PAIN IS NOT THE ENEMY!
"There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong (eustress), or useless pain (distress). The sort of pain that's only suffering. I have no patience for useless things" -- Francis Underwood (House of Cards: Season 1- Ep. 1).
Americans are probably the most pain-conscious people on the face of the earth. For years we have it drummed into us -- in print, radio, television, in everyday conversation -- that any hind of pain is to be banished as though it were the ultimate evil. (pg 99 Cousins)
- As a result, we are becoming a nation of pill-grabbers and hypochondriacs, escalating the slightest ache into a searing ordeal. (pg 99. Cousins)
The truth is... most of us know very little about pain and what we don't know makes it hurt all the more. (pg 99 Cousins)
- Indeed, no form of illiteracy is so widespread or costly as ignorance about pain -- what it is, what causes it, how to deal with it without panic. (pg 99 Cousins)
There is far less knowledge about the fact that 90% of pain is self-limiting, that it is not always an indication of poor health, and that, most frequently, it is the result of tension, stress, worry, idleness, boredom, frustration, suppressed rage, insufficient sleep, over-eating, poorly-balanced diet, smoking, excessive drainking, inadequate exercise, stale air, or any other of the abuses encountered by the human body in modern society. (pg 100. Cousins)
Many forms of pain have no underlying physical cause but are the result of tension, stress or hostile factors in the general environment. (pg 101. Cousins)
Traditional essentials of health that have always had a strong place in medical canons -- proper nutrition, adequate exercise, enough sleep, good air, moderation in personal habits, and so on. (pg 132. Cousins)
Poor diet. Environment becoming an increasingly burdened with air and water pollution, congestion, noise, stress. (pg 158 Cousins).
The most ignored fact of all about pain is that the best way to eliminate it is to eliminate the abuse. Instead, many people reach almost instinctively for the painkillers. (pg 100 Cousins).
If ignorance about the nature of pain is widespread, ignorance about the way pain-killing drugs is even more so. What is not generally understood is that many of the vaunted pain-killing durgs conceal the pain without correcting the underlying condition. They deaden (de-sensitize, mask the pain) the mechanism in the body that alerts the brain tot he fact that something may be wrong. The body can pay a high price for suppression of pain without regard to its basic cause. (pg 102. Cousins)
People ought to know that nothing is more remarkable about the human body than its recuperative drive, given a modicum of respect. (pg 106 Cousins)
The human mind has a role to play in the control of pain, just as it has a key role in combating illness. (pg 97. Cousins)
Placebo: both on the conscious and subconscious level, the mind can order the body to react or respond in certain ways. (pg 97 Cousins)
The human brain has a natural drive to sustain the life process and to potentiate the entire body in the fight against pain and disease. (pg 98 Cousins)
Scientific research has established the existence of endorphins in the human brain - a substance very much like morphine in its molecular structure and effects.(pg 96. Cousins)
It is the body's own anesthesia and relaxant and helps human beings to sustain pain. (pg 96. Cousins)
FUNCTION OF PAIN:
- For pain is both the warning system and the protective mechanism that enables an individual to defend the integrity of his body. Its signals may not always be readily intelligible but at least they are there. And the individual can mobilize their response. (pg 120. Cousins)
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