1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Why am I still in pain? Why doesn't it work?
There is a general misconception about TMS that is the reason why people are having trouble and are on this forum, searching for help. I am trying my best to explain things so that hopefully, some of you can see the error in your thinking.

Dr. Sarno discovered that people who are prone to TMS tend to have certain personality traits. These traits include being perfectionistic, worrying, trying to control things, putting pressure on yourself to succeed, being good to other people instead of being real, etc. The general feeling of someone with those personality characteristics is of someone who is in constant stress and worry. You probably are someone who just can't relax, can't let it go. You are always searching for answers, you just can't let things be as they are. You want control over life and over yourself. EFFORT is what defines you. I would also call this the "no pain, no gain" personality. It's the constant self-imposed pressure that you put on yourself. You actually are tense all over, it's not just pain that you have. But as your belief system dictates to you, "no pain no gain", so you believe that in order to accomplish things, you HAVE to be this way.

This constant self-imposed pressure produces unconscious rage, as Dr. Sarno has discovered. If you think of it only in terms of anger, you are slightly misguided. What is meant by the rage is just massive emotional energy, anger, sadness, everything mixed together. People make up labels and then say that this is anger, this is sadness. But feelings are more like a spectrum of energy. It does not really matter where you put anger or where you put sadness on that spectrum, it's basically all the same energy and "anger" and "sadness" are just labels. And when you put pressure on yourself, you are generating LOTS of that emotional energy internally. This energy, when expressed, can cause lots of trouble. You might start to cry, get angry at someone, you might even want to beat someone up or beat yourself up. Anyway, the possibility exists that this emotional energy could cause trouble.

Now, here is where you lock yourself into TMS pain. First you put pressure on yourself, which creates unconscious rage. The rage needs to be repressed, so your brain creates some symptom, like back pain, in order to distract you. It creates something for you to focus on, so that you won't experience your rage. Due to your personality, you not only are distracted for the time that it is needed for you to be distracted, but you get HOOKED on the pain. You are perfectionistic, so you can not allow yourself to have pain, because pain is not part of you being perfect. So you start fighting it with all you've got. The problem is that you are always fighting. First you worry about some things in your life, you try to fight them, you try to control them. Then you get pain and you start fighting the pain. Some people get so deep that their whole life revolves around pain. EVERYTHING they do is in some way related to the pain. This is the worst case scenario of being completely hooked.

So, by trying to get rid of the pain, first you probably go the usual route. You go to doctors and you try to do everything to get rid of the pain. Then you realize it's not helping and you find out about TMS. So far, so good. But then you learn about TMS and you continue trying to solve things with your fight-fight-fight attitude. What is the message of Dr. Sarno? If anything, it is to realize that there is nothing wrong with your body, the pain is due to psychological processes, so stop fighting it and it will go away. But you don't get the message, because it is incompatible with your mindset. Your mindset dictates that everything in life can only be accomplished by effort. No pain, no gain. So you can't possibly understand the message which tells you to go the other way, to let go of the obsession. Instead, you get the typical message from Dr. Sarno that you must do this and do that. You get the message that you need to think about the rage and the reasons for it every minute, every second of your day. And that is exactly what is still keeping you in pain.

So I hope I inspired some of you to take a look at your thinking processes and hopefully start to see things in a new light.