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 4: Breaking the Pain Cycle

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. chemgirl

    chemgirl New Member

    The book, “Painfree for Life” by Dr. Scott Brady heavily emphasizes his TMS (he calls it AOS, autonomic overload syndrome) journey through both back pain and IBS. I *know* my IBS and sometimes-accompanying hemerroid/fissure issues are TMS. But they tend to be a little tougher to fade away than my tennis elbow, IC, rosacea, throat pain, etc. did.
  2. Elana

    Elana New Member

    Alan Gordan, you are absolutely amazing. Each day of this pain recovery program is so on target and so easy to read and easy to relate to. This is comforting. . .
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  3. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    Whats confusing is:

    If you have a bad muscle spasm, it would not make sense to do free movement physical activity, as it could aggravate it.

    Then it may be difficult or not possible to do something you need to (aka go to work). Then this could have a negative impact, what if you eventually lose your job?

    So its difficult to just say "dont fear it" when it could have a real consequence. But then how do you get out of the cycle??
  4. jen s

    jen s New Member

    This was powerful. I watched this thinking I could NEVER turn my head like that. The pain would be unbearable! Which made me feel desperate that I will never be able to heal.

    I struggle with outcome independence. I simply can’t be ok with pain. I can’t not judge pain as bad. It is bad and it has ruined my life. How do I find peace with it? If only I could do this I feel like I could heal, but can’t. And I don’t know if my pain is different from others. If I would turn my head like this video it wouldn’t just hurt in the moment...it would hurt for hours, days or more. So the fear is justified in my mind. I don’t want to be in this pain.
  5. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle


    Start with your internal language. This is often the turning point for me. If you find yourself saying things like "If I turn my head, I'll have pain for days..." cut yourself off. Say out loud, "Every day and in Every Way, I am getting better."
    You want to have your subconscious start to get a new thought instead of supplying you with the pain you are focused on.
    It's not easy, especially if you have depression or anxiety about how the pain has affected your life.

    Just start with the change of thought. See what happens next.
    Hayley and jen s like this.
  6. eden77

    eden77 New Member

    I am kind of a heretic. I watched the video and it didn't convince me. Sorry! it looked extremely simplistic to me and also please excuse me less painful than let's say groin, hip, knee, thigh, leg, back , extreme difficulty and pain walking, extreme pain turning in bed, inability to put socks and shoes on and much much more+ IBS issues. I know one can't measure pain. But that's how I feel about this video.
    I certainly hope I am wrong and that by following the protocol , which I really appreciate , I'll be able to shed some of the excruciating pain I have been experiencing for the last 7+months.
    I have read the Sarno books, meditate a lot, just started writing as suggested in the protocol. Alas, until now I have not made any progress.
    Anders likes this.
  7. jen s

    jen s New Member

    I'm struggling with outcome independence. How can you be indifferent to pain? This is the hardest part for me and I think probably what I need to start healing. I just can't stop dreading and wishing away the pain. My example is if someone kicked you in the shin -- I would always choose to not be kicked -- would never be indifferent to being kicked. I don't know how to just be curious and non-judgmental. It seems obvious to me -- pain=bad and no pain = good. Can't get myself beyond this. And my "fear" is not that my pain is structural degeneration, but rather detesting the pain and wanting it gone.
    Balsa11 and Anders like this.
  8. Looking for space

    Looking for space Peer Supporter

    I enjoyed this one very much!. And at 1st the skeptic in me was saying"oh girl they paid you well to cry like that"! Of course, I realized that even though it was edited lol! This was all real. I learned something new, and that was.....i wasn't afraid of my pain i was sick of it, mad at it, it's made its home with me for 20 years! im enjoying this program.I admit I thought the video was a bit too neat, but, Alan could have applied that technique to anyone's pain, to teach. And that's what he does.... teaches! I think it was a huge relief that she realized she did not have to be afraid anymore.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  9. SDTinaS

    SDTinaS New Member

    Last year after I injured my knee running (I had torn my meniscus), I would walk and never knew when pain would come. If I stepped wrong or tried to walk downstairs. It put me into such place of fear that I began to do things to avoid the pain. I stopped walking and certainly running. I started cycling and developed odd sensations in my calves. A doctor put me on Lyrica and I began to see a chiropractor. He seriously hurt me. I've never felt pain like that. It coincided with my stopping Lyrica cold turkey. Something happened during that week in my perception of pain. I can't explain it but I began to experience tremors at night in my left leg that would wake me at night.

    I experienced a 9 months of hell trying to figure out what was going on with my body. I am an experience marathoner and have been athletic all my life. To not have control over what was going on terrified me. I live in Japan and also felt helpless in the treatment I thought I needed but couldn't get. Everything I did to make myself feel better made things worse. Diagnosis after diagnosis of impending, what I interpreted, as the degeneration of my once strong body made me more and more angry and fearful. There was a moment when I contemplated ending my life because I was terribly sleep deprived from my tremoring leg and pain.

    It's been more than a year since my injury and one month since I discovered the work of Dr. Sarno and TMS. I firmly believe that I caused a lot of my extended suffering. Though I do believe I experienced a serious injury when I hyperextended my knee, my fear of pain and fear of reinsuring myself after knee surgery were prolonging my suffering.

    Though I still have some mild tremoring/buzzing/sciatica sensations, I'm able to get a relatively good night sleep now, which helps my depression. I am now able to sit in my husbands car and on our couch without additional cushioning pain free. The pain that was moving to various parts of my body has become milder and no longer causes fear because I know that it is not dangerous and that it's my subconscious trying to trick me and take away the happiness that is coming back into my life.

    In addition to reading, journaling and participating in this forum, I have been meditating every day. I am now running every other day and taking long walks with my husband. The mediation and breathing helps me with the self-talk and dialogue I have with myself. It's calming. My pain is not gone completely. My fear isn't gone completely. But I have hope and the tools to get better. I've had some deeply traumatic events in my life (sexual assault in the military/sexual abuse as a child/alcoholic father and mother). I've also been a long term member of a 12 Step which helps me with the spiritual part of my life.

    I'm so very grateful for finding Dr. Sarno's work online. It was during a search I was doing on spinal injections and nerve blocks I was considering. Each day I see little improvements. I have hope and happiness where before it was darkness and despair.
    Hayley and westb like this.
  10. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    Well, did wishing your pain away ever helped? If yes, then super, do it every time you feel pain!
    If not then... well "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result". If it's not working then it's not. For the 7 years 2011-2018 I was trying to wish my pain away, in between mourning my old self, things I did that could contribute to my pain, and how I was painfree before that and how I will never be like that. Quess what? IT DIDN'T WORK.
    It's hard to be indifferent to pain. For me maybe impossible. But please, understand that every time you think about pain those neurons get reinforced. So, you have to fill your mind with different things. When thougts like 'oh my god this pain is killing me' will arrive don't act on them, don't analyze them. Instead think how great of a singer David Bowie was, or even sing his song. Crazy? I don't know this helps me change what happens in my mind(of course instead of Bowie this can be whoever you want). Or take a sip of coffee and think how great it tastes.
    I still have exact same pain I had, but my life is so much better and fuller. And this is something I now at least tolerate. Maybe you can't wish your pain, and your options are
    a) live bad life with pain
    b) live good life with pain
    At least in the meantime. I fully believe that my pain will go away in time but oh my I had almost 30 years of stress building in me, and 7 years of reinforcing pain neurons. I don't expect a miracle.
    It's the same with being kick in the shin. If you cry and think how it hurts and say 'please please stop' pain will still kick you in the shin, because you are in victim state of mind. But if you stand proud, he will maybe stop kick you. And if not, then at least you stood your ground.
    Is it nice, good or fair? No, no, and no. Some people have great life and not many troubles in their life. Majority of people though struggle to have food, shelter or anyone to support them. Even in pain if we are living in first world country(well second world in my case) we are in so much better position that so many other people. But we don't see them. You look around and you see people that seems that have so good life(especially if you use facebook) and compare yourself to them, or your old yourself to your new yourself. That will also cause you to suffer.
    Even if you can't stop pain, learn to stop the suffering. It's possible. I know it's very hard thing to do. I still struggle, but one year ago I was on verge of suicide and now I enjoy my life, even if with constant pain and limitations.
    Balsa11 and Hayley like this.
  11. Un0wut2du

    Un0wut2du Peer Supporter

    Hi, I am a friend of Bill’s. TMS and addiction/alcoholism serve the same purpose. As you read more, investigate more, any 12 stepper will see this. I too had a meniscus tear “cleaned up.” The pain got worse. I’m pretty sure it’s because I began to accept the TMS diagnosis and was convinced I had let them damage me. That passed and I run all of the time. I still battle things here and there but I know how to rid myself of it. It works if we work for it. But you know that....
    SDTinaS likes this.
  12. SDTinaS

    SDTinaS New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply @Un0wut2du. It means a lot and gives me hope. It’s been 5 months since my knee surgery and thanks to discovering TMS I’m running again. It brings me such joy, but I’m amazed out my subconscious can try and slip in and make me think something is still wrong. Really the only thing wrong now is atrophy/weakness from lack of use. Thanks again!
  13. rlong98

    rlong98 Newcomer

    Great write up. Very motivating.
    My walks are just that - labeled and good/bad. I’m gonna try this
    Tilli likes this.
  14. Tilli

    Tilli New Member

    The more I read the more I believe that between repressed emotions and the fear are what brought on my first stroke.
  15. sunspore

    sunspore New Member

    Boy doesn't this just resonate! Powerful, powerful stuff, that fear, as well as other similar emotions, can find expression as a chronic pain syndrome. It just makes so much sense to me. When I examine myself in my daily writings, it is clear that fear, anxiety, and general apprehension about life in general are an underlying force in my life. Hearing the words "..it's not dangerous" really feels like a doorway to healing, not just from physical pain, but from the fear-driven emotions at the root of it all. That is my new mantra for any situation where I am feeling not quite right, including pain. It's not dangerous.
    Tilli and Hayley like this.
  16. Erbear

    Erbear New Member

    I realized this is so similar to riding a bicycle. I remember being afraid of falling and getting hurt. I realize this is similar to the TMS issues. The only way to learn to ride the bike is by doing it over and over and eventually, it all works out. I like the idea of outcome independence and I am successful, just by riding the bike today. If I base my success on whether I feel fearful or pain, I am going to have challenges because probably every day there will be those two waiting for me in some form or another. I also realize that the pain doesn't last forever. I could feel no pain in my body and then it could come later ...usually when I get upset. I could also wake up with pain and I used to think, "Oh, no, there goes my day." But I kept an open mind and was wrong many, many times in that it didn't last more than 20 minutes. I then realized that the circuit are being rebuilt and detoured. I now say, in a positive affirming way, "Well, then again...what do I know?" This helps me stay flexible in my thinking and body.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  17. Tilli

    Tilli New Member


    Yes I think my body said “ oh hell no ! You are not going to do 5 jobs again this year in this school system ! Here I’ll fix you , I’ll give you a devastating stroke and then you can’t go back to ultimately kill yourself “. My body is smarter than myself !!
  18. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I am so done being afraid.
    I went down the rabbit hole after seven month post-concussion. Stopped PT. One brave visit to my mindbody release practitioner and wow less pain. Owned the rage. then two days later, I sit down to meditate and get my first migraine in over eight months.
    It hurts.
    I have been wondering where my migraines went off to. Ha.
    I really think I miss my pain when it is gone. Like I’m addicted to a subtle suffering. Poor me. I am not enough!
    This is simply unadulterated BS. I have a wonderful life. Education. Success. Fun.
    and a dark side that stems from childhood that i have synthesized oh so many times.
    And yet, I go deeper.
    I wish to not fear the depths of my unconscious but rather welcome them with courage.
    I am listening to The Divided Mind instead of reading this time. I am hearing it differently. Especially about narcissistic wounding and rage.
    It is timeless in the unconscious. I so wish to unify myself!
  19. kim marie

    kim marie Peer Supporter

  20. kim marie

    kim marie Peer Supporter

    Sounded like me the negative thinking

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