Although I am not a pain specialist, the majority of my clients come to me because they are experiencing pain in one form or another. And this pain that they are feeling is, well, just....unpleasant. Obviously. No one likes pain (ok maybe there ARE people out there that do but that's a completely different topic).
But the problem I am finding is that so many of my clients don’t actually know what pain is and so I wanted to shed a little light.
So pain, despite being unpleasant, is a good thing. And it is just this unpleasant feeling which makes it so effective at its job.
Pain MAKES you do something about a situation. It becomes a motivator for change (or at least that's the intention of pain).
Pain protects you, alerting you to danger. It makes you move differently, think differently, and behave differently. And all these changes are vital for the body to be able to heal.
This means that, believe it or not, but it's actually really sensible to hurt. Pain is a normal and excellent response which occurs when the brain PERCEIVES there to be a threatening situation.
Now the interesting thing about pain is that even if problems do exist within your body, there will be no pain unless your brain thinks that you are in danger.
On the other hand, even if there are no problems within the body, pain can still exist if your brain thinks that you are in danger.
Now these two points are so important that I'm going to say them again.
1. Even if there ARE problems within your body, there will be NO pain if your brain DOES NOT THINK that you are in danger.
2. Even if there are NO problems within your body, there WILL be pain if your brain THINKS that you are in danger.
Did you get that? Good. We can move on.
Pain occurs when the body's alarm system alerts the brain to actual or potential tissue damage whether real or perceived.
Did you get that last bit too?
Real. Or PERCEIVED.
Sometimes our bodies THINK that we are in danger, produce pain as a way to alert us but there is actually NOTHING going on in the body. The pain is all in our heads. (No that does note mean that you're going crazy!)
But this is exactly why, when there are NO problems within the body, we need to communicate with our brain and let it know that there is no danger, that we are safe and that it does not need to produce pain.
Sometimes just knowing that the pain that you feel does not necessarily mean that there is anything sinister going on in your body is enough to actually reduce the pain that you feel.
Educating my clients about pain means that I've actually witnessed this happening.
And as I have said so many times before, where pain is, the cause is not!