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What else is there - Seriously

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    In discussing people who are not familiar with TMS, but who are not preoccupied by or fearful of their pain, but nonetheless still have pain, I am responding to a view of TMS treatment which regards losing the fear and preoccupation as the primary or even sole prescription. I get that if you think other pieces are necessary for recovery, then such examples don't matter much. I totally get that. But I'd like to hear from someone who does take this behavioral view of TMS recovery regarding such examples.
  2. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Exactly. The outcome independence stuff sounds great. I try it. Fail miserably. Ask "how"? Answer: keep practicing, the goal is to have a good day despite the pain, not use the pain as the barometer, etc. Try again. Try for months. Fail miserably. Still want the pain to stop. Ask "how?" Rinse repeat.

    I've been doing this for 8 years. "Outcome independence" now sounds like some cursed invocation
    Kozas likes this.
  3. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I hear you Kozas. I don't understand how people can speak so authoritatively about a subject which is so complex and personal

    ... ( I know people are going to say "but TMS is simple, it only seems complex." Eh, maybe. Maybe not)
    Kozas likes this.
  4. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Hi Mark. I struggle with this concern. Multiple time I've actually asked admin to delete all of my posts. Nobody has ever gotten back to me (Does anybody actually run this site anymore?). I guess all I can say is that I'm here to seek help. I need help. I'm not here to just accept everything I'm told is TMS doctrine and spread the word. It hasn't worked for me. That's just the truth. I hope to goodness that's because I haven't gotten it yet, not because there's nothing to get. That's why I'm here.
    TrustIt likes this.
  5. RogueWave

    RogueWave Well known member

    Thanks for the tone of this discussion as well.
    This response will be shorter as it’s late I don’t want to keep repeating myself.

    So first, I didn’t glance over type 1 diabetes. That’s included in the ‘born with genetic deficiencies’ group I mentioned.

    Secondly, you are entirely incorrect about the brain being ‘malleable’ only to small degree. It’s more than I can type, but you want to look into neuroplasticity, psychoneuroimmunolgy, and epigenetics. They are all newer areas of science that point to mind/body connections and possibility.

    To state it one last time, new pathways, thoughts, emotions are always, ALWAYS possible. The reason they don’t ‘stick’ is because the ‘you’ is so familiar, and so well-practiced, it functions like and addiction, and your brain is invested in the known as a survival mechanism. We keep stuck, and the brain will justify that the same way an alcoholic will justify drinking.

    Look at your own life. How many thoughts, actions, words are repeated daily? Have you Ever even considered this? How many obstacles have you taken head on and overcome? How many uncomfortable situations have you put yourself in purposeful just for the point of growth? How may behaviors have you repeated deadly, unceasingly, without change? Be honest with yourself. The same actions, words, thoughts and feelings produce the same chemical releases, over and over. The body stays ‘stuck’ in the past experience, the environment is altered, and the problems start.

    Do you see the ‘groundhog day’ now?

    Can people make permanent, healthy changes? Oh yes. WILL they? Most won’t. The old neural pathways will win, usually.

    I call it the ‘New Year’s Gym Syndrome’. Every year a bunch of people make a resolution to work out, and if you go to any gym in the world, it’ll be packed in the first few weeks of January. But usually after about 3-4 weeks the numbers dwindle. Why? Because the old pattern wins out and people go right back to the state they were in before. This is also seen with weight loss, trying to break addictions, etc. The new behavior sticks for a while, then people get right back go back to drinking etc. etc. New connections start to be made, then the old ones re-establish themselves, and the new ones are pruned away. It takes an intense, consistent effort to make the new ones stick, and most people give up.

    I have had several patients who got stomach bypass surgery, lost hundreds of pounds, and within a year to eat through the surgery and gain it all back and then some. Why? Because the wait wasn’t the problem, the weight was the symptom of the underlying problem that was never addressed.

    And so it is with many health problems. You keep referring to health problems interrupting homeostasis, but what we are trying to point out here is that most diagnoses are a SYMPTOM of the underlying problem, i.e. the body being in a chronically altered state.

    Can the problem alter homeostasis? Yes, of course. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be addressed by changing things so that the body can function correctly. It just requires a significant change over a very long period of time.

    There was a study done in the 70s on stem cells, before most people even knew what a stem cell was. A researcher cloned a bunch of stem cells, so they all has exactly the same genetics. He took a bunch of them and put them in different solutions. And guess what happened? They turned into entirely different cells (different gene expression) depending on the solution (environment). They all had the same genes, but differentiated completely different depending on their environment.

    We now know that a single gene can code up to 3000 variations of a protein. So a skin cell makes another skin cell, but how does it determine which of the 3000 it makes? Healthy or diseased, weak or strong? Environment.

    So I’ll end with this, and that will be it, because we are going in circles yet again: Thousands of people have been cured from TMS. This was independently studied in the 90s, and at the time Sarno’s success rate was around 70%. Later he pre-screened patients, and the success rate went on even higher. So that alone shows that permanent change is possible.

    You either accept TMS and work at it (find your own way if you have to. Use your own wisdom and maybe you’ll figure a new approach), or hunt down all the other possibilities.

    Are there a few outliers out there with unknown causes for their pains? Sure, but those are very few and far between. It is extremely doubtful there you are unique in this regard. If you are hell-bent on it being a structural problem then only a structural approach will fix it. So find a good surgeon, or body worker, and I hope it works out. But if that’s the case, there is no need to post anymore.

    You will never convince me at this point in career that these types of problems can’t be fixed in a large majority of the people. I have my own experience, and have helped many others through
    this process. People can change, and they can heal, but the individual has to take the responsibility to do so.

    You can stay a victim, stuck in the same reactive patterns, or you can get in the driver’s seat. Everyone I’ve ever met who is stuck only ever wanted to justify their ‘stuckness’.

    ‘My childhood, my genes, my family, my job, my unique body that is different than everyone else’s (I hear this at least a few times a week), my thing-that-isn’t-fixable’....it goes on.

    Create anew, give the body an ideal internal environment on a regular basis, and absolute miracles can happen. Period.
    tgirl likes this.
  6. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I do notice that in many of the success stories that I find most convincing, the common denominator is that the sufferer gets to the kind of rock bottom point and then being able to say "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I don't care what the pain does anymore." Yourself, Dan Buglio, Dorado, Hillbilly. To me, that sounds like the gist.

    But it also sounds like this didn't happen so much by choice as epiphany. You used that word. Others have too. It's almost like you're describing the faith striking you. So how does one reach this outlook by choice? Is it just that I haven't really hit rock bottom yet?

    Another thing I really strongly want to discuss. You mention knowledge therapy. Reading, Rereading, Rereading again. Reassurance. Self-reassurance. To me this is a major red flag and something I'm deeply concerned about in the TMS community. I have OCD, and I think there is a lot about TMS which resembles OCD. Sometimes I think TMS really just is OCD. OCD of the body. But with OCD, they say - and I really believe - the reassurance (which very much includes self-reassurance) is the FUEL. THAT is the addiction. I always want someone new to convince me all over again but in some new way that there is nothing wrong with my neck and that I can get better. But it never 'works' for more than 5 minutes, and then I want more more more. Ditto for self-reassurance. I had a note in my phone full of all of the reassuring things I had read on this forum and others. That included everything Hillbilly ever said. I was absolutely addicted to reading through that note, and collecting more reassuring tidbits. At one point I did a word count on that note. I forget the number, but it was something like 400,000 words. Seriously. Then I learned more about OCD and the first thing I was instructed to do was delete that note. I do not regret it. I worry that people are often advised - with the very best intentions, I recognize that - to read and read and reassure. I worry this keeps the obsession alive, makes it worse. If anyone is curious, Ali Greymond OCD on YouTube does a wonderful job of explaining this aspect. I know Dorado also found her very helpful and saw the TMS connection.
  7. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    We sure do think a lot alike, Kozas. For better or worse. I wish I could get the belief. I do like that Alan Gordon says that 100% belief doesn't really come until one is better. Before that I was really beating myself up because so many people say "the only way to get better, you have to first believe 100%"
    Kozas likes this.
  8. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Definitely interesting to ponder

    I obsess over all manner of things, some really bonkers
  9. RogueWave

    RogueWave Well known member

    I wish I could give you a ‘recipe’ to fix it, but like @miffybunny said, there isn’t one.

    You have to find your own way. Use your acumen and intelligence to figure out what that is. Maybe you find a different way, and end up helping people reading this right now, going through what you’re going through. Maybe it’s something none of us have even thought of before!

    I have confidence in you. If other techniques haven’t worked, throw them out, but don’t give up.
    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  10. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    It's the simple things we overlook. Deep breathing. Feeling the breeze on our face and the texture on our skin. Getting out of the head and into the senses is a fun escape, especially during this tough time.

    Also gently movement and body gratitude. Truly feeling what comes up, good or bad, better worse, and acknowledging your own lived experience in your body. Feeling establishes a sense of trust and comfort with your body, and feeling at home within it.

    When I thought hard over different theories and scrutinized my own methods, when I forced my feelings or avoided facing them, I had excruciating pain and cried a lot. Still am a TMSer, still have thin skin (both literally and emotionally) but doing much better. Still want to get back to yoga after putting it off for a long time.

    No more do's and dont's. No more faith vs skepticism. No more science vs spirituality, left brain vs right brain, laziness vs working too hard.

    Just steady relaxation and self learning. Dancing with opposites.

    I found by feeling calm indirectly/unexpectedly and letting the feeling flood me, I have a little buffer against future flares.

    Tldr; watch cute animal videos and if you're curious about this mode of learning, try to see examples of neuroplasticity in non pain areas of your life and apply concepts there. Life is a neuroplasticity buffet.

    If you really love being analytical, tutoring (especially in STEM) is so much fun:)
    RogueWave likes this.
  11. Kozas

    Kozas Peer Supporter

    Thank you for all your replies, and without any doubt you're a resilient person, going through my posts written in my broken english ;)
    You wrote many interesting things, I have to think about it all. When it comes what I tried - Alan Gordon program, Nicole Sachs book(I journaled so much that I just don't have nothing left - when it comes to my present life everything is nice except for pain and acne), Schubiner program etc etc. I will be honest with you - in 2011 derm prescribed me yet another long term course(3 months) of antibiotics for acne - right at the end my upper stomach area and jaw/teeth started to hurt, and never stopped. I had plethora of tests, nothing ever came up really but I can't shake off this feeling that all this pain is because of antibiotics, my derm and well - myself and my error in judgement(treating acne with antibiotics is really stupid - but then again, I was young, foolish and with severe acne so I quess it was either that or Accutane)
    Oh and btw @Balsa11 I'm actually computer science teacher so I quess it's not a shocker I'm analytical too :D
    Balsa11 likes this.
  12. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member


    I'm familiar with epigenetics and gene expression, but I'm not seeing what about gene expression means that chronic pain is (usually I think you're saying) curable. Honestly I'm a little lost at this stage, as to what you're saying TMS is and what the treatment is. But it's been a long day. I'll read through again tomorrow. Thanks again for taking the time.


    Again, the similarities abound. I too have had some acne and regretted taking antibiotics (now I think my worries there were unfounded and the anxiety has long since faded). I'm sure you've tried it, but FWIW tretinoin did help me quite a bit, but I think it's mostly down to stress. Also, I studied computer science too
    RogueWave and Balsa11 like this.
  13. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Wow! CS is a tough subject for me, but I managed to get through the minimum requirements after retaking DS and Algo 3 times. Still about halfway through an ECE + art ugrad, but CS is important for both research and industry these days. Maybe you both could help people overcome their fear of programming bugs and tackle perfectionism through the iterative process of debugging. So many kids these days need support and encouragement, especially in math and other STEM classes :)

    It's just TMS happens a lot more organically and the work is about providing positive right brain and sensory feedback loops. So it's less mechanical and more about feeling the feels.
    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  14. RogueWave

    RogueWave Well known member

    Very well said, and thank you for sharing. After everything you’ve studied, you’ve found your own path, and that’s fantastic.

    General Patton said: ‘Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.’

    I think it’s probably harder for the trained, intensely analytical mind to break the TMS cycle, but not at all impossible, so keep being patient with you yourself. :)

    Over-analysis of ANYTHING will keep the process going. All the thought processes like self-diagnosis, rumination, obsessing will all cause more biochemical releases that feed the cycle. The subject doesn’t matter, the persistent, reoccurring feelings and thoughts do.

    You are breaking that cycle little by little. Dripping water will penetrate rock sooner or later!
  15. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Exactly. With other treatments it's always "you tried that and it didn't work so we can rule out as a cause the thing that that treatment is meant to address," but with TMS it's always "keep trying, we each have our own journey to get there, but this is the only way to truly treat chronic pain by addressing its true cause"
    Kozas and Balsa11 like this.
  16. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Since we don't have awareness of what our cells are doing, the only factor we can control is our thoughts. Like the subconscious runs the machinery of the body, while the conscious mind is connected to the subconscious.
  17. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I really don't understand by choosing a feel a certain way all the time. Isn't that exact opposite of acceptance?
  18. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I do not know what you mean by "give the body an ideal internal environment."

    Is this choosing different thoughts and feelings? Isn't that the exact opposite of what Claire Weekes and Abraham Low advocate?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  19. RogueWave

    RogueWave Well known member

    Thoughts, feelings, words, actions ALL come with biochemical releases (neurotransmitters, hormones, etc). Always.

    These biochemicals (plus what you ingest and whatever is in the air you breathe) ARE what make up your internal environment.

    Then the internal environment influences how you think. Full of adrenaline? You’re going to think anxious thoughts. Anxious thoughts cause the body to release more adrenaline. Keep going, uninterrupted, and it becomes habituated.

    How to change the environment/biochemistry? Change the ‘you.’ @Balsa11 is doing this by teaching their body to relax, thereby causing less tension, and therefore less stress hormone release. And it perpetuates in a healthy way if they keep going. De-training the body out of a tense state, really.

    Weekes and Low are also doing the same thing, just a different approach. Acceptance vs resistance. Shifting to acceptance IS creating a new state of being, which comes with a different set of biochemicals, which is a different internal environment.

    Obsess, fixate, strain, fight, brace, worry, fear, etc...all cause bad biochemical releases that poison your internal environment, which then prevents normal functioning/healing.

    Acceptance, letting go, relaxation, creating a more positive state...all flood the body with a healthy biochemistry, which support homeostasis and healing.

    Stay stuck in the past thoughts, words, actions, and you will keep producing the same biochemistry over and over, and the same dysfunctions will persist.

    Alright, I swear I’m done repeating this now :)
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    Balsa11, tgirl, BloodMoon and 2 others like this.
  20. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes it's a "top down" approach or "bottom up" approach...ideally both! The mind and body are one entity, so the more one can calm the mind and soothe the body, the faster the process. For anyone interested in the biochemistry aspect, Candace Pert's "Molecules of Emotions" is a great book. It's not an either/ or scenario. You know what IS an either/or scenario though? You either want to get better, or you want to defend your suffering and debate interminably. You either take responsibility, or look for reasons why everyone is wrong or why you are "different". Either cling to the victim narrative, or take the hero's journey. One can easily team up with other comrades in misery and wallow in the sufferers club. There are even t shirts for stuff like that.. "Fibro Warriors" for example. You can form a "Why TMS Doesn't Work" Wiki somewhere else. Wear it like a badge, or let the defenses and armor fall away. The choice is yours.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021

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