Imagine you accidentally smack your thumb with a hammer. Obviously it’s going to cause pain. If you hit your thumb really hard, it causes acute pain. The harder you hit your thumb, the more intense; or acute, the pain. This is all very logical. This type of pain is often referred to as ‘acute’ pain. The good news is, eventually your thumb recovers and the pain goes away. Your thumb stops hurting.
Now imagine that you smacked your thumb with a hammer, you experience the acute pain that is clearly the result of the unfortunate impact with the hammer, but for some unfathomable reason the pain doesn’t go away! Imagine 12 months later your thumb is still throbbing. Your thumb has healed. There is no reason for the pain to still be there – but it is. Take as many pain killing drugs as you want; they don’t seem to cure the pain. The pain is still there. There is no logical reason for the pain… but it’s still there and it’s driving you out of your mind!
This kind of pain is referred to as chronic pain. It can be associated with an illness, like cancer or arthritis. It can be the result of surgery of some sort. I’ve heard stories of people that have had injured, diseased and/or painful limbs or organs removed (amputated) only to find the limb or organ may well be gone, but the pain remains – Phantom pain. Obviously pain can also be the result of an injury. Sometimes however, chronic pain doesn’t really seem to have a cause. It’s just there… and worse still… it wont go away!
The bad news is… chronic pain cannot be cured by modern medicine. The good news is, there are lots of people that have managed to cure themselves of chronic pain conditions. They didn’t do it with medications, or surgical intervention. Some of them attributed the ‘remission from pain’ to changes of lifestyle, changes of diet, changes of attitude. Ultimately, who cares how they did it? At least they did it, and proved it was do-able! If you are suffering from chronic pain – you care how they did it!
There is a key point to notice here; with each of the reasons attributed to the remission from pain, they all included something monumentally important. CHANGE. Something changed. Lifestyle, diet, attitude. There is an old wisdom saying: “If nothing changes; Nothing changes!”… this could be reinterpreted to say “In order for a change to take place, something has to change.”
The hypothesis of this study would suggest that the experience of chronic pain; which can certainly be classified as a chronic illness, can be changed, by changing your thoughts and perceptions of the events stored in your memory that are causing the pain. In other words, a change of mind, or a change of heart, as to what you learned from those experiences.
But which memories could be responsible for chronic pain? The only thing I can guarantee you about the memories in question is that they will not be pleasant! What would you prefer – Keep the memories unchanged in your unconscious mind; your memory banks. And as a result, keep the chronic pain unchanged. Or, release the past in the present by changing your mind about it, and therefore free the future to be… free of chronic pain? Good question! You get to choose… But it’s a choice you will never make until you realise you do in fact have a choice!
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