What Is the Purpose of Physical Pain? Part 2
I want to make it clear that this series of articles is intended to persuade you to think differently, to see things differently and to choose to believe differently, by providing a logical dissection of the subject.
It is intended to guide you to believing in and acting from your spiritual self, from knowing you are not a body and to caring for your spirit and your bodymind, instead of just your physical body.
If you are not ready for this change in your life, you can stop reading here.
If you already have the mindset that you are spirit and are demonstrating it with your behavior , you can stop reading here and come back when I begin addressing treatment options, as there may be some new information for you.
However, there is one more thing before we can continue the exploration of physical pain, and answering the first question posed in Part 1.
For those of you who have already read part one, I wanted you to know that I added #4 to the conscious reasons. Check it out here.
Now, on with the discussion.
So, from an evolutionary standpoint, acute pain (injuries, burns, poisoning) serves as a teaching tool to preserve the species. We identify the cause, and treat it. Then we consciously choose to avoid the action or substance that caused the pain, as we have learned from it.
But what about chronic pain and recurring injuries? Do they serve a teaching purpose as well?
Pema Chodron, a Buddhist monk, stated “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.
Well that could include pain, couldn’t it?
Maybe the answer lies in how pain works.
What I Know About Physical Pain
There are no pain receptors in the brain (in other words, the brain cannot feel pain) but it is the brain that interprets what is and what is not a painful experience. It will send out signals, via chemicals, to the nerves in the area affected if it deems it should be painful.
Impingement, pinching, compression, or constriction of nerves can cause pain, but not always at the site expected and not consistently! (Dr. John Sarno did some great research showing this in The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain.)
How does the brain decide what is and what isn’t painful? (We’ll get to that in a minute.)
The pain signal can be interrupted if the chemicals don’t land in their receptor cells because something else fills it instead.
Synthetic pain-killers interrupt the pain signals by filling the receptor sites but with consequential side-effects, including being addictive.
So, physical pain only occurs if a specific set of bio-chemical conditions are met that allow it to be felt.
Pain happens in the body; in an electro-magnetic, bio- chemical and electro-chemical creation of form/matter. Pain is initiated in the brain but the brain is impacted by the mind.
The Psychology of Pain
I would think many of you have shared my experience of banging my hand or stubbing my toe and saying “Ouch” but then realizing it didn’t hurt. Why didn’t it hurt that time? And why did I say “Ouch” before finding out if it hurt? [I’ll answer the former in the next article.]
The answer to the latter is conditioning; I expected it would hurt. I have subconsciously linked the action of stubbing my toe with the experience of pain, so stubbing automatically triggers a pain response mentally (but in this case, not physically/biochemically – no pain).
I was supposed to learn that doing certain things will cause me pain so I would try not to do it again. (Avoidance of pain is an evolutionary, survival mechanism.)
This conditioning includes believing that doing x, y or z will always hurt – when that’s not always true.
Subconscious expectations and invalid beliefs about pain have been created.
I am currently informed enough and self-loving enough to manage my own survival, so I don’t require that kind of subconscious protection anymore. But I’m left with limiting beliefs: probably that pain is unavoidable and that I am a body that needs protecting.
[This is what I’ve taken away from this realization: I should be aware of what I am doing or thinking because of obsolete programming and the resulting subconscious beliefs, and then choose to reprogram myself for peace and joy! (Which I have!)]
You may not want to hear it, but we have all been conditioned/programmed. Some of this programming is obviously in our DNA for survival of the species (but I’d say the species is doing a great job of surviving. What it’s not doing a great job at is peace and joy!)
Most of our programming comes from our developmental years: from our models, our experiences, our families, our teachers, by the teachings we are taught and exposed to, from the media, and from advertising campaigns designed to convince you to believe something that will make you buy what they are selling. (If you are taught fear or taught to fear, then fear is what guides your beliefs, perceptions, reactions, and actions.)
Anything repeated or heard often enough becomes a belief; your truth.
I remember reading that most of our core beliefs are determined by, I think, the age of seven. [Notice I said determined, not chosen.]
What programming have you been exposed to?
What programming are you being exposed to?
We can’t protect ourselves from future programming unless we are resolute in our beliefs. No one can get to that point without knowing what they believe first.
Wherever it came from, we can change it; we can reprogram ourselves, we can choose what we believe. And since what we believe affects what we perceive, it seems to be in our best interest to choose beliefs that enhance our lives.
Back to What I Know About Physical Pain
I know that yogis, masters, women in labor, and people who walk across hot coals without burning their feet have, through training, learned to interrupt the pain signals. (This doesn’t explain why their feet don’t burn though.) Some of the training relates to therapeutic breathing techniques and apparently the yogis and masters have addressed their limiting beliefs.
I know we have within us, a miraculous, personal pharmacy wherein our bodies can produce natural versions of what pharmaceutical companies have been copying synthetically.
I know we can stimulate the production of any mood-enhancing or pain relieving hormone or neurotransmitter we need but we have to learn how to trigger it. (Here is a lesson!)
We can end pain very quickly and easily with medication/drugs, but the source still must be uncovered and healed in order to be cured. (Here is a lesson disguised as a choice.)
So, if physical pain isn’t related to survival as part of a DNA-programmed warning system, and can be interrupted, controlled or inhibited, (essentially shut off), then the pain itself doesn’t have a purpose.
Please come back for Part 3 where we will look at the types and effects of physical pain.
What are the potential responses to pain?
What events, actions or consequences occur because of the pain?
If you have answers to any of the questions, comments, ideas, or more questions, please leave them below,
May you perceive and receive all your blessings.
With Much Love,
Copyright © 2014 Indigo Sky, LLC; All Rights Reserved
You Feedback Is Requested
I was coached to keep my posts “the shorter the better,” leading to many articles with multiple parts. This one ran long but I didn’t want to add yet another part to this ever growing series. Please let me know below if you like more information at once (longer) or shorter articles. (Thank you in advance.)