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Well, it’s back - big-time

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jules, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Yep, TMS reared its ugly head the last few months, but I thought I could beat it like I did before; however, I’ve now added leg cramps to my list, which sometimes wakes me from a dead sleep or first thing in the morning. I was treadmill walking, which seemed to make it worse, so stopped it for a while, which did help. Now, it’s because I’m not walking enough. I just can’t win here.

    I’m wondering something about Sarno’s idea of completely gtting rid of the helps. How many of you who’ve healed 100% had to put away the crutches used with TMS once pain started subsiding, i.e., the meds, creams, patches, hot, cold, natural remedies, etc....in order to fully heal? And, did you notice pain came back after you flared and started using the crutches to help get you through the rough patches?

    Can your brain be addicted to pain, just as it can be addicted to drugs? Do I need to go through a withdrawl period?

    Those who’ve gone down this road, what changed? What got you back to being pain-free, and how did you eliminate TMS for good? @Steve Ozanich @Ellen @plum @FredAmir @JanAtheCPA @Alan Gordon LCSW
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Jules,

    I hope you hear this deeply: You are not failing!

    You developed a sense of not caring, and this helped you. You've dipped deeply into effective self-treatment. This experience/learning is with you now. Know that you are well, deep down, and that what you're experiencing lately is part of an ongoing, natural learning process for you.

    You're learning, not failing, and none of this is linear! Sending confidence!

    Andy B
    Jules likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Jules -

    The answer is, I didn't. And I don't think anyone else has, either. I frequently say that the mechanism that we conveniently call TMS is a normal function of our fearful brains - but it's one that is really poorly-suited to our lives in the modern world, and in some of us, it just goes into overdrive. Although "some" is starting to look like an understatement lately...

    TMS is also really complicated. In my own experience, I think that the TMS mechanism is definitely tied to old childhood emotions, and it's also definitely the result of repressed emotions - but both of these things can be really old, or they can be brand-new, as well as from every time of your life in-between. Not only that, the emotions involved can range from very traumatic to extremely minor.

    The symptoms I have these days are quite minor compared to the shape I was in during 2011. If I could point to one thing that is the key difference, it is that I no longer fear symptoms. I don't always automatically think "TMS", but I always get there, usually pretty quickly.

    My first tool to combat a flare-up is journaling - free-writing, for the most part. This requires being willing to look at every single little thought that comes up - not letting my brain convince me that I "don't need to write THAT down". I'm amazed at the little things that come up, and at how I've been repressing them - it turns out that our brains really are not at all mature.

    The second tool is something I'm not great at - which is mindfulness, and especially any kind of formal meditation. Ugh. If I can pause at whatever I'm doing and simply breathe without thought, and with total muscle relaxation for a whole two minutes, it's a miracle, I tell you. I KNOW that it helps. But my brain is literally fighting against me - it does NOT want me to let go of the constant rumination, or of the various types of physical clenching I engage in.

    Do I still use "crutches"? Sure I do. Not physical ones - I threw away my orthotics and special pillows and never regretted that. But if I'm having a really bad day, often due to brain fog along with a hint of a headache, I'll take a Tylenol. Just one. It's been shown that OTC pain relievers can relieve psychic pain as well as physical pain.

    Back in the bad-old-pre-Sarno days, I had what I called "5-ibuprofen" headaches, but those are totally gone. These days I have an arm pain that comes and goes, which I don't believe is anything other than TMS, but there are days when I put arnica gel on it, because it's soothing and I want to be soothed and I know that's why I'm doing it. I don't consider this to be a big deal. My chronic neck pain with the disabling muscle spasms is totally gone. Recently I've been having some digestive discomfort that not only comes and goes, but is completely different on different days, so I know it's just TMS, and I have recently become much more mindful about relaxing and breathing, which totally helps, even in the moment. The digestive problems back in 2011 that were causing me to lose weight rapidly and to restrict my diet are gone.

    I also like to see my favorite PT every three months for a tune-up. It may offer me nothing more than the "laying on of hands" and the fact that someone sees me semi-regularly and can assure me that I seem to be in fine shape. He practices "strain-counterstrain" and starts by having me stand and do a few movements so he can see where I'm tight or off-balance, then he does his thing and sends me on my way. We're not concentrating on anything in particular and he doesn't give me any exercises. Is this "against" Dr. Sarno? Maybe, but I don't care. I like it. I think bodywork is a good thing because I still hold my anxiety physically, so it's nice to have someone get in there and loosen things up, especially at my age. I prefer this to massage.

    Bottom line: as far as I'm concerned, doing TMS work is extremely individual, and nothing is written in stone.

    There are some things which I do believe are essential:

    1. You have got to get control over your fear and anxiety. These are the main things your brain creates in order to keep you distracted. Symptoms come and go, but fear and anxiety are the constant companions - so much so that it's easy to think that they belong in your head. In what for most of us is a very safe world, they do NOT.

    2. You have got to be honest enough with yourself to do the vital emotional work.

    3. You have to find a way to make some form of mindfulness become part of your reaction to symptoms. Even if it's just breathing and forcing your muscles to relax.

    4. Don't get sucked into the trap of perfectionism where this work is concerned. There simply is NO single way to do it. Some people can't handle that, but I think that's the good news.

    5. Trust yourself, and above all, love yourself enough that you give yourself permission to heal.

  4. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi Jules,

    Well this post is also my wake up call. Been just reading lately not posting.
    One year ago i thought i was heading for the finish line with my footpain but tms found abother spot.

    I was wondering about the ‘completely healed ‘ part a long time already.
    And already noticed this would be ‘never’ sadly
    I was aiming for ‘painless’ etc
    But that seems not an option :i think
    i have to face a new reality:
    stuf will keep popping up when i get tensed:
    the real problem is : my obession and fear about that. Ofcourse this was obvious but i am shocked to find myself in that same trap ‘ again.
    Maybe : the flares are normal : the goal is to not let my reaction on that flare spin out of control ?
    That’s my guess
    And also the ‘loop’ i get stuck in : i know how bad it can get : so the fear is greater. Also the ‘anger’ did i work so hard for so long to go back into
    pain and fear?
    So i get you Jules. Hope you get back on track soon
    @JanAtheCPA thanks for your insight on this.
    I can also learn from your approach.
  5. Jules

    Jules Well known member


    As always, wise words. Thank you.

    I'm not fearful of the pain per se, I'm more fearful that it's affecting my work. I quit around the same time as my old job (7 months) but really like this job, so not sure why it's creeping up now. What's interesting is that when I got home yesterday, my whole arm was aching, but as soon as I started playing with my mutt and literally running up and down the hall with him, the pain disappeared?? Distraction maybe? In fact, in the summer last year and even into the fall, I did so well. I kept active and busy, but that's not realistic to always be moving. I only work 6 hours a day, so it's an ideal situation. It does seem every winter, the pain comes back with a vengeance. Granted, I hate winter, but come on, the pain decides to hit me then?

    I really am trying to figure out these triggers but have no clue, but it does seem like it's a pattern in four areas: right shoulder, which radiates down the arm and into the wrist, head, right ribs, and left leg. The pain moves nearly daily. Now, this is a vast improvement. The pelvic, hips, back, jaw, and digestive issues, dizziness, and balance issues are gone, for the most part. It's just why is it still sticking around? I've been therapy for three plus years and we have worked very hard on processing traumas and changing my thought process.

    I also wonder if my crutches are keeping the pain around, so the brain thinks I need it, so it gives me more pain which keeps me distracted with the pain and I keep using therapy to eliminate it. The vicious cycle continues. It's like the Thailand trip reset things, which was great, but then my sister was diagnosed with celiacs and eagle's syndrome, among other things, and she keeps pestering me to get checked out because it's "genetic." My mother had shoulder surgery 6 months ago and may need a complete shoulder replacement. I found out my former LDS bishop was arrested on sex trafficking. Now, the pain resurfaced before these things happened, except for my mother's surgery. Of course, subconsciously, my brain has latched onto it, I'm sure, even though I have basically plugged my ears so I don't hear it. Still, when family around you are in pain and suffering, it's hard to ignore.

    I did get a hold of a TMS therapist for some more help, and would really love to see an actual TMS doctor, but there's none in my state. I feel if I actually got diagnosed with TMS, it may get my brain to finally let go.
  6. Jules

    Jules Well known member


    I would even be happy with mostly gone (the pain) which did happen for several months in the summer and fall, but winter hit and the pain comes back. It's like the barometric pressure is in sync with TMS and happily uses to keep things going. I'm jealous that so many people have healed, even when it took them a couple of years. This is year 6 and it's still here. My brain, it seems, is very stubborn or just so conditioned, it feels like it may never fully leave. Do I want to hear that? NO. I accepted TMS 100%, still do, but starting to wonder maybe I'm the small percentage that it doesn't completely work for. And yet, it left for about 6 months, so what triggered it to come back?
    So many questions.
    Hope we can both figure it out and beat this once and for all!
    karinabrown likes this.
  7. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Thanks Andy.

    You're right, I did stop caring, and for the most part, I don't, but this latest flare is affecting my work and I can't keep taking meds and creams to get through my day. It's quite frustrating.

    Thanks for your confidence in me and support.
  8. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    That’s my strugle basicly now too : what triggered it again? I had a ton of stress last year, sick mother and other sibling extremly sick. Now things are calmer, but i am not. Strugle hard with ibs.
    Working with a therapist , but so
    far i am not really seeing progress
    . My work situation, not being able too right now, is also stressful and frustrating. Just want to ‘move on with life and leave this pain and frustration behind me. I think i learned about tms i n 2015. Need the final ‘klick’
  9. KevinMartilloViner

    KevinMartilloViner Peer Supporter

    Hi Jules - I hear you, I too struggled with relapse. Check out this Podcast, it very well could help. Best of luck!

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7173184-057-kevin-martillo-viner-phd?fbclid=IwAR3rNp4jPCIHqRjPfRXEK1ekHSGJHmHPcu6pJUEPAEq6-f8m1dXoCOKk_ng (Audioboom / 057 - Kevin Martillo Viner, PhD)

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