Three new movies you need to know about

Written by Dr. Schubiner on November 13, 2014 – 7:13 am -

Hello everyone.

There are three movies that you should know about. While the concept that the mind can affect the body in powerful ways is not really new, it has been forgotten in modern medical practice.

A film called The Connection has just been produced. It is a general film about the mind body connection and covers a variety of health areas. It primarily focuses on meditation as a healing force. You can find a link to it at: https://www.theconnection.tv/

A second film is a documentary about the work of Dr. John Sarno. Dr. Sarno is my mentor and introduced me to the role that the mind plays in chronic pain and associated disorders. He retired last year at the age of 90 and has written several influential books that have helped thousands recover from chronic pain. This film is still in production and the producer (Michael Galinsky) has started a fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter to obtain the funds to finish the movie. It is vitally important that these concepts (of how the mind can actually create and cure pain) get out to the public. There are millions of people suffering with chronic pain who have no idea that they can recover.

Please consider donating some money to this film, which is called All The Rage. You can find the trailer and the site for donations here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rumur/all-the-rage-a-documentary-connecting-emotions-and

Finally, a film is being produced that is called This Might Hurt by Kent Bassett and Marion Cunningham that follows several people going through the process of becoming aware that their pain is, in fact, caused by the mind and working on their recovery process. You will hear more about this in the future.

For now, consider donating some money to help All The Rage get funded and get out into the world.

To donate, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rumur/all-the-rage-a-documentary-connecting-emotions-and

Thanks very much!

To your health, Howard

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MBS Blog #24: The “disease” of TMS/MBS: Lori’s story

Written by Dr. Schubiner on July 21, 2009 – 11:23 am -

 

The “disease” of TMS/MBS: Lori’s story

 

The last two blogs have dealt with the issue of fear and how fear can often derail the recovery process from TMS/MBS.  I thought it would be helpful to read the story of a brave woman who is confronting her fears head on.  Here is Lori’s story:

 

“Fear is a big issue for me right now, but I am making some progress in dealing with it. In the blog entry titled “A rose by any other name…” it says people can see themselves as having a disease called “TMS” and see themselves as a victim of their life events, their stressors, or their mind. It goes on to say that people with TMS/MBS do not have a diseased autonomic nervous system (ANS). Until I read that, I hadn’t had the specific thought, “I have a diseased ANS”, at least not consciously. But when I thought about it, I realized that I really did fear that I had a disease or syndrome or chronic problem called “TMS” or “MBS”. I thought that since my physical symptoms were caused by emotional triggers, then those emotional triggers would always cause physical symptoms. I worried that whenever I was stressed, anxious, angry, guilty, or in a confrontation, I’d start to have physical symptoms. And since I often did have physical symptoms in those cases, that reinforced my fear of the emotional triggers.

 

“I read that blog entry over and over again, several times a day. I started to realize that when I did have physical symptoms, I had been thinking I had done something “wrong” to have caused them. I figured I shouldn’t have put myself in a stressful situation, or gotten angry and not calmed down quickly enough, or felt guilty and not figured out how to stop feeling guilty. Since I knew the physical symptom was due to an emotional trigger, I blamed myself for putting myself in the situation that caused the emotional trigger, or not controlling it well enough. Then I feared encountering future emotional triggers, thinking it was inevitable that they would lead to physical symptoms because I “had” MBS.

  Read more »

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Dealing with doubt, thoughts and emotions — MBS Blog #14

Written by on October 2, 2008 – 7:53 am -

Several people have asked me how they can deal with troublesome thoughts and emotions that arise.  These thoughts and emotions, such as doubts about really having TMS/MBS or worry if you’ll ever get better or fear about developing pain, are extremely common.  Everyone has those from time to time or even very frequently. 

 

So, how can you deal with doubts, fear and worry?  You may worry about having some medical/physical problems instead of MBS/TMS and how do you deal with others when they challenge your view of MBS/TMS and suggest that there is some medical/physical problem going on.  These questions boil down to two main issues, I think.  The first has to do with doubt about the diagnosis of MBS/TMS.  The second has to do with the issue of the power of thoughts and emotions.

 

Dr. Sarno always (correctly) says that we need to “erase doubt.”  People always do better in the MBS/TMS program when they are convinced that their physical and psychological problems are due to emotions, stress and reactions to stress, both conscious and unconscious.  However, we are in this boat because we are human, i.e. we have minds and bodies and they constantly interact.  Because we have minds, we will frequently have thoughts that make us wonder if we’re on the right track.  I spoke to a lady today who told me that she must have something physically wrong because her pain was so severe, despite the fact that her pain had gotten much better after one week of working with the MBS/TMS program.  So, it is important to erase doubt, but some doubts will undoubtedly creep in.  Severe pain can definitely impair your ability to think and process emotions.  It can lead to depression and more emotions, which can further impair your ability to cope with pain and which can itself lead to more pain.  Some doctors also suggest that severe pain can lead to decreases in efficacy of anti-depressant medications, thus compounding the problem further.  The more pain, the more doubt and then things can get spiraling out of control.  In those cases, you really need to stop and go back to the beginning.  You may need to seek medical advice for reassurance that there is in fact nothing more serious going on and you may even need some more testing to confirm this. 

 

This leads to the second issue: the power of thoughts and emotions.  It is critical to realize that thoughts are uncontrollable, i.e. one can never choose what thoughts will come into their heads.  The mind will continually come up with a huge variety of thoughts, many of which are unproductive, weird, wild, inane, or beautiful.  If we can’t control out own thoughts, one certainly cannot control other people’s thoughts, and therefore we must learn ways of dealing with thoughts and reacting to thoughts or else we will be at the mercy of every stray thought that we (or someone else) comes up with.  And, of course, it is not only thoughts that we need to deal with, but emotions as well, which are basically thoughts that are connected to important material from our past. 

 

After doing a lot of research on how the brain works, I have developed a model to explain how MBS develops in the brain.  You can watch a video about this on my web site, www.yourpainisreal.com.  When pain occurs, it activates nerve pathways which send those pain signals to the brain and particularly to the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain and the area that can immediately activate the autonomic nerve system (ANS), which is the unconscious connection to the body to create the fight, flight or freeze reaction.  These reactions are immediate, so that if you feel the pain of a burning match, you will immediately pull your hand away before you can even think about what is happening.  This reaction occurs within 12 milliseconds, much faster than could occur if you had to send those signals up to the frontal cortex where you would become aware of them consciously.  This reaction protects us from danger and happens without our conscious awareness. 

  Read more »

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#12 Back pain: the truth and the science to prove it

Written by Dr. Schubiner on August 26, 2008 – 10:00 pm -

This is the second part of a blog about back pain.  This blog deals with the MBS approach to understanding back pain.

 

How can back pain occur in the absence of something wrong with the back?

 

There is a way to explain this based on new research into how the brain changes over time (neuroplasticity).  One way is to consider what happens in phantom limb syndrome.  In this situation, there is pain in the area of the body that is missing; that has been amputated.  Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the area where the pain is felt, yet there can be severe pain.  In this case, the pain appears to be due to sensitization of nerve fibers that go back to the brain, amplification of pain in the brain and a conditioned response of nerve fibers going back to the body.  The brain and body have in essence learned to have this pain.  The nerve connections have gotten fired after the amputation, but then have gotten “wired” and keep sending pain signals, which are felt to be in the amputated limb.  It is likely that back pain (and other pain syndromes, including headaches, abdominal and pelvic pain, whiplash, fibromyalgia and TMJ pain) is caused in many people by similar nerve pathways. 

 

 

 

What triggers this type of back pain to start and become chronic?

 

The answer is surprising and even offensive to some people and that is stress and emotional reactions to stressful events.  A classic study showed the Boeing employees over four years and found that psychological stress predicted back pain much more than any other variable, including how much they used their back on their job.  Other studies in Sweden, Holland, and England showed similar findings.  In fact, job satisfaction is the most important factor that appears to determine if someone will develop chronic back pain or return to work after back surgery.  Read more »

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Genetics and Mind Body Syndrome

Written by Dr. Schubiner on July 9, 2008 – 6:44 am -

MBS BLOG # 8

 

Genetics and Mind Body Syndrome

 

Everyone knows that genes “controls” our lives.  But how powerful an influence do our genes play in our lives?  Of course, these issues have been debated for many years since the discovery of genes and the classic experiments of Gregor Mendel in 1865 on pea plants genetics.  We wonder not only at the similarities of facial features of children and their parents, but also at their personality quirks that seem to be passed down through genes.  There have been many books that purported to show that genes control everything.  So, when we are told that a certain disease is genetic.  We often assume that we are destined to be affected and that treatment may have little effect.

 

First, you must realize that there are certain genes that do have powerful effects that will produce diseases if those genes are present.  For example, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia are diseases produced by inherited genes.  If you have those genes, you will get the disease.  However, it is also clear that different people with the same genes can have differing levels of that disease, even in CF and sickle cell.

 

Other diseases have some contributions from genes, but these contributions are either minor or variable.  For example, breast cancer has been found to have genetic components, but most people with breast cancer do not have the breast cancer gene.  There are genetic contributions to asthma and migraine headaches, but these are relatively small contributions in comparison to the effects of genes on height, ADHD and schizophrenia, which have heritability factors of 0.8-0.9.  The heritability factors of asthma and migraine headaches are in the range of 0.4-0.5, i.e. much smaller effects. Read more »

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