What Is the Purpose of Physical Pain? Part 1

Posted by on March 4, 2014 | 2 comments

What Is the Purpose of Physical Pain? Part 1

I ended the last post with the pictured quote and these questions:

  1. What is the real purpose of pain?
  2. What does this quote really mean?

In the next few articles, we will explore physical pain to answer the first question. (I am many steps ahead of this and I promise the exploration is eye-opening!)  The second question will be answered right after that.

In the last post, we looked at the psychological (mostly subconscious) purposes of pain, but

Are There Conscious Purposes?

I’ve only come up with four conscious purposes for doing nothing or next to nothing to eliminate pain:

  1. The perception of not having the time.
  2. The perception that doing ‘something’ is too expensive.
  3. Popping pills is quick and easy, and it works.
  4. The need for instant gratification.

#1 and #2, however, are created by a subconscious belief that one is unworthy of the time, attention and/or cost.

#3 is what many of us have been conditioned to believe due to the power of advertising.

#4 is what has been created by our ‘instant’ society, and by never having to or never being given the opportunity to learn how to delay gratification. For those raised with all available technology, this is especially true.

[If you have any other ideas, please let me know in the comment section below.]

So what other purposes are there?

Here is what I have come up with.


Evolutionary Imperative

Pain is a function of the brain and it serves to preserve the species by teaching us what is safe and good for us vs. what is dangerous and unhealthy for us.

Pain tells us that something is wrong and needs to be attended to. It tells us to protect an injury, to rest and allow it time to heal.

It has served an evolutionary or survival function.

For early man who did not have a doctor to run to to fix the pain, as we do today, what did they do?

Well, I’m sure they avoided things that caused them pain and illness first. [Doctor, it hurts when I do this. So, don’t do that!]

Obviously, we aren’t as smart as our predecessors! In today’s world, we have drugs you can take before you eat so you don’t have (your normal) reactions to your food caused by recurring symptoms, such as indigestion, heartburn, reflux, gas, and stomach aches. (I had a friend who had her gall bladder removed as opposed to giving up fatty foods.)

We take pills to relieve our stress for us, so we don’t have to take the time, be bothered to evaluate what needs to be changed, and be uncomfortable with the self-examination, and/or change required.

Ok, so we haven’t mastered avoiding what is bad for us.

We are even medicating conditions that western medicine has yet to discover the cause.

But after avoiding, what did they do? What could they do without knowledge of the cause; without being able to diagnose beyond the obvious?

I’d guess, investigating, testing, researching, and comparing.

Some inhabitants of this planet still hunt and forage for their food but they are familiar with their indigenous plants, so they know what to eat and what not to eat.

We, who shop for our food, believe that if they sell it, it’s safe to eat. That is as far as many of us go in investigation.

We currently have many options.

We have numerous choices of medical , surgical and therapeutic professionals: Western Medicine, Eastern Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Acupuncture, Reiki or Energy Healing, and many different approaches of psychological therapies.

With access to the internet, much of the world has access to all information from the above listed ‘medical’ areas.

In the United States, we have available to us thousands of different over-the-counter medications and just as many prescription medications.

Most of today’s dis-eases are considered curable.

Preservation of the species does not appear to be the primary function of physical pain anymore.

So, what else could be the purpose of pain?

To be continued.

May you perceive and receive all your blessings.

With Much Love,

Rev. Michele

Copyright © 2014 Indigo Sky, LLC; All Rights Reserved


  1. Great post.

    • Thank you, Marylou.


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