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Two non-TMS books that really helped me.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JoanneS, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. JoanneS

    JoanneS New Member

    I used to post on here years ago when my arm and hand pain was at its worst. I can't find that account. I had read all of Dr. John Sarno's books. That alone didn't get rid of my pain. Then I went down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out what emotions was I repressing and wasn't letting myself feel. It all brought my pain levels to a manageable level but I would never say I was a success story and I always worried it would get worse.

    One thing that really struck me as odd was the fact that some people got better just by reading Dr. Sarno's books and others needed to delve into their emotions. That made no sense to me.

    A few years ago I read a book called You Are Not Your Pain which uses mindfulness meditation to alleviate suffering from pain. I know of another TMS author who uses this as one of his methods but I liked that this book focused on that. Most books on meditation don't really address pain. There is pain and then there is suffering. This book invites you to question the idea that you have to suffer if you are experiencing pain. The feeling of pain and the suffering from that pain are two different things. I actually used the principles in this book to deal with the pain of childbirth.

    In addition I found another good book called Chronic Pain Rehabilitation by Dr. Evan Parks. It reminds me so much of Dr. Sarno's books. To me the best part of the book is that it talks about how pain becomes a habit caused by the brain. If you experience pain in your back your brain is now on hyper alert and interprets any kind of back movement as a threat. The book explains the process of what your brain is doing in detail, how it decides to keep the feeling of pain going to protect, not your mind from experiencing difficult emotions, but from what it now views as a dangerous movement such as typing on a keyboard for too long. You have to get past the idea that pain is unbearable at any level in order to break that pain habit.

    I still experience pain but it doesn't bother me much right now so I don't feel the need to do anything about it. It's not limiting. I'm so grateful for coming across the books of Dr. Sarno and I feel like these 2 books that I mentioned answered questions that I had.
    BloodMoon and AMarie like this.
  2. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Thanks Joanne for the suggestions. I particularly like the idea of how pain becomes a habit. I’ve been making a conscious effort to avoid any kind of negativity and have noticed a definite shift in my pain and therefore away from the 24x7 loop of gloomy stuff BUT I have found myself feeling a little confused at times about what to think of! I have been so used to the habit of thinking about pain and self-pity that it feels strange to have free range to think outside of this self-imposed prison and just enjoy. This book might answer a few questions I’m guessing. Thanks again, Marls
    BloodMoon likes this.
  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Me too, @Marls!

    So I've been trying out some different ideas...

    As you know, I like art, so some mornings I've looked for an art work that takes my fancy from one of the numerous art galleries that have websites. I read just a little bit about the artist and the artwork itself and then think about and visualise that artwork during the day. Other days I look for a video on YouTube that's pleasant - it might be animals doing funny things or some scenery or whatever takes my fancy really and then I keep thinking about that as I go about my day and when I catch myself starting to feeling a bit down. (I watched a video about koi carp the other morning and kept putting my attention back on my seeing 'in my mind's eye' the koi swimming around a rather attractive Japanese lily pond complete with water feature...And I now know a little bit of useless, but interesting, information about koi that I didn't know before! lol) Anyway, I'm finding that this little lot is keep my brain busy and out of mischief! I don't know, but maybe doing something along these lines might go some way towards solving your problem of what to think about too?

    I've also just done a search and found this article written by the author of one of the books that @JoanneS has recommend (thank you @JoanneS! :)) : https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pain-rehabilitation/202010/six-steps-rewire-your-brain-and-master-pain (Six Steps to Rewire Your Brain and Master Pain). Here's an excerpt:

    "What do you anticipate when you are about to go for a 20-minute walk, but you struggle with chronic pain in your back, legs, or feet? You probably dread the inevitable ache radiating from your back or the debilitating twinges in your feet. How we visualize physical activity directly impacts how the brain prepares for what we are going to experience. To manage chronic pain, we need to harness our ability to rewire the brain through visualization."

    Something else I'm trying is extending concentrating on a daily positive, uplifting or soothing word, to choosing one that I can turn into action. My word for today is 'smooth' so I'm endeavouring to make all of my actions today as 'smoothly' as possible (I think I got this idea from the book 'You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought').
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021

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