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Thread: Tic Control that has worked for me!

  1. #1

    Default Tic Control that has worked for me!

    I have found a technique that has helped me with my tourettes tics that may really help you others out there as well. No one told me this, I just thought of it myself. I suppose you could call it reversal therapy, like I have read a little bit about on the net.

    For years I have been frustrated and embarrassed with my facial tics, mainly blinking. I had long given up on stopping my tics and I began to think of other movements or muscle contractions that I could perhaps train myself to become addicted to instead. Since I seem to only perform one tic at a time, I thought it would be a miracle if I could train myself to have the urge to have a tic that was internal and invisible. I had read somewhere about a movement called the "kegel". This can be done by both men and women, and it is the muscle between your legs that you contract to stop the flow of urine. If you look it up on the net you'll find it is an easy exercise to do that is actually healthy for sexual function.

    It has been a long difficult challenge to train myself to have the urge to kegel instead of the urge to blink, but I have made significant
    progress! The key was to have constant reminders to perform the kegel, thus making it a habit. I would do things like write a big letter "K" on a note pad and stick it on the side of my computer monitor to remind me to kegel whenever I saw it. Lately I have programmed the "Timer" feature on my digital Timex watch to beep every 8 minutes. When I am alone, I set my watch to beep like this and I remember to kegel as much as I can when I hear the beep. I am now like Pavlov's dog, kegelling without even really thinking about it when my watch beeps. I can often forget that I am ticcing and the kegel becomes addicting, like my usual tics, and I sustain it as long as I possibly can. Whenever I notice myself ticcing in any way other than the kegel, I get right back on it; always reprogramming my subconscious.

    I am extremely determined to win this battle, and make my main tic the kegel; completely invisible and harmless. I have been doing this for a long time now and it has been harder than I thought it would be to completely give up blinking in favor of the kegel, but I am getting VERY close. When I am in a social setting and talking face-to-face with people, I can perform endless kegel contractions, over and over and over, with very little excess blinking. I am very aware of my tourettes and I never forget to kegel when I am talking to people. Most people notice nothing unusual about me, since all my intense tic energy is going to an invisible activity.

    If you are going to try this PLEASE, be careful and patient! At first, contracting this muscle repeatedly for any length of time may overwork it. Like any other muscle, you must build its strength and endurance gradually over a period of time. It will take a fair amount of time before this movement feels more like a temping tic and less like a tiring exercise. I would suggest starting off with 10 a day, or until you feel slight discomfort. Leave it for the next day and gradually increase the number of contractions and frequency of the exercises until this muscle does not tire easily, and you can contract it repeatedly without discomfort. After several months I can now do well over 100 in a row without any strain.

    You could also try substituting static abdominal contractions, but this is a bit more difficult and is not always free of movement. Automatic ripped abs anyone?

    The ultimate goal here to is to become forever addicted to this new, invisible tic. If you can't stop the tics, simply relocate them! If you
    have mild and annoying physical tourettes symptoms like I do, and if you can master this, you will appear completely normal and
    tourettes-free to others for the rest of your life. Isn't that worth overcoming the challenges?

    GOOD LUCK! Print this out now! Use a notepad or watch beep reminders! Go get a Timex watch! Get your life back! Please forward this to other TS sufferers!

    Best wishes fellow TS copers!

  2. #2

    Default Tic Control that has worked for me!

    Echo111,

    I am glad this has worked for you and I have done similar things with my TS. In certain situations I will "transfer" my tics to another, less obstructing, area of my body. But I will at to this exercise that if you are suffering from multiple tics it can be very hard to relocate all or most of them. Also, I have an abdomin tic from TS naturally and I must admit, this tic is not invisable and can be quite painful sometimes. But I do recommend this exercise if there is a tic or two that are hampering an activity of your. But the best part of this trick is that there is no downside except the possibility of it not working, but no drug side afffects. Echo, yes, this is a good trick to use for TS.

    Thank you for the info. If you have any more ideas, please feel free to post them anytime, and keep us updated on your progress! :D
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  3. #3
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    Default Tic Control that has worked for me!

    Echo111,

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum and thanks for sharing your success story.

    Hope you'll make the TSFC Forum regular part of your online activities.

    You have described a technique used by many people with Tourette who can re direct their tics. If a person with Tourette is lucky enough to detect the premonitory urge, the signal that a tic is about to take place, some people can re direct the tic to another part of their body and disguise or conceal it yet satisfy the urge.

    It appears not everyone with Tourette can benefit from this technique as it may be associated with the ability to temporarily suppress tics, however, as you say,it can be a very helpful technique to deal with social situations.

    Click Here to see more discussion Cognitive Therapy in conection with tic disorders

    Re direction is discussed starting in the third posting in that thread.

    You may also be interested in this Forum post:Tics Overview
    Last edited by Steve; September 19, 2011 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Links Updated

  4. #4
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    Default Tic Control that has worked for me!

    Welcome Echo

    Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you really are determined to battle the tics and take control of them. My tics are not that obvious or frequent but my oldest son's tics are definitely more obvious. He doesn't realize he is ticcing most of the time and I don't know if he would be able to replace one movement with another without this pre-warning that it is coming on.

    How long did it take for you to be able to feel the sensation that the tic was about to come on?

    I hope you stay connected with us to continue the sharing
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  5. #5

    Default Tic Control that has worked for me!

    When I am not thinking about it, my eye tics are relatively involuntary and automatic. When I do think about it, I can feel the urge before it happens. For me, it is very much like breathing. When you forget about it, it happens by itself. The moment you become aware of it, you can control it to a certain extent.

    As a daily routine, as soon as I think about my tics or notice they are hapenning, or if I hear my watch beep (which is set to beep every 8 minutes), I make myself perform the kegel tic I am trying to install. I figure it is inevitable that through habit, I will adopt this as my main tic. I have been blinking as my main tic for so long (since childhood), that it is a hard one to stop, but at least I can now choose an easy, comfortable and invisible tic to perform when in social settings.

    Most of the time, I only have the urge to perform one physical tic at a time, so this relocating is very helpful. Is one tic at a time common?

  6. #6
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    Default Tic Control that has worked for me!

    Is one tic at a time common?
    Everyone's repertory of tics is different, so while some will need to express one tic at a time others will have multiple tics.

    I don't know if there is a way to objectively quantify tic activity.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tic Control that has worked for me!

    Thought I would bump/refresh this thread in case this idea helps others.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tic Control that has worked for me!

    Thank you for bringing this discussion to our attention! Would you update us on your progress using your technique?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tic Control that has worked for me!

    For a time I was able to switch to the kegel as I remembered and it relieved a lot of the pressure to do facial tics in social situations, so it functioned well as a redirect. However, I could never get "addicted" to it as much as my facial tics, so it never became an automatic focal tic. I do think it is possible, and others may have success reprogramming this invisible kegel as their primary tic, resulting in potentially invisible TS for the individual.
    Last edited by Echo1111; September 19, 2011 at 01:05 PM.

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