What is Pain ? ….
Is it the awful sensation of something stabbing, burning or stinging or maybe a series of electrical currents which send messages to the brain that the body is going through some sort of trauma or stress situation.
Well, both really. In “Wikipedia” it says “Pain, is the unpleasant feeling common to such experiences as stabbing a toe, or burning a finger or putting iodine on a cut (Ouch!)”. The International Association for the study of Pain defines it as “an unpleasant sensing and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage”.
Apparently your peripheral nerves extend from your spinal cord to your skin, muscles, bones, joints and internal organs. Some nerve fibres end with receptors that respond to touch, pressure, vibration, cold and warmth and other nerve fibres end with nociceptors, which are receptors that detect actual or potential tissue damage.
Sounds complicated? Well you know what they say no gain without pain !!
No, not really as basically it means that pain messages don’t actually travel directly from your pain receptors to your brain, as when pain messages reach your spinal cord, they melt up with nerve cells that act as gatekeepers which filter pain messages on their way to the brain.
If the pain is severe such as being cut by a knife the gate is open and takes an express route to your brain. Weak pain messages however may be filtered or blocked out by the gate, but our bodies “fight or flight” reaction its natural alarm system is constantly on.
Of course, you can also suffer from other types of pain, for instance a break up of a relationship or a lost loved one. Your pain comes from within in waves with feelings or anger, despair and so painful that you feel like your heart is being ripped out. You feel like you will never be the same again but somehow time heals all types of pain be it emotional, mental or physical.
My perception of pain is now more an emotional feeling in that instead of thinking how awful it is I tend to think “that stupid pain is back again” and then I immediately think of how I can take it away.
PAIN AND PLEASURE, LIKE LIGHT AND DARKNESS, SUCCEED EACH OTHER
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) British Writer