4 thoughts on “Change Your Brain, Change Your Pain

  • April 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. As a pain management physician and MBSR teacher & student, I too have been thinking about these issues. I think Dr. Doidge’s book is a good introduction to the neuroplasticity concept. One of the important points, I think, is that our adaptability is MUCH greater than we usually think or have thought. Prophesies tend to be self-fulfilling, which can be harmful, say, when we’re predicting doom & gloom, or helpful, like when the Little Engine that Could thinks, “I think I can!”

    Although pain is inevitable, suffering is too, at least to us as-yet-unenlightened beings. Still, to the extent that we are “in the present moment”, we can choose differently, activate & reinforce different neural pathways, and suffer less. This is hardly news, of course, but somehow “seeing is believing”, and scientific data that begin to elucidate neural mechanisms may be helpful in allowing more of us to suspend disbelief and to enlarge the set of “things that can be changed” (trying to riff on the Serenity Prayer).

    Reply
  • April 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    As a mindfulness practitioner and a registered respiratory therapist, I find that where one places one’s attention makes a concrete difference at once – and perhaps a more permanent difference over time.

    When I must draw an arterial blood gas from a patient – a potentially painful procedure – I often suggest to them that they rub the fingers of their other hand together to produce a comforting sensation. I encourage them to pay close attention to *that* sensation as I puncture the radial or brachial artery. I use the same technique myself when I undergo uncomfortable medical procedures, and I find it diminishes my perception of pain.

    I am a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, and I utilize mindfulness meditation in my daily life.

    Linda Vining

    Reply
  • May 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    If it turns out to be a successful and potent thought, that is truly a remarkable thing for chronic pain patients. In some ways, it is plausible that with careful attention to pain triggers and our reactions to it, it might just make a world of difference for them.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    mindfulness changes lives and promotes empathy n healthy thinking…
    which can be viewed as a positive…

    Reply
 

Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *