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Books about the pain being all in the mind!!!

Posted by Melody on 1/17/00 at 00:00 (014854)

I read a couple of messages about this and though long and hard before I sent a message!

I think we should not be so dismissive about such books. Much pain is to some degree 'all in the mind'. I am not for one second suggesting that PF is in the mind. But, I think rather than getting annoyed about these books they may well be worth reading.

Coming to terms with being in constant pain is often half the battle. Yes, the pain is still there but if you can teach yourself to treat it with utter contempt then you stand a good chance of not feeling it so bad.

I want to say that I know what I am talking about because I am a bit worried that it sounds a bit arrogant! I have had a chronic pain problem for half my life now. Unlike PF, which might go away, there is no hope whatsoever that my pain will go. It is only in the last year that I have started coming to terms with this - in my head! Once you can do this you have won half the battle.

So, although you do have every right to be angry that you were given this book, it might be worth your while actually reading it. There could well be several ideas in there that might help. (You needn't tell any one that you are reading it though!!*S*)

Mel


Re: Books about the pain being all in the mind!!!

alan k on 1/17/00 at 00:00 (014857)

In fact pain IS all in the mind. Just try hitting someone whose out with anaesthesia with a brick, or a corpse for that matter. They don't go ouch or complain at all.

If pain were in the body, it would be possible to measure it. Drug companies would love that. But in fact they have to resort to a scale from one to ten, or use all these weapon image-words like is stabbing or prickling etc. Very primitive and will never get better because, as you say, pain is %100 in the mind.

On the other hand, it can be initiated from a bodily process, like putting your hand on a stove. The heat and the burning flesh is very, very real. The pain is initiated by the body, but it's up to the state of a person's mind how much it hurts. Another example would work better: the same pin-prick at the same depth at the same point in the body may hurt more or less depending on the state of mind of the recipient. Also, it can depend on how accustomed they are to that sensation, etc. I happen to know a Buddhist nun who is paralyzed with a painful body and can't hardly hold a spoon to eat, but she is happy and smiling all the time. That's because the ability to let go of pain is in the same place where pain happens, in the mind. We all have an ability to deal with certain degrees of pain naturally from our experience with boo-boos, when we screamed hysterically at first, to now as adults, and as pf sufferers that counts as good expereince too. This Buddhist nun worked for a long time with a lot of pain before achieving what she had achieved.

Now, all that being said, we do not want to lose sight of the hot stove and burning flesh. We need to listen to our pain and take the hand off the stove if possible. Sometimes the pain is caused by a material effect on the body. Sometimes people have pains with no material cause, or experience 'phantom limbs' after amputation etc. But sometimes there just is a cause like an entrapment of a nerve. There is pressing on the nerve and it hurts and can get worse. Were someone to pursue a psychological treatment to cure something with a gross physical cause, that could be dangerous. I didn't mention this but the book's cure (its by a doctor who has treated mainly back pain and celebrities) is to forswear any physical treatment because it is part of the illusion that the body is the cause. He also recommends making sure your doctor has eliminated all physical causes (but my family did not read the fine print I'm sure).

Most of us probably have a closely-knit weave between our physical and mental health, and I know most of us experience pain pain and emotional pain with our condition. Most of us, I hope, are trying to deal with both and reach a cure, or at least a better life.

In the ocassional venting complaint messages where I brought up the book on pain being in the mind we were talking about people close to us not understanding, thinking we are weak and hysterical etc. The book was good example for that particular topic, as my family in fact does tend to think I am imagining all this and its because of stress, etc. This is a dangerously wrong conclusion in my case-- certain activities could make my condition much worse and maybe virtually cripple me, if I do not respect the bio-mechanics of my body.

In short, we have to deal emotionally and use that strength to help healing, but also we have to realize that we are bodies too and all bodies fall apart and need care. I am going to find the things that my body needs and it is going to ge better.

By the way, I am not mad and think you are absolutely right about pain and the mind, and we all need to work hard at dealing with the pain as part of our treatment. Understanding that pain is in the mind and that, whatever the present state of our changeable abilities, it is possible not to have to hurt in the heart along with 'it.' How you feel in the heart is all that matters.


cheers, alan k


Re: Books about the pain being all in the mind!!!

alan k on 1/17/00 at 00:00 (014857)

In fact pain IS all in the mind. Just try hitting someone whose out with anaesthesia with a brick, or a corpse for that matter. They don't go ouch or complain at all.

If pain were in the body, it would be possible to measure it. Drug companies would love that. But in fact they have to resort to a scale from one to ten, or use all these weapon image-words like is stabbing or prickling etc. Very primitive and will never get better because, as you say, pain is %100 in the mind.

On the other hand, it can be initiated from a bodily process, like putting your hand on a stove. The heat and the burning flesh is very, very real. The pain is initiated by the body, but it's up to the state of a person's mind how much it hurts. Another example would work better: the same pin-prick at the same depth at the same point in the body may hurt more or less depending on the state of mind of the recipient. Also, it can depend on how accustomed they are to that sensation, etc. I happen to know a Buddhist nun who is paralyzed with a painful body and can't hardly hold a spoon to eat, but she is happy and smiling all the time. That's because the ability to let go of pain is in the same place where pain happens, in the mind. We all have an ability to deal with certain degrees of pain naturally from our experience with boo-boos, when we screamed hysterically at first, to now as adults, and as pf sufferers that counts as good expereince too. This Buddhist nun worked for a long time with a lot of pain before achieving what she had achieved.

Now, all that being said, we do not want to lose sight of the hot stove and burning flesh. We need to listen to our pain and take the hand off the stove if possible. Sometimes the pain is caused by a material effect on the body. Sometimes people have pains with no material cause, or experience 'phantom limbs' after amputation etc. But sometimes there just is a cause like an entrapment of a nerve. There is pressing on the nerve and it hurts and can get worse. Were someone to pursue a psychological treatment to cure something with a gross physical cause, that could be dangerous. I didn't mention this but the book's cure (its by a doctor who has treated mainly back pain and celebrities) is to forswear any physical treatment because it is part of the illusion that the body is the cause. He also recommends making sure your doctor has eliminated all physical causes (but my family did not read the fine print I'm sure).

Most of us probably have a closely-knit weave between our physical and mental health, and I know most of us experience pain pain and emotional pain with our condition. Most of us, I hope, are trying to deal with both and reach a cure, or at least a better life.

In the ocassional venting complaint messages where I brought up the book on pain being in the mind we were talking about people close to us not understanding, thinking we are weak and hysterical etc. The book was good example for that particular topic, as my family in fact does tend to think I am imagining all this and its because of stress, etc. This is a dangerously wrong conclusion in my case-- certain activities could make my condition much worse and maybe virtually cripple me, if I do not respect the bio-mechanics of my body.

In short, we have to deal emotionally and use that strength to help healing, but also we have to realize that we are bodies too and all bodies fall apart and need care. I am going to find the things that my body needs and it is going to ge better.

By the way, I am not mad and think you are absolutely right about pain and the mind, and we all need to work hard at dealing with the pain as part of our treatment. Understanding that pain is in the mind and that, whatever the present state of our changeable abilities, it is possible not to have to hurt in the heart along with 'it.' How you feel in the heart is all that matters.


cheers, alan k