From The TMS Wiki
Source). In an interview with the Conditioning Research Blog, Monte was asked why some people don't have complete success with the Dr. Sarno's treatment plan. Monte responded by saying, "This is a chronic pain disorder caused by our daily, moment to moment, chronic behaviours and thoughts. So a person will be aware that they are in a striving, people pleasing mode, and they know that this is generating inner tension and then pain, but they don't do anything else!."
Monte Hueflte has also allowed the TMS Wiki to post updates from his website.
Monte Hueftle's TMS Story
This section was added by Monte.
“I recognize today that I first began experiencing TMS chronic pain back when I was in high school. In playing sports I would experience the on again off again "torn groin". I was raised in a farming community so I began doing a lot of manual labor at a young age. Having a rather small frame 5' 10" - 135 lbs, I developed chronic lower back pain which of course could easily be rationalized with heavy lifting of hay bales and the constant bending over while irrigating crops through irrigation pipe (we did not have the large sprinkler systems yet). From the time I was 16 years of age and for the next 24 years I experienced low back pain and chronic soreness/stiffness. I am a long distance runner so I also developed pain symptoms that were diagnosed as running injuries: chronic piriformis & sciatica, knee pain or ITBS, hip pain, back spasms, burning pain while sitting, pain moving locations, shooting pain in the legs during activities.
The diagnosis that I received were: too much running, leg length discrepancy, muscle imbalance, pinched nerve, disc degeneration, poor posture, inflammation, and having a bad spine to name a few.
The treatments were: rest, ice, anti-inflammation products, physical therapies, massage treatments, nerve stimulation, special shoe inserts, back & knee braces, & chiropractic therapy. None of these treatments provided relief on a consistent basis and many made my symptoms worse. Before I ever learned about Sarno or TMS I had two experiences of my pain symptoms disappearing that today greatly influence my understanding of how to heal from tension induced pain disorders. First, I very suddenly developed inner knee pain that I only experienced when I ran. It was extremely sharp pain and would completely take me to the ground during a run. After a couple months of trying everything physical I decided to try a Guided Imagery practice which used "light" as a power source to heal my body. Amazingly during one these sessions my leg violently reflexed out with a jolt. I finished the session and had a strong feeling something positive had occurred. Over the next couple of weeks the pain continued to disappear and that was it. Gone and it has never returned.
My second, positive pain-ending experience before I knew TMS or Sarno was using a practice of Power Yoga. Five months of 4-5x per week of Power Yoga ended 90% of my chronic pain and allowed me to run 70-80 miles per week pain free. There is a big huge connection with these two positive experiences and how to heal from TMS. I didn't know it yet because I didn't even know what TMS was.
Fast forward to 1998 and I suddenly experience my big pain in the butt -- Piriformis. This pain was permanent. It was with me when I ran, drove a car and sitting down. Of course since it occurred during a run I associated the pain as a structural injury with my muscles and nerves. For the next 2 years I pretty much tried everything possible to end the pain and nothing worked.
This is when I found Sarno's, Healing Back Pain. Of course this was my "aha" moment. I immediately knew this was me. Within a few weeks 90% of my chronic back pain and soreness/stiffness was gone and all I did was stop physical treatments and began to "think psychological". I was one of the classic positive success cases. But! and this is a big one...My piriformis pain was not gone and was not getting better. I knew it was TMS but why did my back pain leave, spams stop, chronic stiffness go away and the piriformis pain stay? I now dove into the psychological causes of pain. I got Schechters journal workbook and with my background in clinical hypnotherapy I began to look at repressed emotions and issues. From everything I had learned about TMS, if you accept it, stop physical treatments and think psychologically and your pain symptoms are not gone then you must have deep unconscious repressed emotions. So I made peace with past issues and I finished the unfinished business. I accepted where I was, who I was and I had no anger or depression or past issues---But I was still in piriformis pain.I still knew my piriformis pain was TMS but what was causing the inner stress & tension that was maintaining my pain? I knew I was a Type A to the max. I was competitive, a striver, controlling, people pleaser, worrier, overly self-conscious and pre-dominantly had my thoughts either in the past or the future.
I then read Tolle, Zukov, Myss, Chopra, Naparstek, Pert and Weil and had my next big "aha". All of these experts were saying the exact same thing in slightly different ways. It was my daily chronic thought patterns when I was in my Type A personality behaviors that were generating all of this inner stress and tension. These chronic thought patterns and behaviors were also the way that I was repressing feelings or emotional energy and these patterns were usually in the past or future and not present moment based. This was huge for me. I now knew how I was generating inner tension, stress & anxiety and I knew how I was repressing feelings. Now I just had to stop or redirect my old chronic thoughts on a more consistent basis. So this was now my work and my focus. This was now my way of "thinking psychologically". Over the next few months I began to "listen" to my thoughts and then when I knew they were generating tension I would deliberately change them. Yes this was energy draining and not always a lot of fun, but it was working. My chronic piriformis pain was leaving my body.
I'll fast forward to today. I have been pain-free for the past 8 years and at the age of 48 I am still able to run at a pretty high intensity 70 miles per week with none of the past pain-injury cycle. I decided to dedicate a major portion of my life to learning more about the psychology of TMS and helping people learn how to heal. I continue to research, practice and learn more about this dynamic disorder by working with people suffering with TMS. Two things that I hope you can learn from my story is that there is inner work involved that only you can do and don't make TMS this big huge disorder that is going to take over your life. I read one book on TMS that was written over 25 years ago. Once you know what TMS is you know what TMS is! Now put your work and your energy into treating the cause of your inner tension, stress and anxiety. Do this instead of "feeding" the pain strategy part of this disorder. When you "feed" the pain strategy by focusing on all the different dynamics of this disorder you can easily get stuck in the pain symptoms of this disorder.”
- TMS Wiki Profile
- Survey Response
- The Master Practice Book Page
- Archive of Monte Hueftle's Runningpain.com updates
- Old Forum Posts
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