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What is TMS and what isn't? Sarno? Ozanich? Do TMS doctors even know?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Clarity, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

    I am confused about what is TMS and what isn't. It seems quite clear from Dr. Sarno's books as he lists a range of conditions. Steve Ozanich has a more extensive list yet TMS doctors seem to disagree with some of this and each have their own views.

    Every attempt I make to boost belief, ends up in a mountain of doubt being added by an 'exert' in the field. For example, I listened to an interview with Dr. Schechter today on the Mind and Fitness Podcast (the podcast of the guy who now admins the 'Work of Sarno & Ozanich' Facebook group) and he was saying that lots of people are really a mixed diagnosis of part TMS and part structural (he said that herniated disks do cause pain if large 7mm and the the location of the pain lines up) and the other week, the podcaster had David Hanscom on the show saying similar things. If herniated disks now do cause pain, then what else really does too?! Who do I believe?

    So how are those of us with conditions not outlined by Sarno meant to know if we fall under TMS? It's all about belief. Yet we have no way to get a firm diagnosis. Feels like a catch 22. If we go to a TMS doctor we won't get a firm answer. Seeking others who have healed from the same condition seems the thing to do but I, like many others, have come up short here. (I have pelvic congestion syndrome, irritation and inflammation of pelvic nerves and possible adenmyosis and pudendal neuraglia. I have found women with tales of pelvic pain recovery but very different symptoms and all had clear MRIs and no actual findings.)

    It seems some people are so confident in their assertion that nearly everything is TMS and others are much more conservative. I have been applying TMS for some time without improvement. How does one build belief when essentially I am just HOPING I fall under a TMS diagnosis? When you've applied TMS with no results at all, do you take that as a sign this is not the right path?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  2. Sofa

    Sofa Well known member

    Clarity - good post. At the very beginning of the Sarno book "Healing Back Pain", he says something about the fact that 98% of TMS sufferers will respond to prodding some trigger points in their back. There are, I think, six points where pain will be felt in TMS sufferers. Is my understanding of this correct? Because I'm pretty sure I have TMS, but no doctor has ever been able to prod me in a way to elicit pain.. Granted, none of them were checking for TMS (I assume?), but still. Is it true that most people with TMS will respond to prodding in specific sites on the back? If that's the case, I think I've answered your question. If not...then I think we have to wait for some folks much more knowledgeable on the subject than me (that means pretty much everyone on this forum, lol).
    I'm trying to develop a System to access the innermost portion of the brain, but that's a "whole nother" topic...
  3. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

    I have read a lot of posts on this forum and I remember Ozanich saying that he didn't have the sore points so it's not a requirement.

    One thing I have been employing the see what is 'behind the curtain' is observing how I judge or interact with others. If you just can't stand the know-it-all friend who keeps offering their unrequested opinion... are you just holding up a mirror to what is deep inside you?
    Sofa likes this.
  4. miquelb3

    miquelb3 Well known member

    In my humble opinion TMS is not just about stress, somatization or emotional turmoil... but about RAGE, unbearable, unfelt, unconcoius rage. Just the rage that espress, in the worst way, a raper, a killer, a racist....so that kind of person completely oposed to our ideal of human being. The rage that we repress in order to avoid even the possibility of such abominable behaviour.
    BruceMC likes this.
  5. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you've got a point here - even if we're not suppressing an 'inner killer', we're certainly having to control ourselves as society dictates that we can't go around slapping people for taking our parking spot and such like. It begs the question as to how to express that rage...journaling about it or beating pillows with a tennis racket doesn't work for me :(
  6. miquelb3

    miquelb3 Well known member

    I am not an expert in the field but many of them recommend let the «inner beast» act just «in fiction», on the paper: journaling (Alan Gordon), negative/expressive writing (David Hanscom), JournalSpeak (Nicole Sachs), and so on.
    That work, persistent and constant, leads to the separation between you and your thoughts. According Hanscom: «Within a couple of weeks, the initial discomfort writing down thoughts will diminish»
    Yes, you should write down all that unbearable, threatening and «dangerous» feelings: «I hate profoundly my old, invalid, tyrannical, insane (but beloved!!!!) mother»
    Just guessing, indeed.
    BloodMoon likes this.
  7. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    As there are now so many different approaches and ideas regarding the cause and treatment of TMS symptoms, I guess we can't really take lack of improvement as a sign that TMS is not the cause/'right path' until we've tried them all - individually or maybe in combination.

    I've been overwhelmed at times as to which approach(s) to follow and in trying to discover what the nub of the problem is in my particular case. However, having recently read ACE1's tips for recovery, Ezer's recovery story and Monte Heuftle's strategies (which are all detailed elsewhere on this forum or on TMS Wiki), what I noted was that they all made a commitment to stop and 'check in' with themselves on a regular and relentless basis in order to realise what was going on internally, what they were feeling, thinking etc...In the light of this, I've been regularly (throughout the day) asking myself "how are you being, right now?' (as per Monte Hueftle) and it's shown me just how remarkably tense I am much of the time in association with my thoughts - which I guess ties in with Dr Sarno's 'T' for 'tension' in TMS. I'm hoping that this tension that I'm noticing is the crux of the matter for me and - not that I'm a Buddhist - I am now following the Buddhist monk Pema Chodron's advice where she says in her book called 'Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change', "the basic instruction is to let the thoughts go—or to label them “thinking”—and stay with the immediacy of your experience"...in order to try to release/relieve the tension I'm detecting in my body...

    Perhaps you've already tried checking in with your thoughts with unfortunately no successful outcome but, more's the point that I think it's probably up to us to experiment, given that there's so much conflicting and confusion information and advice out there regarding TMS/mind-body work.

    I wish you well in your healing journey. (I have similar symptoms to you, e.g. pudendal neuralgia-like pain, so I greatly empathise.)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
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  8. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep - good guess - I certainly do have mother (and father) issues!
    I'll take your advice and keep journaling, with the hope to feel the separation between me and my thoughts. Thanks very much for your reply.
  9. Sofa

    Sofa Well known member

    I'm finding the whole "unconscious rage" hard to accept, and borderline woo. That's the crux of his diagnosis too! I also think that's why TMS is not accepted by the mainstream. Stress could do it though! And that's why I'm still here. See, I believe TMS exists, but I think it's stress, not rage. Anyone else feel like that?
  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    As I believe stress can cause tension in the body, then yes I think you could well be right. When I've examined my past I'm aware of having experienced lots of rage, so much so that I find it hard to believe that I've unconsciously buried any! I'm relatively new to this work, so I'm going to be interested to read what others think of your opinion that it's stress rather than rage that's the culprit.
    Sofa likes this.
  11. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Herniated discs can cause pain, but in many instances don't. It can be reasonably assumed that they cause pain when a) there's a detectable "abnormality" and b) that "abnormality" is connected to a clear pain pattern, such as a left-sided disc herniation pressing into the left sciatic nerve and the person presents with consistent left-sided sciatic pain which increases with predictable movement patterns.

    It is to your credit that you're still pursuing your healing and haven't given up : )

    In my opinion, a person builds belief when they discover exceptions to the pain pattern. These exceptions build up over time until the belief in a structural cause is less and less... believable! : )
    Have you made a list of the exceptions to your pain?

    "Applying TMS" means believing that the symptoms are partially or entirely driven by emotional-psychological factors. This belief reduces fear and builds confidence in the body's integrity (you have a good body!), both of which reduce pain over time. Everyone can benefit from this approach, even people with serious physical injuries, who, for example, may be able to shave off a significant amount of pain through stress-reduction practices like mindful meditation.

    Hang in there!
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  12. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    The rage is a function of a clash between the id and the ego (and superego). Any repressed emotion can fall under the banner of "rage" because what the id is angry about is the repression. For instance, you could be unconsciously enraged because you won't let yourself feel sad or just relax (stress). Sarno's concept of rage is not really the emotion itself, but more how it fits into how the mind functions. Or at least that's how I understand it.
    Sofa likes this.
  13. westb

    westb Well known member

    Exactly This is where I am right now.

    Rage or stress? Or does one trigger the other? Which of the eminent doctors and therapists mentioned is right, or more right than the rest? Or are they all pointing towards the same thing but in different ways? I don't know. Prior to my TMS developing in 2011 I've spent a good many years, on and off, in various therapies where my difficult childhood was dissected in detail, along with my repressed feelings about it and a good deal of rage and fear was unearthed and examined. So I'm not sure what else I can do in that direction.

    But I'm a pragmatic soul at heart and I tend to go with what seems to work and what I can do something about right now, so in my recovery I am strongly drawn to the calming and soothing techniques of mindfulness, gentle exercise, breathing exercises and so on. This is an area I have not really touched on in my life until now, in fact I've rather avoided it in practice although I have paid lip service to the principles. And since I've started putting these techniques into actual practice I have felt distinct benefits, even in the midst of painful flares.

    I think individual recovery is just that. Individual. We are different ages with different physical bodies, different brains, different experiences. What works for me won't necessarily work for you. It's a journey of exploration for us all and although the maps aren't always clear, I believe a significant degree of recovery is available for all eventually.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  14. miquelb3

    miquelb3 Well known member

    If you are prone to rage/anger, then stress will likely increase your angry behaviors.
    Sofa likes this.
  15. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    The vast majority of my rage/anger was in the past rather than happening now...But indeed I agree, stress is likely to increase angry behaviour and angry feelings.
  16. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

  17. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

    Thanks for the replies everyone. Maybe I'm missing the point but I'm kinda not sure how a lot of them relate to the question I asked?

    Anyhow, I am not it seems, (of course,) the first to ask "Is what I have TMS?', and Steve Ozanich had already answered it for someone else!

    I'm probably not the best person to answer this question, but you are . What do you believe?

    I had chronic everything, sore red throats, swollen knees, swollen glands, rheumatic fever, constant colds. I've seen people heal through TMS healing who had lifelong infections, bumps, lumps and stumps. They have healed from itching, twitching and some bitching. Many had severe redness and heat/cold, weakness and numbness. They tell me about every imaginable physical issue such as ankylosing spondylitis and MS, and from cramping prostates to vibrating vaginas. The brain will do anything it can to block the truth and it has carte blanche to do so from superego (at the behest of ego itself).

    I'm of the belief that everything is TMS until proven otherwise. But I can't just say that or someone may get hurt, or die. We have to be responsible for our own health. Some have such deep issues that they will die; even though it will have been mindbody they simply couldn't overcome the rage and shame. Not only because they don't have the proper tools or support they need, but they also don't know the problems even exist because they cast their fear into their shadow. The symptoms are messages to you from yourself.

    Everything is TMS with a rare few exceptions. Talk to Evy McDonald, Dr. Sarno and Gabor Mate, Stephen Flynn, and watch The Connection. I've had people email me that healed from cancers including stage 4. So why would yours be "real." By real of course I don't mean yours is imaginary, but why wouldn't yours be driven by the unknown? Consciousness and energy?

    Get tested by modern means and if you're not in danger then jump with both feet onto the TMS rollercoaster and hang on for life, yours.

    So what do you believe? Whatever you believe "in your heart" is what will happen. If you believe there's something physically wrong with you then your brain will adapt to your belief and make it so. If you find a placebo cure that pleases you then you may heal, temporarily.

    I hope that makes a little sense, in time you may see clearer, but you have to want to heal, few do. Jungian Analyst Paul Benedetto, RP, gave me a great quote for my new book, "Shadow is the unknown, there are few things more frightening, and therefore resisted." People have to want to heal, and a few that do want to heal are not yet ready. What is one sign that they're not ready? They try to exclude themselves from TMS by every means possible.

  18. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Clarity, maybe you can restate your question?
  19. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

    The question was about what is and what isn't TMS and how one makes that determination.
  20. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    According to Steve O. there is no clear discrimination possible. My guess he is right. It sounds extreme to even see an inflammed appendix or cancer as a TMS case - however, there might be connections. We know that we are more prone to get the flu if we are stressed etc. It is not so miraculous. The main point is: what to do if you have a clearly defined medical disease? And I must say I wouldn't count on TMS 'healing' if I am diagnosed with cancer. So, from my point of view there are diseases that have to be addressed medically. Most backpain is not in this category for me.
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