1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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New Program Day 18: Conditioned Responses

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    Your immune system is suppressed because of your TMS. Deal with TMS and the infectious problems should abate.
  2. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    Thanks Alan. Very important point. Since my pain has been getting worse I stopped doing some yoga poses when i noticed that they cause me pain. But then i decided to challenge this belief and to my great surprise when i did them slowly and mindfully the pain was actually minimal or none.
    I have an issue with sitting pain though i realize now that it may have developed the association because i experienced significant stress while i happened to be sitting. But then i now have the same pain in different positions like lying on my back or side. What i have most trouble with is the belief after doctors actually told me that i have hyperesthesia. I.e. oversensitized signal receptors in my tissues that interpret a gentle touch as dangerous pressure and make me feel pain. Which is true. I only feel this pain when something touches me in the sensitive areas of my back or leg. I know it's the CNS that decides to amplify the signal but some of my muscles and skin are obviously changed in comparison to other more normal body parts. Am I wrong and "thinking physical"?
  3. Lauren T

    Lauren T Peer Supporter

    Isn't EVERYTHING a conditioned response? I'm looking at my cell phone... where are my messages??? Lol thinking how this could apply to our lives in general! What a BIG thought!!!!!
    Kevin Barry and MentorCoach like this.
  4. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Many people with TMS have hyperesthesia. In these cases it's the brain interpreting a safe stimuli as if its dangerous, and there is nothing wrong with the tissue. It is the fear around the pain and the belief around being damaged that perpetuates the symptoms.
    Murphy likes this.
  5. BOP

    BOP Newcomer

    Here's what I know: the pain in my spine and limb crippling is real from toxins pumped into my spinal cord during a botched diagnostic epidural. I do have that MRI and DX. But is it? Ok, it is, but not all of it. Because the Brain fear cycle can make a mountain out of a molehill. I blindly - with faith - follow MBS treatments because I know my brain will believe whatever I feed it. So we don't talk about diagnoses or labels here, we talk about hope and being ok with what is happening - no danger here; just some symptoms that are going away. And we (me and the people I surround myself with) cling to the belief that the body wants to heal and wants to be pain free. Where there is a moment of low or no pain, it's proof there can be MORE. I choose to believe my mind has the power to reverse what has been done and see me to the other side.
    Ellen likes this.
  6. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Okay, I find, that more often than not, doctors don't say "nothing's wrong with you." They come up with something. I've had friends get 4 different diagnosis from 4 different doctors all prescribing 4 different medications or surgeries.

    I know, for legal reasons, this board has to say check with a doctor first, but....how do you swim to shore in an ocean of conflicting diagnosis when all of these various doctors speak with such authority. No wonder our healthcare system is a mess.

    I know Dr's are only human, but as Sarno said...they've known for years that back surgery doesn't really pay off.
    Between medical/hospital/treatment errors being the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S...and even just the sad stories of medical mistreatment here on this forum, we really are left on our own, to listen to our own internal wisdom. Maybe that's what it should be.
    Syl, chemgirl, Ellen and 1 other person like this.
  7. aziemski

    aziemski New Member

    I was also an avid mountain biker, equestrian and downhill skier before my back pain took over my life. I can relate to feeling like I have lost all my friends, social circles, even travelling and holidays as most of my trips were ski trips or hiking/camping trips. I built my life around that stuff and when I was suddenly unable to do it, I found myself spending all my time watching my friends doing it on facebook without me and being horribly depressed. They stopped asking me to come years ago because they know the answer :-(

    However, this summer I have started riding my bike on trails again. As well as taking lengthier and more vigorous hikes. One of the things that has really been helping me stay motivated is the "evidence" that I don't really seem to have pain WHILE I am doing these activities. Only later, after. And if I have some kind of structural problem in my back then that shouldn't be the case. However, it makes total sense when I think about it from an oxygen deprivation perspective. What happens when your muscles warm up and your heart starts pumping? Your blood vessels dilate, and blood flows readily to the tissues carrying more oxygen with it. So of course, when I'm in the midst of the workout, I feel good, and when I stop, I go back to the O2-deprived state. I use this to keep myself calm when the pain comes back and to prevent myself from thinking things like "your back hurts because of that bike ride you took"....wrong. That bike ride made my back feel better, the TMS is what made it hurt again.
    Durga and BruceMC like this.
  8. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

  9. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    I can totally relate to what you are going through. I don't know how old you are, but I am 65 and post menopausal. Since the end of April, I have had what are believed to have been four UTIs in a row--each a month apart. I say "believed" because nobody is really sure. Antibiotics seemed to help, but never really took away the bladder urgency symptoms. Did you know that bacteria can show up on a culture but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a UTI? Even though a lot of my symptoms suggested Interstitial Cystitis, in my case, the urologist did not find anything in the bladder that would suggest IE. I have learned that many many women (and some men) have pelvic pain due to muscle tension and spasms and that condition can mimic UTI symptoms! Lots of different things can cause that tension but in my case I really do believe some of it is hormonal but most of it is stress related. I've got the hormones under control and I found a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic pain dysfunction and believes in the mind-body connection. The PT is helping a lot but she and I both agree that if I don't deal with my anxiety, I will continue to have pain. I discovered this TMS site just a few days ago and already it is changing my life. I hope it helps you too!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    chemgirl likes this.
  10. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    This (Evidence Sheet) may be my favorite part of this series. I have seen the best results (i.e. reduced pain) from using this technique over any other technique. I have one in my phone (using the notepadd app) so that wherever I am I can add something to the sheet if something new comes up. Here are some of mine from a year ago to today:

    • Had neck pain from sleeping on my side. Then for months I stopped having it
    • Had pain in my mid back when waking up. Then it stopped for a few months (came back again aka the ebb and flow mentioned in this post)
    • Could not hang from a pullup bar without pain. Can do assisted pullups now with no pain
    • Could not sit in my 3 hour lectures at grad school a year ago, now I can sit with minimal or no pain
    • Had burning pain in my upper back/neck when typing at keyboard, have it very infrequently now
    • Had lots of nerve pain in all areas of my body, get this almost never now.
  11. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Let's see if Alan answers this ? I can actually feel the nerve stretching when I bend over. If feels like an individual nerve being pinched and burns. The MRI shows nothing other than slight spinal stenosis , disc bulging and a small protrusion. None of which Dr. Sanro says should bother me. Is this a conditioned response ? I feel it when I lift my leg to dry it in the morning after I shower.
  12. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Click,

    I know i'm not Alan but since he probably wouldn't answer that since he's a psychotherapist...yes pain and sensation with bending and stretching is also a conditioned response. I had similar issues when I had sciatica and that is all gone since I healed from my TMS. Literally any movement can wind up being associated with any sensation to create a conditioned response! I know it feels structural but don't let it fool you.
    ErickaLeslie, Kevin Barry and Click#7 like this.
  13. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Conditioned responses are very common with people in pain as well. This occurs when pain becomes linked with a physical position or activity."

    I noticed this today while I went out shopping at the grocery store. Around my house I can walk anywhere now and my stride up and down the front steps has improved immensely and is pain-free. However, every time I drive down to Safeway in Sonora, in the aisles I start getting more and more sciatica and when I drive back to my place uphill my left leg hurts and stings. Then, when I get back in the house, the pain peaks and if I lay down for a while is gone completely. It's become a kind of weird cycle. Maybe I don't like buying groceries or maybe it's a programmed response that's become fixed in my psyche? And of course how do I break this programmed response? Am I afraid of something when I leave my house and go out shopping at the grocery store?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  14. kkcarlton

    kkcarlton Peer Supporter

    How would I apply this to pain that happens at night? I know there is no reason to have pain at night and there was one night last June that I slept 8 hours and woke up feeling amazing, so I know it's possible. But by the time I wake up the pain is usually already at a 7 or an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. So do I just practice outcome independence, which is actually getting harder, or is there something I can do proactively? Thank you?
  15. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes as you said above...outcome independence and the other skills you've learned through the program! Conditioned responses are one aspect of TMS but not the only thing that causes the pain to occur. Lots of people have TMS pain at night.
  16. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I notice that I wrote this about the pain peaking in the grocery store on January 14th, 2018. A couple of weeks back, I actually noticed that the pain I was experiencing in the Sonora Safeway was going way down. No more fear of having to abandon the cart and go get a bag for pears or tomatoes. I realize now that the pain has actually been going down since I moved up to Sonora in July. It's just been going away so slowly that I didn't notice it. So, it's important to maintain a detached perspective on your pain condition, even while it seeks to distract you. But when it lets up you begin to take your improved condition for granted. I guess you lose perspective in the middle of your improvement. The now is so overwhelming.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    Durga, andy64tms and Tennis Tom like this.
  17. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Hi BruceC,

    Ref: "The Now is so overwhelming"

    When I did my “One repressed Emotion” post I realized we are under continual repression in everything we do. Not only do we repress “nasty emotions” but others also. It seems to me this mechanism is a survival tactic to keep us sane and stop us from getting brain overload.

    The now has to be "so overwhelming" to even get a look in. I agree "detached perspective" is a good rule to have.


    We don’t comprehend what we hear, so we repress it for the “later” that may or may not ever come, absolute non caring detachment.

    I am otherwise focused playing FreeCell, my wife calls me for dinner, and I ignore her with detachment and play one more game. Her voice gets louder and guilt sets in. No more repression my “in the now” is diverted.

    I wonder if all emotions go to Cache before moving to the Repressed vault or maybe a mixture of both perhaps? I am assuming we always exuding some kind of emotion or other.

    I was exhausted after the chat today, it was fun, it became a stress test keeping up.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    BruceMC likes this.
  18. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tonight I had even less left-leg and hip pain while walking around the Sonora Safeway. However, I notice that now I've manufactured other distraction to feel bad about. Always a balancing act! The heater in my house went out this morning so I kept thinking about myself as a victim of misfortune. Left leg hardly a bother, but now I've manufactured something else to feel bad about. Endless balancing act.
    andy64tms likes this.
  19. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Is your broken heater event 1 or 2? I've noticed things normally go wrong in threes. I normally take cover at #2, but this seems to advance #3 coming. :)

    Things breaking also make me feel victimized. Unfortunately I am a "jack of all trades", and self compelled to excel fixing them. I always succeed so why the big deal. Even my granddaughter of five pointed out that "Grandpa can fix anything". Not only do we have our self image to live up to, but all those around us as we are challenged to do even better than before, You can't win, we need to laugh, step up to the plate enjoy the stress, then enjoy the soothing.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  20. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Replacing the striker in the driver door of my BMW Z3 must have been number 1, considering how long it took for me to take the initiative and get in there and fix it. But I also installed a new Dinan fiber-Ti strut brace on the front towers and now I've finally got the 7 LEDs to replace the old lights in my Third Eye on the trunk. Also got a Nikkor 24mm f/1.8 lens. So that sort of cancels out the heater, doesn't it? Well, hanging in an icebox till Tuesday to get the motor for the heater kinda counts as 2 and 3, so it seems? Take the good with the bad!
    andy64tms likes this.

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