Introducing TMS – Tension Myositis Syndrome

As described by Dr John Sarno, author of Healing Back Pain, and The Divided Mind.

Tension Myositis Syndrome, Hypnosis for Chronic Pain
Tension Myositis Syndrome

In his work at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in New York, Dr Sarno saw many cases where his patients didn’t respond as he expected to the conventional treatments of the day, considering the physical symptoms with which they presented.

He noticed that in addition to their complaints (mainly back, neck and shoulder issues), his patients often shared a common pattern of underlying tension. In Healing Back Pain (and his other books), Dr Sarno introduces the concept of Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). Today TMS is often referred to as Mind Body Syndrome, and in my mind the terms can be used interchangeably. In TMS, pain symptoms are caused by mild oxygen deprivation via the autonomic nervous system, because 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. For people who have TMS or MBS, our built-in tendency is to repress unpleasant, painful or embarrassing emotions. When we repress these emotions, our bodies respond to the real and perceived threats that make up our lives, even though we’re not aware of all the action that’s happening ‘below the skin’, so to speak. Unfortunately, though, things get complicated by the fact that most of us, most of the time, aren’t even aware that we’re repressing our emotions. For some of us, controlling, hiding from and/or ignoring our emotions has become such an integral part of how we live that we don’t even realise we have emotions. As Dr Sarno explains: “It is an interesting fact that the overwhelming majority of emotional and mental activity occurs below the level of consciousness.

The human mind is something like an iceberg.

Dr Sarno

The part that we are aware of, the conscious mind, represents a very small part of the total. It is in the subconscious mind that all the complicated processing goes on… … This condition begins and ends in the unconscious.” Working with a psychoanalyst colleague, Dr Sarno discovered that there’s another, more active ‘component’ of TMS, one that purposefully works to distract you from figuring out what’s going on in your emotional world. Physical distractions (i.e. pain) work really well as defence mechanisms against our emotions bubbling to the surface because “they have the ability to really grab one’s attention, particularly if they are painful, frightening and disabling”. It’s almost as if the mind decides that a physical pain is preferable to an emotional one. Understanding this helped many see more clearly the role physical pain was playing in their lives and how it was helping them avoid some significantly emotional stuff. There’s so much more going on for someone with TMS than just the physical pain of the moment. Healing Back Pain explains how we can become conditioned to believe that a certain activity – or even person or time of year or place – can cause pain. If, for example, you got up from a chair one day and felt a twinge in your lower back, it’s possible that your brain might associate sitting with being the cause of your pain. Your brain comes to expect that you will feel pain every time you sit – and so you do. Without even realising it, we create habits that don’t serve us well and that can be very difficult to break, especially if we aren’t aware of what’s happening in the first place. The power of conditioning can be so strong that we can even be conditioned by things that people tell us or that we read – which makes it even trickier to break the bad habits. Dr Sarno – and other authors, cite many fascinating examples of how conditioning contributes to pain. It seems we may be more similar Pavlov’s dogs than many of us might want to believe. For some, simply knowing that the source of their symptoms is inner tension is enough for their pain to disappear. Dr Sarno reports that about 95% of his patients went through his programme (and healed their pain) without a need for psychotherapy. They got better just because they became aware of what was happening between their minds and their bodies.

The first step often involves being able and willing to look at things in a different way and to start thinking differently about how and why you’re experiencing pain.

To quote a much loved and very wise Dr Wayne Dyer, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Dr Sarno believes it’s important to resume all physical activity as soon as possible. Once you’ve accepted the TMS diagnosis and figured out what’s really going on with your pain, it follows that there’s nothing physically wrong with you. There’s no more reason not to do the things you want to do and thought you couldn’t anymore. He recognises the role fear plays in keeping us stuck and encourages all his patients to resume normal activity, EVEN IF they’re scared. Using the same logic, he also recommends that patients stop all the physical therapy they’re doing to get better as it’s no longer necessary.

Drain That Pain is Pain Elimination not Pain Management. A powerful healing technique that uses conversational hypnosis and signals with the Unconscious and Conscious Mind.  Craig Denny believes that there is no limit to the changes the client can make – Drain That Whatever.

Drain That Pain has been successfully used to let go of chronic pain, including arthritis, sciatica, chronic pain in all parts of the body, chronic anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, brain fog, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, tinnitus and other switches including emotional pain, IBS and addictive substances.

Addicted to Pain

Emotional pain can become an addiction. A negative feeling, such as anger, worry, grief, fear, or depression, can become so habitual that you cannot live without it.

There are physical as well as mental reasons for emotional pain addiction.

If a person is continuously stressed by emotional pain, there are subtle changes in the body that create a dependency on stress-related chemistry. Changing habitual patterns of pain can be as difficult as giving up an addictive substance, such as nicotine or alcohol. The emotional pain addict unconsciously seeks out situations that are sure to result in pain. A history of prolonged, negative, stressful relationships can be a symptom of emotional pain addiction.

The feelings of love and pain can become associated so that they become one and the same. Loving unavailable people and staying in intolerable relationships, for example, are signs that love and pain have become intertwined.

There are many such pain-linked feelings in the repertoire of pain addiction.

Understanding the physiological part of emotional pain addiction can make breaking these patterns easier. On a physical level, the addiction is not really to pain, but primarily to free-flowing endorphins that accompany the pain. Endorphins are a hormone-like substance that the body releases whenever a pain or injury is experienced. They are very similar in structure and effect to the opiates, like heroin and morphine. Endorphins are pain-killers produced in the pineal gland. When you stub your toe you feel a sharp pain, immediately followed by numbness, which accompanies the anaesthetising endorphins. The feeling of numbness associated with endorphin release is not unpleasant and, in fact, can be an almost euphoric sensation. People who exercise vigorously are familiar with this feeling. All strain on the body yields endorphins. Emotional stress, like physical stress, leads to strain. If the strain is constant, the body sends a continuous stream of endorphins, which results in a dull (and barely noticeable) anesthetic effect. When endorphin flooding is part of everyday life, the senses are actually deadened. Workaholics experience this, but just as in the toe-stubbing example, the feeling can be somewhat pleasant. With sustained endorphin release you can still feel emotions, but only if they are intense, such as anger, rage, sorrow and fear. These trigger further endorphin release, which can lead to further emotional numbing. And once you become used to living an endorphin-filled existence, it is hard to give it up.

With so much pain-killing substance running through your body, there is a sense of security that makes you feel safer in the world. It’s a shield inside the body that protects you from subtle feelings that are more difficult to block, like tenderness, vulnerability, and love. At Drain That Pain Newcastle I can use a new process called Drain That Pain, which can remove both physical and emotional pain. During the process the body can sometimes have trouble breaking the addiction to Endorphins and suffer what feels like set backs. It is often just the body grabbing onto old habits and resisting the change. This is why we book a series of sessions to assist you to push through the change and get the outcomes you desire.

For more info, or to let go of pain: click here.

How Hypnosis can Heal the body

Hypnosis: The Power of Trance John Ryder Ph.D. Posted Oct 19, 2010

There is a mysterious part to hypnosis and just how it works.

Lots of research has been done on it, but still there are many controversies between the experts of just what happens in a trance.

What we do understand better are the results. Hypnosis has been a very successful technique to help heal the mind, body and spiritual aspects of life.

So, allow me to draw your attention to how hypnotic techniques can heal the body. The hypnotic trance has many amazing properties that include experiencing “numbness” in general or in specific areas of the body. This enables a skilled therapist to produce the absence of feeling in any part of the body.

One of my clients was allergic to the anesthetics and had to undergo brain surgery. So I was called in to use hypnosis to help this person go through their operation without general anesthesia. Yes, with the help of hypnosis, this person underwent a major brain operation.

Hypnosis is more often used for more common problems, such as dental work, burns, headaches, giving birth and similar matters.

The body is designed to heal itself. And although this complicated process does work automatically, it can accelerated and enhanced by hypnotic techniques. Therefore, by directing the subconscious mind to focus energy on a specific system in the body, more of your natural resources will go there. This means that if, for example, you were burned, your body will naturally begin the healing process which may take a week to complete. If you were to employ hypnosis to quicken this process, you may complete the healing in half the time. At the very least, hypnosis is extremely effective to decrease pain.

The effectiveness of this technique depends on several factors.

There is the client’s susceptibility and willingness to use this approach, the skill of the hypnotherapist, and the severity of the problem. Therefore, Hypnosis has its limitations, however it is always worth trying to use it because there is no “down-side” to the technique.

At worst, it may do no more than make the subject feel a little better from getting attention, but it cannot do any damage itself.

One of the more profound effects of hypnosis is in using it to minimize or eliminate pain. An important caution is that if you do not know what is causing the pain, hypnosis may effectively remove the pain. However, it may also coverup something serious that requires attention. If you know what is causing the pain, then it is safe to apply it to decrease the experience of pain and help with the general recovery.

The fact is that most pain is “in your head” that means that it is possible to turn off the pain signals in the mind and minimize the sensation of pain. This can be accomplished in many ways using hypnosis.

In general, positive suggestions are a good starting point, then these are usually elaborated to facilitate healing and remove discomfort. There is a robust amount of clinical research using hypnosis to help heal the body or decrease the perception of pain. If you have a medical issue, consult with a specialist who is certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis ( to use hypnotic techniques. The scientific literature is full of case studies validating the power of hypnosis to promote healing. If you have a problem I encourage you to consider the power of hypnosis to help you conquer it.

Charlestown Hypnotherapy uses Hypnosis as part of the treatment in eliminating chronic pain. Call for more information.

For more information, contact Charlestown Hypnotherapy