How do you deal with pain? Apr 30, 2021 4:01:02 GMT
Post by donq on Apr 30, 2021 4:01:02 GMT
I was asked to write to someone who was in pain. As I knew that she didn't know anything about meditation, mindfulness or any spiritual practice, I had no choice but wrote something I thought and saw that it really worked.
That time I wrote a series of short emails as I knew it was hard for anyone to do anything, even reading, if they are in pain. After that, I thought I should combine them together. And here it is: (I used to post some pert of of it here before, sorry about that):
[my new writing here is within the square bracket]
There was a time when I believed in paranormal. I even could tell what number my friends were thinking (kind of mind-reading; telepathy; thoughts forms; sixth sense; precognition etc.). I was right at least 4 out of 5 (even hit jackpot many times).
And I also did Therapeutic touch (Reiki) to heal myself, my (ex) wife, family and friends. They said it worked, their pain were gone within some minutes. But they always complained that my fingers were hot like hell. Sure, I didn't tell them that it is like placebo effect/response, if you don't believe in it, it will not work for you. (yes, this includes about paranormal, too). Besides, that time I hadn't learn much about placebo response.
Nowadays I only do acupressure for myself. I read a lot about it (even wrote some articles about it). I used to suffered from migraine for 30 years, trying every expensive drug (medicine) on the market. And for the sake of saving money, I finally only took paracetamol. I had to take it at least 5 capsules per day. Finally, I did cold turkey and tried acupressure instead. It really worked! I haven't took any medicine for migraine more than five years now. Yes, sometimes it tempted me to take paracetamol, but I stopped myself in time. As I knew that, it would start vicious cycle again. Pain, then drug, forever. And it's not a cure, just something to dumb my brain on pain..
And as Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet wrote:
"Do not believe that the person who is trying to offer you solace lives his life effortlessly among the simple and quiet words that might occasionally comfort you? (on the contrary) His life is filled with much hardship and sadness, and it remains far behind yours. But if it were otherwise, he could never have found these words."
The average person is unaware of the extent of his capacities of accomplishment which have been learned through the experiential conditionings of this body behavior through his life experiences. To the average person in his thinking, pain is an immediate subjective experience, all-encompassing of his attention, distressing, and to the best of his belief and understanding, an experience uncontrollable by the person himself. Yet as a result of experiential events of his past life, there has been built up within his body, although all unrecognized, certain psychological, physiological, and neurological learning, associations, and conditionings that render it possible for pain to be controlled and even abolished. One need only think of extremely crucial situations of tension and anxiety to realize that the severest of pain vanishes when the focusing of the sufferer's awareness is compelled by other stimuli of a more immediate, intense, or life-threatening nature. From common experience, one can think of a mother suffering extremely severe pain and all absorbed in her pain experience. Yet she forgets it without effort or intention when she sees her infant dangerously threatened or seriously hurt. One can think of men in combat seriously wounded, but who do not discover their injury until later. There are numerous such comparable examples common to medical experience. Such abolition of pain occurs in daily life in situations where pain is taken out of awareness by more compelling stimuli of another character. The simplest example of all is the toothache forgotten on the way to the dentist's office, or the headache lost in the suspenseful drama portrayed at the cinema. By such experiences as these in the course of a lifetime, be they major or minor, the body learns a wealth of unconscious psychological, emotional, neurological and physiological associations and conditionings. These unconscious learning, repeatedly reinforced by additional life experiences, constitute the source of the potentials that can be employed through hypnosis to control pain intentionally without resorting to drugs.
While pain is a subjective experience with certain objective manifestations and accompaniments, it is not necessarily a conscious experience only. It occurs without conscious awareness in states of sleep, in narcosis, and even under certain types of chemo-anaesthesia as evidenced by objective accompaniments and as has been demonstrated by experimental hypnotic exploration of past experiences of patients. But because pain is primarily a conscious subjective experience, with all manner of unpleasant, threatening, even vitally dangerous emotional and psychological significances and meanings, an approach to the problem it represents can be made frequently by hypnosis, sometimes easily, sometimes with great difficulty, and the extent of the pain is not necessarily a factor...
In order to make use of hypnosis to deal with pain, one needs to look upon pain in a most analytical fashion. Pain is not a simple uncomplicated noxious stimulus. It has certain temporal, emotional, psychological, and somatic significances. It is a compelling motivating force in life's experience. I t is a basic reason for seeking medical aid.
Pain is a complex, a construct, composed of past remembered pain, of present pain experience, and of anticipated pain of the future. Thus, immediate pain is augmented by past pain and is enhanced by the future possibilities of pain. The immediate stimuli are only a central third of the entire experience. Nothing so much intensifies pain as the fear that it will be present on the morrow. It is likewise increased by the realization that the same or similar pain was experienced in the past, and this and the immediate pain render the future even more threatening. Conversely, the realization that the present pain is a single event which will come definitely to a pleasant ending serves greatly to diminish pain. Because pain is a complex, a construct, it is more readily vulnerable to hypnosis as a modality of dealing successfully with it than it would be were it simply an experience of the present.
This is very important, let me stress here again:
Thus, immediate pain is augmented by past pain and is enhanced by the future possibilities of pain. The immediate stimuli are only a central third of the entire experience.
His sentence (Erickson's) above sounds really like what the Buddha taught. Don't dwell in the past, don't anticipate the future, only focus on now. And try to distract from your pain now by focusing on something else. You can remember that, in the past , you used to get pain, and you could pass it all, and that's why you are you today, now. The pain now is also like another pain in the past, it will past by itself again. Just wait and be calm.
Try to read what Erickson wrote as many times as you can. Because even only reading it, it will somehow help you fight your pain in unconscious level. Believe me, I've been there, and done that before and found that it's really helpful.
You have to deconstruct the construction of your past pain. You understanding about pain in the past has constructed the vicious cycle of your pain now. You have to (and you can) construct the new construction to get ride of it (past pain construction). Start from now. Because if you start taking just one first step, as it's said "every journey begins with first step,", it will be easier and easier later. On the contrary, if you still let your pain (construction) continue to take another step, and another step, again and again, it will be harder and harder to deconstruct its vicious cycle later. Again, I've been there and done that before. So please believe me as I'm not just talking about it in theory.
Everyday In Every Way I'm Getting Better And Better. ( Emile Coué said it. It's kind of an auto-hypnosis to construct the new way of feeling well).
Erickson was not only a doctor, he also knew about pain so well from his direct experiences. He was not like the other doctors or scholars who teach or talk about pain only in theories without really experience it themselves.
At age 17, he (Erickson) contracted polio which left him with lifelong disabilities. So, he knew so well what he was talking about because he also had to dealing with it all his life.
I used to suffer from migraine for 25 years, trying almost all drugs (medicines). I haven't suffered from it for 5 years now. Here's my secret:
If I sense that he (migraine) is coming, I'll stop from doing anything and prepare to deal with him completely. It might take me many minutes or even an hour doing that, but I have to. Because, if I let him come just one time, he will come forever. And acupressure is really helpful, too, to shoo migraine away.
Three-year-old Robert (Dr. Erickson's son) fell down the back stairs, split his lip, and knocked an upper
tooth back into the maxilla. He was bleeding profusely and screaming loudly with pain and
fright. His mother and I went to his aid. A single glance at him his on the ground screaming,
his month bleeding profusely and blood spattered on the pavement, revealed that this was
an emergency requiring prompt and adequate measures.
No effort was made to pick him up. Instead, as he paused for breath for fresh
screaming, I (Erickson) told him quickly, simply, sympathetically and emphatically, "That hurts awful,
Robert. That hurts terrible."
Right then, without any doubt, my son knew that I knew what I was talking about. He
could agree with me and he knew that I was agreeing completely with him. Therefore he
could listen respectfully to me, because I had demonstrated that I understood the situation
Then I told Robert, "And it will keep right on hurting" In this simple statement, I named his
own fear, confirmed his own judgment of the situation, demonstrated my good intelligent
grasp of the entire matter and my entire agreement with him, since right then he could
foresee only a lifetime of anguish and pain for himself.
The next step for him and for me was to declare, as he took another breath, "And you
really wish it would atop hurting." Again, we were in full agreement and he was ratified
and even encouraged in this wish. And it was his wish, deriving entirely from within him
and constituting his own urgent need. With the situation so defined, I could then offer a
suggestion with some certainty of its acceptance. This suggestion was, "Maybe it will stop
hurting in a little while, in just a minute or two." This was a suggestion in full accord with
his own needs and wishes, and, because it was qualified by a "maybe it will," it was not
in contradiction to his own understandings of the situation. Thus he could accept the idea
and initiate his responses to it...
The next procedure which Robert was a recognition of the meaning of the injury to
Robert himself - pain, loss of blood, body damage, a loss of the wholeness of his normal
narcissistic self-esteem, of his sense of physical goodness so vital in human living.
Robert knew that he hurt, that he was a damaged person; he could see his blood upon
the pavement, taste it in his mouth, and see it on his hands. And yet, like all other human
beings, he too could desire narcissistic distinction in his misfortune, along with the desire
even more for narcissistic comfort. Nobody wants a picayune headache; if a headache
must be endured, let it be so colossal that only the sufferer could endure it. Human pride is
so curiously good and comforting! Therefore Robert's attention was doubly directed to two
vital issues of comprehensible importance to him by the simple statements, "That's an
awful lot of blood on the pavement. Is it good, red, strong blood? Lack carefully, Mother,
and see. I think it is, but I want you to be sure."
Thus there was an open and unafraid recognition in another way of values important to
Robert. He needed to know that his misfortune was catastrophic in the eyes of others as
well as his own, and he needed tangible proof that he himself could appreciate. By my
declaring it to be "an awful lot of blood," Robert could again recognize the intelligent and
competent appraisal of the situation in accord with his own actually unformulated, but
nevertheless real, needs. The question about the goodness, redness, and strongness of
the blood came into play psychologically in meeting the personal meaningfulness of Me
accident to Robert. In a situation where one feels seriously damaged, there is an
overwhelming need for a compensatory feeling of satisfying goodness. Accordingly, his
mother and I examined the blood upon the pavement, and we both expressed the opinion
that it was good, red, strong blood. In this way we reassured him, but not on an
emotionally comforting basis only; we did so upon the basis of an instructional, to him,
examination of reality.
However, we qualified that favorable opinion by stating that it would be better if we
were to examine the blood by looking at it against the white background of the bathroom
sink. By this time Robert had ceased crying, and his pain and fright were no longer
dominant factors. Instead, he was interested and absorbed in the important problem of the
quality of his blood.
His mother picked him up and carried him to the bathroom, where water was poured
over his face to see if the blood "mixed properly with water" and gave it a "proper pink
color." Then the redness was carefully checked and reconfirmed, following whirls the
"pinkness" was reconfirmed by washing him adequately, to Robert's intense satisfaction,
since his blood was good, red, and strong and made water rightly pink.
Then came the question of whether or not his month was "bleeding right" and 'swelling
right." Close inspection, to Robert's complete satisfaction and relief, again disclosed that all
developments were good and right and indicative of his essential and pleasing soundness
in every way.
Next mine the question of suturing his lip. Since this could easily evoke a negative
response, it was broached in a negative fashion to him, thereby precluding an initial
negation by him, and at the same time raising a new and important issue. This was done
by stating regretfully that, while he would have to have stitches taken in his lip, it was
most doubtful if he could have as many stitches as he could count. In fact, it looked as if
he could not even have ten stitches, and he could count to twenty. Regret was expressed
that he could not have seventeen stitches, like his sister, Betty Alice, or twelve, like his
brother, Allan; but comfort was offered in the statement that he would have more stitches
than his siblings Bert, Lance, or Carol. Thus the entire situation became transformed into
one in which he could share with his older siblings a common experience with a
comforting sense of equality and even superiority. In this way he was enabled to face the
question of surgery without fear or anxiety, but with hope of high accomplishment in
cooperation with the surgeon and imbued with the desire to do well the task assigned him,
namely, to "be sure to count the stitches." In this manner, no reassurances were needed,
nor was there any need to offer further suggestions regarding freedom from pain.
Only seven stitches were required, to Robert's disappointment, but the surgeon pointed
out that the suture material was of a newer and better kind than any that his siblings had
ever had, and that the scar would be an unusual "W" shape, like the letter of his Daddy's
college. Thus the fewness of the stitches was well compensated.