Q&A: Severe TMS sufferer diagnosed as fibromyalgia

From The TMS Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


I am a true Sarno believer and began adopting his principles about a year ago and have been seeing a analytical therapist for the past six months. This process is a real eye opener to me and all the severe stressful life experiences I have just placed deep down and have never talked or even went there. My therapist is very much in line with Dr Sarno's beliefs and I find it unburdening. I guess my question is although I understand all the psychological implications and the reasons why I am in so much pain (mostly nerve pain all over my body, together with severe sleep deprivation) I have yet to get any relief from my symptoms. Am I just expecting to much to soon?

Answer by Nancy Selfridge, MD

An image of Practitioner Nancy Selfridge
Practitioner Nancy Selfridge

Nancy Selfridge's Bio Page / magazine article

Usually 6 months is ample time to be getting some relief from your psychotherapeutic TMS work. Don't feel bad. One of the reasons that I wrote the Freedom From Fibromyalgia book is because those of us with this pain disorder tend to not get much physical relief from talk therapy alone.

Try journaling daily about your feelings. First make a list about all of things you can think of past and present that make you feel sad, angry, fearful or shamed. Then read through your list(s) and pick out the items that seem most charged emotionally and devote several writing sessions to those items.

Be sure you are exercising--this is probably the best message you can send your brain that you don't "buy in" to what it is doing.

Also learn a meditation practice and show up to do it daily, at least 30 minutes. I like mindfulness meditation as it is simple and well studied. Read about it in FULL CATASTROPHE LIVING by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.

We have research evidence that both meditation and writing improve pain for FM patients.

As an aside, I want you to be aware that vitamin D deficiency is rampant in the U.S. and low D status, say a level below 36ng/ml, can contribute to pain. Interestingly, I have seen a couple of patients with diagnosed FM, who had ALL of their pain go away once their D deficiency was addressed. You can read more about D and appropriate testing at www.vitamindcouncil.org

Also, patients on statin drugs for cholesterol lowering can have muscle pain, purportedly from a deficiency of CoQ10 that develops on these drugs. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor if it applies to you.

Nancy Selfridge: Magazine article


It is important to recognize that no information on this wiki can be considered a specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. Reading information here does not create a doctor/patient or other professional relationship between you and the answering professional. As always, you should consult with your physicians and counselors regarding new symptoms and any changes that you might make in medications or activities.

Our goal is to get multiple answers for each question so that readers can benefit from a diversity of perspectives. To contribute your answer, click here.

Other Resources

DISCLAIMER: The TMS Wiki is for informational and support purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. See Full Disclaimer.