Ease, Trust, Success and Positive Loops

I just got off the the phone with someone who is succeeding in dealing with long-term TMS symptoms –digestive in this case, and I want to put to words some things which are subtle and synergistic in the path to wellness, as we use Dr. Sarno’s approach.

Folks who have worked through their pain with the TMS Pain Relief Process probably understand what I say below well, but for newer people, or those whose symptoms have not lessened, I hope to impart a sense of magic and hope, because these are the best words for me to describe this experience.

Once the process of effectively working with TMS has begun to take hold, there can be a wonderful sense of freedom, safety, and trust. Here are some of the typical experiences as this sense of trust builds over time.

1) Relief of “core issue” symptoms. I’ll include this first, because it is so important in what follows. This relief imparts a sense of strength, magic, efficacy, success, and self-esteem. Even if our relief is not full relief, but an improvement!

2) Relief of secondary symptoms. As we focus our efforts on our “core issue” —our long-term pain or other symptom, other conditions subside and fall away, typically with little or no effort. In my case, my foot pain was the core issue, and the ones which went away, using only the inquiry “is this also TMS?” were whiplash and cat allergies.

3) When we feel some pain or other symptom —perhaps a new symptom, we’re not caught in worry about this new experience. We don’t make it into something it is not. In fact we’re pretty sure most of the time this is “nothing to worry about.” For me I felt the fear of getting into long-term pain from a car wreck or ski accident evaporate. I’ve also had moments of light-headedness when under stress, or occasional tinnitus. When I remember that I am prone to TMS and this is normal, then I relax about it, and stop monitoring symptoms. Then the symptoms don’t increase. They fall away. This practice of “letting things be as they are” is a relief to our nervous system!

4) We notice others around us constantly worrying about their backs, their food, their health. Then we notice, beautifully, this is not us, and this is a huge relief. There can be a deep relaxation, a basic trust in our bodies that we’re going to be OK. We can trust that we’re in basic health, rather than being fragile and prone to problems.

Taken together, these four pieces are basically world-view changing. Magic. Magic, especially for the TMS-prone worry-mind many of us know well. There is a new freedom.

All these elements lead to and support each other, and I think they are the “de-Tensioning” on some level of our nervous system. This is not the deeper psychological tension which Dr. Sarno wrote about: deep conflicts between what we feel down deep vs the way we think we should feel –or are conscious of. But the deepening cycle of success, trust, ease –this positive cycle directly address the amped-up nervous system which got us into, and perpetuated TMS symptoms to begin with.

This amped-up experience is made of repeating loops of fear, anxiety, pain, distrust, catastrophising, attempts to fix, self-blame, self-doubt, etc. The antidote to this kind of tension may well be the sense of trust, ease, and “all will be well” in successful TMS work which takes us from high tension toward ease. These feedback loops are positive and life-giving, expansive. Some of this ease is very subtle, and at the same time works very deeply.

Psychological inquiry is probably very important in this process because we realize we’re still OK when we consciously feel deep sadness, anger or fear. We learn to trust and love our deeper conditions just as they are. This gives us ease, and freedom. We feel more safe.

I wanted to point to this de-escalation as something common, beautiful, and basic to the approach we’re working with here. This movement toward ease can sometimes happen very early, and it’s a powerful fuel for the process. Positive self-talk, connecting with community, a moment of no symptoms, self-intimacy and discovery, reading success stories –all these elements, and many more help us begin to take the journey back down the tension path, toward ease, trust, success.

May we taste the ease I describe deeply, trusting this as our friend.