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. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Where is this link? Thanks
  2. KittenLePurr

    KittenLePurr New Member

    Thank you so much for this. I’m new here—I just discovered and read Healing Back Pain last week and discovered this site over the weekend!—and have been immersing myself in all things TMS treatment ever since. Really working on outcome independence and focusing on my feelings whenever I feel the pain, as Dr. Sarno recommended. This program here and this forum are miracles to me! Thank you <3
    Alan Gordon LCSW and BinLA like this.
  3. morgan b

    morgan b New Member

    Hallo everybody, i'm writing from Italy, sorry for bad english.
    I suffer from very debilitating low back pain from 6years.
    Now i'm finally into TMS, I've also read a couple of books. It's going better but i'm still far from healing. I know i will heal anyway... i always had the suspect that we can reprogram our nervous response in some ways and i am happy to find these pages. Thanks.

    Let me tell you a story (of mine), i think it is really interesting and very related to tms and The possibility to break the pain/fear cycle. I use to tell this story even before discovering TMS, as an example of how energies or fear in our being can work sometimes.

    When i was 18, i started to feel itch, then burning on all my body, with red spots on 90% of it. My family situation was quite terrible (and probably still the cause of my more 'recent' back pain). Any physical movement would cause these orticaria eruptions but the most horrible part was...emotions. A simple math test at school would end in me burning like i was in hell. I started to go to school with a spray water bottle to refresh myself at the moment of eruption (noone was taking jokes on me, i dont know why...):)
    At the time i was diagnosed with anxiety.
    Then they told me about this cholinergic orthicaria. The doctor gave me stupid pills (anti-staminic), they did absolutely zero, like a pill of paracetamol does with back pain. The pain was simply too strong. After 6 months, i was in bed all the time. Walking to bathroom was enough to generate the burning. I was of course desperate and i started to imagine my suicide (ok, maybe i was listening too much to gothic music at the time).
    The doctors were unable to propose an alternative cure; it was 22 years ago medically speaking and i wasn't really seeing them because my family didnt care much and i was basically alone in that situation.
    Then i found a definitive cure by myself. I realized that i was constantly running from movement and emotions. So i tried an 'opposite' stratagem. I started causing the pain voluntarily running under the sun as much as i can, every day. My goal was to anestetyze(?) myself at the point of being unable to feel that specific burning pain. I wanted to feel so much pain that a regular one would be acceptable. The result has been even better: totally healed in 2weeks. Never had orthicaria again.
    Now in 2020 there is medical, official 'evidence' that physical activity can cure cholinergic orthicaria. I remember around 2005 there was a blog like this one we are reading now, full of people seeking help and of course i posted my story at the time.
    But my cure wasnt the physical activity, it was the destruction of all my fears.
    I'm trying now to deal with my stupid little herniation the same way, i think it will work.
    hawaii_five0, Balsa11 and sunspore like this.
  4. sunspore

    sunspore New Member

    Hi Morgan,
    Keep the faith. I had debilitating back pain for over 20 years! I somehow always knew there was a way out, yet I could never find it. I have found that retraining my brain to react to pain without fear and dread is has been the most helpful. The way that I reacted to my pain was the same way I reacted to everything else in life - with dread, fear, and anxiety. It's a vicious cycle, but it can be broken. There is no finish line, at least for me. It's about daily practice, taking conscious control of my subconscious reactions. For a long time I spent a few minutes throughout the day repeating about 10 phrases in a meditative setting:

    I am safe
    There is no need to send danger signals to my body to feel pain
    I am able to feel strong emotions without feeling physical pain
    Any pain that I feel comes from my brain, not my body. It is a learned response to emotions and activities. I will learn new ways of dealing with those emotions and activities.
    There is nothing wrong with my back. The imperfections in my back are NOT causing my pain. Everyone has imperfections in their backs. Not everyone has pain.
    I am on the right track, it will take time to replace 25 years of conditioning. Keep the faith!
    I have been on the path of TMS for a while now. I am fully committed to the fact that I have TMS.
    I will stop feeling like I "should" be doing anything.
    I will stop reacting to pain, emotions, and other events with dread and fear. I am confident in myself.

    I have this all on a document on my phone. I used to stop 3 or 4 times a day and quietly recite this to myself. It has worked wonders for me. I rarely have back pain these days! What a miracle!! Thanks for reminding me. I wish you the best!
  5. Gojab

    Gojab New Member

    So powerful..that video
  6. katopasna

    katopasna Newcomer

    Is am so glad I found this site. This is my 2nd round with TMS. The first time was about 7 years ago with a foot issue. I was so desperate for relief and didn’t want surgery.

    I read two of Dr Sarnos book and it took a couple weeks but it fixed me. This time is a little more complicated. I have more issues and more pain. I tried another one of his books but still no luck. But I like this fear thing. I am afraid that I am going to be crippled in a wheel chair. I am only 51 and can barely walk. I am aware I also have a lot of repressed anger from the family issues but I believe the fear of me not being able to walk or stand straight is much stronger than anything else.

    I look forward to finishing your ideas and finally getting over this.
    Balsa11 and Aimee88 like this.
  7. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    The urticaria sounds scarier than the back pain for some reason.
  8. Nattygracey

    Nattygracey Newcomer

    I posted a question on the forum but I did forget to mention that there is no talk of journalling or suppressed emotions on this program and I’m just confused because all the programs really focus on these things and talk a lot about meditation but I really feel that the challenge of overcoming the fear is probably beneficial for me, how do I know what I need to do? Can I become so complicated but I really feel that overcoming fear is the biggest challenge for myself, I can barely stand, walk or sit and suffer with extreme what has been diagnosed as pudenal neuralgia... I have felt good for eight weeks last year after my surgery and after the pain returning it has just got worse and worse and yes my fear has spiralled out of control and I worry for my life and for my family and fear I will never get better and the prospect of this program overcoming fear really seems that it could be the right path for me but I am worried that by not following what the other programs suggest in journalling and meditating et cetera that I’m missing something? Can you help? X
    Balsa11 likes this.
  9. honeycombby

    honeycombby Newcomer

    HI, I just want to share my experience with this amazing pain recovery program. I had been suffering coccydynia (pain in tailbone area) and mainly lower back pain for at least 15-18 years. My main symptom is I could not sit long in (especially) soft cushioned chair. My job is desk bound, you can imagine how agonizing it became for me for my daily life. Everytime I tried to change sitting setting (sit posture, different chair), or pick up different exercises, the main painful area might be ok for a while, but some other part of my body (upper back, shoulder, neck, sole, knee... you name it) would get painful by trying of compensating the unnatural posture. The first orthopedic doctor did MRI to me and said my L5-S1 is 'slightly degenerative' and I have referred pain. That's all, and nobody can pin point exactly what happened. To a point suicidal thought was quite often came across my mind.
    About 2 years ago, I sort of decided this could be brain induced, inspired by a casual remark by my husband, although I didn't know how much this brain activity actually has to do with my pain. I came across someone mentioned Dr. Sano and TMS in one of the online article, and slowly I tried to read many Dr. Sano's books, and finally I ended up in this wiki and this pain recovery program. It was a great euphoria for me. I remember when I realized all these are TMS related, and the 'pain ' feeling was like the tide slowly ebbed away. I felt great.... I practiced many techniques like daily pain and trouble diary, self affirmative writing et. al, some worked great and some not so much. And I got rid of some routines (like stretches, chiro...) because I believed they are not helpful to my condition. Generally I was able to contain the pain to about 10% more or less...... until last month.

    2020 had been difficult to many ppl, my job became 50% work from home, and I enjoyed the less stressful routine and pick up some exercise routine as well, which was great to my physical and mental health. Starting of 2021, I was required to go back to work 100% of the time, I guess this was too overwhelmed to me, just 1 week after I started the 100% routine, I had minor backache episode again. It was annoying but I was able to deal with it. But after that things was getting worse, and to my worst nightmare, the butt pain (tailbone pain) was slowly creeping up again!!! I felt so helpless and confused, didn't I do all the right thing? why are those stuffs apparently not working anymore?! within a few weeks, my anxiety level was rocket high. I had started to pick up old and (I believe) taboo habits, like stretches every 30 mins, sleep with some specify posture... franticly tried to make myself not painful, but it was not helpful.

    Out of despair, I decided to revisit this pain recovery program again, hopefully to reinforce my understanding, and pick up something that I missed. I was following the youtube clip shared in this page, following what Alan has guided to that poor nurse (which I can so relate with), .....and boomed! my pain ALSO melted again at the same time. And the whole process repeated again when I listened to the Alan and Christie's voice clip on the next page. That moment I really cried, I didn't realized my brain has been so depressed and screamed for help for all these years.

    What i gained new insight this time (compared with 2 years ago) was all these pain activities indeed started from the brain. when your brain is clouded and anxious, it slowly developed to other physical sensation like pain, or heartbeat fast or even shortness of breath. But you need to snap yourself out of it, look at your surrounding , listen to what is around you, help to convince yourself that you are indeed safe and you needn't be scared of what happen. When you really manage to tame your brain and feel calm, all these other physical sensation will go away. It is hard to realize it, I didn't really realize it 2 years ago, but when you finally do it, it felt calm and great, and grateful.

    Like what Alan said, what I managed to achieve here is a technique that works for me to realize that my brain has induced anxiety activities, and a way that works for me to calm it on the spot. So I tried to actively monitor the anxiety level of my brain, when I feel that the fear has built up, I tried to snap the cycle to not scare of it, and to feel calm all the time. The main focus become what happen to my brain, not to whatever other part of the body. But it doesn't mean the panic cycle doesn't comeback, at least not so soon. So after 1 week of my euphoric discovery, I still deal with panic cycle many times a day, just that I know how to tame it and face it, and hopefully like what Alan predict, a new neural pathway will be formed by doing so and in a few months' time I can get rid of all these forever! (fingers crossed)
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
    Balsa11 likes this.
  10. Nattygracey

    Nattygracey Newcomer

    hi, thank you for writing a post that resonates with me, may I ask how you are on your journey with pelvic pain now? Have you managed to overcome the fear and beat the pain? Sorry I know I shouldn’t say the the P word! I am in the same boat as you but I can’t stand / walk / sit, I’m trying my best to stay calm and loose the fear, it’s early days and my symptoms are severe... I am trying to be positive and win this fight ... I would love to hear from you. Natalie
    Balsa11 likes this.
  11. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    It's odd but just keep walking around. It goes away when the circulation flows better instead of pooling while sitting.
  12. Nattygracey

    Nattygracey Newcomer

    Thank you for your reply, it’s impossible though, it feels like my inside is being ripped apart like the nerve is being compressed when I stand up and walk, if I try to push though I end up in so much pain I can’t even get out of bed. It’s that bad. I can’t fight through.
  13. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    It actually hurts more when you don't move because of the lack of circulation. Roll around on your back in bed and warm up before you get up. Keep trying, even if you need to hold on to something, lean against the wall, or cry. Cry it out, seriously. You might have panic attacks and the pain may move or surge. Keep going anyway. Take as long as you need. Press the area that hurts. Try to do as much somatic tracking as you can, shifting your awareness to different parts of the body. Try at different times in the day. As long as you know there's no structural damage, you can keep going. Small steps. Don't fight your feelings. Give your body a chance to respond and relax. It's a long lag but it will happen eventually.
    Nattygracey likes this.
  14. Nattygracey

    Nattygracey Newcomer

    thank you, I really appreciate this, im still early days only been doing this a few days and still trying to shift my attention away from believing this is structural as my pelvis is miss aligned so I keep thinking my pudenal nerve is being compressed my muscle but I’m trying to assure myself this IS TMS. X
  15. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Misaligned? More like cramping up and stiff. Needs a chance to loosen up.
    Nattygracey likes this.
  16. Nattygracey

    Nattygracey Newcomer

    That totally makes sense! Thank you
  17. Nattygracey

    Nattygracey Newcomer

    When the swimming pools open I just love swimming it does my mind the world of good it’s fun and I feel strong ... lockdown is tough ....
    Balsa11 likes this.
  18. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    PlainJane likes this.
  19. PlainJane

    PlainJane New Member

    Hi. I'm on day 4 here, but I'm on day 61 of meditating and so on. I don't think there really is a day one. I was introduced to Sarno's work 2 years ago and it took me reading his book twice to really get into this. It also helped that my husband wanted to start meditating. Someone here (sorry, I don't remember who you are) recommended a book written by a woman who went through this program. It's called "Defying the Verdict" by Tamara Gurin. I'm most of the way through this book, now. It's good to read varying books, for me anyway. Keeps me going forward.
    I have noticed I seem to have more energy. That's a pretty great start, I think. I've actually been able to walk our little, old dog 4 times. The first time was very short. Second time was short due to shortness of breath. I do have a small heart problem. Third and fourth time were great and I was able to walk a whole half block and back. Guess that makes a whole block. :) I'm also excited instead of daunted by the prospect that I'm going to paint an outside wall and our big gate (this is something I love to do, normally). I've got the wall prepped! It took 2 weeks to prep but it's done and I'm going forward.
    I plan to keep coming here and writing about once a week or when I feel the need. I'm also going to use facebook to express myself on my own page and on one with a chronic illness group. I hope to spread the word as well as heal myself of this ridiculous way of life.
    I hope that anyone else who is here is doing well. :) Onward, ho! ;)
    clou88 and hawaii_five0 like this.
  20. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Peer Supporter

    I know the original post by Alan is 4+ years old and the video of him talking the nurse down from her neck pain, but wow that is so powerful. It is hard for me to express how much I admire this guy (Alan Gordon), providing so much information to try to help people, not monetizing it. Plus he just seems like a great guy. All praise and honor to him. It's hard to think of a more useful and valuable thing a human being could do with their life: potentially helping millions of people out of their torment. Respect.
    PlainJane likes this.

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