1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Our TMS drop-in chat is tomorrow (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (US Daylight Time). It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support, with Enrique as your host. Look for the red Chat flag on top of the menu bar!

New Program Day 1: Introduction

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Day 1: Introduction

    As the director of a pain center in Los Angeles, I've worked with thousands of pain patients and collaborated with specialists throughout the country, but long before that I was a chronic pain sufferer.

    During my second year of graduate school, I developed severe lower back pain. Even something as simple as sitting and watching a movie became a two-hour long nightmare.

    I saw three of the leading back specialists in Southern California, and they had three different opinions about the cause of my pain: one of them said it was a disc herniation; one of them said it was disc degeneration; one of them said I was just too tall.

    I couldn't make myself shorter, but tried every other treatment imaginable: physical therapy, biofeedback, medication, acupuncture, acupressure; nothing helped. After six months, I got an epidural injection. It didn't eliminate my pain, but it cut it in half. Life was once again bearable...for about eight days, when I suddenly and inexplicably got the worst headache I'd ever had.

    And it stayed.

    Chronic daily headache, the internet told me, had no known cause and no known cure. Terrific.

    Over the next several years, I developed the following additional symptoms:

    upper back pain
    neck pain
    shoulder pain
    knee pain
    hand pain
    heel pain
    tongue pain (who gets tongue pain?)
    eye pain
    tooth pain
    toe pain (three different toes!)
    hip pain
    stomach pain
    wrist pain
    leg pain
    fibromyalgia symptoms

    In sum, I was a mess. Doctors were scared of me.

    I had plenty of diagnoses to go along with these symptoms: bulging discs, partially torn rotator cuff, high cerebral spinal fluid pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.

    One day my mother presented me with a book. She said her friend's son read it and it helped him get rid of his back pain. I did what any rational chronic pain sufferer would do. I threw it across the room.

    "A book isn't going to help me, mom. The pain isn't in my head. I have a bunch of diagnoses from doctors."

    She shrugged and left the room. You don't argue with someone in chronic pain.

    A year later I read the book. I spoke with my mom's friend's son. I educated myself about the pain center of the brain and the function of neural pathways. I found a physician who specialized in this approach, and after several years, I eliminated 22 different symptoms.

    I still have bulging discs. I still have disc degeneration. I probably still have a partially torn rotator cuff and high cerebral spinal fluid pressure. But I don't have any pain.

    More and more studies are showing that many forms of chronic pain are not caused by physical problems in the body, but rather learned neural pathways in the brain.

    For an introduction to neural pathways, why they develop, and how they can lead to chronic pain, watch the following clip:

    Just as neural pathway pain can be learned, it can be unlearned. And over the next three weeks, I'll give you specific techniques to help you break the pain cycle and overcome your symptoms. Along the way, there'll be sample audio sessions, a few video clips, and some poignant insights from Winnie the Pooh.

    Plus, to help make the process as enjoyable as possible, my very talented friend Paul is going add in pictures along the way. Like this:

    And this:

    Now, I know that many of you have been through the hope-disappointment cycle so many times, that starting something new can be scary.

    So I won't ask you to be hopeful, all I ask is that you be open. The next few weeks will cover everything I've learned in my time as a therapist, and I'm optimistic that you'll find it helpful in your recovery. Plus, I'll be answering as many questions as I can along the way.

    So enjoy the rest of your day, get a good nights sleep, and I'll see you in the morning.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  2. Laleah Shoo Shoo

    Laleah Shoo Shoo Peer Supporter

    Hi there,
    I am progressing ~ not in a straight line, but most definitely healing after 3 years of debilitating pain, having an in depth
    understanding of "what is actually going on" via the readings of John Sarno, and daily reading of Steve Ozanich's books, which i find
    indispensable. Are you working along these lines, Alan?
    All the best to you!
    Linda Leah
    hjlboai, Djprillaman23 and ter456 like this.
  3. Jacqui9

    Jacqui9 Peer Supporter

    Thank you Alan.
  4. Emre

    Emre Peer Supporter

    I am hopeful and open...
  5. MentorCoach

    MentorCoach Peer Supporter

    Thank you SO much, Alan! Yes, as you describe it, I have been through "the hope-disappointment cycle" so many times, but I am game to keep at this until my sciatic pain is gone!
  6. Weegi

    Weegi New Member

    I am 90 and have been 'doing' the back book and video since December, '16. No back issues. Some physical and emotional TMS-Equivalents. Also dealing with what Dr. Sarno describes as a 'Factor' in connection with a serious heart/lung condition and finding symptoms lessened.
    Thank you so much for this 21-day program. I will print it out daily for future use, as well.
  7. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Thanks a lot doctor !
    I'll do my best :)
  8. freakengine

    freakengine New Member

    I'm looking forward to trying some new approaches. Thank you for doing this!
    Lauren T likes this.
  9. Everly

    Everly Peer Supporter

    Am looking forward to this!
  10. Lauren T

    Lauren T Peer Supporter

    I'm hopeful too!
  11. runningyogi

    runningyogi New Member

    Looking forward to this - thanks so much for putting it out there!
  12. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    I'm going to try it too. Trying to get to the finish line. Thanks for putting this together.
  13. Silly ol bear

    Silly ol bear New Member

    I can not wait.......bring on the healingdancea!
    Penny2007 and Forest like this.
  14. Eugene

    Eugene Well known member

    Thanks from England Alan. It is really appreciated :)
    ter456 and Forest like this.
  15. Laleah Shoo Shoo

    Laleah Shoo Shoo Peer Supporter

    Hi everybody,

    Is this an interactive forum tomorrow. OR do we simply arrive here and see why the lesson of the day is, and then proceed with it on our own? On our own is fine!!! thank's everyone
  16. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I think this is just what I need to get to hundred percent. Right now, I'm dealing with symptom imperative of nausea and anxiety, but the pain is at least 85% better.
    Bodhigirl and Nissou like this.
  17. Susanne

    Susanne New Member

    Thanks so much for doing this! I would like to donate to the study you were doing – how do I do that?
    murrij and eskimoeskimo like this.
  18. Kathi

    Kathi Peer Supporter

    I'm cautiously optimistic.
  19. Mickel

    Mickel New Member

    You are very generous of your time and energy in sharing your knowledge and experience in this way.
    Forest likes this.
  20. itmsw

    itmsw Peer Supporter

    Thank you Alan for doing this program! I am looking forward to it

Share This Page