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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New Program Day 11: Pain Reprocessing

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    If memory serves I believe you asked on a different thread, what the possible advantages of the tms personality are. (Forgive me if recall fails but this beautiful evening I lack the heart to plough through posts.)

    Essentially tms'ers are sweet souls who have not heeded their calling. Gifted with sensitivity, imagination, storytelling and what may be viewed as perfectionism but I prefer to see as a passion for manifesting a perfect form, they/we are artists. This is a broad stroke. Artistry can bloom in any endeavour so while many here ought follow more familiar creative paths, such as writing, dance, music and song, they could take their fine skills into architecture, cooking, physics or midwifery. Every field needs the daring and the brave. Dare we be daring and brave? It is easy to hide behind the intellect but as Leonardo da Vinci said "The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding."
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  2. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    I love your poetry of life, in life. I see you dancing across a field of meadow flowers on a beautiful summers day.
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  3. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Exquisitely expressed.
    Truth in Poetry.
    A revelation and conciseness that explodes like stardust through the heart.

    Plum ... you are truly the Wise-Woman, the Seer, the Dreamer, the Mystic Speaker for those of us who stumble through the brambles of confusion. Your words craft the most beautiful magic.

    I am humbled and inspired ... <3<3<3
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  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ahhh, and Lily Rose has found the most beautiful way to describe our lovely Plum. We are fortunate to have such compassionate and gifted writers on this Forum.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Lainey @Lily Rose @Ellen

    Blessings to you, my beloved.

    I treasure the friendships forged here. You empower my healing and my life, you help me love myself.

    Thank you for that.
    caligirlgonegreen and Lily Rose like this.
  6. hodini

    hodini Peer Supporter

    Hi Plum,
    Sort of....... my questions were surrounding several aspects of suggested methods of dealing with TMS and how they might enforce and so enable someones propensity to be a perfectionist. LOL, I totally understand the "ploughing" though! Fortunately for me I am a fast reader but still it is a daunting task being that there are over 10,000 posts on the site!

    Personally, perfectionism is a part of my personality, that along with what some would call a control freak which is an extension of perfectionism. Fortunately, I have found outlets for my perfectionist traits where they are actually beneficial. One of the hats I wear is as a Project Manager specializing in architectural woodworking projects. As a fine woodworker, furniture designer and maker, I often find myself salivating over being able to achieve joinery that exemplifies perfection in my trade. That often takes me out of my comfort zone and into what can turn into stressful situations as the most minuscule of errors can result in my dissatisfaction ( not to mention the cost in time and material if I find it necessary to re-do) that perhaps most would not notice.

    It also has given me the opportunity over the years to learn how to cope with how I handle this pressure and is a constant learning process. It also had for quite a while enabled me to be quite the authoritarian boss, mainly because of my difficulty in delegating responsibility and undertaking to take full responsibility for a project when something goes wrong. (duh.... its not a perfect world and things do go wrong!) Sometimes to the detriment of my employees and collaborators, I insisted on the "my way or the highway" ethic. I have mellowed with age, perhaps because I used to always strive to build in a way that it would long out last me and now, that might not be quite as long LOL. But seriously, after being confronted several times with this flawed while being effective way of working, I began to improve my communication skills and patience and see things in another perspective besides just my own.

    Perhaps, having an occupation or hobby like woodworking, machinist, mathematician, scientist, where exacting measures and methods are appreciated helps to attenuate the negative aspects of perfectionism.

    "Every field needs the daring and the brave. Dare we be daring and brave? It is easy to hide behind the intellect but as Leonardo da Vinci said "The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.""

    So true! While the majority of my work requires a lot of forethought in order to be able to produce, some of my personal favorites have always been when I just dive in and let the work speak for itself and remove some of my control from it.
    In other words, the machine slips, instead of tossing the work, I find a way in which to make it work rather then discarding my preconceived ideas and starting from the beginning.

    I have read through quite a few of your posts and they echo a comfortableness with yourself which is admirable and I am sure a trait which aids you in facing your life challenges. I have enjoyed reading them.
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  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Indeed. Many of us come to know ourselves by taking the propensity to be intense, perfectionistic and controlling into our initial attempts at recovery only to learn these are the very things that scupper us. This is especially poignant for me. I am the classic Type B personality. I don't possess the typical TMS personality traits but I managed to inadvertently pick some up during my early years as a carer. It was a way to deal with feeling so wretchedly over-whelmed. I became something of a super-nurse. Happily I have recovered from this and life is relaxed and simple once more. I feel for the Type A's.

    But yes, your point is understood and observed, it plays out often in many posts. I view it as a learning curve, the point where we must grow eyes to look at ourselves. It does well to remain detached and find humour at this juncture.

    I was a speed-reader (as distinct from fast) for years. I have retired that skill to the back-benches (tis good when reading journal articles), and favour reading slowly now. I have rediscovered the joy of pausing, relishing certain words and sentences, laying the book down on my tummy to smile.

    Ah, you are a craftsman. Wood is sublimely sensual. I imagine there is much pleasure in the nurturing of your vision and nimble yet tender intelligence in the hands that minister the rendering.
    You care. That is quite lovely.


    Caring/caregiving is a Masterclass in this. You have to enter the world of the other person.

    Attenuate is such a pleasing word.
    I know well a former surgeon. We would all agree that this is an occupation where perfectionism finds healthy release. However I've seen this man cook and he brings a measure of being totally anal to the process that decimates any creative potential.

    From cooking to sex to crafting to gardening, don't you find most activities benefit from getting messy.

    Thank you.

    (And don't worry, I shan't dissect future responses. It was nice to engage with you a little more.)
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  8. shmps

    shmps Peer Supporter

    Hi Christie,

    As you said the two prongs of this program are: 1). Helping you feel fundamentally safer, and 2). Helping you feel safer in response to, or in the face of, the pain symptoms themselves.

    And you gave detailed daily routine to follow for 2) feeling safe in fear of pain. But I feel if you provide the similar daily routine to follow for the 1) overall feeling of safety, it would be very helpful to many here.

    I feel when we are provided a structure to follow, we feel more faith in it and do it consistently with belief, which is how a new neural pathway is developed. So I will appreciate if you could provide a similar plan in general for the feeling of fundamental safety.
  9. L100

    L100 New Member

    I' m so proud of you! I know that you feel worthless but all I can see from here is a person who is a huge fighter! Every day for the last half of year(that is how long I've been having this pain) there hasn't been one day that I didn't think about dying. But I'm still alive and so are you. I'm on vacation currently so I don't take medication, but I understand your need for them, I remember how it was hard to concentrate while I was studying. If it will do any better to your emotional state, I believe that anyone who had a chance to experience pain even for a short time would say you're so brave and determined! I wish you all the luck of the world in your healing process and don't give up!
  10. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    The best book I've found so far that really ties everything together nicely is "The Great Pain Deception" by Steven Ozanich. I highly suggest it! As far as what work to do, I would make sure you have a good core understanding of TMS. It's important to know where and how it stared. If this program is your first introduction to TMS then in my opinion you will feel lost without having this understanding; like sitting down in the middle of a movie then wondering why you didn't understand it. This program is about the fear aspect of the pain cycle, how the neural pathways are caused, how ingrained they become over the years, and how to reverse them. That's the "work"...retraining the brain and creating new healthy neural pathways.
    plum likes this.
  11. caligirlgonegreen

    caligirlgonegreen New Member

    These are things I say to my 11 year old all the time...guess I need to take my own advice! Thanks for the reminders! I have so enjoyed all your posts.
  12. Norrie

    Norrie New Member

    I love your easy explanation , I have all the above-mentioned symptoms but recently developed Vertigo/Dizziness. How are you using the TMS tools when dealing with dizziness?
    shmps likes this.
  13. Abhishek

    Abhishek New Member

    Hi Alan, thank you so much for the recording. I actually just went through out and followed your instructions. I don't think I am fearful of my pain. But when I did focus on my pain, I felt my chest sinking (that sinking anxiety feeling), even though my mind and thoughts were totally cool and calm. Is that my body's way of signalling danger, even thought I might feel otherwise intellectually?
  14. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    A list? Sorry to be so late to to chime in but I am attaching a screenshot I took of a TMS-wiki post months ago that was The List for me.
    Just revisited this page because I am in fear of hurting myself in yoga. There is an asana where I am standing head to knee and my fear keeps telling me "You are gonna blow out your back again" and my mantra is "No fear, no pain, I am able, I am healthy and strong" and I go for it.
    My back is fine! When I am angry, sad, bored, anxious, my psoas and lower back do this dance of fear and when I turn my curiosity toward it, as Alan did with the first recording in the lesson above, the pain moves, changes and eventually I smile and the pain evaporates.
    It evaporates. Seriously.
    It may return like a child wanting attention. I give it a moment and then say " feel a feeling, an emotion, not the physical noise" and I instantly feel a whoosh of either anger, sadness, fear, anxiety (fear of the unknown) (Future Experience Already Ruined) and then I am more real, more whole, less perfect, more human, vulnerable, lovable and...kind.
    I hope the list is helpful. I wish I remembered who posted it. One of the grand old members, for sure.
    Hang in there. This is a real solution, a real cure. There is freedom here.
    Palms together,

    Attached Files:

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  15. shmps

    shmps Peer Supporter

    Awesome... I am trying to do the same.. If you get chance elaborate on "
    When I am angry, sad, bored, anxious, my psoas and lower back do this dance of fear and when I turn my curiosity toward it, as Alan did with the first recording in the lesson above, the pain moves, changes and eventually I smile and the pain evaporates.
    It evaporates. Seriously.
    It may return like a child wanting attention. I give it a moment and then say " feel a feeling, an emotion, not the physical noise" and I instantly feel a whoosh of either anger, sadness, fear, anxiety (fear of the unknown) (Future Experience Already Ruined) and then I am more real, more whole, less perfect, more human, vulnerable, lovable and...kind."
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  16. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Was just getting offline when I saw your note asking me to elaborate on what I wrote.
    For now, just imagine TMS recovery is a conversation between the frontal lobe of the brain - which is adult and reasonable and wishes for balance - and a child part of the mind which is underdeveloped, likely
    located in the primitive amygdala (sp.) and that we are in the process of reparenting ourselves each time pain arises.
    We learn to listen and not react, to feel everything and know it's okay to do so.
    All best wishes,
    Amatxu likes this.
  17. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I also read the books, but struggled on what to do. Then I tried the SEP program. Try it. It gives you daily reading and daily prompts for journaling and teaches you how to journal. Once you get the hang of journaling, it will be like flood gates will open and you will begin feeling things you never felt before. It will be awful at first. I'm on Day 33 of the program (it took me almost 45 days to get to Day 33) and I feel so much better now.

    Alan's program, while incredible, is too abstract for me. However, SEP uses some portions of Alan's program and I found them incredibly helpful. It is as if I understood them when I had the structured context.
  18. sacolucci23

    sacolucci23 Peer Supporter

    I feel that I have the opposite problem. I always check in, and I think that checking in regularly, from an anxiety perspective, amplifies my symptoms tenfold.
    My primary symptom has been dizziness, but when I think about all the possible causes of my exact symptoms, it boils down to TMS a.k.a. a migraine. Ironically, when I do check-in without fear, it's challenging. More challenging than checking in with fear as I do this often. The fear makes it bearable because I have expectations of feeling worse.
    So, I must ask then, how am I checking in during the day? The fear-based check-in amplifies the symptoms because of the what-ifs that are attached to it. And, the fearless, innocent check-in without expectations decreases the symptoms.
  19. Gemma

    Gemma New Member


    This is really interesting....Since reading this I have tried catching myself in pain and then repeating the pain over and over. e.g. Bending down to get something from the bottom cupboard hurts but then as soon as i notice i then keep bending down and focusing on the pain and describing to myself what the pain feels like. This also seemed to work when doing yoga.

    Is this safe/correct? Or have i gone into over drive


  20. Anders

    Anders New Member


    Im danish so excuse my english. I am pretty sure I suffer from TMS but what keeps a little doubt in me is that i have never heard about anyone with the same symptoms as me. So I would like to hear if anyone here have the same symptoms or have heard about others who have these symptoms. My pain is related to my activity. If I walk or stand (for a while) I get pain in my feet. If I lay on one side I get pain in that side. If i write on a keyboard I get pain in my fingertips. If I dont use my fingers I wont get pain there. So all the pain is related to some physical pressure (mainly from gravity). Even laying on a soft mattress will cause pain eventually if I dont change position often. So its physical pressure on certain parts of my body that causes pain exactly where the pressure is. Also if I one time have overstrained a certain part of my body this part will in the future be more fragile than it used to be, meaning it will take less pressure to cause pain in the future. Does this sound like TMS symptoms?


    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
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