Pain is a peripheral thing. Some say say funny, but it's not an entertaining thing – unless you have a really odd sense of humor. What is interesting is that pain is really a trick played on us by our mind to get us to do something. Let's look at the composition of pain to see if we can learn to listen to its message.
Nerves do many astonishing things, such as instructing our stomach to digest our food, directing our heart to pump our blood and empowering our eyes to read this page. These nerves are called efferent nerves. Efferent nerves carry signals from your brain to your body.
Different receptors in afferent nerves help us differentiate hot and cold, a light touch from heavy pressure, and the many intensities of pain signals: sharp, dull, throbbing, fixed, migrating, piercing, etc. Even numbness or the “pins-and-needles” feelings are really pain sensations because of their afferent nerve signals.
Nerves are covered in a protective sheath called myelin. The myelin sheath may become damaged from injury, toxicity, and because of certain deficiencies such as Vitamin B-12 and folic acid. When this occurs, we will feel pain sensations even though no injury really exists.
This is where the deception begins.
Translating the signals
A pain signal's purpose is to make you avoid serious injury. If you put your hand on a hot stove, a pain signal gets you to quickly remove or withdraw your hand before a more serious injury occurs. The same is true with cold, sharp, dull, etc. Pain is the great motivator!
Afferent nerves do not really feel pain. You do not really feel pain. Your nerves pleasely carry a signal from your body to your brain. Then, your brain interprets this signal according to the type of nerve that communicates the message.
• When you touch something hot, your brain perceives heat; you do not really feel heat.
• When you touch something cold, your brain perceives cold; you do not really feel the cold.
As strange as this may sound, when you encounter pain you are not really feeling pain; your brain is interpreting a signal as pain. This distinction becomes very important as we discuss the remedies for chronic pain.
Treatments for pain
Pain is the way your body signals that there is something not right requiring immediate attention – withdrawal from the pain! Bodily switches turn on the pain signal when danger exists and turn it off when danger no longer exists. So, the first solution for chronic pain is to retreat from whatever is causing the pain.
Sometimes the switch gets turned on and never gets turned off; this is chronic pain! These switches, frequently called pain gates, are regulated by nutrients like Vitamin D. Also, in chronic nerve pain, a signal is sent from a damaged area or lesion in the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is controlled by nutrients such as Vitamin B-12, folic acid and essential fatty acids.
Chronic muscle pain is caused by muscles trying to restore balance to an unbalanced muscle region. The imbalance may be caused by nerve damage, stress, an inactive lifestyle or poor posture (really, poor posture and sedentary living are types of muscle injury). Muscle balance is regulated by magnesium and, to a smaller amount, by potassium and calcium.
A statement about inflammation
Chronic nerve pain can be kept up in a circular cycle. Likewise, infection may become chronic even after the cause of the inflammation is gone. The chemicals of inflammation injure the afferent nerves causing the brain to interpret this injury as chronic pain. Pain and inflammation go hand-in-hand.
Breaking the cycle of chronic pain requires:
1. Removing the cause: trauma / injury, toxins, etc.
2. Restoring nutrient balance; see nerve formula
3. Breaking the cycle of inflammation
These three steps allow us to hear the message of pain and achieve the balance of pain-free living!