The actual feeling of pain comes from nerve endings in our bodies that send signals to the brain letting us know that there is a trauma. Say you’ve burned yourself. Having the ability to feel the pain of being burned causes your brain to force your body to react (fast!) and remove itself from the situation or source of pain.
Immediately when there is trauma to the body, there is a point when you do not feel pain, this is the time it takes for the signal to get to the brain. The signal travels up the spinal cord, within the spinal cord are what is called synapses, synapses either block messages or allow to pass through depending on which are deemed immediately important…like being burnt, as mentioned above one would need to remove from the situation or the source of the injury fast. What if you could control the info the synapses relay to the brain? This is called the Gate Theory. : The idea that pain signals from nerve endings are blocked by a “gate” in the spinal cord to inhibit pain. The “gate” either opens to let certain messages pass through or closes to keep too many from reaching the brain.
The essence of Gate Control Theory is that if you take your attentions away from your pain, the transfer of pain signals from the site of your injury to the brain slows or stops, thus effectively lessening your perception of that pain. So the more attention you give to pain, the more the brain registers the incoming messages as important, and the more the pain will intensify.
This means that if you can have the mental discipline to take your attention away from the pain and turn your attention elsewhere, your perception of pain will decrease.
This philosophy is behind the Lamaze method used in childbirth: by distracting the mother’s attention to specific breathing exercises, her perception of pain decreases and she is better able to concentrate on pushing.
Pain is ‘in your head’ and you can give it as much, or as little, attention as you choose.
Loveliveholistically can you talk you through a breathing exercise that will help you redirect your pain and may help with chronic pain.
You don't have to be an expert meditator to reap the benefits of breathing. Practicing deep, diaphragmatic breathing (that's breathing from the belly rather than shallow inhaling and exhaling from the chest) can be very helpful, says Singles, who is a distinguished psychologist in orthopedics and rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin.
"This helps harness the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the quieting response, as opposed to the symptoms of arousal that happen with the pain signals themselves," she explains. Women have been using the breathing techniques of Lamaze to help manage childbirth pain for decades.
Once relaxed if you have not received ease, one could try Altered focus or Transfer of sensation
This powerful technique involves focusing your attention on any specific non-painful part of the body (hand, foot, etc.) and altering sensation in that part of the body. For example, imagine another part of the body warming up. This will take the mind away from focusing on the source of your pain.
As with Transfer of sensation Loveliveholistically can help you move the pain.
Mentally move your pain from one area of your body to another where you think the pain will be easier for you to handle and ultimately moving the pain out of your body.
Loveliveholistically can you talk you through this exercise that will help you redirect your pain and may help with chronic pain.
Reducing the ball of pain
This technique, also very powerful, is to image your pain as a coloured ball (choose a colour that might be a stress colour for you, like red). Each time you breathe in, and then exhale, imagine the "ball" of pain becoming smaller and gradually changing colour to a more relaxing hue (e.g. for many people this might be green or blue). Choose images that are relaxing and pain-relieving for you. They will not be the same for everyone.
Loveliveholistically can talk you through this exercise, that will help redirect and may help with chronic pain.
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