TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) Inspired
During my neurology training, I developed the skills necessary to offer pain management procedures. I performed steroid shots into the spine using an X-ray machine. I also performed simpler procedures such as trigger point injections and nerve blocks in the office. Normally neurologists already see many patients suffering from pain. However because of these additional services, I saw a very high number of pain patients. I became frustrated with treating pain. I quickly learned that the radiographic images of the body part that hurt, did not correlate with my patient’s pain. Some patients had severe arthritis, herniated discs or pinched nerves, yet never had experienced pain. Other people had normal scans and suffered from excruciating pain. Their pain was clearly real. Some of these patients were losing all their freedom and livelihood because of it. Also, the pain treatments were not reliable. If they worked, it was normally temporarily, and many times nothing really worked well. Out of desperation, I started to recommend alternative therapies to patients that were interested, but unfortunately I encountered the same problem, inconsistent results. I was sure modern medicine was missing an important factor in the cause of pain disorders.
As a result of these medical shortcomings and my spiritual experience, I began to seek better explanations and treatments for chronic pain. It was at this time I became aware of the work of Dr. John Sarno. Dr. Sarno was trained as a rehabilitation doctor. He had encountered many of the same inconsistencies as myself. Dr. Sarno recognized that people can unknowingly suppress their emotions. Even hard working, productive members of the community, living apparently happy lives can be full of inner turmoil. Dr. Sarno saw that this stress, because it wasn’t being processed emotionally, was ultimately manifested physically. He named this condition Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). Shortly after counseling his patients about the important connection of suppressed emotions, he noticed that those who took this seriously and worked on their emotional state got better. I was touched by the sincerity of Dr. Sarno’s writing and inspired by his 90% success rate of curing Tension Myositis Syndrome. I could clearly see the emotional element in my patients with chronic pain, and I could also see how many of them were genuinely unaware of it. I began to study everything I could find about Tension Myositis Syndrome. I studied Dr. Sarno’s own treatment plan. I shadowed with Dr. Schubiner, a long term TMS provider who had studying under Dr. Sarno. I have also attended the national Tension Myositis Syndrome conference for healthcare providers in San Diego.
In my own clinic, I initially found that Dr. Sarno’s techniques had some limitations. Some people didn’t respond or if they did, they relapsed. I became open for other ways to release bottled up emotions. I was going through many stressful life changes at this time, including getting out of debt, a divorce, a move and I initially relied on unpredictable travel work to pay the bills. These life stressors served as a tool, allowing me to test the effectiveness of a variety of regimens. I share the very most effective strategies here in this clinic. I recognize that different people have unique needs. I intend to match my patients up with the best mind body spirit resources for them.