Physical Pain and Psychological Pain have similar wiring layout and yet a different programming. To a rigid body, the flexibility range (FR) is extremely low say 20%. To a supple body, the flexibility range is high say 80%. When the FR is low, the physical pain is more frequent and more intense. The flexibility fence is very close. The whole purpose of Yogasanas is to outwardly enlarge the flexibility fence.
Pushing the wall of your FR outward creates more space for flexibility. Bringing more flexibility to your body is in fact one dimension of freedom. Be a Mafia land lord and push your fences outward and occupy more space for your supple self. Slowly such pains turn out to be comforting pains, as opposed to restricting pains.
Ordinary and symptomatic pain is a part of a healthy nervous system. Chronic pain that provides no causal explanation resembles a disease. This pathology of the nervous system produces abnormal changes in the brain and spinal cord and is susceptible to low FR. This harms the body by unleashing negative hormones like cortisol that affect the immune system and the kidneys.
Symptomatic pain is like a properly working alarm system. The pain matches the damage and it disappears when the problem is solved. Chronic pain is like a broken alarm that has a psychological bearing. The experience of pain continues even when the problem ceases to exist.
Physical pain has one level of impact on the body. Similarly emotional pains, which are generally suppressed have an unexplained impact on the body. The bodys pain system has a compounding factor, meaning it can be amplified by pain to cause more pain. In fact everyone who has chronic pain eventually develops anxiety and depression. Surprisingly pain and depression both share similar neural wiring. The neuro transmitters and hormones modulating a healthy brain – like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins are the same ones that determine depression. Chronic pain consume the seritonin in the brain synaptic fluid just as a car running out of gas. Medications that treat depression also treat pain. The fact remains duly endorsed by scientific research that the emotional center and the physical center are so deeply intertwined that the impact on one center has a parallel effect on the other center. This has huge bearing on the PAIN experience.
Lets look at our attitude towards pain. We are conditioned to have an aversion to pain. No sooner there is an indication of pain, the body is given a pain killer. The internal communication to your body is that you are averse to pain of any sort. Pain is an unwanted faculty is the message. The body is confused. The pain killer industry in pharmacology is a multi billion dollar business. But truly pain is an alarm system. The experience of pain is truly a caution of disorder at any part of the body. Pain indeed is proportionate to the disorder in the body. It is an indicator to all illnesses.
Paradoxically, the Gynaecologist would consider pain as a welcome indicator of healthy child birth. To respect pain as your mentor and guide is essential. Develop a healthy relationship to the sensation of pain. The more averse you get with any thing the more it would haunt you. Similarly, the more you are averse to pain, the more an amplification happens in your body. The more we struggle with the fact of pain, the more, it would spread and take grip of your attention. The more the unresisting acceptance of pain, the better is our chances of transcending pain. The practise of healthy respect to pain as well as the application of the deamplification and localizing attitudes to your experience of pain in Yogasanas helps in building up a new paradigm shift in your relatedness to pain.
Since the sensations of pain and depression occupy the same circuitry in the body, the same system of deamplification and localizing can prevent the hijack of depressive thoughts. The depressive thoughts will soon be isolated and will not turn into an anxiety phobia that leads to other deeper issues like Yuppie flu etc.