There is nothing wrong with you
that what’s right with you couldn’t fix
All pain experiences are real and normal. Pain is a response from the brain when it computes for one reason or another, usually completely subconsciously, that there is a threatening situation. Even if there are no problems whatsoever with the tissue or immune system, it will still hurt if the brain concludes there is a danger. There are no exceptions – the brain will decide if something hurts or not. Pain is the output from the brain, not the input into it. The key is finding out why the brain has come to this conclusion.
No one wants pain. Once you have it you naturally want to get rid of it. Pain demands attention and it is this which makes it so effective because pain is there to protect you, making you move, behave and think differently to facilitate healing. It can be so effective that it suspends thinking, feeling or the ability to focus on anything else. Yet the good news is pain is an adaptable learning system and the plasticity of the nervous systems means you can learn to turn the pain down. Pain is related to the stimulus and your meaning to it. It has an emotional component. Pain often causes fear which generates anxiety and anxiety focuses the attention. The more attention is locked, the worse the pain. The Human Givens approach is that any problem, whether it manifests itself physically or emotionally, affects the whole person and as such it is the whole person who needs the treatment.
There are times when pain acts in odd ways. There is tissue injury but no pain, pain which persists way beyond tissue healing time (for example chronic lower back pain) and pain in the absence of tissues (phantom limb). Sometimes the pain system fails to give early warnings of pain and sometimes nerves are damaged as a result of disease and fail to alert for danger.
According to figures in 2015 from the Office for National Statistics almost 31 million days of work were lost in 2013 due to back, neck and muscle problems, costing the UK economy £14bn a year. Back pain is more important than you might think, especially when it starts to become a problem for people at work. It’s one of the most common causes of sickness absence and 80 per cent of the population will suffer with back pain at some point in their lives.
Pain does not have to be all encompassing and forever.
After the fire, ashes
After the rain, growth
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