Educational Program Day 16

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The TMS characteristic traits of perfectionism and goodism tend to make people underestimate the role their current stresses have on their overall health. Perfectionism drives people to go above and beyond at work, even though they need to take a break. The goodist trait makes people ignore their own needs to help others. Both of these build current stress in our lives and contribute to our symptoms. By understanding how current stress contributes to TMS symptoms we can begin to limit their affect on our overall health.

Educational Activity: TMS symptoms can be triggered by stress without us even realizing that we are under a lot of stress. Some people get sick the same time every year and wonder why. What they don't think to do is examine the stress in their life at that time. Today's educational reading comes from a blog post by Dr. Howard Schubiner, and it examines the role current stress can trigger symptoms. It is entitled The Role of Triggers, and can be found by following this link.

Enrique's Success Story
If you can relate to any part of this story make a forum post about it. Seeing yourself in other people's success stories can help you accept the diagnosis and receive inspiration.

In 2007, I had been suffering from a very bad case of RSI in my hands for about 2 years. I couldn't type more than 1000 to 1500 keystrokes a day without major pain specifically in the backs of my hands. Being an IT Manager who worked 95% in front of a computer this was a very serious issue. My daily regimen was to work and then go home and apply ice or heat to relieve the pain. I had a bottle of ibuprofen handy at all times. I opened a worker's comp claim and attended physical therapy a couple times a week. I did everything possible to avoid using the keyboard and mouse. I learned how to use voice recognition software and a "handless" mouse. Although I was getting by at work, my productivity was suffering and even worse, my confidence level in myself was seriously waning.

I had joined an online support group for RSI sufferers and it was through that association that I first heard about TMS. I read about people getting 100% healed with non-physically based treatments. I was skeptical... very skeptical, but also very interested because, frankly, I was frustrated and tired of my life being so limited by the RSI. I was tired of the endless therapies and doctors who couldn't really provide any solid answers.

The last 2 years had been tough... I experienced loss of income from RSI (a demotion at work), loss of favorite hobbies, lack of confidence, worry about paying the bills (I have 3 kids, wife, mortgage) since I'm the only bread-winner in the family. I was willing to do whatever it takes to get better. I was "open minded".

I read all I could about Dr. Sarno and his theories. I started by Googling (this TMS Wiki didn't exist at the time, but there were other resources). I bought Dr. Sarno's book, "A Divided Mind". The more I read, the more I started to get excited about this. I basically devoured anything I could find about TMS.

Within a just a few days of finishing the book, I felt like I wanted to try testing the boundaries of how much I could type. I had some serious hope. Little by little I was typing again, not 18K keystrokes, but a few thousand with no major pain. There was definitely some very minor discomfort, mostly a tingling in the hands, but certainly not the pain I was feeling before. This reinforced that it could be TMS.

Within just a week(!) I was typing normally with very minor discomfort and no lingering pain when I got home. It was so hard to believe, but it was undeniable. There was no therapy, no acupuncture, no yoga, no stretching, nothing but understanding what TMS is and believing it that ultimately healed me. And the icing on the cake is that ALL other pains I had lived with intermittently in my life stopped appearing. Neck pain from a car accident when I was 16 yrs old, back pain from a high school football injury, elbow pain from tennis, plantar fasciitis from running, achilles pain... they all stopped.

Today, I can tell you that I have absolutely no chronic pain at all. My life is very different. I type, type, type without any concern for pain. My confidence is high. I now realize that my body is capable of much greater things then I ever thought possible. In fact, last year (2009) I ran my first Marathon. This year I have completed 7 triathlons and several foot races from 5K's to half-marathons. I am an avid student of how TMS can cause pain and I have my ups and downs, but my life is quite different because of what I've learned. I truly thank God for Dr. Sarno and his discoveries!

Enrique's Profile

Yesterday you were introduced to the dialogue technique of journaling. If you found it helpful or interesting feel free to use it again today. If not, then free write about your current stress and triggers. By doing this you will begin to gain understanding about how certain stresses in your life contribute to your chronic symptoms. Understanding this is key to recovering. 10 minutes will be sufficient time, but feel free to journal for more or less time if you need to.

When _____________________________________ happens I feel ________________________________________

Question To Ponder
Since starting this program have you told anyone about your condition and TMS? Why or Why not? If you have how did they react? If you feel comfortable sharing, then post your response in a thread in our Structured Program forum. We would love to hear from you.

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