Here is some info from the TMS Wiki. Please note: Myositis is not a good term for this condition as there is no inflammation present.
An Introduction to Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)(Redirected from An Introduction to TMS)
Have you struggled with chronic pain or another medically unexplained symptom for a long time? Have you tried everything to alleviate your pain, but nothing worked? Have you had doctors tell you they "just can’t find anything wrong?"
Then you may have Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). TMS is a condition that causes real physical symptoms that are not due to pathological or structural abnormalities and are not explained by diagnostic tests. In TMS, symptoms are caused by psychological stress.
You may be at your wits end. However, there is hope. We know this because the authors of this wiki struggled with chronic pain for many years, and that is exactly how we felt: hopeless. We're not doctors so, of course, we can't diagnose you, and everyone is different, but we are here to tell you what worked for us and how it did so without surgery, needles, or drugs. We found relief from pain through TMS.
Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), also known as Tension Myoneural Syndrome, is a condition originally described by John E. Sarno, MD, a retired professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, and attending physician at the Howard A. Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center. TMS is a condition that causes real physical symptoms, such as chronic pain, gastrointenstinal issues, and fibromyalgia, that are not due to pathological or structural abnormalities and are not explained by diagnostic tests. In TMS, pain symptoms are caused by mild oxygen deprivation via the autonomic nervous system, as a result of repressed emotions and psycho-social stress. This is not to say that the pain is “all in your head” or that it is not real. TMS symptoms are very much real, and we should know. All of the people who wrote and developed this website had debilitating chronic pain and other symptoms. We know, first hand, what it is like to have back pain, sciatica pain, RSI, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and a wide array of other symptoms. We visited doctors and were told the same things you probably heard: "you have a degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, you type too much, it is due to overuse, or that you are just aging." Even though we were told this, when we applied the ideas first promoted by Dr. Sarno we became pain free and regained our lives.
For more info on TMS watch The 20/20 segment on John Sarno and TMS.
How TMS Develops: At the heart of the development of TMS is our desire to be good people, loved by those we care about. This desire leads us to strive for perfection, and to put the needs of others above our own. We will cook a three course family meal after working a 10 hour day, because that is what a good mother would do. We will be the first person to volunteer to work on the weekend, because that is what a good employee would do. We will stay up all night making sure our homework is perfect, because if we don't, we won't get a good job. Our beliefs of what a good and perfect person will do directly influence our behavior on a day-to-day basis.
But sometimes, as more and more external stress is added and our desire for perfection increases, we develop a very deep seated resentment toward these tasks. There are some nights when you come home from working a double shift and are angry that you have to cook a meal for your family, while your husband has been watching TV all night. Part of us hates telling our friends that we can't go out on Friday night, because we have to read and study for a class the next day. When our newborn baby wakes us up at 3 am for the fourth night in a row, some part of us has rage at the child, for waking us up yet again. These are all normal feelings and emotions to have. However, when a person has an emotion that goes against their belief of what a good and perfect person would do, the only option available to them is to repress that emotion. If we admit that we are angry at our family, our boss, or at doing homework, we fear that we would be considered a bad person and will be rejected by those we love or who we want to respect us. If we are not perfect, we will be unworthy of being loved. So instead of admitting that we are angry at our spouse for never cleaning up or doing the dishes, we repress it deep in our unconscious.
Another repressed emotion might be guilt. Some of us have to care for a loved one who is injured or aging. Being a caretaker is not an easy task. If we aren't able to provide the necessary care, or the care the person not only desires but may demand of us, we may feel guilt. If we repress that feeling, especially if we are the type of person who wants to please very much, it can cause us TMS pain.
As we continue to repress these emotions, we create an immense amount of emotional tension which only increases as more and more stress is added to our lives. In order to keep you from recognizing that you have these powerful emotions of anger and rage or guilt, your unconscious creates physical symptoms, such as back pain, neck pain, plantar fasciitis, acid reflux, anxiety, depression, Dizziness, and irritable bowel syndrome. These symptoms serve as a way to distract you from the unwanted emotions by having you focus on your back hurting instead of your anger, rage, or guilt. We develop TMS because we are unable to accept and/or process these emotions.
No two people are exactly alike, and likewise, no two TMS recoveries are exactly the same. Different pain-healing techniques work for different people, and one of the keys to TMS treatment is identifying what techniques work best for you. People have reported using a variety of approaches to get better. Regardless of the specific technique, TMS treatment is based on two principles, which Dr. Sarno stated in Healing Back Pain:
1. The acquisition of knowledge, of insight into the nature of the disorder.
2. The ability to act on that knowledge and thereby change the brain's behavior.
All of the standard treatments for TMS seek to help people address one or both of these pillars. The following is a list of techniques that many people have reported being helpful in their own recovery from chronic pain. As a reminder, Sarno says, "It is important to see a medical professional before starting this treatment approach to rule out any serious medical condition."
Research in the field of mindbody medicine is quickly developing. Up to this date, most of the research has focused on understanding the causes of chronic pain symptoms. This research has found that most chronic pain conditions lack a clear structural cause. One study by Jensen, MC in the New England Journal of Medicine found that MRI tests do not accurately depict when a person has back pain. Of the 98 symptomatic people in this study 52% had a disc bulge, 27% had a protrusion, and 1% had an extrusion. This study shows that there is no correlation between spinal abnormalities and back pain. This is one reason why Dr. Sarno called spinal abnormalities the "grey hair of the spine," referring to a harmless physical change in our body, such as having grey hair when we age. During his time in practice, Dr. Sarno conducted two follow-up surveys of his patients to gauge the effectiveness of his treatment approach. The first, conducted in 1982, selected 177 patients at random, of which 76% reported being pain free. The second study was done in 1987 and focused on 109 patients who experienced back pain. In this survey 88% reported being pain free. Dr. David Schechter also conducted similar follow-up surveys on his patients, and reported a 57% success rate among 85 patients.
In 2010, Howard Schubiner, MD, conducted a Randomized Control Trial on the effectiveness of the Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) approach in treating fibromyalgia patients. This study was the first TMS-specific research study to use a RCT, the gold standard of the medical community. The study was conducted on 45 randomly chosen women who had fibromyalgia. The treatment consisted of a one-time consultation followed by 3 weekly, 2 hour group lecture sessions explaining TMS. After a 6 month follow up, 46% of the participants reported a pain reduction of at least 30%. After these promising results, Howard Schubiner received a research grant from the National Institutes of Health to further explore the effectiveness of this approach.
For further reading on the research into TMS and chronic pain visit the Medical Evidence section.
Next: So You Think You Might Have TMS →
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David is a fan of books and no doubt will be sharing some good reads here.