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try to relax when stressed or anxious as tensing the muscles can cause pain, also tummy troubles

get some books on overcoming panic attacks and stress
This happened to me when I suffered severe anxiety from January-June this past year. Somedays I felt like I had the flu because I ached so bad and I worried I had something like fibromyalgia. I also couldn't get a good deep breath. I saw a biofeedback therapist who did EMG (muscle) biofeedback and she showed me how tense my muscles were. The tension seemed "normal" to me, when in fact my muscles were actually constantly tensing in response to my anxiety. This was causing the aches and pains.

The biofeedback therapist showed me how to relax my muscles -- calf, thigh, shoulders, arms, head, etc. -- and then every day I constantly checked the state of my body's tension, about every 10 minutes, and relaxed those muscles for a couple of seconds. (I wore a timer watch that vibrated every 10 minutes, bought it from Global Assistive Devices.) I saw her once a week for about 8 weeks and we'd check my progress. The aches and pains actually got worse before they got better because of the release of lactic acid (similar to when you work your muscles too hard). But 7 months after I started this process, my body is relaxed and the aches and pains are gone. I can breath deeply with no problems.

What I learned from this process was that I didn't know how to truly relax until someone hooked me up to a machine and SHOWED me what relaxation was. At the time true relaxation felt "out of control." Anxiety and tension were how I felt more in control, so I had to learn (and am still learning) how to let go.

I've been addressing the anxiety with neurofeedback, which is a form of biofeedback that does brain-wave training. That has also been enormously helpful. I also employ the cognitive behavioral techniques to reframe issues that stress me out. It takes time to retrain your mind/body of bad habits and I'm still working on these things... I think I will for the rest of my life... but things are SO much better than they were last winter/spring.

Good luck.

CarrieLynn
[QUOTE=carrielynn]This happened to me when I suffered severe anxiety from January-June this past year. Somedays I felt like I had the flu because I ached so bad and I worried I had something like fibromyalgia. I also couldn't get a good deep breath. I saw a biofeedback therapist who did EMG (muscle) biofeedback and she showed me how tense my muscles were. The tension seemed "normal" to me, when in fact my muscles were actually constantly tensing in response to my anxiety. This was causing the aches and pains.

The biofeedback therapist showed me how to relax my muscles -- calf, thigh, shoulders, arms, head, etc. -- and then every day I constantly checked the state of my body's tension, about every 10 minutes, and relaxed those muscles for a couple of seconds. (I wore a timer watch that vibrated every 10 minutes, bought it from Global Assistive Devices.) I saw her once a week for about 8 weeks and we'd check my progress. The aches and pains actually got worse before they got better because of the release of lactic acid (similar to when you work your muscles too hard). But 7 months after I started this process, my body is relaxed and the aches and pains are gone. I can breath deeply with no problems.

What I learned from this process was that I didn't know how to truly relax until someone hooked me up to a machine and SHOWED me what relaxation was. At the time true relaxation felt "out of control." Anxiety and tension were how I felt more in control, so I had to learn (and am still learning) how to let go.

I've been addressing the anxiety with neurofeedback, which is a form of biofeedback that does brain-wave training. That has also been enormously helpful. I also employ the cognitive behavioral techniques to reframe issues that stress me out. It takes time to retrain your mind/body of bad habits and I'm still working on these things... I think I will for the rest of my life... but things are SO much better than they were last winter/spring.

Good luck.

CarrieLynn[/QUOTE]

Reading your post has shed a lot of light on my situation!!! For a few months now I've been suffering from aches and pains in my chest, back, and neck. I went to Urgent Care 3 times in one week due to the pains I was having. At the time I was convinced I was having a heart attack. After 3 sets of EKGs, a chest X Ray, two sets of back and neck X Rays, full CBC blood test, lupus, thyroid, muscle wasting and rheumatoid testing...everything came back normal and the Drs finally sent me home with Serax, an anxiety pill. I'm still suffering from a large amount of stress in my life, and feeling these "mystery" aches and pains only contribute to my stress and anxiety. Before I read your post there were times I honestly thought I must have a tumor or something. I've since had an MRI and my Dr said if he didn't call no news must be good news! Now that I've hurdled that I am pretty confident that I must be stressing myself out so badly that I'm causing havoc with muscle tension. My Dr encouraged me to go to the gym ( I used to go daily for YEARS until I fell into depression from stress a few months back). He said having somewhere to exert my stress for years and then just stopping one day can cause a lot of havoc. I was just curious, what techniques or exercises are you doing? If possible could you describe some of your head exercises? Thanks in advance!
I had brought this subject up before and I have felt this way for a few months now...started with really bad knee pain..then stomach and back pain...and just pains here and there...i actually got my results back on monday...they didnt find signs of rheumatoid arthritis...glucose was okay...blood pressure was okay (although last time it was a bit elevated)...they couldnt really find anything wrong...i definitely think it is stress and anxiety related..especially after the pains started after a death in my family. Physical therapy helped me a bit..but not completely..i finally had to tell myself ...if i Keep thinking about the pain..it will get worse...so i have tried to start thinking less about it...and walk now for exercise..I still get pains..but not as much as I used to. I am just trying to keep my mind busy with other things. Also, someone had mentioned biofeedback therapy..i tried that several years ago when my anxiety had first started. I will tell you that it did help me relax a whole lot. It is true what another member said..you dont realize how tense your muscles are until someone points it out to you. I have learned to notice that about myself...to Untense my arms..shoulders...even to relax my breathing...so it might be something you might want to try. Good Luck!
[QUOTE=lammys]What head exercises did you do that helped?[/QUOTE]


Hi :)
I didn't do any head exercises. After I began taking the ativan, the headaches went away. As did most of the pains in my joints. I still have flare ups, though, as soon as stress comes on, it quickly begins to try to take root in my joints. Once I relax, and do a little bit of self talk (and maybe have a cup of camomille tea), it goes away. I think my mind has conditioned my body to remain in a "tensed state" for the most part. So I am constantly working at relaxing my muscles. And like most people, when I am tense, I will often end up with a tension headache. Recently I became diagnosed with TMJ (a condition you get when your jaws don't properly allign). I am certain that this is the root of some of my headaches. Stress will aggrevate this condition as well. It also leads to grinding your teeth, which I'm almost sure that I do in my sleep. It's amazing to me how all of these things go hand in hand together. But....the good news is that once you get the culprit pinpointed, the other symptoms seem to subside. So...good luck, and I hope you start feeling better soon.
Take care,
Stacie :wave:





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