The Pain Gate Theory by Canadian psychologist Ronald Melzack of McGill University theorizes that pain messages are allowed or blocked by little gates in the spinal cord or brain.
Dr. Melzack believes that pain messages are allowed or blocked by little gates in the spinal cord or brain. And, in extreme situations, the feelings of pain can be totally blocked or delayed.
This would explain why we feel different amounts of pain at different times, for the exact same circumstances.
Using the pain gate theory, we can assume that you can relieve pain, using natural methods that do not rely on drugs or pain medications.
For example, during the 1982 Boston Marathon, Guy Gertsch, finished the marathon in 2 hours and 47 minutes, only to discover that he had run the last 19 minutes with a broken thigh bone. Totally focused on finishing the race, he felt no pain until after he ran over the finish line.
Our bodies can be positively or negatively influenced by our thoughts and emotions.
How Stress Affects the Pain Gate
Pain and stress are closely related. In order to get rid of chronic pain, you need to address the causes of your pain and the emotional issues that are keeping you stuck in your pain.
Did you ever notice that pain gets more intense when you are feeling tense or nervous?
The truth is, that you really do feel more pain when you are under stress. Your imagination is NOT playing tricks on you!
And, on the other side of the coin, when you are able to relax and decrease your stress levels, you can also decrease your pain levels.
The Anzio Effect
So why does your pain feel worse when you are under emotional stress?
Perhaps the answer to why psychological factors can influence pain perception, can be found in an event that occurred during World War II. It happened during the Battle of Anzio in Italy.
Soldiers who were wounded during this battle needed less morphine for their wounds, than did the civilians with similar wounds.
The soldiers who were wounded saw their injuries as a ticket to go home, escaping from the battlefield—and they experienced less pain than would be expected.
The theory is that their brains sent messages to the substantia gelatinosa in their spinal cords, which then closed the pain gate, decreasing their pain. And endorphins (happy hormones) produced because of the prospect of returning home, also helped to decrease their pain perception.
The effect the soldiers experienced, came to be known as the Anzio Effect.
Natural Pain Relievers
When you experience chronic pain, it’s easy to get into the trap of using more and more medication to relieve the pain.
But, as you probably already know, that does not solve the issue. What you really want to do, is get rid of the pain—for good!
Here are some natural ways to relieve pain. They have been tested and they are used by therapists to help their pain patients get beyond their chronic pain—and get on with their lives:
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture has been used by the Chinese for years to relieve pain and to enhance healing. Small needles are placed in specific spots on the body, and it is believed that this process releases energy and helps with healing.
- Hypnosis – Hypnosis is another proven technique for pain relief. Many therapists are using hypnosis to help relieve pain and get rid of emotional baggage that may be causing the pain. It’s becoming more and more popular—because it works!
- EFT Pain Relief – The Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT Tapping is newer to the scene, but it has gained great acceptance by many professionals, simply because so many people have found relief from years of painful suffering. This method can bring relief quickly and will achieve permanent results.
Each of these methods can help you achieve permanent pain and stress reduction. If you have been suffering from chronic pain, your pain may have an emotional component that needs to be addressed. Make sure you don’t overlook that possibility, as it can help you achieve permanent relief!