Friday, April 29, 2011

Pain discussion, pain management in a yoga class

Often it seems I am heartless when discussing pain in a class, . esp if it is something u feel from a pose etc. I do this over my natural instinct to empathise. I do that because I believe that if I gave in, and discussed it too much, then the pain just grows proportionate to the attention u invest in it. Plus, it is somehow infectious and sets off other students to feel similar stuff in their practice!!
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 I myself deal with pain firmly, in my body and find that if I continue with movement the pain invariably leaves. Pain, I secretly believe, is jsut a residue of what we may be feeling in our lives (this does not involve the stuff  like hormonal changes, migraines caused by wrong eating etc, of course) at that moment, so we need to deal with it where we find it, in our bodies. Then, if we are a balanced sort of a person or a meditative one (who is acutely aware of his or her subconscious) then u can deal with it from the mind too. Often, the subconscious finds it out;et fpr its mental pain and fears through the body. So no point cribbing and cribbing, unless there is some solution in that cribbing.

I find that I am not too off the mark in my approach.

Reading the Tell-tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran, I found this reference to Dr Sean Mackey's research on pain. Below is what I summarise...
In pain management one technique that Dr Mackey uses is to project a flame on the screen which actually is a representation of neural imaging of pain perception in their brain. If the  patient focused on it and mentally decided to reduce the flame, the pain also reduced!! THIS IS LIKE AMAZING!!

U get the point?? U can actively reduce pain by how u think about it.

There is more about pain management that I am finding out, will keep u abreast on that.

This is not to discredit pain. But not to give it too much credence either. I seriously get bored when students wallow in pain...


And u know what -- the Sean Mackey study also showed there was some analgesic effect in certain activities that involved the reward centers of the brain.
  • One could be distraction (which is why, if in pain u don't lie back but move about and get involved in things that make u feel good or high).
  • The other is simple, good, old-fashioned love. Just looking at the image of your loved one could reduce pain.. Mmm, there is a lot there that can be written I am sure about this and why some partner can constantly be in pain:) plus,  on how couples could deal with each other's pain then!! Just to remain in love could be a BIG pain-killer...:)  
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Happy sadhana!

1 comment:

Anila said...


I am not sure if this is the right place to post- but I remember reading in your post some time back on using 'weights' . If I remember, you said 'Dumbbells are exactly what they are - dumb bells,does not help in muscle to nerve coordination at all' ( or something in the same lines). Could you please do a post on this- The reason is that all the fitness 'experts' around me say that 'the older you get, more important it is to use weights to prevent osteoporosis' - and there's a new class in town ' Yoga with Weights' :-)