Educational Program Day 39

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In the Mindbody Prescription, Dr. Sarno mentions the Rage/Soothe Ratio, which can essentially be described as the balance of rage inducing issues we have versus the amount of soothing and relaxing activities we do throughout our lives. This ratio seeks to describe why a person may develop TMS symptoms at any given point in their life. As this ratio tips more to the rage side, the likelihood that one will develop TMS increases. However, the more soothing activities in one's life, can reduce the likelihood of TMS developing, and even reduce current symptoms. As your symptoms continue to fade away, and you move past TMS treatment always remember that finding pleasure in the little things can go a long way to successfully balancing the rage/soothe ratio. For further information on providing comfort to yourself, listen to Alan's session with Mandi in the TMS Recovery Program's provide comfort section.

Educational Activity:The following video is an interview with TMS therapist and former chronic pain sufferer, Andrew Miller. Andrew used to suffer from chronic pain before recovering using the TMS approach. View and discuss this video here: How we have our TMS, is Why we have our TMS.

Meditation Exercise: On day 6 of the program, you read about meditation. Meditation is a terrific technique to sooth your over active nervous system. Some of you may have continued practicing meditation, while others may have passed it up. Either way is perfectly okay. Recovering from TMS is about finding what works for you and doing it. Instead of journaling today, try meditating again. Remember, meditation is simply focusing on the present and allowing what is. Well, what does this mean? It means that you are allowed to have thoughts. The trick is to notice your thoughts, and then let them go. Try not to dwell on your thoughts, simply recognize them and release them. Today's exercise is called muscle relaxation or the body scan technique. This technique is designed to help a person relax all of their muscles, and release tension that is built up and stored in the body. The key to this exercise is to focus on your breath and to place yourself in the moment. Spend about 5-8 minutes on this relaxation/meditation exercise.

  • Sit in a supportive chair that is comfortable. It is important to be in a position that you can stay in for the length of the exercise. Moving around will only distract you during the exercise.
  • Close your eyes and begin to take deep breaths from your diaphragm. One way to ensure you are breathing correctly is to place your hand over your belly button and focus on raising your stomach and hand up and down.
  • Notice how the chair supports you and how your feet feel on the ground. Take note of the temperature in the room and any sounds you hear.
  • Notice your head and the way it is supported by your body. Begin to relax every part of your head relieving the tension in your ears, cheeks, jaw.
  • Next move down to your neck and relax it. Follow down to your shoulders, back muscles, and arms.
  • Continue to progress down your entire body relaxing every body part until you get to your toes.
  • As you move from body part to body part some people like to say a word, phrase, or affirmation. Some examples of this would be to say Peace or Calm. If you would like to use an affirmation you could say something like I feel peaceful, I am relaxed, or I am at peace with my emotions. These are just suggestions; if you find a phrase that works for you, go for it. Try to use only positive words in the phrase as noted in the three examples above. It is best to avoid words like "pain". You could even start a thread about it at the bottom of this page.
  • Continue to breathe, and focus on the present moment for the length of the exercise.
  • After you meditate take a few minutes a make a forum post on how it went. Did you have trouble meditating? Do you have any questions regarding how to do it? More importantly how did meditating make you feel?

Question To Ponder
Describe the best day, event, experience you have had since starting this program. What about this experience did you find so meaningful?

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