1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 22 Why is it not all or nothing?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by hopeful_guitarist, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. hopeful_guitarist

    hopeful_guitarist Peer Supporter

    On to Week 4 in the program! I feel like my understanding of TMS has increased substantially over the past month. I've been journaling, reading a ton, talking things over with family and friends, trying to address things that might enrage my subconscious, and staying active. I've also told a few fellow sufferers about TMS so they can start their journeys.

    I feel like my pain has pretty much plateaued for 2+ weeks. Gratefully, that plateau is much lower than any day I experienced in the 14 months before I discovered Dr. Sarno's books. But I'm still stiff in the leg most mornings and have long stretches of the day when I can feel a pinch, burn, or numbness in my thigh, calf or ankle.

    I'm curious to know if anyone has thoughts on why some amount of pain still lingers. If it's a "trick" my mind is playing, why does it continue to hold on to the same trick but at, let's say, 20% of the former intensity. It's like it's saying "Uh oh - he's on to us. Let's make it hurt less, but definitely don't go back to zero."

    The reason I'm struggling with this idea is it conjures up thoughts of structural issues. I'm used to a physical injury feeling like a 10 when it happens, 5 a day later, 1 a week later, and then 0 when it's all healed. But (perhaps erroneously) I'd expect psychosomatic issues to not follow the same pattern -- to behave more like an on/off switch. Maybe conditioning is part of it?

    I don't think I'm having a crisis of TMS faith or anything like that. I have a whole lot of evidence that TMS is the cause of my woes. But I'm just curious (and impatient) about the long, slow decline of pain.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congratulations on your progress! Keep at it and you'll get to 100% pain free eventually. You are on the right path.

    I agree, that the way TMS works is hard to understand. I believe this is because when dealing with the human mind there are so many variables that everyone is going to experience recovery in a different way. We're dealing with things like conditioning, personality, fear, and the even more intangible concept of belief, to name a few of the variables. When I was recovering from fibromyalgia, I got stuck at about the 20% pain level for several months. I finally realized that I had been holding tension in my shoulders and neck area for so long that it had become a habit. I had to become aware of it, and then purposefully relax these muscles many times during the day. Yoga helped me with tuning into my body. Eventually, the habit of holding my body this way dissolved and I didn't have to think about it to correct it. But even years later, if I become stressed, my body will return to that pattern. Maybe it is a function of building new neural pathways, though the old ones still remain and can be activated when encountering stressful triggers. Old habits die hard, as they say.

    If your pain was due to an injury, it would be healed within 6 weeks. It wouldn't last 14 months. Sounds like you have TMS and are doing well on your road to recovery. Hang in there!
    hopeful_guitarist likes this.
  3. hopeful_guitarist

    hopeful_guitarist Peer Supporter

    Thanks @Ellen - the old neural pathways thought makes a lot of sense.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Hopeful_guitarist. Yes, wouldn't it be loverly if there was no pain at all. But I think it's great that you feel less pain as you have progressed in the program. Often, quick fixes of any kind are not the best thing... slow, gradual progress is more beneficial. Be grateful for that in your healing.

    Hi, Ellen. Your advice and encouragement are always wonderful.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Back at ya, Walt.....:)
  6. Lydia

    Lydia Peer Supporter

    Hi there,

    Sounds to me as if some issues may be still hidden for you? That the reason why the pain and stiffness are still there, is just waiting to get unravelled by you, some day. That can definitely be a long process, inviting you to practice patience (-:

    The first time I worked with Sarno's program (6 years ago), it took about a year before the pain completely vanished. I was just dwelling in a blind spot most of the time. When I look back now, I can smile about it, but then it was a real challenge to not give up, and trust the process. I knew it was TMS, but I couldn't find the key and I knew. Quite frustrating.

    What also happened was, that stopping focussing on the pain (measuring, comparing and monitoring) also helped a lot. To just let go. To cut through this kind of an 'obsession'. To focus my life-energy and attention on things I loved to do, instead on the pain. Being impatience and too much identified with the pain, were part of the problem, at least for me.

    Hope this wil support you, to trust, be faithful and keep going to find your unique 'solution-key'.

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