Educational Program Day 6

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Yesterday you began your journey in therapeutic journaling. Writing out how you truly feel can be unusual and may feel strange for some people. It is not something that most people usually do on a regular basis, however journaling is the work that will help you overcome TMS. If you felt strange or had difficulty journaling yesterday, don't worry. Keep doing the work; you will at some point begin to recognize emotions and feelings that you have been repressing for a long time. If you continue to journal, you will realize what is triggering your TMS symptoms.

The activities today will seek to give you a better understanding of what causes TMS and its physiology. If you are having some doubts about the TMS diagnosis, take some time to journal about it. You can either make this today's journal activity or post a short thread about your doubts at the bottom of this page. If you post a thread someone will reply to you and the TMS wiki community will quickly be there to support you through your TMS battle.

Educational Activity: In today's educational activity you will watch a brief video by TMS practitioner, Dr. Howard Schubiner. In this video Dr. Schubiner explains the physiology of TMS, that is, how your thoughts can create pain in your body. This video will help you gain understanding about what happens when you repress your emotions. Today would also be a good time to go back and review the Address Repression section of the TMS Recovery Program. Remember, Dr. John Sarno writes that information is the penicillin for this disorder. By learning more about what is going on and what is causing your symptoms, the quicker you will begin to recover from the disorder.

Today's journal exercise is the same technique as yesterday. You will again do a free write about a past event/experience. Journaling can be a very emotional exercise. There is nothing wrong with crying about what you are writing. For today's free write pick another item from your past events list. If you feel you still need to write about the same event as yesterday, you may. However, remember that you do need to cover every item in your lists, so while you can cover topics more than once, it is vitally important that you journal about every topic at some point. The goal of journaling is to allow emotions to arise so you can recognize them, and then let go of them. Once you have recognized your emotions from an event there really isn't a need to continue to go over it again and again. If you have any questions about journaling check out the wiki's How do I journal? page or read this thread about journaling. Put the event you are going to journal about in the prompt below, and journal for about 15-20 minutes. If you need to journal longer, do so. If you run out of things to write, that's okay too, as long as you truly investigated your emotions. Remember, try to FEEL what you are writing.

Use your own journal, or print this page and use the lines provided.

When I was _________ years old _____ event/experience happened. I FEEL this way about it:

Meditation Exercise: Journaling can conjure up emotions and feelings that you have repressed for a long period of time. Engaging in a brief relaxation or meditation time will help you release the tension and emotions that have just arisen. It seems there are misconceptions about meditation. Primarily that it is difficult and that you cannot think. Both of these are false. The simplest way to explain meditation is that it is really just 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
Briefly take a few minutes and write down some of your fears. Why are you afraid of these things? (Use your own journal or print this page).

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