A few months ago I had never heard of TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) or considered the mind body connection in any depth. That is, until I started to get fed up, and worried about, the constant back pain I was experiencing. Listening to a podcast one day, the interviewee mentioned that she had been cured of her own back pain by reading a book. How was this possible?! I immediately grabbed a notepad and pen and made a note of the title and author: ‘Healing Back Pain’ by a Dr John Sarno. I’ve read it too, and it changed my life (no joke)! I have this book to thank for putting me on my own road to recovery.
Dr John Sarno was probably America’s most famous back pain doctor. He died in 2017 at the health age of 93, and thankfully his legacy continues in the form of (among many):
Nicole Sachs, LCSW
Dr Harold Schubiner
Dave Clarke, MD
Alan Gordon, LCSW
Barbara Kline, LCSW-C
Georgie Oldfield, MCSP
David Schechter, MD
Howard Schubiner, MD
Eric Sherman, PsyD
John Stracks, MD
Peter Zafirides, MD
Don’t even get me started on this topic! I have so much I want to share with you. If you feel you are suffering from chronic pain (pain that has endured beyond the body’s normal inflammatory and healing process of 12 weeks) anywhere in your body, please get in touch and I will help you! It is my passion, and my mission, to share this work and to cure others as I have cured myself.
I am always studying the fascinating mind body connection and how past trauma and current day-to-day stress can manifest itself in the body, if not expressed, and lead to chronic pain. I’ve been doing a few exercises on myself and it’s incredible how many ‘aha!’ moments I’m having.
I will be talking much more about the mind body connection and adding some really useful and insightful information to help coach clients to better health. Watch this space! I already have two clients lined up and can’t wait to get started.
In other news, I can finally talk properly after losing my voice for several days! I had been travelling a lot, talking much more than is usual for a country mouse and my immunity was compromised. I ended up with a stinky cold for almost a week. I couldn’t even remember the last time I was ill, so this time I just told myself to accept it, rest and take care of myself and let my immune system do its work. It meant I couldn’t exercise for 7 days (and nobody wants to be around me when this happens!), but it did mean I had plenty of time to read, research and be kind to myself. It worked, and was just what I needed.
This morning I ran and felt great! I even had my son with me for the second lap, so we had a little bonding time. This time together becomes rare during the teenage years, so I’ll take any positive moment and treasure it!
Back to work now. Wishing you a wonderful, positive day doing at least one thing that you love, just for you.
When a patient makes a major TMS symptom subside by doing “the work”, the brain is no longer effectively achieving its goal of distracting attention away from emotions. To counteract this, the brain will attempt to find a new area of focus, with the result that the patient often gets a new symptom – which can become chronic if it is not recognized for what it is.
The patient can have TMS knowledge and even a strong conviction about their main symptom being TMS, but will continue to experience new symptoms if deeper emotional issues are not eventually addressed.
The emergence of new symptoms as old ones subside is called the symptom imperative.
I’m working on the reasons for my lower back pain and have been ‘sent’ something else to deal with to distract me – a stinking cold and I’ve lost my voice for the last two days! This may or may not be the symptom imperative but it’s doing a good job as one.
My daughter has suggested I start using sign language as she’s finding my strained whisper a little annoying!
It’s not been pleasant, but interestingly enough, my back has felt less stiff and painful for the last two days. This cold and ‘let up’ on pain in the usual area has also coincided with the most amazing weekend at the National Running Show in the UK with my best friend – another great distraction from the TMS.
So, although I’ve been suffering a little, this has enabled me to focus away from my usual ‘ape to modern man’ walk as I get out of bed in the morning and look after myself to get better. I wasn’t really doing that before, and just ‘ploughing through’ the pain symptoms. Perhaps my mind is asking me to slow down properly this time…….
As I look at professional coaches’ websites, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, blogs etc etc I find my stomach tightening, and I think it’s from fear. Fear of them because they are better than me, more intelligent and more wise than I am, with so much more to offer the world than I could possibly have. And then I see this image, posted by Dawn Nickels from She Recovers (https://sherecovers.co/) and it makes me think: what if it’s just fear and it’s not true? What if I AM as good as these people and that I, TOO, can make a difference?
It excites me, and at the same time it terrifies me! But isn’t that what it’s all about – feeling the fear and doing it anyway? Faking it until you make it? It’s been a long time since my last blog post and I wonder why I haven’t posted recently. When I really consider the reasons (of which they are no doubt many – one of them being a busy working mum to two teenagers) I realise that some of this ‘going off the radar’ comes from fear: fear that people I know will ‘find’ me and mock me for my writing. Fear that I will ‘out’ myself and make a fool of myself. And fear that my words are falling into an abyss where no-one is present or listening, where they have no impact whatsoever.
Then I realise that it’s a big old world! That there are millions of people out there, many with the same fears as me. And that we all have a story to tell. And that telling that story might just help someone else. This sounds a little all-encompassing I know, but I have plans! Watch this stage. It’s time to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.