The Power of Pain

Power of PainWhat is pain?

You need to ask yourself something very simple when thinking about pain. Why would your body, which keeps you alive throughout every second of the day, without so much as your brain having to form a thought about it, put you in a situation where you feel pain? You keep breathing, your heart keeps pumping, and you keep blinking your eyelids, but you never have to think about those functions. Why then would this brilliant system also bring you the pitfalls of the terrible neurological sensation known as pain?

The answer is simple. Your body is much smarter than you! While you don’t have to think to stay alive, you also do not have to think to experience pain. The same way your brain tells your eyelids to blink to keep your eyes from drying out, it also tells your hand to retract from something hot because you are getting burned. You don’t have to form a conscious thought about it, it just happens automatically.

The same brain that keeps your heart beating sends all sorts of information to your conscious brain. Let’s say you hurt your elbow from a fall. You are now experiencing pain and swelling. Why?

Well, the pain is there to tell you that this appendage is now injured. It does so at first with great waves of pain, but later subsides to subtle messages when you use that appendage in the wrong way. The swelling is there to stabilize the injured portion of your arm, sort of like a cast. These are the basic functions of your body doing exactly what they were made to do!

If I tell you that pain and swelling are good (to an extent), what would you say? I encourage you to really think about what your body is doing. Let’s say you get in a terrible car accident. You have a massive bodily injury, but you pull yourself from the wreckage and crawl to safety. Only after the shock wears off do you start to feel the pain of your injuries.

Again, your body, as a whole, is smarter than your conscious brain. It can delay your sensation of pain in self-preservation of your life while you crawl to safety. You may never have a conscious thought about it, but your body knows exactly what to do!

So why is it that we, as a worldly population, have decided to curse our body’s knowledge and instead, adopt a mindset of numbing ourselves of the pain? Pain is our body saying, “Houston, we have a problem”. We are saying, “Houston, we have a Tylenol”.

This is the wrong mindset to achieve health and well-being. Pain relievers act as a block in the messages reaching the brain that tell us we are experiencing the sensation of pain. Do you know what pain relievers are not doing? They are not fixing the source of the pain. Your body is working on that. By reducing your ability to feel the pain of an injury, you are not helping your body, but most likely doing further damage.

This is why I say that pain, in a normal sense, is a good thing. It is a sign that something is wrong. Pain relievers are not going to fix that. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also not going to fix that. They are not solutions. They are only temporary relief while your body is trying to heal. It is your body that is the solution. It will always do whatever it can to keep you healthy. Your cast is not healing your broken arm; it’s your body that is fusing the bones back together! It is a facilitation in healing, not the solution.

Another good example of this bodily misunderstanding is your internal temperature. Do you try to reduce your fever when you are sick? Why? Do you know that your body increases your internal temperature to kill off bacterial and viral infections?

Those things can’t withstand the same temperature as the rest of your organs, cells, and tissues, so this is yet another sign that your body is working to heal itself. It is true, your temperature may, in fact, get too high, in which case you are probably experiencing an illness that your body needs help to fight, but up until that point you are just experiencing normal body function.

Reducing your body’s ability to fight normal, everyday pains is not a solution. This is the basis of chiropractic care. Chiropractic works on the fact that your body knows exactly what to do! Chiropractic adjustments help restore the brain to body communication, which is vital to life.


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