This is by far one of the best articles on pain that I've ever read. It's long but I think it's worth it. Some funny video clips too! I hope everyone suffering with pain will read it.
Pain is not just a message from injured tissues to be accepted at face value, but a complex experience that is thoroughly tuned by your brain. The results are often strange and counter-intuitive, like quantum physics, but the science is clear: every painful sensation is 100% Brain Made®, and there is no pain without brain.
Does that mean can we think pain away? Just how much power does the mind have over pain? Can confidence and education cure?
Articles on this topic are now common, but most of them tease readers with the tantalizing idea that pain can be treated with the mind… while failing to explain how. In this article, I get specific about what’s realistic and practical with “mind over pain.” There’s bad news, but there’s also good news — if you understand how pain actually works.mce-anchor1 Many discoveries about the physiology of painmce-anchor2mce-anchor3 have been painfully slow to reach the public, or even health professionals. This is useful stuff, and it needs to be shared.
Mostly we need to stop thinking of pain in terms of single causes or cures: “It’s all coming from the ____, I know it!” It almost never is.mce-anchor4 Pain is not reliable sign of what’s really going on. Chronic pain is a witch’s brew of different factors, complex by nature (not just coincidence or bad luck). At the very least, pain always has a layer of brain-generated complexity. At the worst, the pain system can malfunction in several colorful ways, causing pain that is much more intense and interesting than just a symptom — sometimes the pain is the problem.