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Is your pain in your brain?

Yes, all pain is in the brain. The brain is the control center and pain is like a complicated alarm system that is set to protect you and tell you when something needs attention. Without pain, we may not realize that there is a problem needing attention. The brain's job is to analyze all the information it receives from all of our senses and determines what kind of pain to give, how much pain to give, or whether or not to give us pain at all.

The amount of pain we experience is unrelated to the severity of the injury. In certain situations, such as an emergency or in a battlefield, pain is often not felt until after the emergency is over or the solder has made it to safety. On the other hand, some amputees feel pain in a limb that isn't there.

For example, in a situation where you touch something hot, a signal is sent you brain. Your brain instantly sounds off an alarm telling you that you feel pain and to move your hand away before too much damage is done. The initial physical pain is caused by tissue damage. In some situations however, the pain remains long after the healing process is complete. The brain has made a decision regarding the tissue, and sometimes that decision doesn't make sense. It has concluded that creating pain will serve you and has changed the sensitivity level of what sets off the pain alarm.

In many cases of chronic back pain, the alarm system has become too sensitive. Some folks stop their activities once pain starts and only focus on dealing with their pain. Their brain's alarm system becomes more and more sensitive and over time their lifestyle begins to shrink. In these cases, dealing with chronic pain is frequently about resetting the alarm system so that it functions normally again.

The Brain and Nervous System
The human body is made up of complex systems. Managing and coordinating these complex systems is carried out by the brain and the nervous system in conjunction with the hormone-excreting glands. All body functions are controlled by electrical and chemical signals carried by nerves and hormones which integrate the body as a whole. Neurons transfer information throughout the nervous system.

The nervous system is structured and broken down into two major systems: Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).

The CNS is the largest part of the nervous system, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is the body's "control center". The CNS has various centers located within it that carry out the sensory, motor and integration of information to and from the brain.

The PNS is a vast network of spinal and cranial nerves that are linked to the brain and the spinal cord. It contains nerve fibers that connect all the parts of the body within the central nervous system. The PNS also contains sensory receptors which help in processing changes that occur in the internal and external environments.

The PNS is further subdivided into two sub-systems or branches. They are the Somatic Nervous System and the Autonomic Nervous System.

The Somatic Nervous System (SNS) controls or mediates voluntary activity and body functions such as musculoskeletal movement. It also conducts sensory messages from the body to the CNS. The somatic has voluntary control of skin, bones, joints, and skeletal muscle.

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), or involuntary nervous system, functions autonomously and is a self-regulating complex system that controls involuntary body functions, movements, and activities in the internal organs, heart, intestines, and circulatory system, blood vessels, and smooth and cardiac muscles. The ANS also concentrates on controlling and maintaining the heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, breathing, respiratory rate, salivation, digestion, perspiration, diameter of the pupils, maturation, urination, sexual arousal, etc. Some ANS functions such as breathing, work in tandem with the conscious mind and the SNS.

Although ANS activities are considered involuntary, they can be altered either through specific events or by changing perceptions about a specific experience. This means that the brain (not the conscious mind) is susceptible and tends to react to negative emotional experiences. It can easily decrease blood flow, causing oxygen deprivation in the affected area(s) of the body which then causes increased pain and tension in the affected tissues.

The brain is very powerful. It is capable of making an existing physical condition worse and creating or manifesting physical problems and pain in the body without your permission. That's right, without permission, without you even being aware that it's happening. The brain is like an operating system in a computer, responsible for handling all lower level subconscious functions, and it reacts to external experiences in order to protect you. Often, this includes causing you physical problems and pain; if it believes it better then you consciously dealing with an emotional problem. It doesn't know, nor does it care that it's probably easier for you to deal with your emotional problem consciously then to deal with a physical problem and discomfort or pain. Your mind handles all conscious upper level functions and activities, and can only manipulate the brain (your subconscious mind) but never totally control it.

People who internalize and are extremely sensitive tend to be much more prone to physiological problems and/or exacerbate existing physical problems than those who don't seem to care or are indifferent on some levels. People with personality tendencies, traits and patterns of being depressed, worried, overly concerned, sensitive to criticism, needy for love and attention, insecure, and/or have low self-esteem, self-image, and self-confidence are generally more vulnerable and susceptible to over internalize and be extremely sensitive to every experience and everything around them. Also on the list to being vulnerable and susceptible to this scenario are people who are very responsible, very conscientious, hard-working, and/or self-critical, over achiever, perfectionist, or overly ambitious.

People with these personality traits often have deep rooted repressed emotions, anxiety, guilt, fear, resentment, or anger on a conscious (mind) and subconscious (brain) level. The child in them is very stubborn and doesn't want to accept and let go. Instead, they often experience and exhibit depression or a lot of tension, contention, nervousness, conflict, hipper intensity, and uncontrollable dysfunctional outburst towards everyone and everything. Anger leads to more anger and anxiety leads to more anxiety in cruel vicious cycles and patterns that sometimes come out in the form of discomfort, pain, illness, skin problems, TMJ, ringing ears, dizziness, tension headache, ulcer, urinary symptoms, migraine, hives, colitis, etc. Most often pain that is caused from emotional stress occurs in the back, neck, shoulders, and buttocks but may appear in other parts of the body as well. Too often the brain can't deal with it and tries to deals with it the best way it can. Physiological problems and pain to take you mind off the root cause, real emotional problems. The brain deals with repressed emotions through avoidance, covering up, distracting attention, and creating a diversion, physiological problems and pain. Of course, there are those who experience these things quietly, and those who are in complete denial. Everyone handles experiences differently, so there isn't one solution.

Clearing up any confusion before we keep going
Please keep in mind that physical and physiological problems are very real and consuming, but you can minimize the pain by minimizing the symptom and reaction. In some cases the actual problem is resolved, in other cases; the person is able to return to normal activities with minimal discomfort. At a minimum, the process is going to help you cope and manage your pain and discomfort more effectively.

It's great to be a sensitive, caring, loving, hard working, conscientious, responsible person with ambition, but it's important to avoid being overly sensitive and internalize every negative experience and challenge.

Emotional stress, repressed emotions or abnormal activities are often the root cause for aggravating and exacerbating an existing problem or manifesting new problems. This is truly important, especially for those people who suffer from chronic musculoskeletal and nerve symptoms, and have failed to respond to medical treatment.

You can make small simple changes and use simple techniques to reprogram existing negative habitual thought patterns in your conscious (mind) and subconscious (brain). This will help change your perspective and attitude from negativity to positivity, and that will help relieve and alleviate the pain and the hurt. It's up to you to let go and free yourself.

How to get better:

  • Understand, accept, and treat the pain as a mind-body rather than pain as just a physical experience.

  • Understand and totally believe, without a doubt, that you have the power to manipulate, relieve, or eliminate pain and discomfort.

  • Learn about the human anatomy and exactly what is causing the problem, pain and discomfort. Is it physical, emotional, or both? Remove the emotional aspect. This may take some research on self- emotions and a little time, but you can do it and it's well worth it.

  • Use strategies and techniques, like the ones listed below, to help you cope and successfully manage the pain.

  • Let go of any anger, resentment, and deep-rooted negative beliefs and replace them with love, peace, harmony and joy. Otherwise you'll always be tainted.

  • Learn effective strategies and techniques to remove or reprogram any unhealthy, habitual personality tendencies, traits and patterns, like the ones listed above.

  • Find balance through Life-Wellness and Qigong/Chi Kung practices and philosophy.

  • Submerge yourself in meditation and bio-energy healing practices.

  • Overcoming all fears of normal physical activity and resume previous restricted activities as your health improves.

Strategies and next steps:

  • Talk to the brain/subconscious mind. Use self-talk and self-affirmations techniques to brainwash yourself and to manipulate the pain and discomfort. See below.

  • Practice Life-Wellness and Qigong/Chi Kung on a daily basis.

  • Learn to breathe properly and naturally. Breathe deeply and release any pain and discomfort with every breath you exhale.

  • Practice Bio-energy healing on a daily basis.

  • Practice meditation techniques on a daily basis.

  • Maintain an exercise regimen. Find the ones that you enjoy and that are good for you.

  • Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. What you eat and how much you each directly affects your physical, mental, and emotional state. Do not eat before going to bed, for that may negatively impact your pain and discomfort.

  • Drink an adequate amount of water to avoid dehydration. Your body is over 60% water. Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles can make you feel tired, ache, and elevate your pain level.

  • Sleep well. How you sleep and the type of mattress you sleep on can greatly improve or worsen how you feel. I prefer the sleep number bed because I can adjust it to my specific needs at any time.

  • Time is precious so use it wisely. Balance your time between all aspects of Life-Wellness.

  • Laugh out loud at something each day. You can fake a laugh, for the brain (subconscious mind) cannot sense that you're faking it. Look in the mirror and laugh out loud as though you don't have a care in the world - Ha Ha Ha! ;-) - it's emotionally and physically healthy for you to laugh.

  • Have a favorite place to go, either physically or in your mind.

 

Self-awareness, Self-talk and Self-affirmations
Repeat positive phrases in order to reprogram and brainwash yourself until the brain/subconscious mind believes that the pain no longer serves a purpose. It's a gimmick or trick that really works. If there is any doubt, your brain (subconscious mind) will detect it and remain stubborn. The brain resists a change of its strategy, unless it believes the change is happening naturally, without force. This is primarily a preventative strategy and it will not work as well once pain and/or muscle inflammation is established. Keep trying, but it's hard to get rid of the pain once it's established. It's usually too late, so take a pain killer or a muscle relaxer if you have to.Stop for a moment to think if the pain episode is, at least in part, due to emotional baggage that you are carrying. Think physiological when pain is felt and switch attention to emotions (sources of anxiety, anger, e.g. personality, etc.). Is the suffering psychological and a substitute for repressed feelings? Come on now, think and be honest with yourself. Acknowledge any subconscious negative feelings and bring them out to your consciousness so that you can release them and let them go, for they are poisoning you. Better to know what the anger is from. For example, maybe your experience made you sensitive to criticism, or you're frustrated with something or someone, or you feel that you are not good enough. Whatever it is, bring it out and release from your physical body and your energy body. Also take the time to review what happened when you're quiet, relaxed, and can think clearly. Be mindful that a bad diet, eating before going to bed, or dehydration can also bring on discomfort, aches, and pain. You should repeat and write self-affirmation phrases a few hundred times per day in the beginning to make sure that it sinks in and replaces your existing negative beliefs. Repeat the phrases and use the same words each time you say and/or write the affirmation.

  • Below are a few self-affirmation phrases you can use:

  • I do not care about the pain. "Your first name" does not care about the pain.

  • I know the pain is a phony. The diversion is exposed. "Your first name" knows the pain is a phony. The diversion is exposed.

  • Pain and discomfort do not bother me. Pain and discomfort do not bother "your first name".

  • I'm not putting up with this nonsense. "Your first name" is not putting up with this nonsense.

  • I release all pain and discomfort. "Your first name" releases all pain and discomfort.

  • With each breath I feel healthier and free of pain and discomfort. With each breath "your first name" feels healthier and free of pain and discomfort.

  • I release all fear and anger. "Your first name" releases all fear and anger.

  • I am clam, peaceful, and full of love. "Your first name" is clam, peaceful, and full of love.

  • I love everyone and everyone loves me. "Your first name" loves everyone and everyone loves "your first name".

  • All things are well in my world. All things are well in "your first name" world.

    I can do this easily. "Your first name" can do this easily.

Take a deep breath between each phrase. Imagine taking in fresh, clean energy with each inhale and releasing bad, unhealthy energy with each exhale.
 
Making positive changes takes time and effort, but it doesn't cost you anything. These changes will improve your health, wellness, and lifestyle, so it's well worth it. You can do it. You simply have to start doing it on a consistent basis.
 

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