Seattle Repetitive Injury Support Team

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The Seattle Repetitive Injury Support Team is a group of individuals who want to wipe out chronic Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) such as tendinitis, thoracic outlet, and carpal tunnel.

After many years of meeting to discuss treatment and coping approaches, share stories and ideas, listen to invited speakers and discuss good ergonomics, we are excited to announce that we think we have finally found a cure for most RSI cases! We know that sounds too good to be true, but please read on.

Over the years our members have tried just about everything to cure their RSI, yet we saw the same faces at meetings. People were finding coping mechanisms (massage therapy being the most recommended), but every month there we were, still in pain and not recovered -- and this went on for literally years.

Then, out of the blue, Nate McNamara contacted us about the approach he had used to cure his RSI problem. He graciously flew up to Seattle at his own expense to speak to our group. Here was someone who had been in the same situation as ourselves, and now was back to a normal, pain free life, even back working at a computer.

The essence of his approach was to recognize RSI as a form of TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome). TMS, coined by Dr. John Sarno to describe common back pain, has a variety of possible physical symptoms. The theory is that the subconscious discovers that by reducing blood flow to various body parts it can cause pain and achieve its goal of suppressing unwanted emotions (through distraction). Sarno talks about suppressed anger, but stress and other related emotions can be a huge factor. Once you are in pain, the fear of becoming permanently disabled produces a vicious circle of fear and pain.

RSI probably starts with a case of physical overuse, which leads to pain. Normally the body would heal within about 48 hours, but the subconscious, by reducing blood flow to the areas involved prolongs this. The pain and tightness are real, but the cause is not physical but mental. It's important to stress that the sufferer is completely unaware that the subconscious is causing the problems.

As you may have guessed, the treatment is not physical, but involves foremost becoming convinced that you just have TMS and not a physical problem. This liberates you from your fear of hurting yourself further. Stopping all other treatment is also important to prove to yourself that you really believe in this solution. Various visualization exercises can help change your subconscious reactions (since you don't have direct control over these).

Amazingly, some people recover within a few hours, but most take a few weeks or months.

After Nate's talk, a number of us began to take this mind-body approach to our RSI problems. The current score to our knowledge is three cured and one doing much better! That may not sound like much, but to our knowledge, no other treatment has cured any of our members, although it is certainly possible they just never let us know.

We followed up on Nate's talk with videos and meetings on this topic, but it's now been more than a year and we feel that most of our members aren't taking these important steps to cure themselves, for whatever reasons.

Therefore we have decided to stop meeting, and instead focus on a mentoring program where those who are pursuing the TMS approach assist others directly who also want to follow this treatment philosophy.

If you are interested in seriously pursuing this approach, please contact us. To be honest, we aren't sure how good we can mentor, but we feel that it's the best way to get people cured.

To start this approach do as much research as you can to truly convince yourself that you have TMS. See the recommended background information below. The Amir book is highly recommended for it's visualization exercises.

All we have is years of personal experience to go on here, but we really believe we have found a solution to RSI. Our challenge is to figure out how to turn this into large numbers of cases cured or prevented. If you can help in any way please contact us!

TMS Background Information:

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