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Steven Ozanich What to do when pain starts after exercising?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by LauraP, May 20, 2013.

  1. LauraP

    LauraP New Member


    I'm Laura and I'm new to the forum. I know that I have TMS and have had some success relieving my chronic headaches. I also suffer from frozen shoulders, neck pain and occasional back pain. I am an avid water skier and haven't been able to get up on skis for two summers due to a shoulder tear. Yesterday I told myself that my body was healthy and that I could ski like I had in the past. I had some pain, but was able to get up and ski as I had done in the past. As soon as I dropped I had terrible shoulder, hip and back pain. This has happened to me in the past. I still have the symptoms today. Is this TMS and what should I do?
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm not a doctor and of course cannot diagnose or treat the pain in your shoulder, hip and back. However, it does sound as though you're experiencing pain that's associated with a specific athletic activity, in this case, water skiing. That's called a programmed pain response. I would counsel moderation and a slow gradual approach to getting back to water skiing. Not an all or nothing, make or break direct attack on it. Have you tried water skiing for only a few minutes and then assessing whether you remain pain free afterwards? I've heard of people walking pain-free for as little at three minutes every day before increasing their activity level to six minutes after a couple of weeks. Also, have you tried doing a sequence of relaxation and mindfulness meditation exercises before water skiing just to get you in touch with any emotions embedded in various areas of your body? I do that before biking or hiking and it does seem to make a big difference.
  3. LauraP

    LauraP New Member

    Hi Bruce,
    Getting up is all or nothing and can be the hardest part when it comes to my shoulder. Once I was up I didn't push myself since it was the first time and didn't ski for very long. This was the first ski of the season so I will work on getting in touch with my emotions, but it happens with other exercise too. Thanks for your insight.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think that Dr James Alexander has a program for returning to full activity through exercise in his new book The Hidden Psychology of Pain (2012). Dr Alexander emphasizes gradualism, a very slow methodical return to full activity over a long period of time. Perhaps, you should dissect the muscle groups you use while water skiing and work on those one group at a time using various machines in a gym? It could very well be that the pain you experience while water skiing has become programmed in association with that activity. There are many things like this that occur with TMS, things like vacuuming, sitting in front of a PC monitor, and, in my own case, walking. I can ride a road bike mile after mile and come back totally refreshed and pain-free. However, if I go for a 2 mile hike, my leg and/or back will hurt when I return to the car. You might want to examine if there are any negative emotions you associate with water skiing? That's what Dr. Sarno means, I believe, by "thinking psychological". In our culture, we're always emphasizing free will, but we also ignore that 95% of all mental activity is unconscious and hence unavailable to our conscious reasoning minds. If you stop to think about it, you begin to wonder how much of our daily activity is programmed and how much is the result of conscious choices? There must be a thousand activities you do on a daily basis that follow routines and subroutines that are merely conditioned automatic programs. I think of TMS pain as operating very much like that. So in order to stop it you have to challenge your programmed habits and responses by thinking and acting differently.
  5. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    There is a recent thread on tmshelp.com by la_kevin who has some brilliant ideas about how he stopped tms in its tracks. His approach doesn't suggest challenging it with physical activity that increases the pain, though. The whole reason we have tms is to distract us from living life. It's a fear thing. I'll go there and bump up the thread. It's called Old Regular Stopping In To Say Hello!
    Neil likes this.
  6. LauraP

    LauraP New Member

    Well, I see we have two completely different approaches presented here! One is the take it slow approach without increasing the pain and the other is full on plow through, ignore the pain approach. I tend to be in the latter camp. I want to resume my life. Exercise is suppose to be a way to feel better, not worse. I will explore the emotional side of why I might be getting pain while working out or water skiing, but since it one of my favorite things in the world to do, it's hard to imagine what the emotional factor would be. Thanks for your responses, it does help.
  7. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    It would be completely useless as a distraction if it showed up during something you neither enjoyed nor had to do. The emotional part may not have anything to do with the water skiing, it's just when it would be the most believable as a distraction.
    Dijana likes this.
  8. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    njoy, just read the thread you brought to our attention. Thanks so much! I found it really, really helpful re how to deal with pain. It kind of took a bit
    of the weight off my shoulders too about choosing which approach to take as it kind of chimes in with what I'm doing. In the end, it's whatever works for each person.
    Good luck LauraP with your approach, I hope you're back up water skiing and pain free very soon but try not to get frustrated if it takes longer than you'd hoped.
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Laura, It really depends on your view about activity. Resuming your life is great, but when you challenge yourself you may be adding tension to your life. You need to reach a point where you are not trying to overcome your symptoms, because you understand that they are benign and therefore there is nothing to overcome.

    If you can identify the emotional factor behind the pain, great, but you don't have to in order to recover. I have found that the digging and exploration can lead to rumination on your symptoms, which is exactly what TMS wants you to do. A better idea would be to simply not give the symptoms your attention, and act as if they were not there.
    Neil and IrishSceptic like this.
  10. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Once again Forest has crystallized the process. Forest, you should create a Peer Review Network for TMS. Good perspective on everything, always great advice (except that time you told me to buy New Coke stock and that Microsoft had no chance of surviving).

    It seems like I'm always writing about fine lines with TMS, but the same is true for anything in life. Every single action will immediately begin to generate an opposing "potential", except love/peace. It's a yin yangy thingy--it's all about balance. When it comes to extreme physical activity, I tried to beat the TMS out of me. It worked until a point then healing slowed. The cure for TMS often becomes the cause again...when it becomes the new obsession. If you understand the cause of TMS, why the brain creates the symptom, then you suddenly see how clever the brain is in it's determination to avoid emotional pain.

    You can't attack the TMS although you may have short term gains that excite you. The activity does help you understand that you won't get much worse, although the pain may temporarily increase to try to scare you. Physical movement is vital to reducing fear. And fear is the instigator although anger is the emotion that collides in contrast to the fear for balance. (the good doctor called anger "the social reaction to fear to try to overcome its source.")

    To simplify:
    1) You should become physical, doing what you want again, without worries
    2) But don't do what I did, attack it with extreme aggression. This undermines your goal which is to forget about what the body is doing altogether.
    3) So you do whatever you want to, but never with the purpose of eliminating pain. This plays right into your brain's hands, as it were. Your brain wants you to challenge it, to focus on defeating pain--never do this. What it has done, if you fall for this, is once again allow you to avoid the emotional cause. Be careful of your brain it's smarter than you think.

    Fear is the bully behind TMS,. If you punch the bully in the nose it will stop harassing you. But the problem is that this bully is inside you, it's not an outside entity. You can't fight yourself and find peace with yourself at the same time. When the divided mind has become one, or nearer one, the conflict fades and TMS no longer has a purpose, or needs to send a message of discontent. Suffering ends.

    There are 3 ways to handle an enemy, kill it, yield totally, or take the weapon from it. Never fight it, never let it control you, and so I always recommend taking its purpose from it. It's there for a reason, remove the reason.

    Don't treat TMS like an invader, this is the reason it's there in the first place, for you to fear. It's not the symptom that your brain wants, it wants you to have something to fear. You hide behind your fear of your symptom, not the sensation of the symptom, but the fear of the sensation. We bury emotional conflict behind fear.

    I used a two part healing solution 1) got physical, 2 ) began to soothe myself with new life, direction, and purpose. With purpose, fear fades into light. TMS exists because we're not on the the path we want to be on, it's a motivator with a big stick.

    Things are busy, lots going on, PR shtufff, few emails with Dr. Sarno, articles, etc.. Look out for a new article by Dr. Sarno in Consumer Reports Health. He's hanging tough, still a little engaged, and he's still the man.

    Happiness to all, who choose it.

    Neil, Sarah79, Sean and 3 others like this.
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve, I have been meaning to respond to this for days now. You brought up so many great points.

    This one’s for you, Steve

    Don’t try to recover from chronic pain, don’t. Do less, not more.

    Recovering is all about changing how you respond to your symptoms. It has nothing to do with what your level of pain is, instead it is about what your level of acceptance is. The more you try to recover and return to a full activity level, the more pressure you put on yourself.
    Stock Trader likes this.
  12. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Haha, that was great Forest, I enjoyed that. Thanks for the video dedication. You nailed it again as you always do. This TMS healing in many ways is a "feel your way through" process.

    "Don't do too much, but do more, no, not that much..a little more, no, that's too much...ok more...moooooore...too much! ok...aaaand stop, wait...go...wait...now stop...okaaaay, go!...no wait Stop!!" You wanna talk about dividing minds?

    I see so many people healing in many different ways. But it's important to note that it's based on Dr. Sarno's observations, and I haven't seen him wrong yet on anything. The more I get into it, the more brilliant it is. I would say that his most brilliant observation was the Symptom Imperative. But I think his most brilliant concept put forth was The Divided Mind. We never know if we're doing right, and we don't always want to do the things we are doing. So we get locked in Bodylock.

    There are various reasons for healing, and for not healing. I have seen people say that Dr. Sarno's "method" didn't work for them. But when talking to them, it's clear that they didn't work for it, or work on it. They failed the method, it didn't fail them. If it doesn't work for you, "it's" wrong, right? You can't possibly be wrong, can you? It takes full belief in healing, if they don't believe in TMS fully, they don't heal. They need more....which is ok. They are not failures, they just need more confidence and time. They need that precise placebo that strikes their healing core....and their conflict fades.

    It falls right into Alfred Adler's work on "individuum." Each person is unique, each person has their own needs, and each person has to deal with the relationships in their own lives, in their own way, in their own time. As I do more TMS consultations I see it clearer. All of this stems from feelings of inferiority, that lead back to shame ~~~> rejection and isolation~~~> suffering. Separation rage/anxiety. Gabor Mate calls is "attachment disorders." I call it separation anxiety. Still the same things.

    I don't know if it's been mentioned here at the Wiki, I don't have time to read all the great posts any more, but a lady who bought my book was nice enough to contact me recently to tell me her pain was gone, and that she had done the "Lightning Process" by Phil Parker. I throw it out there in case any one is stuck in interstice, along the liminal threshold of understanding.

    I'm seeing more healings coming in from people who have contacted me. And in every case I can trace the healing back to what Dr. Sarno said. But each person needs to find their way home, on their own. All roads lead back to fear. People find various ways to break the fear cycle. In my case, I got the good doctor's full message quickly and didn't need a whole lot more. Mine was a spiritual journey of self discovery. When people contact me they often say, "Your book helped fill in the holes because Dr. Sarno left me somewhat hanging on what to do next." I never felt that way. I felt that he was saying,"...this is what it is....now go stop the cycle."

    I did a radio interview last Friday on The Mind Body Spirit Network. It was interesting. The hour long ones are tough but it gives more time to explain this complex topic of TMS. It remains controversial. The host was nice, but she kept saying, "ok.....well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try this!" She was kind and sweet but she remained guarded. There was a doctor on her show some time period before me, Dr. Twogood, for his book, Chronic Pain Gone in 90 Days. I listened to his interview with her. His message was that pain came from milk. He claimed great success with getting people off of milk, casein protein, as well as MSG. I came along and was stating an opposing message.

    I can only say this, that I've seen, or have read of thousands of cases of healing from chronic pain, over the past 12 years, and none of those people changed their diets. I remain guarded. But I've also seen the power of the placebo in people believing "getting off something" will heal them, and the possibility that some people will indeed have reactions to casein, and other foods. You can't deny possibilities, but it sounds "Twogood to be true." I wish I could have stopped drinking from the cow and healed. But I needed mew---ore.

    Be good, and if you can't be good, be really really bad,

    Neil and Aziz like this.
  13. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Before I discovered Dr. Sarno and TMS, I went through every diet fad you could imagine. It got so bad at times, that I eliminated almost everything from my diet. It was always the same - I got the placebo cure for a few hours or a day, then I had the symptoms right back again. I never listen to anyone anymore who claims an instant cure when it involves diet or food supplements.

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