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Specific points pain

Specific points pain

by Shailaja Neelakantan -
Number of replies: 6


I've had chronic pain (18 years) in two very specific places. The first is a 'foreign body in throat' feeling which is extremely painful as well as very uncomfortable. The other is excruciating pain (even to the touch, sometimes) around my right ribcage. No diagnosis.

I was wondering, can pain like this, that is so specific and doesn't move around, also be TMS?

I'm new to this forum. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

In reply to Shailaja Neelakantan

Re: Specific points pain

by Tim Hutton -

Hello Shailaja,

I had experienced very long lasting and terribly painful episodes of TMS, in various humiliating forms, over the course of several years. All eventually evaporated, having been unmasked and  given way to their true nature as TMS, but only after consistent and clear consideration. 

From the isolated, lonely and desperate standpoint of a person suffering from the very real pain of TMS, the thought that such pain could completely go away and that there is nothing, nor has there ever been anything physically wrong, after years and years of suffering is just simply absurd. ALL of my Doctors thought that the notion of TMS relating to my situation was not only untrue, but utterly rediculous. On occasions my symptoms have shown up as physically swollen, red and distorted joints, very observable to the eye. Medications we're prescribed and used.

Iolated in my lonely and desperate world of pain, it was only due to people like Dr. Schubiner and  Dr. Sarno; human beings who functioned as pointers from which a glimmer of hope could be received and combined with my intuition, that I was able to truly and honestly consider that the possibility of TMS was relevant to me. It was essential to see from their point of view, because having not gone through it, being still captive within it, I could not on my own see from there standpoint of freedom from it.

These lights like Dr. Schubiner and the participants on this forum are essential to one's recovery from TMS. The honesty here is profound. By far the best of all medicines. 

I've watched this forum for years and the consistent, selfless, tenderness shared here has on many occasions taken my breath away. These people know what they are talking about from the hellish hard-one virtue of 'boots on the ground' experience. I'm glad you're here because what is being shared is not common, not something one aquires from years of attending a university program, but from walking through the hellish corridors of TMS with it's tall, tormenting ceilings and making it out alive. My experience is that I am certainly more fully alive now than I would be had I never walked through the haunting corridors of TMS.

It is very important to not spin anything learned here, either possitively or negatively. Nothing has to be spun. The truth of TMS is in and of itself thunderous and is best seen and felt head-on - directly. 

Simply ask yourself honestly, not in the form of an answer, but in the form of a question; 'Could it be that these symptoms, these long lasting, painful, horrible symptoms, could it possibly be that these symptoms are really the result of TMS?' If the answer is 'Yes' then give the tenderness of your heart over to further more full consideration. The mind is not really very good  at this stuff. You have to listen more deeply, more fully than the mind alone is capable of. 

Do the exercises in the program. Remember that you don't have to do the program perfectly, exactly or even correctly. Just get through it. Spend hours with certain aspects that resonate with you. Understand that there are people, many, many people, who were in much worse condition than you presently find yourself and yet who discovered for themselves that what they were dealing with was TMS. They are free now. There's no lying here.

It takes a significant amount of time and focus to come out the other side of the TMS, but for me, the light never felt as genuine as it does right now.

I still get TMS from time to time. I think that maybe I always will now and then. When it comes now it also functions as a reminder of my humanity and the humility that comes from recognizing something that is very real, very true and yet seems rediculous to majority of the mainstream medical community.

Thanks for being here with us my friend,


In reply to Tim Hutton

Re: Specific points pain

by Pasi Lautala -


Thanks for your response to this posting, as it starts to provide potential answers to my current situation. I've also suffered from TMS for over 20 years now (knowingly for almost 20), but what's happened recently was about to throw my belief out the window.....until I saw your posting. I had a groin hernia surgery last spring (I had had one for spigelian hernia almost 10 years ago). Everything went fine for six months, until I overextended myself playing a game and immediately feared I had got another hernia again. As we all know, fear is all that TMS needs and it certainly got me. I tried to convince myself that maybe it was TMS, but what really threw me off was the swelling around the scar area. I hadn't seen that with TMS (although I now wonder, if some of the swelling around my knee could also have been TMS), so it didn't seem to "fit the mold". I did end up visiting with my doctor who confirmed that there was no recurrence of my hernia. He also said that there may be swelling for extended period of time, but he didn't seem too convinced of why. After my visit, I tried to again convince myself that all is fine, but the swelling (although it seems to disappear at times) won't let me forget for a moment, as it feels extremely awkward at the area. Neither of my hernias ever felt like this, so it seems obvious to me that TMS found a "perfect" location to freak me out.....and this kind of swelling/pain is definitely effective for a "sporty" type of pretty much affects everything. Although I've determined that this must be TMS, I'm still struggling to keep in my faith....even after all these years and all the different tricks that TMS has played on me. In some ways, I have to raise my hat to the "geniousness" of certainly finds the spots to hit.


In reply to Pasi Lautala

Re: Specific points pain

by Tim Hutton -

Hi Pasi,

The swelling at the location of pain establishes such a dramatic and compelling argument for the presence of soft tissue damage, or worse. My first conscious bout with TMS incorporated very significant swelling in my knee. Besides being very painful, my knee was red and very swollen. To this day my wife vividly remembers how debilitating it was for me as I spent long periods of time on the couch.

I don’t hear about swelling being associated with TMS hardly at all, but since I’ve experienced it directly, I take my direct experience as authoritative, so I certainly can speak at all for others, yet swelling has certainly been a part of my experiences with TMS.

I had been very active, participating in 42 different endurance races (including triathlons) when I was 40 years old. So when apparently out of the blue sharp a sharp pain first should up in the toe area of my right foot and then a few days later went into my right knee, I went to a couple of doctors to find a resolution. That didn’t lead anywhere but when I came across John Stossel’s 20/20 segment on Dr. Sarno, that began the education that eventually changed my entire way of relating to my body.

I hadn’t been married a full year when earlier in that week, the company that my wife worked for had sent her to Hawaii for a corporate event. She had been told that beside simply attending she would also be serving drinks to the executives, as sort of a cocktail waitress, at the annual corporate event. Regardless of whether it should have or not, thinking about this activity infuriated me very, very, deeply. I was very angry. My rage was compounded by the fact that we were newly married I could not share my feelings with my wife without showing up in a way that made me look weak. Much weaker than I was willing to risk.  I only point out this emotional context because my rage was so essential and instrumental in creating the symptoms. 

I remember in my anger, my rage, actually looking at my red, swollen, painful knee and saying to myself, ‘The way my knee looks right now is the way I feel emotionally.’ It was just that simple.

When I saw the Stossel segment TMS seemed a perfect fit for the cause of my present dilemma. Though no physician supported the TMS theory I brought to their attention, I intuitively felt this was right for me. I remember sharing the information with one particular physician and his nurse. They just looked at me as some kind of likeable idiot, but I wasn’t too sure about the likeable part.

After quite a while I was able to participate in the activities again which I had become accustomed to.

About 10 years later triggered by financial stresses I began to struggle again with other forms of TMS in other places. Yet I never had a recurrence of TMS in my knee or the toe area of my foot.

Mainly I just wanted to be clear that for me swelling has several times been part of my TMS symptoms.  

My hope is that you feel supported here and gain the freedom from the fear caused by TMS as well as the pain itself.  The most important dynamic is for the fear to soften and become less alarming. This happens through re-consideration of your relationship with your body mixed with persistent self-kindness, self-patience and in time. 

Thank you for participating my friend,


In reply to Tim Hutton

Re: Specific points pain

by Shailaja Neelakantan -
Many many thanks for writing back, Tim. 

It's encouraging to hear. As I mentioned, I'm very new to this and need to learn more, and your reply has motivated me to. 

Thank you, again

In reply to Shailaja Neelakantan

Re: Specific points pain

by Howard Schubiner -

Hi Shailaja and thanks for writing and thanks to Tim for a wonderful reply.

When we get sensations like this, and the doctors see nothing wrong, which is what I assume has happened to you, then this is TMS, for sure.

It doesn't matter if the symptoms are constant or not, it matters that there is no evidence for a disease, so that we now know that this is TMS.

You can start on this program and know that there is nothing wrong with you and that you can and will get better!

Best, Howard

In reply to Howard Schubiner

Re: Specific points pain

by Shailaja Neelakantan -

Thank you for your reply, Howard.

I really need to explore this site to look for the right tools to start my pain-free journey. 

It may be old age ( haha), but I'm finding the site difficult to navigate.

Any specific things you would urge me to read here as a newbie? I've read Dr Sarno's book.

Many thanks, again