This article states that it is in our brain that we actually process and feel pain. True in the sense that those with complete spinal cord injuries will feel no pain or other sensation in the area served by nerves below the injury point.
More importantly, it goes on to talk about the links between psychological states and pain. I quotes the experience of an army medic who didn’t notice any pain when hit by a grenade when pulling comrades to safety.
The pioneer in the work of hypnosis, Milton Eriksson also demonstrated very powerfully how much the mind influences pain when with a client who refused to believe that hypnosis could help the unbearable pain in her leg, using hypnosis he transferred the pain to the other leg. Only then was the patient able to believe that she could be helped by this means.
Sadly even with the work of Bandler and Grinder in NLP, the skills and abilities of Eriksson are available to very few.
So, back to the point of this post. What am I doing when I treat pain?
I use essential oils which have a mild analgesic effect. I also work on helping muscles that are being held under constant tension to relax. The body’s response to pain is to tense the muscles around the affected area to protect it. In an acute situation immediately after the injury this is helpful. Unfortunately, if that tension is maintained after it has served it’s purpose it becomes unhelpful and a part of maintaining pain even though it has no function in preventing further injury.
This is similar in many ways to the psychological habits learned by those abused. When in the abuse situation, they learn these habits in order to survive. Once they escape the abuse situation hyper vigilance and other learned ways of behaving make life more difficult for them.
My work, both in the oils I choose but also the massage and my manner and the words I use are all aimed at creating a psychological climate where the pain is not what is concentrated on.
I find that a full body massage is often more helpful for this reason than only concentrating on the area affected.
That said, I will sometimes spend a lot more time on the affected area, especially if the client is finding it helpful.
To book an aromatherapy massage for pain relief or other reasons please use the enquiry form.