The brain is a marvelous organ. Weighing in at about 3 pounds on average, the brain has billions of nerve connections and fibers; much more than all of the circuits in the biggest super computer. It can do some pretty amazing things from controlling all of your body’s functions to figuring out a complex mathematical problem. Some brains are even starting to figure out how they thenselves get the jobs done.
Some brains are capable of making the body accomplish some pretty amazing things. Yogis can stay underground for several days without oxygen or go without food and water for a month.
It has been demonstrated in India that they reabsorb waste water from their own bladders when deprived of water. There are also stories of young children falling into icy water for thirty minutes and still staying alive. Their brains and bodies simply shut down and use less oxygen.
Pain is the body’s way of signaling the brain that something is wrong. It hurts so much because it wants to get the brain’s attention so something can be done right away. There are several natural ways to control pain. One is interrupting the nerve signals that carry the message to the brain, through acupuncture, for example.
If you have a headache, some say that you can relieve it by imagining your pain in a box and then slowly shrinking the box until it disappears. When something hurts you, your first instinct is to rub it. Rubbing releases pain-killing endorphins from the pituitary gland that relieve some of the pain. But now researchers have discovered that you can relieve pain simply by looking at the part of your body that hurts. According to Medical News Today:
“Simply looking at your body reduces pain, according to new research by scientists from UCL (University College London) and the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy.”
The findings were published in the journal Psychological Science. The researchers found that you can reduce the amount of pain if you hand touches a very hot object just by looking at the hand. The size of the image of the hand also affected the outcome.
We all have an exact copy of all the parts of out body mapped out in our brain. Because we rely on our hands to survive, then the hands have a high priority in the brain. They are represented in a big way. The larger the image in the brain of the body part, the more you can reduce the pain just by looking at it.
This also explains “ghost limbs.” Sometimes when someone loses a limb they still feel pain in it even though it isn’t even there anymore. The pain is felt in that map of the limb that is still in the brain.
Most psychological therapies for pain reduction focus on the expectation of pain or distraction away from the source of the pain. But by looking at the area of the body that is causing the pain might just be a novel approach to treatment.