By A.J. Crolli
Who has not asked pain to go away? Pain can be debilitating and numbing to so much of life. But what do you do when it just won’t stop?
Pain can be viewed as a form of energy or information that the mind processes. Sometimes, as with any form of information, pain information gets misdirected. People who suffer from chronic back issues, knee problems, chronic myalgias, etc. may become victims of pain-energy redirection.
The term pain-loop, as coined by Dr. Levine and Dr. Philips, basically implies that if a pain signal is not relieved within a short amount of time, then a pain signal loop is set-up in the primitive, subconscious parts of the brain. This works like a corrupt program on a computer hard-drive. The brain keeps running this loop over and over again even though the original reason for this information may now no longer exist.
Our data base corruption is different for each of us because we all perceive events or stimuli differently. Our perceptions of traumatic events and internal and external stimuli are based upon our belief systems and these system’s chain reactions. Our beliefs come from our family lives, culture, religion, etc. These beliefs then generate our feelings; our feelings then generate our emotions; our emotions then can condense in our physical bodies if we hold on to them instead of releasing them naturally. When a triggering event occurs, all the previous traumas of our lives that are stored in the brain’s survival zones are also now in play.
As an example, if you had a traumatizing hospitalization in your childhood years, it could predispose you to panic attacks and an excess perception of pain even from routine dental visits. Many people in chronic pain didn’t learn in their formative years a methodology on how to cope with uncomfortable or distressing experiences. It’s the fear about pain or any negative physical reaction that sets the stage for the chronic pain loop. It’s very real and we become what we fear the most. Emotional and physical pain operate in the same parts of the brain; even a chronic negative response pattern can be traumatizing and very real.
Part of our defense mechanisms are the primal responses of flight-fight-freeze. Many experts talk about the flight-fright response but not so much about the freeze. A freeze response can precipitate into a condensing pattern, like a turtle tucking itself in its shell. It shows up in the body with the crunching of the shoulders, the tucking of the head, and possibly a paralyzing or numbing feeling. This response can even be seen in the musculoskeletal system. The corresponding mental freeze response would be feeling stuck or trapped in a particular situation and too paralyzed to change it. You then start to shrink from triggering situations, people, places, or things. All three can spin off various other reactions in the mind/body when they get stuck in a chronic state. And these all can cause pain. By unlocking the pain-loop cycles, much relief can be generated in the body as well as the mind. And then we can sing that pain away!