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 RSI "success-so-far" to "full success"

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
alexis Posted - 01/09/2007 : 07:17:06
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Steven McKinnon Posted - 05/07/2015 : 16:07:17
Thanks for sharing the story Alexis (and everyone else for their stories and comments). I'm looking forward to reading more success stories before — hopefully — posting my own…

Thanks once again, and here's hoping for continued success and recovery!

May you never go to hell, but always be on your way
Rile84 Posted - 04/15/2015 : 23:16:54
wow, thank you for sharing your stories guys, it is really inspired me to move along with life :)
Rile84 Posted - 03/06/2015 : 01:15:03
alexis, good to know that you're doing fine in spite of what you have had experienced.
DeborahJ Posted - 02/16/2009 : 23:55:21
I think the problem is that you can't put your heart into treating this like TMS because you're not sure it isn't a structural problem. Even though you're sick of doctors, it seems you need to find one who can make the positive TMS diagnosis (or not). I have been through something similar myself and as long as that lingering doubt is there, it is tough to get better on your own. For me it was worth a four-hour drive to have a complete examination and review of my situation by a qualified professional. With his diagnosis, resources, and encouragement I was able to get well. I wish you the best...
armchairlinguist Posted - 06/05/2007 : 18:37:55
This is Alexis's thread so I don't want to hijack it, but I also believe that pushing through is often a key step. In fact, it was my first step: to experiment by continuing to work through pain while continually telling myself it was just from the mind, the blood flow could increase, etc. It worked perfectly: over two hours the pain flared up, leveled off, and disappeared. It was a huge first step in believing the Sarno method would work for me and encouraged me to do more.

Wherever you go, there you are.
MikeySama Posted - 06/04/2007 : 14:50:43
bcr: I do believe pushing through it, is a very important step. When you do that, you tell the mind that you no longer believe it's physical. That you will not make things worse by typing in our case. I try to always push through it, and telling myself that the pain is only caused by emotions etc etc.

Still, i hope alexis can share some insight. Seeing as we share the same symptoms.
bcr Posted - 06/04/2007 : 14:11:38
Hey Alexis,

You make a lot of good points. Frankly, I don't know how anyone could be 100% certain of anything. In my world, a measurable level of doubt exists in every arena. So, I'm always glad to hear that it isn't a prerequisite.

Likewise, progress of any sort would be helpful in instilling confidence. There are days when my hands feel better/stronger and I feel like I'm really onto something. Then, things take a downturn and I interpret it as having stressed my hands, pushed things too hard, etc. It's hard to maintain confidence in these moments.


If you get a satisfactory answer to this question from anyone, be sure to let me know. This is the issue that continually throws me. I have certain activities that I can engage in without much discomfort (although the degree of stress and duration varies somewhat erratically). Then there are others that seem to just drive my symptoms through the roof (typing/mousing being the most triggering). And of course once my symptoms are triggered everything is a problem (driving/squeezing the shampoo bottle/you name it). I've not yet been able to push through it -- I end up just cutting down activity to nothing and waiting for things to settle down. Maybe pushing through is the answer, but it's hard to do when the pain levels get very high and appear to be accelerating.
MikeySama Posted - 06/04/2007 : 10:40:58

I have one small question. Like bcr i also suffer from RSI, i shouldn't call it RSI anymore because it's TMS but that aside.

My question is rather simple. How do you deal with relapses? However minor they might be. I'm suffering from a rather hefty relapse, that seems to come and go. For the most part i'm shrugging it off, and have gotten some help from here. But i would just really like to know how you handle it.

Thanks in Advance,
bcr Posted - 06/02/2007 : 23:02:52
Hey Alexis,

Your profile indicated that this would be the best place ask you questions, so here I am.

The thing that interests me about your story is that you were apparently able to succeed without 100% faith. For me, this is somewhat of a sticking point. I can't seem to get to that 100% place. I understand the theory and find it extremely compelling. As a budding psychodynamic therapist myself, I've witnessed firsthand the reality and effect of repressed emotions. I've never had a satisfactory structural diagnosis, nor has there ever been a objective finding to explain my RSI symptoms.

That said, doubts linger and I suspect that this keeps me from making progress. I guess I'm interested if my doubts are in line with yours all and -- if so -- how you moved past them or moved past with them.

Anyway, any wisdom you might share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
armchairlinguist Posted - 04/21/2007 : 12:20:41
Awesome, alexis. Glad to hear that all is well.

Wherever you go, there you are.
Woodchuck Posted - 04/20/2007 : 22:32:22
Originally posted by alexis

I wanted to hold off on the really final success verification until I'd been back working full time for a bit. Anyway, complete success. RSI related issues are well down near the bottom of my list of thoughts working back at a computer job 8+ hours a day. I type away with no worries.

Thanks again to all here who shared their stories and offered advice.

That's great news alexis! I'm happy for you. Same here on the being back to doing everything normal and I go days without a thought of the 7 month pain I went through. I'm so glad I ran across Dr. Sarno's books when I did!

HilaryN Posted - 03/03/2007 : 02:27:10
I like it!

Thanks for updating us on your progress and tagging the post. It looks like you're cured. Congratulations!

Hilary N
armchairlinguist Posted - 02/22/2007 : 11:16:10
What I've found pretty helpful as far as maintenance:

Try to maintain an awareness of emotional state if perturbed, and vent emotions when they're strong. (Journaling is how I do this, or rarely pounding a soft object.)

If noticing a pain not correlated with excess activity or correlated with non-harmful activity, recall TMS theory, think about the psychological a bit, laugh at the brain, and move on. If anything major comes up in the thinking, journal about it.

Otherwise, be as normal and active as possible.

Wherever you go, there you are.
armchairlinguist Posted - 01/26/2007 : 18:21:33
I definitely enjoy being able to massage people again! My boyfriend and I give each other backrubs. It is definitely great for stress reduction/relaxation and also for bonding time!

Doing pushups on the wall I highly recommend. This was given to me as an exercise by my physio even when I was still in pain, so it can safely be done even when you are feeling a setback. You can also get on hands and knees and slowly move back and forth and side to side, without going up and down. (You can also do it on your elbows to improve tricep strength. It's an isotonic version of a pushup, basically.) This was given to me by a Feldenkrais practitioner. Hang your head to relax your neck -- feels great!

Wherever you go, there you are.
ndb Posted - 01/26/2007 : 17:22:36
Push-ups are a great idea! 'Cuz you can start right away! You can do easy ones to start with, leaning against a table/stairs to start with if you like.
Littlebird Posted - 01/26/2007 : 14:12:51
I don't usually say much about pain in my hands and arms because I've never considered it to be RSI, since I don't do enough typing or anything else with my hands and arms to suspect that as the reason behind the pain, but I did have a lot of pain for several years, especially in my dominant hand, and this was among the symptoms that cleared up very quickly for me upon reading TDM and finding this forum.

The reason I'm commenting is that the idea of working with clay seems to be similar to the one thing that always helped to temporarily relieve the pain for me--massaging my husband. He has chronic pain and during the last years that he worked, when he was really struggling physically, I felt like massage was one of the things that would help him to keep going. But I didn't think of it as physically treating his pain, I thought of it as a stress reduction technique for him. Though it did often hurt my hands and arms to do the frequent rub-downs, the next day I'd always have less pain.

When my husband stopped working we had to let go of a caregiver who worked in our home to help me with caring for my mother, so I ended up being too exhausted most of the time to continue doing regular rub-downs for him. And my hands began to hurt more, to the point where I had steroid shots a couple of times and was given a brace to wear.

But I finally figured out that when the pain was really bad, the best thing was for me to make myself give a rub-down, even though it would initially hurt me a lot. Now that I understand how TMS works, I'm realizing that maybe it wasn't just the physical workout that helped my hands and arms, it was the emotional connection and the feel-good chemicals that are released in the brains of both parties during massage. It's an emotional stress reducer.

So maybe doing any physical activity that you enjoy does more than just keep your muscles toned and show you that your hands and arms (or whatever body parts are involved) are not as fragile as you've feared. Maybe it's also a way to reduce the emotional reservoir that leads to pain.

Alexis, I like your point about not getting into a cycle where only volunteer work is "worthwhile." I have a hard time allowing myself to do "non-productive" activities, which surely contributes to TMS.

It's good to hear that you are having success with overcoming pain.
armchairlinguist Posted - 01/26/2007 : 12:17:54
Cycling and swimming are also good activities. They work your whole body but rely a lot on hand and arm strength.

NB For cycling to work for this you have to ride in the jockey crouch that experienced cyclists use, not the upright "coaster" position, and have some knowledge about proper grip (straight wrists, most of the weight on your upper arms), or you'll just end up in positions that genuinely do cause temporary wrist pain.

I still have crap upper body strength because of hardly using my arms for three years, but it's getting better! I'm thinking of doing pushups, too.

Wherever you go, there you are.
ndb Posted - 01/26/2007 : 11:08:03
I've been told you're not really supposed to use your arms to pull yourself up...the key is supposed to be to use your legs+thighs to push up. But certainly its a workout for the arms as well especially if you're a beginner like I was. I would think its not so much that you did something wrong, just that we usually don't use our arms that way, so the muscles just run out of oxygen quickly perhaps.
ndb Posted - 01/26/2007 : 10:15:59
I climbed on a climbing wall after I started my RSI recovery -- for the same kind of ideas. It gave me a lot of confidence.

h2oskier25 Posted - 01/18/2007 : 14:22:42
I just have to say, nobody was more scared or traumatized than I was vocationally speaking. It's not pleasant to admit, but I made career decisions based on how much typing vs. cut and pasting I could do. It was pathetic.

Remember, the body is strong and was made to work all day if need be. I kept reading that part on Nate's website that said we OWE it to ourselves to heal completely from RSI and remove ALL physcial restrictions! Believe me it's true. You wouldn't believe the typing I do now all day at work, only to go home and work on the computer some more for my personal business.

Write me for my personal RSI mantra that I still keep on my computer desktop, but haven't had to reference for over a year. I'm cured of RSI TMS. Now, I occasionally get pains elsewhere. I laugh and say "is that the best you can do.", or I try to think about what's going on psychologically, and it's over.


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