Pain -- we know that it's intrusive, and we know that it’s uncomfortable, but how do we understand it? How does our body interpret it or distinguish it, whether it be chronic or acute? In this blog, we will uncover the process of how the brain receives pain signals, how pain is modified and systematized by the brain from different occurrences and emotion, and what we can do to address pain when it arises.
“Pain is a complex, biopsychosocial phenomenon that arises from the interaction of multiple neuroanatomic and neurochemical systems with a number of cognitive and affective processes.”
- Eric L. Garland
The Control Center of the Body
Imagine a cell tower and how it transmits and receives signals from a cell phone. When you use a cell phone to make a call, electromagnetic waves emit and the antenna from the nearest cell tower receives the signal. Much like a cell tower, the brain is the control center of the body. Your brain is responsible for every thought, feeling, and emotion. It contains billions of nerve endings, cells, and neurons, that all work together to receive and interpret signals from the body through the nervous system and through the secretion of hormones. The two major structures in the body that play an important role in the process of signaling pain, are the brain and the spinal cord. The brain and the spinal cord both make up what is called the central nervous system, by which the body is mainly governed. The central nervous system is the communication port for all signals to the brain. In fact, you may notice that you feel pain even when it's from another part of the body since signals travel through the same nerve pathway. When an injury or discomfort is inflicted on or in the body, the sensory nerves are alerted and the response is directed to the spine, which also acts an independent detector of pain in a process called reflex. The spine transmits the signal directly to the brain which triggers thoughts, emotion, and sensation.
Chronic v. Acute Pain
Pain is arranged and categorized into your memory allowing the brain to separate and distinguish between various incidences. The most commonly known types of pain are chronic and acute pain. According to Dr. Tenant, it takes 50 millivolts to heal or create a new cell even if the injury is minor. Now imagine the amount of energy your body needs to maintain itself in order to self-heal and self-regulate!
Acute pain is a pain that is short term, and after the body has repaired itself or when the pain disappears, your body naturally lifts out of its fight or flight response. Pain that persists long-term is described as chronic pain. This is when there is continued inflammation that never self corrects and cells are not able to repair themselves, causing pain signals to constantly trigger to the brain even when the pain disappears, thus creating a pattern or ‘chronic pain brain’ (Dr. Pawluk). Once the brain has received the signal of pain, the message is transferred to parts of the brain function including the limbic system which is apart of the brain that perceives emotion especially fear and sadness. Chronic pain is constantly activating the limbic system of the brain and the frontal cortex which is the decision making part of the brain (Dr. Pawluk).
Emotional health affects physical health and is a powerful dictator of our decisions, playing a major role in our recovery process. Emotion can also be a connection to electrical dysfunction in the body. If your brain is the control center of the body, imagine how your body is affected when your brain is trying to interpret negative emotions. Just like a cell phone that would be disrupted by poor transmission from a cell tower. Although our brain is the master control of our body, it is also our own self-actions that make us accountable for what we allow our brain to signal. When a person is experiencing chronic pain you can imagine their body constantly in a fight or flight response, battling the recovery process as pain rewires the brain. Dealing with this regression can cause a trickle-down effect of stress or even depression which can then lead to other health concerns or wear on the entire body.
Targeting Chronic Pain with PEMF
This is why it is important that we address pain when it arises. Now, how exactly do we do that? Well, there are many ways to address pain, but a good way to maintain and optimize your body’s health is with pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. Pulse Centers PEMF Therapy, also known as cellular exercise, optimizes the body’s natural self-healing and regulating functions, by allowing blood circulation, reduction in inflammation, and an increase of oxygen, nutrients, and energy within the cells, according to Dr. Magda Havas. In addition, Dr. Barlow, DC and Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, states that whenever there is chronic pain or a chronic pattern in the body, the brain is almost always involved, so by utilizing PEMF to target the brain and the central nervous system, you optimize the bodies brain function and focus, supporting synaptic response, and the readjustment of chronic pain signaling and other patterns.
It is important that we charge the central nervous system and also the organs as pain travels on the same pathway. Everything in our body is connected, all 11 systems and 78 organs. So when you are feeling pain in the knee, an organ can be involved in the dysfunction, or for example, back pain in relation to kidney dysfunction. PEMF also regulates emotional health and promotes stress reduction, which allows the body to pull out of the fight or flight response and instead rest, repair and regenerate, reversing the chronic pain pattern, and accelerating the repair process for acute issues. When your cellular voltage is low, your body is more susceptible to a multitude of issues and discomfort. Cellular exercise gives your body back the energy it needs to repair and regenerate while adjusting the reception of the brain to the body and vice versa, body to the brain.
Stay Ahead of the Pain!
Now that we know and understand pain and its process, and have the formula to address pain when it transpires, it is important to stay one step ahead of it by maintaining our body and rewiring our brain with cellular exercise before degeneration even begins. Cellular exercise should be apart of our daily living as we have 100 trillion cells that yearn for energy. When our bodies and our emotions are energetically balanced, we are more responsive to optimal health and recovery.
Garland, Eric L. “Pain processing in the human nervous system: a selective review of nociceptive and biobehavioral pathways” Primary care vol. 39,3 (2012): 561-71.
Pawluck, William. ”When Pain Becomes Chronic.” https://www.drpawluk.com/blog/when-pain-becomes-chronic/