MonteH: Changing Thought Patterns
In this update Monte argues that people need to change, in some way, in order to truly overcome TMS. He gives several suggestions on how to do this including no longer obsessing over getting better and changing how you thought patterns. I tend to agree with Monte that obsessing over TMS only feeds the pain cycle, but I have some questions about the extent of change people need to make in their lives. Do we really need to try to change who we are or is recovering from TMS simply recognizing how our personality and thought patterns may create symptoms. Monte also tells the “Sarno Vets” to stop over-analyzing their feelings. Should be do this? Is there a point where people need to stop analyzing their feelings? Is what Monte saying bordering on telling people to stop “thinking psychologically?”
Monte Hueftle Update – September 7th
Nothing is more important than how you feel and it is a given that you want to feel good in every area of your life. How successful are you being and doingat feeling good?
We measure our success in terms of personal comfort, material accumulationsand feeling secure, this physical pain disordermeasuresyour success by how much you have learned and by if you are actually applying what you have learned!
When your life experiences and your body are telling you “yes I feel good, life is great”, of course this means to stay on the path that you are on because it is working, but when the message is “why am I in such pain, this sucks, how am I ever going to feel good again, who can fix me”, this is a perfect indicator that what you are doing or being is not working and you should seriously think about changing what you are doing or how you are doing it.
TMS or inner stress-tension induced pain is a chronic physical pain disorder that is caused by our daily moment-to-moment behavior patterns and thoughts. You cannot keep repeating the same old, conditioned, dominant chronic patterns that are (creating inner tension and repressing emotional energy) and expect your body to suddenly, magically become pain free!
Two distinct audiences are reading this update. There are the five, ten and twenty year Sarno veterans and there are people who have just discovered that chronic physical pain is usually caused by inner stress/tension. The interesting thing about these two groups is that they are both in the exact same predicament!
A 20 year Sarno veteran still in pain or a tension induced pain newbie – Here is the deal:
· Learn about physical pain disorders caused by inner tension.
Understand the distraction strategy so you don’t get stuck in the pain disorder. Sarno vets, if thinking psychologically worked for you 5 years ago but it’s not working for you today – “you are receiving guidance here” - You cannot keep repeating the same old, conditioned, dominant chronic patterns that are (creating tension and repressing emotional energy) and expect your body to suddenly, magically become pain free!
· Accept the mind/body – cause/effect relationship. When acceptance is in place you will then focus on the cause (your behaviors/thoughts). When genuine acceptance is allowed you will stop all of the physical thinking, treatments, searching and intellectualizing. You now willingly do your work on the cause and simultaneously you will not be feeding the distraction strategy.
· Do your work – become acutely aware of how you are generating inner tension when you are in you’re: people pleasing, controlling, striving, holding-in, perfection, habitual worry, compulsive, grasping and overly self-conscious patterns. Listen to your thoughts when you are in these patterns. You cannot change or redirect out of these patterns unless you are aware that you are in them! You cannot change the fact you are generating inner tension and repressing emotional energy unless you are aware of when you are in these patterns. You cannot intellectualize this; you have to actually do it!
Sarno vets – don’t get stuck in what am I feeling over-analyzation. Be more concerned with the patterns and thoughts that are causing you to feel this way. You can change these thoughts immediately. A negative feeling/emotion always means that you are in some way (pinching yourself off or closing yourself off) from being open, allowing and flexible. Remember, what is in the mind is simultaneously in the body!
· Everyone – don’t get stuck in, I got this big, huge repressed emotional issue that I have to find. There can be a time and place for this work but your daily moment-to-moment living is not it. At this moment you want to find a better feeling thought, a more open attitude and a more allowing behavior that brings you some relief. This new pattern provides you a little better feeling an then you keep working from there. This is your work. It takes practice, persistence and discipline.
· Go about all of this as a new way of being and not as a quick-fix treatment. Leave your striving, worrying, controlling, perfecting, intellectualizing, analyzing and compulsive parts of yourself out of this healing practice. Don’t bring more tension into this!
You are where you are right now regarding your relationship with your body. What that means is that you have been practicing your current chronic patterns of behaviors and thoughts that have brought you to this state of pain in your body. Nothing that you are experiencing in your body is just happening! It is all happening in response to the type of behavior and thought patterns that you are exhibiting on a daily moment-to-moment basis. In many cases this has been going on for 5-10-15-20 years. That is a lot of inner tension that has been over-stimulating your nervous system. If you get one thing from this update, I hope that it is the realization that you are the generator of inner tension and your body is the system that is communicating back to you how you are being. At anytime you can make a deliberate, conscious, in the moment choice to stop generating inner tension. You get to choose what you think and where you direct your focus.
This is hard work. It can be really hard work. Many of you know that you can get immediate and dramatic positive results by addressing/treating the psychological cause. Some of you know that it can also take much longer to get the results that you want. You are treating the cause when you Think Psychological and Think Clean in your daily moment-to-moment living. This new thinking pattern is being communicated to your autonomic nervous system instantaneously. Realize that you are creating new patterns that are reversing maybe 25 years of over-stimulation! You are not always going to get the instantaneous positive effect. Where most people get lost is in the “is this working, am I doing it right, how do I know”. This is new territory for many of you. If you break a bone in your body, there is a clear path, timeline and roadmap of the healing process. You get x-rays and doctor updates and there are known data of how long it will take to heal. You know it; accept it and you see your progress. This physical evidence provides you confidence, you keep the faith and there is no getting discouraged.
In reversing the pain/symptoms in this disorder you do not always know where you are on the healing roadmap, but there is evidence. When you make the connection of, how you feel is your indicator of the direction you are moving and you can honestly evaluate what you are feeling, then you have your roadmap: Yes, I am speaking of how you feel physically but more significant is how you feel mentally/emotionally. You can evaluate if you are being more open versus shutting down. You can tell if you feel less anxiety when you stop the worry thoughts. You can feel less tightness when you stop controlling so much. You can notice that you feel less tension when you stop pleasing and being so self-conscious. And because this is a mind-body disorder, a cause-effect relationship, you also know that there are internal nervous system changes taking place. You, through your new thinking/behavior patterns are reversing this disorder and you are doing it in the only way that it can permanently change and have lasting effects. You can’t see it but you can feel it. There are going to be bumps in the road (pain sensations coming out of nowhere), plateaus (this occurs when you take a break with less focus on your practice) and you are seemingly going to go backwards at times (this will typically follow a plateau to help you get re-focused or it is the strategy working overtime to keep you distracted).
Keep doing the work and be a disciplined warrior with your healing practice. When you are genuinely and willingly in this practice of Thinking Clean and Thinking Psychologically you are reversing this disorder and you will feel the effects in all of your life.
There is no reason to be derailed by the bumps in the road or stuck in ways that are not working for you.
Stay the Course,