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This changed everything for me. If you are in pain, pls read:

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by avik, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Thank you Avik, you have given me a load of valuable advice in a very understandable way.
    I do believe I am struggling with the 'control' factor. I find it so very difficult to let the pain take over. My body naturally tenses on waking up (as if it's waiting for pain to strike) and remains like this for the remainder of the day. I deliberately try to 'soften and let go' throughout the day but mornings are really bad especially with my anxiety levels.
    I also have a problem with NEGATIVE thoughts - these are the ones I fight with. I will have to return again to Claire Weeks books.
    A big thank you once again, I will keep referring to your above advice.
  2. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    I have read and reread all the posts in this thread and can see how you wonderful people have contributed so much advice and wisdom. You are all (Plum, Aviv Mike 2014 etc) telling me the same thing 'TO LET GO OF EVERYTHING".
    Thank you one and all.
    My warmest wishes to you.
  3. avik

    avik Well known member

    Abbo-as I say in my initial post, nothing pissed me off more than when people told me to just "be with my pain" and to "not analyze" it or "notice it and go about my day".
    How the hell is anyone supposed to go about their day when theyre in excruciating pain??

    Its very difficult..
    Very doable.

    Heres what I did:

    When you get blasted with severe pain, first you need to stop whatever it is you're doing.
    If that means stopping right in the middle of a crowded city sidewalk then, so be it.
    Second, ask yourself whats going on? Are you upset about something? Are you thinking about anything that might contribute to stress/tensions/anger etc?
    This process should only take 60 seconds. You wont have the patience for much more than that...
    Step two would be to tell yourself that you simply dont need pain as a divergence from emotions and...that you want to feel the emotions!
    This should take another 15-30 seconds.

    This is essentially "ignoring" the pain.
    Do anything to take your mind off of focusing on the pain.
    Remember, focusing is what TMS wants. You need to not give it what it wants.

    I know this sounds impossible to do when you are in the midst of a neck or back spasm or any other debilitating pain but I promise you that it will ultimately work.
    Do not be discouraged.
    It may not do anything for the first couple of times but just keep reminding yourself "this has worked for thousands of others, it will eventually work for me".

    The ignorance fyi, is a form of acceptance.
    When you say "im just not going to give you much attention" you are also essentially saying " I know you're here and im ok with it. You're bothering me yes, but I am not going to let you hold my attention".
    By simply accepting that it bothers you, it loses its power to remain bothersome.

    Its a bit of a paradox at first, but it will make more sense the longer you stay with it.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
    westb, Ellen, CarboNeVo and 1 other person like this.
  4. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Aviv, a very big thank you for all the information and advice you have given me.
    I am sure it will not only benefit me but others too.
    Onwards and upwards!!
    avik likes this.
  5. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Please could you or another experienced member please clarify something for me.
    Because my underlying emotions are mainly anxiety and fear I have been taught to use breathing exercises to bring my parasympathetic system into action. I do these exercises in the morning, throughout the day and at night or when I am extremely anxious. Now, by doing these exercises am I controlling my emotions? Also it is usually my thoughts that increase my pain. I am in pain for usually 12 hours a day (tension causing me stinging, burning in my glutes thighs and lower legs and sometimes my upper back).
    I would really appreciate and value yours or any others opinions.
    Thank you
  6. avik

    avik Well known member


    I am obviously not a Dr. so ultimately I do think you should consider speaking with a therapist as that will help you "solve" some of these problems or answer the questions you have.
    I have been seeing therapists on and off for 20 years and they have done wonders for me.

    That said, in my honest opinion there is no such thing as "controlling ones emotions". Emotions occur and exist whether you like them or not.
    What we can control however is how we respond/react to our emotions.

    Do you notice this theme here throughout this thread where you have consistently mentioned "control"?
    I think this desire to control things may be part of whats bothering you.
    There is no control with TMS (or anxiety and fear for that matter)...just letting go.
    The irony is that when you let go, you have the most control.
    When you try to control, you lose control.

    Your pains are your emotions.
    They are one and the same.

    Like I mentioned above, since I believe we cannot control our emotions, then therefore we cannot control our pain.

    However, we most definitely can control how we react to our emotions and our pain(s).

    The moment I get a pain, I (now) automatically "release" the tension in my body and let loose.
    This combined with quickly assessing what might be bothering me eliminates my pain almost instantaneously.
    Because the pain is merely an alarm...letting you know that you need to: calm down, relax, release some anger, take a break, be more self-compassionate, and the list goes on.
    When you address the alarm, the alarm goes off.
    If you yell at the alarm or get frustrated with it or fight it, it continues to ring. Or, it might stop and then go off somewhere else.

    I am sorry to hear you are having so much pain.
    I have BEEN THERE, I promise you.

    You MUST write/journal. Get these emotions-fear, anger, etc...on to paper. I find it to be the most critical component of getting better. If you arent writing you arent expelling the bad stuff that is bottle-necking inside you.
    You must find a release for these pent -up emotions as they are coming out as pain.

    Are you speaking to a therapist?
    Have you tried Schubiner's "Unlearn Your Pain".

    I feel like a comprehensive structured program would work well for you.
    It works for everyone but specifically well for thinkers/analytical minds like yours (and mine).

    Let me know if you need any clarification on the above...
    westb and Ellen like this.
  7. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Once again many, many thanks for you extremely kind and helpful attention.

    Yes, I have done a structured programme with a TMS therapist (trained by Georgie Oldfiel) a year ago however, I made no progress whatsoever. He told me I would heal if I could only control my anxiety!

    I am now with a National Health psychologist who has read Dr Sarno and said she works in a similar way. As soon as we met and I told her my history (by this time after reading so much on the forum I was beginning to feel really scared of my brain) she explained that my Amygdalah was really my friend but unfortunately it was 'stuck' on red alert. She is also trauma trained and as my tension, anxiety and pain commenced (two years eight months ago) following a chiropractic incorrect adjustment, she has started to try EMDR with me. It is early days yet to see if this will be successful.

    I have journaled in the past but to be perfectly honest I am 'journaled out' and I really have nothing to write about. I do not feel angry, (I did with the chiropractor who injured me but I have journaled and voiced and sent letters to her regarding this) I have a wonderful husband and relationship, no financial worries. I really would not know what to write about! I do meaditate twice a day, practice progressive relaxation and try to be mindful throughout the day. I go for a walk everyday for about three quarters of an hour (weather lousy here in the south of England but I still go). My husband said I just cannot relax!!

    When I first went to this psychologist she was amazed and exhausted by the work I had been doing and told me frankly that it was no wonder my poor brain was on high alert - I had been trying too hard!

    I will start writing again and see if this can help me in any way.

    Once again Avik, a million thanks for trying to help me with all you knowledge and experience, you really are a kind considerate gentle man.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  8. avik

    avik Well known member

    Abbo-first off, its my pleasure.
    I am merely paying forward what other TMSers have given to me (or at least trying to...)

    It sounds like you are doing all the right things.
    Its really none of my business so feel free to plead the 5th but did you have any significant traumatic experience in your past?
    It is possible that something that happened deep in the past which you think you have no anger over, is occupying your sub-conscious mind?

    For me I can tell you that my conscious mind was/is quite happy but apparently my sub-conscious has been enraged for nearly two decades.

    I actually tried EMDR-hopefully that helps you.

    Have you looked into CBT? CBT saved me.

    Also, I notice you used the word "control" again. I dont want to keep hounding you on this but you mention above ""he told me I would heal if I could only control my anxiety".

    There is a reason why you keep using this word...
  9. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Hi Avik,

    Yes, I have deeply explored my past childhood etc. There were a couple of issues that I hadn't realised upset me so much however, they have been fully dealt with. Nothing was (in my opinion ) deeply traumatic even though they concerned my therapist and I never felt upset, hurt or angry about them.

    My psychologist is also qualified in CBT so hopefully things will improve for me.

    One very interesting point I must tell you. This evening for the first time in many, many weeks/months my mind feels very relaxed and I do believe it may have something to do with journaling my thoughts and emotions today (doubts and fears mostly) I have also practised my breathing techniques which I have found very seccessful in calming my amygdalah so your suggestion to pick up journaling again may be the right way forward. I know many people who have healed swear by this exercise. I will continue.

    It was my TMS therapist who said 'control' my anxiety I was just quoting him but you are right Avik I have always wanted to be in complete control of situations and always had a very strong determined nature to succeed in whatever I attempted to do (this was due to one of the issues I talked about in my past). I am doing as Tara Brach and you say now ' 'letting life be just as it is' and 'letting go'. I will get there I have so much left in life to enjoy.

    Well off to bed now, hopefully to have a good night sleep with my rested contented mind and ready to face another day with fresh hope in my heart.

    God Bless you Avik and I do hope you continue with your successful healing. You so deserve it, you have given back all that you received from others tenfold.

    My warmest wishes and blessings to you.
    avik likes this.
  10. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Just wondering Abbo. Was the TMS therapist you saw who was trained by Georgie based in Bristol?
  11. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Huckleberry, no, John my TMS therapist lives and works in a little village near Southampton.
  12. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    No worries, I saw one of her SIRPA group and he was based in Bristol...thought may have been the same one. I used to live on the south coast myself growing up Chichester, Portsmouth and other places. :)
  13. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Just interested to know, did you have success?
    We live in Barton-0n Sea, a village between Lymington and Christchurch.
  14. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Very nice area...used to go camping down the New Forest as a youngster.

    No, I had no success with the SIRPA therapist. My main problem has always been that when you see a traditional GP you will more than likely get a structural diagnosis so conversely I always feel that a TMS practioner will generally always want to diagnose TMS. Similar to you I had a bad chiropractor experience which planted a very strong nocebo and I'm very susceptible to my belief in the practioner. I ended up feeling I knew more than them about the concept which didn't install confidence.
  15. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Oh Huckleberry, I am so glad to have met a like minded person with regard to chiropractors. My experience with them has literally changed my life. i just wished I had stuck with the condition that I went to them with (just a strained sacroiliac joint) I have since discovered that it would have healed naturally given time. I was just impatient to get it sorted quickly. I used to visit an Osteopath when I lived in Lichfield and she was great, but when I moved down here I was advised to see a chiropractor. However, I cannot turn the clock back and hopefully my body/brain will release the tension in time. My psychologist also told me 'The Body Keeps the Score'
    I wish you well in your healing.
    Warm wishes to you.
  16. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Yeah, my chiropractor gave me all the usual bullshit of SI joint dysfunction, limb length discrepancies and tilted/twisted pelvis. When I challenged her diagnosis she basically told me it was up to her if I believed her but that she had seen people end up in wheelchairs because of it. Even with what I know now those words lodged in my psyche and hold a powerful nocebo effect.
  17. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Huckleberry, what the chiropractor told you is utter rubbish and you have to forget that. As you say these statements and suggestions can have a profound lasting effect on someone but it is so not true.
    Despite my age I just loved activity and nothing was 'too hot or heavy for me to handle' (I think I felt this way as I had two sons and I used to think if I can't beat them I'll join them!) So I became the 'sporty' mum and grandma. I know I overdo things and after some pretty full on line dancing weekend I ended up with my massage therapist who advised me to see her chiropractor. Unfortunately he was unavailable which resulted in me seeing his partner. BIG MISTAKE! He examined me and decided to manipulate my SI joint, a vertebra in the upper back and my neck! (I didn't have any problems in these latter two areas)This resulted in a week of sheer pain. I then managed to see his partner (the one I was originally advised to see) with whom I developed a good relationship. Several months later I again strained my SI joint and unfortunately he was again unavailable so on the high recommendation of a friend I saw a female chiropractor who put me on a drop table with blocks under my hips and proceeded to do her work. That was when the damage was done. Fortunately following a month of pain and gradually losing my ability to even walk around the house I visited the chiropractor that I had great faith in. As soon as I had explained to him the problem and the 'drop table technique' he said he knew exactly what the problem was. He also said she should never have used that technique on me as I was so small. He reassured me and over a period of six weeks he gently managed to ease my pelvis back into position. Unfortunately I had sustained such an awful shock to my body it developed a tense protective strategies from my neck to my lower legs.
    All the above started three years ago and it is only last year that I gave up on massage and other treatments. I do know that my body does not like physical treatment and I do believe that in its own time it will gradually loosen. Funnily enough I am quite flexible, can bend my back, knees etc without any problem. I have had an MRI and full body scans all to rule out any abnormalities. My MRI scan showed little wear and tear and the Rhuematologist told me 'your nursing years have definitely not told on you' . That was all very reassuring.
    Gee I have gone on a lot haven't I? I do apologise if I have really bored you.
    Please remember that our bodies are strong and try to forget what that stupid chiropractor told you. Just try to exercise regularly if it is only walking, relax and eat healthily. oh yes and love your body, thank it for the wonderful service it has given you. I do this every day because I did feel I had really let my body down. It had always performed so beautifully for me doing everything I commended it to do without any complaint whatsoever. It is my turn to look after it now.
    God Bless you Huckleberry.
  18. avik

    avik Well known member

    Just going to throw something in here to compound on what Abbo said and how you definitively need to ignore your Chiro.
    First off, I strongly believe that if everyone on this planet accepted the TMS diagnosis, Chiros would very quickly thereafter go out of business.

    Second, here is a list of the things that I was told by my chiro and Orthpedic Surgeon, two years ago...after having gone through several MRIs in a six month span:

    1. Torn Labrum in right hip
    2. No cartilage in left hip; bone hitting "roof"
    3. MAJOR leg length difference (2 inches!) which was supposedly the cause of my sciatica and chronic neck and back spasms
    4. S curvature in my lower spine
    5. Numerous herniated discs in my neck and lumbar sections
    6. "Tilted Pelvis" from walking on a right leg
    7. Torn rotators in BOTH my shoulders

    Ok, so as you can imagine the above scared the absolute crap out of me.
    I was scheduled for TWO SURGERIES: one for my shoulder and a F&%$ing hip replacement.

    Thank G-D I came to my senses and went to go see Dr. Rashbaum at NYU and he basically told me that everything I was dealing were all TMS equivalents. That all of these "issues" were actually normally occurrences in a (sigh) aging man's body.

    Huck-I was told that I soon would not be able to walk if I didnt get my hip replaced. I am an amateur bodybuilder and the thought of being out of the gym for a year was unbearable.
    The pain I had was indescribable. I could barely walk.

    I never had any of those procedures.

    Two weeks ago I hit my all time high for barbell back squats of 315lbs...about two years after my "diagnosis" by the surgeon.

    I guess my hip isnt as weak as everyone thought it was...:D
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
    gailnyc likes this.
  19. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Thanks for your comments guys.

    Yeah, I don't really hold much store but the chiropractor's comments anymore. I think all the majority of them are interested in is installing that fear and doubt in you so you sign on the dotted line for the 10 sessions...with a discount if you pay in advance of course. ;)
  20. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    I was horrified to read the diagnosis your chiropractor gave you, no wonder you freaked out!
    I must tell you how much I admire your courage and perseverance in becoming pain free. I always thought that females were the stronger gender but since reading the many posts on the forum I now believe that men are. I think the females are are very emotional (I know I am) and this is what impedes our recovery.
    My strong emotion is FEAR. Every morning on awakening I feel a surge of fear engulf me. This morning I even started to sweat profusely. It all happens so quickly, I don't have time to do my breathing techniques before it happens and the damage is done. I know that FEAR has become a habit and I don't know how to break it.
    I have overcome my fears of going to different places, I can now go to any town nearby. It is definitely fear of painful sensations. I have tried befriending them but I HATE them and what they are doing to me - preventing me from fully enjoying life.
    An example, my husband and I were entertaining the idea of a Caribbean Cruise - five weeks in the glorious sun visiting different islands. However, that very evening and next morning I had the biggest injection of fear I had ever had and my symptoms increased tenfold. I have had to cancel the plan as I am terrified that I will hurt for the full five weeks and this means I have disappointed my lovely husband.
    Please can you give me advice re fear and if it was a problem for you.
    Warm wishes to you.

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