time awakening my spiritual side which has lain dormant in me for some years. So triggers are with us all the time, and we have to look into our repressed emotions so as not to let them give us new pain. We need to be positive. Live in the moment. Find ways to make our moments as happy as we can. Thank you, Steve Ozanich and Dr. Sarno for enlightening us about triggers and how to deal with them.