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Weather-related symptom trigger

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ellen, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have recently experienced my first full-blown symptom flare-up since discovering TMS about 6 months ago. I've had migraines all my life and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 20 years ago. However, since reading about TMS and practicing the healing techniques, I've managed to be about 80-90% symptom free--until about a week ago when I had a migraine for several days and ached all over to the point of being bedridden for the first time in 6 months.

    We had a major weather front move in with changes in the barometric pressure at the same time as my symptom flare-up. Changes in barometric pressure had always been a symptom trigger in the past. I know the explanation for this under TMS theory is that this is a conditioned response, and not a physical reaction to an environmental change. However, I'm struggling to understand why I'm having such a difficult time with conditioning with this factor, and not the multitude of other conditioned responses I must have developed over 20+ years of TMS.

    I'm developing an Evidence Sheet specifically for this issue, where I intend to note any times when the weather has changed significantly and I haven't had a flare-up. I believe this must be happening, but I'm not noticing it.

    I'd appreciate hearing others' thoughts on this and any other suggestions you have to address it.

    Msunn and North Star like this.
  2. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your on the money Ellen
    You do that evidence sheet, great first thought
    and very good looking at the tms theory to resolve the issue.
    I had a bad flare up six months into my healing so rest assured it has and does happen to others.

    Just treat it like as if you stubbed your toe
    or better yet a bee sting, ( I just got stung)
    and know that the focus on it will do no good as in fear ya know.
    but the knowledge therapy will bring you through once again to rest in play and happiness.

    Stay with your fundamentals and keep us up to date ok-
    its rough now I know but you expect to feel better real soon and you will
    Bless you.
    Ellen likes this.
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ah baby, I am sorry to hear you're suffering. I wish I could wrap you in a warm blanket and read you stories till you felt better. I have been musing on your question and am divided in my response in that I tend to be very sensitive to weather changes, such as headaches and pressure as you describe. My mum's the same. And then cold, especially cold winds are terrible triggers. I let the first be. The second? I don't fight it or brave it out. Oftentimes I suspect an emotional vulnerability invites pain and therefore bed rest which equals soothing and thinking time. Forgive short answer. I am having tech woes and the wiki has bounced me out three times tonight. Shall post before this goes pop. Love, love and hugs my dear xxx
  4. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Wow, just remembered that I used to believe that when it was going to rain my knees would hurt!

    Well, after learning about TMS, I don't even think about it anymore and my knees don't hurt in any weather! I had totally forgotten about this!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Plum, What a sweet reply...I could feel your kindness spilling off my computer.

    Ellen, hang in there. My big challenge is the wintry weather. I'm on the lookout for how it may trigger my TMS symptoms...as I know it will.
    I hope you're feeling better soon. I know you will! Sending you hugs from Big Sky Country.
    Ellen likes this.
  6. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    I too feel that the weather influences my pain. Here in HK we have very high humidity during spring & summer. But I also put it down as a nocebo. I do always feel better in autumn, winter.Hearing my mother say that the weather affects her terribly has perhaps made me sensitive? It's a difficult one that!
    Ellen likes this.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    When I was little I owned a small, porcelain weather owl. He was very cute with long painted eyelashes and he did this very funky thing; he changed colour with the weather. If memory serves, he turned pink for rain and storms, blue for sunshine and violet for changeable. Somewhere during all the house moves I have lost this little guy but his talent has been adopted by my mum. She doesn't change colour but she lives on farmland and I affectionately call her weather owl.

    It's so easy to forget that for millennia we have lived with Nature. Her cycles are daily life for farmers; rain, sunshine, hot, cold, feast and famine. The urban mentality is puzzling in its tendency to dominate and tame her wildness. Yes, there is comfort and certainty in control but at high cost.

    Our unconscious is part of the wildness. Does this make it yet another treasure to mine and dishonour? Sometimes I am sure that the real inner conflict is between ego and soul, and I am wary of the hubris of the mind.

    Ellen, yours is a beauty I will hold for life. Artist, Woman, Pilgrim Soul and maybe, Weather Owl.
    Ellen, MontanaMom and Mala like this.
  8. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your weather owl reminds me of a little doodad that sits on my windowsill. It's a silly little thing...a small flower that rocks back and forth, leaves flapping up and down gently, when the sun is shining. It draws the energy from a little solar battery.

    I often joke that that it reflects just how I fell. Cold, overcast days that stretch on and on suck the life right out of me. I feel so alive when the sun is shining and it is hot. Thankfully, we have are working on our transition plan to move...
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks to all of you for your kind support. I'm feeling better now. I see that I had been doing so well for awhile that I had stopped using the TMS healing techniques, like journalling and meditation--because, well, why do them if you're doing fine? I know the answer to that now--they are as necessary to my well being as eating, sleeping, and brushing my teeth. I may be able to let them slide for a few days, but not for too long, or my unconscious kicks in and kicks my butt. TMS healing is a journey, not a destination, and I must keep peddling away or my bicycle hits the ground.

    Plum, I hope to stop being a Weather Owl, though I do love the image. I want to be Buddha--still, tranquil, calm, no matter what wind is swirling around.

    Thanks again.
    Mala, MontanaMom and plum like this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen, weather affects my moods, etc. Low pressure can throw me for a loop. Full moons make me thirsty and edgy.
    When I learn either are going to be here for a day, I just figure my symptoms are from them and TMS. No pain, just feeling
    a little "off."
    Pingman and Ellen like this.
  11. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Ellen this is for you. Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 9.20.56 AM.png
    MontanaMom, Ellen and quert like this.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Mala. Peace.
    Mala likes this.
  13. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Mala. Truth is beautiful.
    Mala likes this.
  14. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi all,
    Just want to report that I've been having success at taming my weather-related trigger. I've seen some posts this winter from several forum members who are also affected by changes in the barometric pressure. And since those of us in the US are having a winter full of barometric pressure changes as many weather fronts move through, I thought it might be helpful to post how I'm coping with this trigger.
    • First by acknowledging and accepting that this is a conditioned response that can be changed, and not just something I have to live with. The research on whether there is a true cause and effect relationship between changes in barometric pressure and certain physical symptoms is inconclusive. Yes, changes in barometric pressure cause changes in the fluids in the body and in cortisol levels, but these changes are very minimal and should not cause me to have sinus pain, migraines, and joint pain. These symptoms have been caused by TMS for many, many years in my case, and have led to sensitized nerve pathways that are triggered by these slight changes.
    • When I know the barometric pressure is changing I use a lot of self-talk/affirmations like, "Changes in barometric pressure create only very slight changes in my body and do not need to result in pain", etc.
    • If I do start to experience symptoms then I use mindfulness meditation (or Focusing) where I spend at least 20 minutes focusing on the symptom(s) in a non-judgmental way, like a curious observer. Then I use deep breathing and on the out-breath I tell the symptom to "soften and flow" without forcing it or expecting any change. This usually works in 20 minutes to get rid of the symptoms, but there have been times I've had to do it for 40 minutes.
    I've been very pleased with the success I've had with these techniques over the past month. And it has been put to the test with the crazy weather we are having. So it is quite possible to change conditioned responses. I no longer feel like a victim to the weather! This is freedom, folks.
    Msunn and Mala like this.
  15. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Ellen. Its extraordinary that today I had weather related triggers & symptoms on my mind and I click on the forum button & there is an alert in my inbox regarding this very issue.

    Its very heartening to know that you are having some success with the techniques you are using.

    Yes the changes may be minute yet there are some small studies which show that there are possible physical changes that occur in the body when the weather changes. The Indians & Chinese have long believed that wet & damp weather can aggravate certain conditions. In fact the term for arthritis in Chinese is Fung-Sap which literally translates into wet-wind.

    The good news though is as you say to look at it as a conditioned response which we can change. So we do have some control over the situation. It is also possible that many of us learn to associate the pain with weather changes because of how often we have heard people talk about it- in other words it is a nocebo effect. Again that is a good thing because we can change the way we think about it.
  16. Mala

    Mala Well known member

  17. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    I can tell you that here in Indiana, we are experiencing a wild winter pattern like Walt is in Chicago. Everyone I talk to is complaining about constant sinus and head pressure issues.

    Nature influences many things in animals. They use the moons influence to know when to migrate for mating, when to move for feeding. I am a deer hunter and one of the methods we use to judge deer movement is the high and low pressure fronts from a storm. Deer can sense a storm and will feed shortly before a change in pressure systems becuase they do not move as much during a storm. For those who might take offense to me hunting, rest assured that no part of the animal goes to waste. We eat all we can, donate the rest to the food pantry who use it for the homeless and then give the hide away to someone who makes them into gloves.

    I think the change in pressure has impacts on us as well but I know for me in the past I was able to accept it and move on. It wasn't until I had this TMS flare that my sinus pressure became worse because I an hypersensative right now.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Barometric pressure gets to me, too.

    So is this early and long winter in the Chicago area. But the east is getting it even worse.
  19. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

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