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Two Questions. 1. Music & TMS; 2. Nightmares

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by James59, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. James59

    James59 Well known member

    OK, I realize music and nightmares don't seem to have much in common but they seemed to be related in my experience last night.

    Since my body is pretty rigid these days, and I'm basically housebound, I often don't feel like I'm getting enough exercise. Sometimes at night when I tend to feel better I'll put my MP3 player on shuffle and just try to move to whatever music comes up. Often the best I can manage is to pace the floor in time to the music. Usually after 20 minutes or so I loosen up enough to dance a bit. Every now and then I get so into a tune that I really start to let go and I can move pretty freely - but only for the duration of the song!

    Last night during a couple of tunes (one, appropriately by Elvis) I was able to wiggle my hips in a way I hadn't been able to do for years. It felt pretty good. It also showed me my body is still capable of such movement. Which brings me to ...

    Question #1: What is it about music that allows me to temporarily override the pain and stiffness I normally have? Is there a "happy" side of my subconscious that music releases to knock down the fearful side of my subconscious mind?

    This phenomenon occurs not when I merely listen to the music, but when I begin to put my conscious mind aside and emotionally feel the music. It's as if the music and my body merge somehow.

    (I might mention at this point that not every part of my body was released while I was movin' to the groovin'. My hips and legs relaxed, but my neck and one arm stayed pretty rigid.)

    Moving along, It became crystal clear last night that TMS is purely an issue of the mind. No other experience or words in a book has driven it home the way this did. After "dancing" (and I use the term loosely) for about 45 minutes I said to my subconscious mind "HA! I'm on to you now!"

    Though my body stiffened back up as soon as I stopped the music, I was otherwise feeling pretty good. I went to bed expecting to sleep better than usual. But it was not to be.

    I found myself waking every 30 minutes feeling very stiff, and I would waken while in the process of stretching involuntarily. After about four hours of this I had a terrible nightmare that I was trying to escape a tsunami on a local beach. I woke up absolutely terrified. A glass of juice calmed me down, and I slept about as well as I can (that's not saying much) after that. So, on to....

    Question #2: Was the nightmare and the night stiffness my subconscious mind's way of reacting to my realization described above? Was it getting back at me for definitively uncovering its secret?
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    James, I don't know the answer but it is great that music helped you to do some freeform dancing for 45 minutes.
    I think that was and is great for your spirit. It took your mind off your pain.

    I think your unconscious mind is still trying to tell you that you have repressed emotions maybe back in your
    childhood that you need to discover and deal with. Usually, forgiving is the answer.

    The nightmare may be because there is still a storm of anger inside you and you need to learn what the cause is.
    Dr. Sarno says anger builds over the years into rage and that causes more TMS pain than anything else.

    Discover yourself. I think it will lead you to be rid of the anger and that will rid you of the pain.

    When you can't sleep, breathe deeply and think of being in a relaxing place like a sunny beach.
    If all else fails, count from 100 to 1 backwards. I may have to do two laps, but when I barely begin
    the third, I fall asleep.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Whenever you are doing an activity and are completely absorbed by it there is a tendency to have your symptoms subside. The reason is that you are focusing on the present moment. Your mind is not thinking about something that happened yesterday or what may happen in the future. It is focused on the now. When this happens, you are no longer repressing your emotions. This definitely sounds like what happened when you emotionally felt the music. Similar things have happened to people when they play video games, dance, exercise, or do other activities that absorb your complete attention.

    It became crystal clear last night that TMS is purely an issue of the mind. No other experience or words in a book has driven it home the way this did.

    The same was true for me as well. Early in my recovery I played broomball with some friends, and became completely absorbed by the game. Afterwards I noticed that my knee pain subsided, which really helped me realize the emotional aspect of my symptoms. When you take away the preoccupation of your symptoms there is no need for them to be present anymore. This is why it is so important to accept the diagnosis and believe that your symptoms are benign. If you believe your symptoms are benign, then there is no longer anything to worry about. Being active will not cause permanent damage, so there is no reason to avoid activity.

    Of course this is all very difficult to do, and, as you noticed during the night, after the activity stops your symptoms may return. This is simply a case of an extinction burst. Your unconscious is giving a last ditch effort to bring your attention back to your symptoms, instead of focusing on your emotions. While it may by frustrating to go through this, if you continue to think psychological, your symptoms will subside. Continue to be active and do things that you love to do. By increasing your activity level (and listening to music is part of this) you are sending signals to your unconscious that your symptoms are benign.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Forest is right. Being in the present, keeping our mind occupied on things we enjoy, takes our mind off our symptoms.
    Steve Ozanich healed himself of years of back pain by ignoring it and going about his day as active and happily as he could.

    We can drive away our pain and fear by thinking ourselves into a happier state. For me, this often comes with laughing.

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