Anatomy & Physiology of Pain

Life is all about “Survival”.  No matter what you do – it is always for the purpose of momentary survival –or- to enhance future potential for survival.

Primary cause of pain is enforcement. This can be internally self-imposed, or externally imposed by others. An enforced compression (blow) – or- enforced expansion (pull) on any body part can cause pain. Similarly on the mind too!  If a capable person is given lesser position of responsibility – it amounts to enforced compression and thus the pain. Similarly if an incapable person is given heavy responsibility – if amounts to enforced expansion and thus the pain again.

Pleasure is pro-survival.  Pain is contra-survival.

Hence all our conscious actions are directed towards obtaining pleasure and avoiding pain. But our sub-conscious instincts drive us and misdirect us towards pain – as a result of confusion – while actually seeking pleasure.

Pain is inevitable in life – as life is dynamic. But sufferance is optional.

Pain occurs in three distinct planes.

1. Mental or Emotional.

2. Physiological.

3. Neurological.

No matter where the pain originates or occurs, it is always felt or “Perceived” only in the “Conscious Mind”.  This implies that at the “Unconscious” state of Mind, Pain cannot be perceived or experienced.

This is the “Principle” that is applied, which works behind Painkillers & Anesthetics. Painkiller is in fact a mild anesthetic. As the consciousness of the mind gets progressively lowered (either on its own – like deep sleep or through artificial inducement) so does the intensity of the Pain perceived at that corresponding moment. When the consciousness is regained progressively, the pain perception returns accordingly.

There have been men well trained in Yoga in India, who could practice “Selective” Consciousness on matters of their Choice.  For example – they could go through a major surgery without anesthesia, while having a lively conversation with the operating surgeons.  Hence you can conclude that pain is a relative perception in accordance with the consciousness applied by the individual (Cell, Organ of the Body or the Whole Man) to the event, incident or the experience.

Fainting is the mechanism of body’s own pain management system to aid survival.  This “Principle” of – mind consciousness related pain perception – is valid both at microcosmic (Cellular) level, and the macrocosmic (Whole Body) level.

Definitions of Pain:

When an effort to exist or survive gets challenged by any conditions – physical  or environmental or circumstantial, from causes internal or external to the living being, either individually or collectively in a group – there emerges a need to increase the quantum & level of effort to meet the new demand for survival.

When this demand progressively increases and reaches a limit – or – the demand suddenly increases and reaches that limit, whereby there is no more capacity left in store to increase the effort to meet the new demand, it results in “Stress”.  Further increase of the stress results in “Distress”.  This distress can also be called “Trauma”.

This distress or trauma, from where it exists, gets communicated to another point from where the attention & help is sought — such as from cells of a crushed finger via nerves to the brain and then to the final destination – Mind.

Thus Pain is primarily “The Expression, or, Communication of Distress / Trauma” from the “location” of its occurrence.

But there is some thing more important – the receiving end of the communication – “Mind”.  This is where the relativity & choice come into play.  The relative importance any such communication gets at the receiving end, determines the “intensity & acuteness” of Pain.   If the communication gets high importance for attention, the pain is acute but transient.  If the importance & attention is permanent, then it is chronic pain.  The level of attention & type of importance given is a conscious choice exercised at the receiving end – the Mind.

Finally – the ultimate definition of Pain and its “datum” is — “Applied Consciousness to a Perceived Trauma or Distress”.  Higher the conscious attention to the perceived trauma & distress – higher is the pain experienced, and vice versa.

Mental Pain: A perceived (real or imagined) “distress / trauma” due to loss of an object very dear to the individual – or – of another person very dear to the individual – or – any combination of factors thereof, originating and connected with the inter relationship involving the individual, the objects and other persons.

Anger, Jealousy, Frustration, Hatred, Depression, feeling of Oppression, Suppression, Disability, Inability, Melancholy, Sorrow, Sadness ..etc are all different forms of Mental Pain.

Physiological Pain: “Distress / Trauma” at cellular level where by an individual or a group of cells in the body of a living being get traumatized by an Injury, Burn or a Disease and call for attention, help and remedy.

There are numerous varieties of these pains such as – Pricking, Piercing, Stabbing, Tearing, Squeezing, Pulling, Cutting, Splitting, Dull, Nagging, Burning, Boring, Shifting, Drifting, Shooting, Shocking, Numbing …etc, the description purely based on the individual’s choice of perception.

Neurological Pain: An arbitrary electrical wave generated anywhere in the nervous system of a living being, which is similar or identical to the electrical wave that normally represents and signals a physiological pain of a particular nature and location, gets perceived by the individual as such.

Neurological pains normally occur where the nerve tissues are traumatized by the violence of a surgical operation.


About MSR

I am a Healthcare products manufacturer & exporter and also a healthcare counselor. The areas of my interest include Spirituality, Philosophy, Science, Engineering, Humanities, History and Sports.

Posted on April 18, 2010, in Health and Health Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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