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109 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  09:08:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone, it's been a couple of years since I've posted here. Haven't had the need, since my back was OK!

Well, I bought a new house recently, and I think with the stress of packing, moving, selling, buying, DIY projects, etc. it all got real stressful and my back has been acting up the last few months. GOD I didn't miss the pain! Bums me out to have to put up with it again. Stops me from doing things. Trying not to let it distract me, but my lower back is screaming tantrums at me and won't calm down. My back can kiss my a**!

So I could use a little refresher and pep talk. I hope everyone is doing OK out there in TMS land.

P.S. If you want to read a funny story (well, it's funny now) that added to the stress, click here:

blog . timesunion . com/advocate/the-fall-guy/1192/


123 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  12:37:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been having a TMS relapse in my knee for the past few weeks, and it's remarkable how I had forgotten how intense and draining the pain can be, and I'm also reminded about how hard it is to believe it's a mental thing and not physical, and how it is to deal with it day after day after day. I can't believe I put up with it as long as I did (10-20 yrs).
just stay at it, you'll get over it eventually.
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111 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  03:41:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been having trouble with my right knee for the last few weeks as well. Had been in my lower back and down my leg with sciatica. First time this has shown up in my knee. I'm sure it is TMS since it goes completely away briefly and moves around, but, unlike my first problem which I overcame quite quickly, this does not let up. Guess I will have to do some journaling. I have all of Sarnos books which I am starting to re-read. Just reading and recognizing the symptoms does help a bit though.

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182 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  06:45:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As you spend some time on this forum - unfortunately what you'll find is that relapses are pretty common stuff.

The key is to not get tricked by the relapse or new location for the pain. Easier said than done - but that simple reminder can help.

Why does pain come back? Possibly new emotional issues that are overwhelming. Do the work again. Think psychological, not physical.

Do the work. Dig deep. If the pain doesn't go away as easy as the first time, that's kinda normal around here. Many of us have had that same experience.

But by hanging tough and continuing to do the TMS work - we got through it. You can too.

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109 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  07:39:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks. We're having a big open house next weekend, that's stressing me out deep down, and I know I'll probably be back to "normal" right after, so I'm just hanging in there, reminding myself I was fine for two whole years and this will pass. Lower back pain really stinks, though, ugh!!!
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109 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2009 :  08:48:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, our big party was Saturday. Had major pain and stiffness the morning of, was fine when everyone was there, and back to the pain when everyone left. Then, the day after until now, I'm 80-90% fine! Now why would a physical problem change like that? It's all in the head. Amazing. I hope more people wake up to this. So many broken lives out there, struggling in the dark...
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United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2009 :  15:07:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I look forward to reading your story on the Success Stories forum:

Hilary N
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109 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2009 :  08:29:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Still dealing with daily low back pain, especially after doing something physical, like yard work. I'm fighting it but it stinks.

I'm firing my chiropractor. It's not easy, because I've been seeing him for two years, and I think he's sincere and does want to help me, but nothing's really improved in all that time. Besides, I don't care for the all the propaganda in the office, implying we have fragile bodies that need constant tending. It's not in the program and he has to go. He's the last link to the "old ways" of the physical. Honestly I think I used him more as someone to complain to. Lots of $$ to. Seems like a waste.

I printed out some daily journaling exercises, since I think that's the next step. I need to deal with my crap. Whenever the pain acts up (like today) I feel myself getting very anxious and nervous, and I have to talk to myself and force myself to breathe. Ridiculous!
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124 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2009 :  12:11:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been doing great lately, until about 3 days ago when my mother-in-law came for a visit. Now I have pain that comes and goes and floats around from ankle to lower leg and back. It is not her fault. I'm sure everyone has challenges with in-laws and I'm no different. But TMS comes back because of me, my thoughts, my beliefs and my mental process.

I know some people are critical of the Sarno approach or the TMS diagnosis because of recurrences, but I take a different view. I had a full childhood and several decades of adulthood to form certain beliefs and thought patterns - and have only been trying to correct them for a small handful of years. Recurrences mean I am not done working on mental weaknesses and misconceptions. It takes time.

And so... thank TMS. Yes, thank it. That is my approach. "Thank you for showing me an area where I still have a mental weakness, a false belief that is keeping me from being, completely, the person I want to be."

And next... I work on those beliefs. Why should I feel just dandy, then think about making dinner for my family and my house guest, and suddenly be limping? What did my brain just do? Moreover, what do I believe about myself in that moment?

Believing, on some level, that I am judged unworthy is a mental state I cannot quickly or easily discard. I came to this belief after years of conditioning. I know that I can change it, but I cannot snap my fingers and make it go away.

I am torn between eagerly awaiting the end of my mother-in-law's visit, and wanting to extend it so that I can figure this out and fix my thinking! Every now and then, I hit on the right kind of thinking and I am completely pain free, but I cannot seem to carry it to each new situation that arises. It's like I finally master parallel parking, but then I've got to also learn to merge on the freeway at 50 mph. I think I've done that, and then I've got to turn left in busy traffic, under pressure, using a manual transmission. One victory leads to the next challenge, and since I am dealing with a mother figure here (my own mother committed suicide in 1990) the challenges are deeply moving and difficult for me.

But what I mostly want to contribute to this thread is the reminder that it is our views of ourselves that fall back into old patterns, not our aching backs or knees or ankles. Or, if we don't fall back into old patterns, we discover an old pattern that never was dealt with during the earlier encounters with TMS.

Forget about the body part. It's perfectly fine and will stop hurting when the mind issues are sorted out. And in my opinion, journaling and digging up old hurts will only help to the extent that it reveals your self-beliefs and shows you what beliefs need to change.

This is where I believe Sarno falls short. We can learn why we hurt through his program, but "think psychologically" leaves a whole lifetime of strategy unexplained. Until I learn otherwise, I am continuing to work on it from a self-belief point of view. Working on positive self-beliefs has had the greatest impact on me of any strategy I've tried.

Regarding another point that was mentioned, I do not find any relief in scolding body parts, though I did in my earliest encounters with TMS. (Why the change? I don't know.) Now I find that this just puts more focus on the body, a body which is perfectly fine. In fact, don't scold at all. What you focus on will magnify.

The most helpful, pain-relieving, and permanently beneficial thoughts and focus I have found are the ones that are about loving yourself, loving/forgiving others, letting go of control, believing the best of yourself, and joyfully accepting your whole person, with both your virtues and your faults.

Hanging on to those thoughts when a mother-in-law is in your face is the hard part. But it's hard only because it's new. We who get TMS are not trained to love ourselves in stressful situations. But we can learn it! We must. The alternative is a life of petty pains and major mental turmoil.
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