All physical pain has a direct underlying physical, or “end” cause. For example, migraine headache may be caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain, or backache may be caused by irritation of a nerve. These end causes can result from many different external or internal conditions. For instance, eating a food you are allergic to can lead to the biochemical imbalance in the brain that directly causes the migraine headache. So can changes in altitude, weather, or sleeping patterns, being tired or stressed, or hormonal changes during PMS or menopause.
Conventional treatments work on the end cause only
Conventional treatments focus on counteracting the direct physical cause of pain, or on eliminating the conditions that lead to the direct physical cause. For example, a food allergy to ripe bananas might lead to a serious biochemical imbalance in a common brain hormone, such as serotonin. Conventional treatments might attempt to eliminate allergenic foods, or to administer drugs to counteract the serotonin imbalance. These treatments can help, but it is not always possible to avoid all potential headache producing situations, such as suspect foods or PMS. Some of the drugs used to treat pain are also not as effective as we would like, and they might have unpleasant side effects, such as nausea or drowsiness. Most importantly, the conventional treatments ignore a major factor. There is something else that has a powerful influence on our brain biochemistry, and which thus determines whether the pain will turn into a serious headache such as migraine or cluster, or whether a minor back pain will turn into a disabling spasm.
Pain is a combination of sensation and emotion
The experience of pain has at least two different components. The two main ones are what we call a ‘sensory component’ and an ‘emotional component’. You can illustrate this by inflicting a small pain on yourself, for example by squeezing one of your fingers in a pair of pliers. Start out gently, and then gradually increase the pressure until it becomes unpleasant. Notice that you feel the pressure first, and then as the pain starts, you want to pull your hand away. There is an important difference between the sensation in your finger, and your desire to pull your hand back. The sensation in your finger is the sensory component of pain. The emotional component is your desire to escape from the sensation, or your fear of not being able to escape. With a more serious injury you could be terrified by the extent of your injury, and you’d want to escape from the whole situation. Recall the last time you were in serious pain – you probably wanted to change the situation and escape from it, and you may have been angry and frustrated at not being able to. It is significant that we use the word ‘pain’ to refer to both physical and emotional pain. With emotional pain, we are unhappy with a situation such as loss of a loved one, but we are helpless to change it. We feel angry and frustrated that we can’t do anything about the painful situation, and we may be afraid of what will happen in the future. Physical and emotional pain are very similar, because a large part of what we normally think of as physical pain is actually emotional. It is a well-known and true saying that ‘The attempt to escape pain is pain.’
The emotional component of pain can increase the sensory component
The emotional component of pain can affect your body in a way that increases the sensory component. That is, the emotional part can make it hurt worse. Your body undergoes profound physiological changes whenever you attempt to escape from, or fight with anything. These changes have been called the “fight or flight” response, the “stress reaction”, or the “defensive reflex”. These are normal reactions that help us deal with a threatening situation, such as being attacked by a wild animal. They involve the emotions of fear (associated with escape), and anger (associated with fighting). Both of these emotions lead to a flood of different brain chemicals, along with hormonal, blood vessel, and muscular changes. For example, when people get angry, they usually get tight in the chest, their stomach knots up, their muscle tension increases, and their head gets warmer as blood flows away from the extremities and toward the head. The increase in muscle tension alone can cause some very unpleasant side effects, particularly when the tension is centered in the head, neck, back, or buttocks. This tension can cause cramping, changes in blood flow, and nerve irritation. The changes in blood flow can cause their own problems, such as headache and further nerve irritation.
The spiral of agony
An important key to understanding severe pain is that it causes a stress reaction, or defensive reflex. The attempt to fight or to run away from pain is itself unpleasant, and it makes the pain worse. I call this the “spiral of agony”, because the initial pain causes an unpleasant emotional reaction that increases the sensation of pain. The increased sensation of pain causes an increased emotional reaction, which increases the sensation of pain, and so on. Think back to the last time you had a severe headache, back spasm, or other pain. You are probably afraid of this pain recurring, and you might be struggling right now to avoid anything that could bring it on. The unfortunate thing is that this fear and struggling can turn a minor ache into a full blown, disabling bout with severe pain.
The role of attitude in pain
Pain, of all varieties, is much more complex than most people realize. Many people assume that pain is caused only by physical damage to the body, such as cutting, burning, disease, and so on. This is only part of the picture. You might recall a time when a rather small physical injury caused a great deal of pain, for example, getting vaccinated as a child, or when tearing off a Band-Aid. There may be other times when you hardly noticed a more severe injury, such as when you are deeply absorbed playing sports. You may have rubbed yourself raw horseback riding, or you may have played football with a broken bone. The point is that the way we look at the painful experience is at least as important as the amount of physical damage. There is abundant research on this subject. For example, one study examined the amount of pain suffered by soldiers who had the same physical battle wounds, let’s say losing a leg. Soldiers who weren’t committed to the cause of the war reported much more pain than soldiers who believed they were fighting for something honorable and worthwhile. Draftees suffered more than volunteers, and pain was worse when fighting in foreign countries than when defending home soil. This is true for all sorts of pain—your state of mind influences how you experience pain. Even mothers who really want a baby report less pain during childbirth than mothers who are giving birth to unwanted babies.
What you can do about severe pain
Much of the suffering we endure is controlled by mental and emotional factors, for example, our attitude toward the pain, how much attention we pay to it, and how much we attempt to escape from it or struggle with it. Your mental and emotional state has a profound effect on the physiology of your entire body, and in fact can determine whether you feel pain at all. There are many skills you can learn that will enable you to control your body, and eliminate pain and stress. For example, you can learn to break the spiral of agony by changing the defensive reflex into a state of relaxation and calm abiding.
Discover which magnetic therapy products can be use to reduce many of the symptoms that people with fibromyalgia suffers from…
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. “Tender points” refers to tenderness that occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. People with this syndrome may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms.
Although the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, researchers have several theories about causes or triggers of the disorder. Some scientists believe that the syndrome may be caused by an injury or trauma. This injury may affect the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia may be associated with changes in muscle metabolism, such as decreased blood flow, causing fatigue and decreased strength. Others believe the syndrome may be triggered by an infectious agent such as a virus in susceptible people, but no such agent has been identified.
Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary, depending on weather, stress, physical activity or even just the time of day. Different people experience different signs and symptoms, but common signs and symptoms include:
• Widespread pain. Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain in specific areas of your body when pressure is applied. These areas include the back of your head, upper back and neck, upper chest, elbows, hips and knees. The pain generally persists for months at a time and is often accompanied by stiffness.
• Fatigue and sleep disturbances. People with fibromyalgia often wake up tired and un-refreshed even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Some studies suggest that this problem is the result of a sleep disorder called alpha wave interrupted sleep pattern, a condition in which deep sleep is frequently interrupted by bursts of brain activity similar to wakefulness. So people with fibromyalgia miss the deep restorative stage of sleep (stage 4). Night time muscle spasms in your legs and restless legs syndrome also may be associated with fibromyalgia.
• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and bloating associated with IBS are common in people with fibromyalgia.
• Chronic headaches and facial pain. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have recurrent tension-type headaches that may be related to tenderness in the neck and shoulders. Facial pain is common, and as many as one-third experience jaw pain — temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.
• Heightened sensitivity. It’s common for people with fibromyalgia to report being sensitive to odours, noises, bright lights, touch and changes in weather.
• Depression. As many as one-third of people with fibromyalgia also experience depression.
• Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet.
• Difficulty concentrating and mood changes.
• Chest pain or pelvic pain.
• Irritable bladder.
• Dry eyes, skin and mouth.
• Painful menstrual periods.
• Sensation of swollen hands and feet.
Magnetic therapy treatments for fibromyalgia:
Fibromyalgia sufferers can experience any number of the symptoms listed above, although it is not common to experience all of them at once, it is common to suffer from several at one time, as well as frequent flare ups of the remaining symptoms. This makes fibromyalgia very difficult to treat. The majority of people with fibromyalgia are prescribed medications to deal with all of their different symptoms, this can lead a person taking a very large amount of tablets each day. Many of the tablets will have unwanted, or unhealthy side effects which have to be counteracted with even more medication. In short medicating people with fibromyalgia becomes a vicious circle that is extremely hard to break.
It’s no wonder that hundreds of fibromyalgia sufferers are turning to magnetic therapy. Without using any drugs or any side effects magnets are proving to be a very efficient way of managing the multiple symptoms of the disease.
The most effective treatment for fibromyalgia would be a combination of magnetic devices:
1. Drinking magnetised water. By using a water wand or magnetic coaster to magnetise drinking water, the symptoms of IBS, depression, mood swings and chronic fatigue can be greatly reduced.
2. Wearing a super high strength magnetic bracelet (3,000 gauss/300 m tesla). The magnetic bracelet will also help to reduce depression, mood swings and chronic fatigue as well as improving the circulation and relieving hand pain. When used in-conjunction with drinking magnetised water the results will be stronger and much quicker.
3. Sleeping on a magnetic mattress pad. This is probably the single most beneficial treatment for fibromyalgia. The sheer strength of the magnetic field will relieve the painful symptoms from all around the body. Multiple pain points can all be eased with one device, plus the mattress when used in-conjunction with a pillow pad will also improve sleep, reduce migraine and tension headaches, reduce nerve pain and tingling and stabilise hormone levels.
Exposure to magnetic therapy devices must be an ongoing treatment for those with fibromyalgia. The severity of the disease process does not allow for many periods of remission, as a result when the magnets are discontinued symptoms quickly return. It is for this reason that it is advocated that fibromyalgia sufferers sleep on a magnetic mattress pad on a permanent basis.