One of the most difficult aspects of struggling with Tension Myoneural Syndrome (TMS) is that pain keeps us from living the life we want. Every day can be so painful that we cannot function as we once did. So, it is important to find the sources of suffering within your brain, overcome them and then set goals for yourself in order to achieve the life you’ve dreamed of having—pain-free.
The Mind Body Syndrome
The Mind Body Syndrome is another name for TMS. The name makes sense when you think about the connection between our minds and our bodies. The theory is that our minds have the power to turn off parts of our memories or emotions in order to shield our conscious self from pain. The brain ranks events and emotions and those it deems too traumatic it can hide away from our conscious mind. Instead, it distracts us with pain, and lots of it.
The connection between the mind and body was first explored by Dr. Sarno, a back-pain specialist. He created a theory of pain management and treatment strategies so his patients could find a path to no pain.
The Path to a Pain-Free Life
The first step in the mind body journey is to find the true source of your pain. Treatment won’t work unless it is targeting the right stressors in your life. For that, you need to identify what is causing you conflict.
Journaling: Writing in a daily journal can help bring repressed emotions to light. Personally, I thought I had moved past certain situations in my life but journaling taught me otherwise. Once I knew what was still causing me emotional damage, I could address it.
Reflecting: When people cannot discover all of their repressed emotions naturally, this is where reflecting comes in. Using a mirror or a friend, first talk through anything you may be feeling and try to identify the sources of pain. Try to release anger and frustration and find acceptance. A good cry can do wonders. Only then can you retrain your brain and stop repressing your emotions.
Meditation: Daily meditation may help you enter your subconscious mind while also relieving some of your daily tension. Just five minutes of meditation in your favorite chair at home can go a long way in improving your state of mind and helping to alleviate some of your suffering.
Once you’ve identified the sources of your suffering and discovered a life without suffering, it is important to set goals for yourself in order to maintain a healthy mind body balance.
Be Mindful: The first goal to set for yourself is to keep communication open with your mind. Your brain is re-trained by constantly reaffirming your new position—that your mind doesn’t need to cause you pain and that you can deal with any emotions that may come. Whether by backtalk or psychotherapy, you need to keep in contact with your mind.
Make Hobbies Habits: The next goal is to turn the hobbies that may have helped you along your journey–such as journaling, meditation, exercise—into daily habits. Once these elements become part of your daily routine, they will feel less like a chore which needs to be done, and more like a natural part of your life. They will help you maintain your mind body balance.
Live Again: The final goal is to try to live like you used to, even in small instances. Join that yoga class which you had to quit. Take up hiking again. Go to the pool with your family. Try to start living the pain-free life you had before, and the dream life you’ve imagined since. There is no better time to start living again than now.