Visit to The Back Show

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Hilary, Pandamonium, Daria and I (HilaryN) met up at the Back Show. (Daria is a friend of mine suffering from back pain who is new to TMS.)

We had a nice chat and wander around. We went to Louise' talk and added some comments about our experiences with Sarno's book, which she mentioned during her talk. (Panda had emailed her beforehand to let her know we were coming and Louise encouraged people to come and talk to us afterwards, which a couple of people did.)

I also chatted with Louise afterwards as I was curious to know why she took a CBT approach. She said she used both: Regression Therapy to tackle the repressed emotions and CBT for tackling present-day issues, e.g. expecting the pain.

Panda left soon after, Daria went off for a massage, and Hilary and I went to the tail-end of a Q&A session with 2 chiros and a physiotherapist. Someone asked about the difference between chiro, osteopathy and physiotherapy. The reply was that the differences were small and that what was more important was the relationship of the patient with the therapist, which I thought was very interesting.

Hilary and I wrestled with our goodist natures and had a quiet discussion with each other about how we could bring up the connection of pain with emotions. Finally we decided she would ask them if they had experience of patients whose pain had an emotional cause, backing it up with her experience. Unfortunately time ran out before Hilary could ask her question but we went up to them afterwards and she asked them.

I fully expected them to give an answer along the lines of “Yes, stress can increase the pain”, so I was very surprised when they nodded agreement and said yes, they did have patients whose pain they considered to have an emotional cause! They said the problem was, how to tell patients that in a way which wouldn't alienate them and so that they would accept it. (I know TMS doctors also have this problem.)

But they said that if the patient didn't respond to physical treatment they would sit down with them and talk about emotions causing pain and that in this situation the patient usually accepted it (in many cases they were actually relieved to have found the cause). They would then refer them for CBT psychotherapy.

They also said that in these cases they (the therapists) were just increasing the problem by giving them physical treatment because they were focussing the patient on the physical. I was stunned at how their response mirrored what Dr Sarno has written.

They didn't seem to have heard of Dr Sarno. I scribbled down the tmswiki URL on a scrap of paper and encouraged them to have a look at the wiki.

Well done Hils for asking!

Later Daria sent me a text to say she'd read Panda's story and is definitely going to get Healing Back Pain.

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