GUEST POST: Friend and colleague Eric Nelson comments on a recent report entitled,”The Science of Pain.” It’s well-worth the read–thanks, Eric!
According to a recent report on KQED’s Quest Program (“The Science of Pain,” June 3, 2011), pain treatment costs Americans $100 billion per year. And yet, despite our many advances in health care, pain itself remains largely misunderstood.
Perhaps part of the problem is the fact that we continue to look at pain purely in physiological terms, avoiding the obvious mental factors involved.
Why do I say obvious? Consider that we experience pain both in our dreams and while awake. This would seem to indicate that it’s not nerves but our thought that is the real culprit. So why is it that pain treatment remains a largely body- and drug-focused endeavor?
No doubt many people have benefitted, at least temporarily, from the use of various pain medications. But have you noticed that a prescription that works for one person doesn’t always have the same effect on another? Might this have something to do with the individual’s mental state?
I recall a time when I was quite young having a car door slammed shut on my hand. On another occasion, many years later, a car driving upwards of 50 miles per hour struck the side of my body while I was riding a bike. In both instances any pain I felt quickly dissipated, without the use of drugs.
How was this possible?
Long story short, I credit my belief – based on ample practical experience – that it’s simply not God’s will for His/Her creation to suffer. I may not have a perfect track record, but I’ve seen enough instances where pain was reduced or even completely removed – simply by turning my thought from a matter-based mode of thinking to a more spiritual outlook – not to think that thought and physical experience go hand-in-hand.
Obviously this is a large subject that deserves more space than this (relatively) short blog post affords. So feel free to chime in with your own ideas, questions, and experiences in the “comments” section below. I’ll do my best to keep the discussion going.
And, if you’re looking for more food-for-thought, here’s the KQED program I mentioned above…see pg. 212.
The Science of Pain – KQED QUEST Audio