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What is pain?

https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/what-is-pain/

sciencefocus.com

What is pain?
Everybody hurts, but why? We explore the science behind our experience of pain.

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Pain: The Unwanted Discomfort

Pain: The Unwanted Discomfort
  • Pain, whether emotional or physical is practically unavoidable in the entire human existence. Drugs may blunt it to an extent (with severe side-effects), but we all dread pain and wish it wa...

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Not Being Able To Feel Pain

Congenital Insensitivity To Pain (CIP) is a rare genetic condition in which a person does not feel any pain, with no warning signs of ‘hurt’ being registered in the brain even after the bo...

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Pain Is Multi-Dimensional

The very concept of pain, where it locates and provides the severity of the problem, is an extremely important part of the human body mechanism, as it operates on various dimensions.

As...

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Brain Handles The Pain Naturally

When we feel acute pain, we act according to our past experience, preset responses and other environmental and social factors, taking the help of some natural powers of our brain, we can even tempo...

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The Two Kinds Of Pain

  • First Pain is in the fast lane of our nervous system and is called A-Delta. It is felt as acute pain that results in sudden, reflex actions.
  • Second Pain

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Food Being Painful

Certain temperatures and qualities in food activate the same nociceptors, like when one eats a red hot chilli pepper. This is dealt with by nature in a sophisticated way, as a certain chemical that...

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The Generation Of Pain In The Brain

Pain signal activates many regions of the brain like the brainstem, thalamus and multiple cortex areas. The brain surprisingly can suppress, amplify, reappraise and attenuate the i...

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Psychogenic Pain And Chronic Pain

  • Psychogenic Pain or emotional pain, which is without a physical injury, has a neural basis and is as real as physical pain, and cannot be ignored just because there is no ph...

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Measuring And Treating Pain

  • Doctors usually measure a person's pain by the visible features like the severe reactions of agony and grimace, apart from a rating scale and even brain imaging. Other measures like hear...

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The Mysteries Of Pain

  • Biologists still haven’t found the mystery nociceptor that detects hammer blows, a knife cut or a small pinprick.
  • Chronic pain is often not understood in many individuals, who are ...

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Oscar Wilde

“I don’t mind pain, so long as it doesn’t hurt.”

Oscar Wilde

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

About Consciousness

About Consciousness

Consciousness is everything you experience - taste, pain, love, feeling. Where these experiences come from is a mystery.

Many modern analytic philosophers of mind either deny the existence of consciousness, or they argue that they can never be meaningfully studied by science.

Searching For Physical Footprints

What is it about brain matter that gives rise to consciousness? In particular, the neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) - the minimal neuronal mechanisms jointly sufficient for any conscious experience.

Consider this question: What must happen in your brain for you to experience a toothache?

Neuronal Correlates of Consciousness (NCC)

The whole brain can be considered an NCC because it generates experience continually.

  • When parts of the cerebellum, the "little brain" underneath the back of the brain, are lost to a stroke or otherwise, patients may lose the ability to play the piano, for example.  But they never lose any aspect of their consciousness. This is because the cerebellum is almost wholly a feed-forward circuit. There are no complex feedback loops.
  • The spinal cord and the cerebellum are not enough to create consciousness. Available evidence suggests neocortical tissue in generating feelings.
  • The next stages of processing are the broad set of cortical regions, collectively known as the posterior hot zone, that gives rise to conscious perception. In clinical sources of causal evidence, stimulating the posterior hot zone can trigger a diversity of distinct sensations and feelings.
  • It appears that almost all conscious experiences have their origin in the posterior cortex. But it does not explain the crucial difference between the posterior regions and much of the prefrontal cortex, which does not directly contribute to subjective content.

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Brain, Body And Consciousness

Consciousness emerges from brain function, and we often experience consciousness to be located in the brain, but bodily feedback clearly contributes to a wide variety of subjective feelings. Brain and body jointly generate our inner mental world from various inputs.

Pain And Evolution Of Consciousness

Emotion-related inputs from the body to the brain could have generated the first traces of consciousness in our early ancestors. Being able to feel pain gives a survival advantage to animals, as they could have withdrawn from dangers and rested to promote recovery when injured or ill.

The development of awareness of body-related harms might have ultimately paved the road for the emergence of more advanced forms of conscious thought and processes, such as language, thinking, and reasoning. 

Emotional Expression And The Evolution Of Consciousness

Our bodies signal our internal states to us, but it also often externalizes them too. And being able to track others’ inner states and goals might be one of the more advantageous capabilities.

Humans and many animals are adept at reading each other’s intentions, feelings, and goals from their behavior such as facial and bodily expressions. This promotes social cohesion by exchanging emotions and other mental states and presents evolutionary advantages a purely private consciousness wouldn’t have.

The Importance Of Breathing Techniques

The Importance Of Breathing Techniques
  • Many different civilizations have practiced different breathing techniques as a part of their culture and their lifestyles, such as Taoists and Hindus.
  • Proper breathing allows the bodily functions, mental health, and overall well-being to perform better. It is the focal point to distract the self's attention from negative thoughts.
  • Breathing is the lowest common denominator in calming the body and the mind.

The Special Power Of Breathing

  • The power of breathing is evident with people who have breathing disorders. As emotions affect our well-being, so does our breathing.
  • Our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are in control of producing feelings of calmness and the latter, the body's rapid involuntary response to stressful situations.
  • Many studies have confirmed the effects of breathing techniques against anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Although they do not disappear entirely, it helps alleviate their symptoms.

Cardiac Coherence

  • It is a popular technique that promotes relaxation by coordinating our breathing, slowly and steadily, with our heart rate, stabilizing the heartbeat.
  • There are many versions to cardiac coherence: 5-second inhale-exhale for a 5-minute repetition or 4-second inhale 6-second exhale cycle.
  • Cardiac coherence’s stabilization of the heartbeat can dampen anxiety powerfully.