Tag Archives: tms

Mind-Body MD

An interview I did with L.A.-based mind-body doc, David Schechter, MD, is now up at PsychologyToday.com.

When I saw this patient again a few weeks later, her pain had gone from a nine out of ten to a zero to one out of ten. She was making plans for future vacations, hotel beds, school, and other activities she had long denied herself due to pain–all after only two months.

Your Chronic Pain Library

Gotten through The Mindbody Prescription and the other titles listed on this site’s pain page?  Here’s another to consider–some like it better than the rest:  Get Rid of the Pain in Your Butt Now! by Monte Hueftle.

Hueftle, a TMS Coach and Hypnotherapist, has also put together a full TMS course, The Master Practice, available through his website, RunningPain.com.  No word on that yet–let me know how it goes.

The Future v. Fibromyalgia

From PsychCentral: Cell Phone Therapy for Fibromyalgia.  Virtual reality and accelerometers! Background:

Fibromyalgia is a complex and chronic pain syndrome which causes generalized pain and deep exhaustion, among other symptoms. It is a serious public health problem, more usual among adult women, and causes significant negative psychological effects. In fact, 35 percent of affected patients suffer from depression and anxiety.

A TMS/stress illness doc might want to look into which came first…

Journaling and Chronic Pain

A new page on the TMS Wiki details various approaches to journaling. They’re up there to help people with chronic pain, but journaling can be a big help to just about anyone.  Among the approaches on the page: List Making, Spider Writing, Free Writing, Unsent Letters, and Dialogue.

Several workbooks, which’ll help you through the writing process are listed. Two chronic pain-specific, journaling-heavy titles: Unlearn Your Pain (Dr. Howard Schubiner) and The MindBody Workbook (Dr. David Schechter).


Stress Illness Symptoms

Sometimes chronic pain and illness, wrestled with over months and years, are finally found to be rooted in stress and tension.  For some, just considering that idea can help bring relief.

Here’s Dr. David Clarke’s list of common stress-related symptoms, taken from his book, They Can’t Find Anything Wrong!: 7 Keys to Understanding, Treating, and Healing Stress Illness.

  • Pain such as headache, back pain, neck pain, chest pain, muscle or joint pain, and abdominal pain
  • Abnormal swallowing, digestion, or bowel function including constipation, diarrhea, and bloating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Discomfort in the bladder or during urination.
  • Respiratory symptom, including difficulty breathing and cough
  • Voice changes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pelvic and vaginal irritation, premensrual or menstrual pain
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal sleeping or eating
  • Symptoms related to nerve function such as blurred vision, dizziness, ringing in the ears, itching of the skin, sweating, numbness, or tingling

Sound like you?  As with any medical problem, the first step is to talk with your doctor.

For more on the topic try Dr. Clarke’s site, stressillness.com or Dr. David Schechter’s MindBodyMedicine.com.  On this site, go to  Stress-Related Pain and Illness.

Mind-Body Media

Once you begin considering that many physical symptoms may be stress related, not only do you react to your own aches and pains differently, the news starts to take on a different meaning.  That’s why Dr. David Schechter repeatedly asks in his  MindBody Workbook what kind of messages you’ve been getting in the media about pain symptoms.  Here, a couple of those very stories:

Fibromyalgia Affects Mental Health of Those Diagnosed and Their Spouses, Study Finds

Use of Alternative Therapy for Pain Treatment Increases With Age and Wealth

The message?  Different from Dr. Schechter’s.

For more about mind-body medicine, try Dr. Schecter’s website, this interview I did with therapist Alan Gordon, and/or the stress illness section of this site.

Workaholism and Chronic Pain

Take a look at the Workaholics Anonymous Brief Guide (pdf). In addition to the 12-steps (pretty much the same as A.A.’s, with “work” replacing “alcohol”) and a quiz (“How Do I Know if I’m a Workaholic?”), there’s Tools of Recovery list.  What’s especially striking about them to this reader is how completely they sync up with suggested approaches to undoing stress-related chronic pain.  Here’s a sampling:

Substituting We do not add a new activity without eliminating from our schedule one that demands equivalent time and energy.

Underscheduling We allow more time than we think we need for a task or trip, allowing a comfortable margin to accommodate the unexpected.

Playing We schedule time for play, refusing to let ourselves work non-stop. We do not make our play into a work project.

Concentrating We try to do one thing at a time.

Pacing We work at a comfortable pace and rest before we get tired. To remind ourselves, we check our level of energy before proceeding to our next activity.We do not get “wound up” in our work, so we don’t have to unwind.

Relaxing We do not yield to pressure from others or attempt to pressure others. We remain alert to the people and situations that trigger feelings of pressure in us. We become aware of our own actions, words, body sensations and feelings that tell us we are responding with pressure. When we feel energy building up, we stop; we reconnect with our Higher Power and others around us.

Accepting We accept the outcomes of our endeavors, whatever the results, whatever the timing. We know that impatience, rushing and insisting on perfect results only slow down our recovery. We are gentle with our efforts, knowing that our new way of living requires much practice.

Balancing We balance our involvement in work with our efforts to develop personal relationships, spiritual growth, creativity and playful attitudes.

A pretty good set of principles–workaholic, chronic pain-sufferer, or not.