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How to avoid using journaling and meditation as an illness crutch, as with physiotherapy?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mcplums, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. mcplums

    mcplums New Member

    So I 100% understand the logic behind giving up all forms of physiotherapy- because, it feeds the illness by communicating to your brain "Im unwell and need to do these things to feel better".

    But I'm struggling with how to incorporate meditation and journaling without the same approach- I mean I'm currently feeling "Im unwell so I have to journal and meditate regularly" which is counter productive!

    So it seems to me that the actual act of meditation and journaling is helpful for my recovery, my attitude surrounding it is not and is likely keeping me unwell.

    Any tips?
  2. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi mcplums,

    My tip is to realise that there is a difference...

    Physiotherapy deals with your symptoms as if there is something structurally wrong with you...

    Whereas meditation and journaling are done with the aim of affecting your mind/brain - because with TMS it's the brain that is causing your pain and/or other symptoms.

    Especially with the journaling/writing, you are endeavouring to discover what it is that your brain is trying to protect and distract you from, i.e. what feelings/emotions it considers 'dangerous', in giving you bodily symptoms to focus on instead.

    It is true to say that meditation, especially with deep breathing, will have a physical effect on the rest of your body too - in relaxing it, calming the nervous system down and helping to oxygenating your tissues. However, that's still in keeping with dealing with your symptoms as TMS...as Dr Sarno said that the symptoms in TMS are due to the brain causing reduced blood flow - and therefore mild oxygen deprivation (ischaemia) - to the muscles, nerves and other tissues. (The ischaemia may only be mild but, as Dr Sarno advised, the symptoms caused by it can nevertheless be very severe - This is because the aim of the brain is to try to make you think that there is something seriously systemically or structurally/physically wrong with your body.)
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good point. However with regards to your comparison, there is NOTHING wrong with our bodies so physical stuff just draws attention to the wrong place.

    Writing on the other hand is coming from the brain where the 'glitch' in processing actually resides. I always explain TMS as an over-evolved coping mechanism.

    I have been well for a long time and I don't meditate . I am a hyper little border collie and find it tough to sit still. I DO find that certain tasks are calming to me...painting, drywall mudding, certain household tasks.
    But the 'journaling' word has always bugged me... I am not recording my experience from some 3rd person omniscience. I am straight up making lists of things, people, events that I am not OK with and then use a series of questions to myself on WHY I am not OK with them.
    That process exposes a lot of my hypocrisy, RAGE (childishness) and cognitive dissonance. Then I start to get an inkling...maybe while I am sanding at work and 'lost' in my head I will see- " 'AHA!'..THAT is why I am so unable to change this bad relationship...and that is why I need this distraction"

    The truth does NOT care what I think about it. It just is. I am the one not getting it. The more of these faults I uncover, the more OK I get with the world, the symptoms vanish. The writing can get there quicker than anything.

    I suppose talking with someone about it might suffice but .-A- some of the anger is super embarrassing and -B- That person would probably get sick of how terribly redundant and pointless most of my anger is... I guess that's why people have to pay therapists.

    Whenever I have a surprise symptom out of nowhere, I immediately scribble down every single change, responsibility and obligation going on in my life right then. The 5 minutes of scribble time is well worth the prevented attack...
    BloodMoon likes this.
  4. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    You have to be careful when it comes to meditation mainly for the reason you mention. Although meditation can be excellent for calming the mind, it can be used as a crutch or an escape.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I would add mcplums, that you are catching a propensity to "fix" in your question, and in that regard, it is a good contemplation. "If I am trying to fix myself --even in a new, 'enlightened' way, how does this urge to change my condition reflect and support old habits of my personality which helped me get into this condition to start with?" My suggestion is to bring loving awareness to yourself, if/when this arises as you're doing the recommended activities.
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  6. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Totally agree with Andy! The activities have to come from a place of self-compassion. Journaling and meditation are great tools, but aren't just boxes to check off on a list. First you have to accept yourself as you are, and then look inward with these two methods. I've gotten into trouble when I treat these things as "to-do's" or berate myself for not doing them enough.
    BloodMoon likes this.

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