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Day 13 Today's Reading

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by KevinB, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    The Psychology of Chronic Back Pain

    This was a fantastic article, and I think so far it's been the best for me with regard to really accepting TMS as the culprit. It's very thorough and addresses basically everything, and is supported by research, which makes it all the more believable.

    The one issue I've been having is the idea of chronic pain. Most of the educational readings and ideas in general seem very much geared toward chronic pain. When I found this site and Dr Sarno, I was in the "chronic" category, it had been nearly 6 months of pain, non stop. But this time I began doing the work straight after a "relapse", i.e., an acute episode. I've come across mention that this approach also works for relapses and acute attacks of TMS, but I guess there's some fear that I'll somehow have to endure this pain for a long time in order to become free of it.... I know that's "calendar" watching, and also focusing too much on the pain, but man, I just get tired of it, and doing all the work... perhaps I'm working too hard at it. I don't know.

    Just putting this out there.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hmm, Kevin I'm not sure I get what you're trying to say - which could mean you're overthinking it.

    Personally, I've come to realize that pain is just pain. It doesn't matter whether it's chronic or acute or what the cause is, or if there's no cause, or whatever. The original purpose of pain is to warn us of danger. At some point, in humans, pain also evolved as a mechanism to distract us from negative emotions so we would stay alert to the constant danger of the primitive world. Both kinds of pain can be controlled, which has been shown by many practitioners and by individuals of various faiths for as long as humans have been investigating the workings of our brains.

    Here's my story of pain that has NOTHING to do with TMS - but I used the things I've learned via TMS theory, to beat it. I was recently at the dentist getting yet another crown to replace an old filling. I'm a bad dental patient due to extreme pain from many fillings when I was a kid in the 1950s - back when Novocaine was new and toxic to small children, so I wasn't allowed to have as much as I needed to totally numb me. The result is that even though current painkillers are far superior and I'm given plenty of them, the tiniest twinge of nerve pain can send me into a paroxysm of fear and panic. It used to, anyway. Since starting this work, I came to realize that I could talk my brain out of the fear reaction, and I have practiced it the last three procedures, including the other day. When I felt a twinge of nerve pain, I took some deep breaths, relaxed my whole body, and literally talked to my brain and told it that it was only a little twinge, that I was very nicely numb, I was safe and in good hands, and that it couldn't possibly get any worse. The result is that I was able to continue the procedure without freaking out or asking the dentist to stop. Unlike the bad old days.

    I guess my point is that I think that worrying about what kind of pain you are having is a waste of energy that can be better spent learning to listen to the negative messages your brain is sending you, and accessing your repressed emotions. Uncovering the reasons for the repression, and changing the negative chatter, are the two techniques that will help you to recover. Being mindful and living in the present are two important ways to get there.

    Hang in there, Kevin - you're a great support to so many here, be sure to keep it up for yourself as well!

    KevinB likes this.
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Thanks Jan, this is very helpful and encouraging. I really do appreciate it very much.

  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Kevin. I agree with Jan about putting more time and energy into discovering the emotional causes of pain is better than thinking about or monitoring the pain. The more I journaled in the SEProgram, the more I learned about myself and those whom I felt caused me stress. I learned that they had their own TMS pains and that helped me to forgive them. Forgiving ended my back pain.

    Maybe try to think beyond pain, that the best is yet to come.
    KevinB likes this.

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