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You may not have TMS. The importance of reviewing all options.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by ShaneM, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. ShaneM

    ShaneM Peer Supporter

    TMS is a peculiar subject; the problem seems to only affect a small group of people and therefore the condition is quite under the radar. With this, I've found there is a lack of solid information regarding how to cure TMS and how to tell whether you truly have it.

    I personally came across the idea of TMS 3 years ago when I first began experiencing chronic pain. The TMS personality type fit me exactly; I am a very high anxiety person whose perfectionistic to the core, I suffer from IBS and OCD, I try to be nice even if I do not want to, etc. I believed with all my heart that TMS was my problem and I approached my chronic pain as though it were the result of psychological problems. The 3 years that I took this approach made my condition much much worse. In reality my problem was all of my muscles had become shortened and knotted up, my posture was terrible and my muscles were not properly built [I have weaknesses in certain ones]. Because I continued to wholeheartedly believe that I had TMS and did not approach the problem physically (the TMS approach to recovery says to not treat the problem physically) I just got worse and worse.

    I've now arrived at this point; I stretch every single day and work on strengthening exercises for around 3 hours. It's taken about 2 months but I'm finally seeing some progress; not surprising seeing as it's 3 years of damage I'm trying to come back from. Had I taken this approach instead of the TMS approach long ago I would have been recovered so much quicker; I honestly to some degree regret finding out about TMS.

    The purpose of this post is not to degrade the practice of curing TMS or disregard the notions behind the condition. It's clear that curing TMS has worked for many people, and it may very well work for you. My point is if you feel like TMS is your problem you should first make absolutely sure you do not have anything physically wrong; if you do have a physical problem and take the TMS approach you will simply make it worse.

    If any you are on your road to recovery then I wish you the best of luck; whether you cure yourself of TMS or something else. :)
  2. IndiMarshall

    IndiMarshall Well known member

    Hi Shane excellent post. I totally understand what you are saying. Although Dr Sarno said stop all physical therapy, in my opinion everyone's road to recovery is different. I think the combination of TMS and Physical activities (PT) is really really helpful. Its all about moving our body where the pain is and thinking that the pain is caused by mild oxygen deprivation . I don't think TMS works if we are idle and not moving.

    Dr Sarno said 95% of the chronic pain is from TMS. All the pain is in the mind except tumors or infection induced ones.

    Steve Ozanich think everyone has some form of TMS.
    Even if Someone doesn't have TMS, learning about TMS can give some great approach to everyone's life.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  3. IndiMarshall

    IndiMarshall Well known member

  4. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    good reminder to explore all options before really embracing TMS and 'giving it a go'
  5. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Thanks for your post. It's really helpful to hear. We all have our own story. I have metal in my spine and the areas which are not fused are hypermobile meaning they move a lot more (as I move) and so over the years I have become sensitive there- where there is wear and tear. To say that I have a normal back -an affirmation suggested by Dr.Sarno - in my case would be ludicrous. I have these sensitive areas which need nourishment. There are all kinds of physical things I can do for my body - I can eat healthy, exercise, get body work like massages and CranioSacral, I can do strengthening exercises, yoga, pilates, dance...

    For me - personally the idea that I may suffer from TMS does NOT mean that I don't have a body. I love to take care of my body. But I have noticed - and you may not - that there is a part of my brain that exacerbates physical pain - when I am under emotional stress. That if I am concerned about something or feeling sad that a part of my psyche will come in (to the rescue) and cause severe pain AS A DISTRACTION. And because I have areas that are vulnerable -my TMS knows just where to get me - BANG!

    My point is you can have TMS & have issues of your body that need to be addressed. I think it's great that you are focusing on your body now. That may be all you need. !!!

    I am still trying to see where I fit in. I definitely don't feel like I have to go to every extreme that everyone else does in terms of giving up physical treatments. To me your story is a great reminder of how unique we all are. And YES- not everyone has TMS. But I do think it is possible to have TMS & physical issues. And to take care of our bodies...And our minds :)


    ps. keep us posted!
    hecate105 likes this.
  6. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    I am wary of approaches that have to be embraced 100%. Yes, I have needed a major attitude adjustment. But healthy skepticism is not something I want to unlearn. I am trying to keep calm about pain, and avoid catastrophic depressive thinking. It is also true that my spine is curved. I don't need to be kept immobile, but there are certain consequences.
    Anxiety is a separate condition and a contributor to pain.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I disagree that TMS only affects a "small group of people", Dr. Sarno says it's part of the human condition and I agree with him. 80% of people's maladies in the waiting room are due to psychosomatic/TMS causes.

    I would also disagree that there is a lack of "solid information" on how to cure it and identify it, this site is rich with information and there is a growing library of books written by Dr. Sarno, doctors who have trained under him who are well qualified to dx TMS, and a slew of authors who have recovered from TMS and written about it.

    Only a small group of people are aware that TMS is the cause of their chronic pain because most people need their TMS for a defense mechanism PROTECTOR for having to deal head on with their emotional issues. TMS is under the radar because the media does not publicize it, the Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil show would be the same show everyday. It is not in the interest of the huge medical/pharmical/alternative medicine/Walgreens/snake-oyl/quack/voodoo/ complex to discover or educate chronic pain sufferers on the existence of TMS or to publicize it--billions of dollars made selling useless placebo procedures and snake-oyls versus buying a book used on Amazon for as cheaply as 1 cent + $3.99 shipping.

    What physical condition did you have that caused your muscular problems? No where does Dr. Sarno say not to exercise, he says the opposite, "Just do it!" What medical condition do you have that requires three hours of exercise a day?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  8. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    • Becoming aware of mind-body syndrome is NOT a religion. For me, it is unlearning catastrophic thinking, quelling panic and conquering anxious avoidance.
    hecate105 likes this.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I consider knowing about Dr. Sarno and TMS to be a gift from God. I really do. Before Sarno I didn't have a clue that emotional stress caused my years of anxiety, headaches, and back pain. I discovered through journaling that my symptoms were caused by repressing emotions from my childhood on,
    after my parents divorced when I was seven. I felt a lot of insecurity then. Journaling helped me realize that they had TMS themslves... Mom had terrible migraines and Dad had very bad back pain. Realizing that helped me to forgive them and that ended my back pain and headaches.

    So TMS is not a religion to me, but I believe in it 100 percent as I believe in God and that He sent Sarno to me through his book, Healing Back Pain,
    and discovering this web site. Forest and everyone posting on TMSWiki are so great. I feel very secure in the TMS community.
  10. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    This is an excellent place. I am learning so much that I thought I already knew, and I am so moved by the stories of pain and suffering, and rebuilding lives.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  11. Bobsaget

    Bobsaget Newcomer

    Shane, I pretty much have the same diagnosis as you (ocd, need to please people) and Sarnos book has helped a lot in alleviating it. So this just goes to show no two people are alike.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree TMS is NOT a religion! It is science pure and simple. The evidence is in, it took people a long time to believe the world was not flat, the sky was not falling (maybe just some occasional blue ice from jets) and the same for most any other new idea. Sir Issac Newton's classes at Cambridge were empty. For some reason, I've seen people not want to accept the Good Dotor's theory, probably because they don't fully understand the science behind it, ergo read the books. TMS is not a cult or a religion, it is psychosomatic medicine--psychology--no one I know does't believe psychology is not a science. But you have to understand and accept the principles. It's like agreeing that 2+2 equals 4. If one doesn't understand and accept the theory then it's like saying 2+2 doesn't equal 4, because I didn't read it in the NY Times.
  13. ShaneM

    ShaneM Peer Supporter

    The physical condition is muscle tension, and trigger points. Before I got in to see a physical therapist my muscles had become extremely tight; and I have trigger points all throughout my upper body. It does not require exercise, it requires deep tissue massage done by one's self and stretching – there's also a bit of strengthening but that's a lesser part of the program. In the book for TMS I remember reading that one must halt all physical means of recovery if they truly want to put their faith in TMS and heal. Also @Bobsaget I didn't say that we were like nor did I state TMS would not work; I simply stated it did not work for me.
  14. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is not correct, if anything Dr. Sarno says the body and back are strong, do everything and anything physical within ones's reasonable capacity. But ,do not do physical activities like PT with the thought that they will fix a symptom that is due to TMS. Dr. Sarno regretfully had to dismiss the physical therapists he had referred patients to because he found doing PT reinforced that the issues were structural rather then psychosomatic/TMS.
  15. Brevity

    Brevity Newcomer

  16. Brevity

    Brevity Newcomer

  17. Brevity

    Brevity Newcomer

    Thanks for your post. I have interstitial cystitis for 12 years. My symptoms have increased because of TMS. But I may have inflammation in bladder as alcohol makes it really burn. This has not changed in 12 years but my overall pain and pressure has doubled since last year. No medication has helped. I discovered TMS recently. So fits with me. As have other TMS like conditions in my life.
  18. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Hmm. Okay. I was expecting to read something like "it turns out I had cancer... or diabetes ... or kidney failure ... an or infection". Not "I have muscle tension".

    I 100% agree that everyone should get fully checked out by medical doctors to rule out any serious/treatable conditions. But speaking only for myself, the TMS diagnosis and treatment has worked brilliantly on a wide variety of pain and illnesses I once feared were hopeless. It took a lot of very hard work, but it has worked amazingly well.

    After my recent recovery from chronic fatigue, and recently reading Tamara Gurin's great book "Defying The Verdict, I suspect there are many other chronic health problems that would respond to the TMS approach. So I guess I'm saying TMS is being diagnosed far to rarely, rather than the other way around.

    That said, I truly hope you find the relief and recovery you are looking for. beerbuds
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
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  19. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    This looks like TMS improving via exercise and a healthy lifestyle. No confusion here!
    Tennis Tom and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  20. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think many people suffer pain for years before they find out about tms - so they have already investigated every avenue of medical causation.... I certainly did - 22 years!! After that long you tend to try anything in case it might work...snake oil included!! But tms treatment worked for me!!
    Ellen, Tennis Tom and Cap'n Spanky like this.

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