Why People Suffer with Physical, Emotional, and Mental Pain
Recent scientific study is showing the bio-psychosocial link between our brain and the pain we experience. Bio-psychosocial being the biological (the body), psychological (the mind), and social (the environment) factors that contribute to one’s individual experience of pain.
Pain is very much a sensation that is designed to protect us and keep us safe. This is why we experience pain and discomfort, as a way for the brain to notify us to lift our hand off the hot stove, take it easy in recovery after a surgery, or to not eat foods that don’t agree with us. The brain is the processor of the nervous system and so the brain interprets the severity of pain based on the site of injury or tissue damage, environmental factors like whether it is safe to feel the degree of pain or not, and our previous experience or current perspective of this pain.
We can easily understand physical cause-and-affect pain reactions , and much like with physical injuries, we sometimes experience emotional injury that can also manifest physically in the body – remember, the brain is the processor of the nervous system. This means that the brain also interprets emotional pain in the same way as it does physical pain, sometimes sending impulses through the nervous system which responds accordingly. In the case of chronic pain, the nervous system may have inadvertently programmed itself to a hyper-sensitive setting, hence physical pain may be experienced as a result of previously unexpressed emotional injury.
To explain this further, our phenomenal brains create blueprints that map our external experiences that then respond almost automatically to reduce conscious effort in our day-to-day life. Think of how you easily get ready in the morning without much thinking, or drive yourself to work almost on auto-pilot, or cook your favourite meal without referring to a recipe, almost by feeling. These are all programs, and we have all sorts of programs that our brain learns and creates to make our lives easier, and to reduce the calorie consuming load on our conscious brain. Unfortunately, sometimes the programs that our brain creates are outdated and no longer in alignment with what we require or desire. This is where we feel the conflict between experiencing physical sensations seemingly standing in the way of us meeting our goals, achieving our dreams, and owning our success.
Neuralplasticity is also proving that the brain is malleable and can change, contrary to previous beliefs. Since the brain is the processor of the body and is connected to the nervous system, the brain determines the degree and impact of pain sensation in the body, not necessarily the location of injury. This is why we are finding more and more people suffering from unexplained pain where no physical injury has occurred, or pain sensations are still being experienced well beyond healing of the injury.
With the help of CBT and mindfulness we are able to map out the sequences of when these pain sensations tend to increase, and support you with practical tools to reroute the brain’s wiring. With the added power of subconscious reprogramming using hypnotherapy, NLP, and RTT® we are able to reprogram the nervous system to turn down the volume of these physical pain sensations.