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Childhood Adversity and TMS: Unraveling the Connection to Chronic Pain

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Understanding the complex ties between childhood experiences and our present physical health can be a significant breakthrough in the journey of reversing chronic pain symptoms. Today, we delve deeper into understanding how adverse childhood experiences can lead to conditions like Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) and how to pave a path towards healing.

If you've struggled with chronic pain or know someone who has, keep reading. In this blog, we'll explore the connection between childhood adversity, TMS, and chronic pain, and provide strategies to help you embark on a holistic healing journey.

Childhood Adversity, Repressed Emotions & Chronic Pain

TMS, alternatively known as mind-body syndrome, or also described as neuroplastic pain, can often have its roots in suppressed childhood trauma or the adoption of ineffective coping mechanisms in adulthood, leading to nervous system sensitivity. Unfortunately, it takes many chronic pain Warriors years to learn about the mind-body approach, only after several failed attempts at healing their chronic symptoms with body-based therapies, pain suppressants, muscle relaxers, and even surgery. Western medicine, with its conventional symptom-focused approach, may fail to address these underlying causes, or even worse, fail to recognize your pain as real or explainable. At Body Amor Wellness, we know your pain is real, and we make it our mission to teach chronic pain warriors who have yet to find relief in body-based treatments, the role of the brain in pain. We are not saying your pain isn't real. But we are saying there is a psychosomatic reason your pain exists. We are committed to a holistic approach that considers you as a whole person, looking beyond the symptoms to the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and soul.

An influential pioneer of the mind-body approach, Dr. John E. Sarno describes small "t" and big "T" traumas; big life-changing events, mental, emotional, verbal, or physical abuse can lead to repressed emotions and unresolved traumas. An unstable childhood can profoundly impact our physiological and psychological health, often leading to the development of chronic pain conditions like TMS. One of the immediate responses to such childhood adversity is the evolution of a hyperactive nervous system. Children, in their quest to feel safe, might trigger their nervous system into a constant state of high alert, leading to chronic pain conditions in their adult years.

Furthermore, the aftermath of a chaotic childhood often leaves one ill-equipped to understand the dynamics of healthy relationships, potentially leading them into toxic or abusive relationships that mirror their past. This cycle not only exacerbates emotional distress but can also contribute to heightened physical pain and low resilience to stress and anxiety.

Such adverse experiences in childhood also pave the way for unhealthy coping mechanisms such as suppression of emotions, avoidance of conflict, and reliance on self, which may provide temporary respite but transform into maladaptive coping mechanisms in adulthood. These can further compound the chronic pain cycle.

The Journey to Healing TMS Holistically

At Body Amor Wellness, we believe in empowering you to break free from these deeply ingrained patterns and embark on a path to healing TMS. This journey involves:

  1. Exploring childhood experiences: Journal about moments in your childhood that made you feel unsafe and how these triggers appear in your adult life today.

  2. Recognizing behavioral patterns: Reflect on how certain behavioral patterns or self-identity struggles you face today might be linked to your past as a coping mechanism.

  3. Planning healthier behaviors: Come up with a plan to replace these behavioral traits with healthier ones, practice them, and gradually let them replace the old, detrimental ones.

  4. Fostering a new self-identity: As you progress, you'll start forming a new sense of self-identity that breaks away from past trauma, fear of adopting your parents' behaviors, and fear coping mechanisms that keep you hypervigilant in relationships you deem safe.

  5. Understanding relationships: Learn to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy relationships and strive to nurture the healthy ones.

Getting Started- Reversing Chronic Pain

Remember, fostering a healthy emotional, mental, and social well-being plays a crucial role in reshaping pain perception, regulating the nervous system, and reducing physical muscle tension. Healing is not about erasing your past, but understanding it, learning from it, and using this knowledge to foster resilience and wellness.

If you found this resonates with you, and you'd like to explore more about healing chronic pain holistically, I invite you to schedule a free pain consultation at Body Amor Wellness. We can jointly explore your pain journey and work towards breaking free from the chronic pain and fear-avoidance cycles. Click here to schedule your consultation today!

If you are familiar with the mind-body approach but need guidance, community, and structure in applying it to your treatment protocol, get started by joining our Pain Unwired Academy! Click here to learn more about our online self-paced program featuring 50+ educational videos, weekly group coaching, mind-body techniques, a private Warrior community, and more!

Remember, understanding is the first step towards healing. Let's take that step together.

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