11 Aug Pain: a BOON not Bane
Our previous blog Your body’s SIGNALS introduced the idea of listening to your own body. Here we go a bit deeper to understand some of these signals namely Pain and Fever, which are the most common and key forms among others.
To put it simply, Pain means inflammation as it is one of the cardinal signs of inflammation.
Inflammation is nothing but the body’s natural way of dealing with an external attack. Any threat to the body’s internal harmony triggers an intelligent response to immediately launch a primary defence (read inflammatory response). A trigger can be of any nature (organic or inorganic, mental or physical etc.) and can arise as a result of injury, infection, shock (physical or mental) etc.
The body is adorned with several pain (chemical) receptors throughout its length & breadth. An external stimulus triggers release of chemicals that stimulate the nerve endings connected to these receptors. The nerves then carry these messages to the brain which interprets the pain. The inflammatory response thus enables the signalling process that something is wrong inside.
How medications work?
Pain killer and/or anti-inflammatory medications are chemical substances designed to block specific receptors on cells. These block the cells from releasing the essential chemical messages irrespective of the trigger factors. This not only prevents the passage of warning (of threat) to the brain but also interferes with the body’s natural ability to launch a counter response.
So in reality, these medications mask the sensations by artificially numbing the conscious brain without dealing with the cause. Moreover, when consumed for an extended period of time these further dis-regulate the body’s natural defence mechanism to launch a secondary line of defence (read related blog; Understanding body’s DEFENCES [coming soon]).
Pain is definitely an unpleasant experience. However, it actually protects the body by alerting you of the impending threat to it. By doing this, it provides enough time for you to salvage the situation and prevent the attack to reach to the internal or more important parts of the body.
What are the natural alternatives?
There are several modalities handy that can effectively deal with pain. To name a few these are (i) Naturopathy (uses natural remedies, herbal decoctions, poultices, etc.), (ii) Exercise & Massage (generate heat and stimulate blood circulation), (iii) Yoga & Meditation (help relaxation and relieve stress), (iv) Homoeopathy (deals with the cause and eliminates it thus relieving of the pain), (v) Acupuncture (resets energy channels and stimulates release of body’s natural pain killers [endorphins & enkephalins]) etc. It is further noteworthy to mention that the threshold for pain increases with every delay in external intervention. (Note: Do not ignore any continuing pain and seek professional medical advise immediately)
Pain is thus a gift (boon) and not a curse (bane) to all living beings. And we humans are the chosen ones because of our ability to express it explicitly. Fever is another cardinal sign of inflammation, but that’s for another day (read related blog; Fever: why PANIC?).
Keep reading and happy healing!
the healing tribe