Pain Proof Your Body
By Michael Turk
It’s time to tell the scary truth: Pain is powerful. Consider its power to control humans. Punishment means pain. This works because humans avoid it. Different people have different levels of pain tolerance. Some people avoid pain and some develop pain-coping skills, but distressing pain cannot be ignored. Humans can easily avoid thinking about mild pain and get accustomed to uncomfortable pain; however, when pain pills are used to avoid pain, the body’s well-being is impaired, which causes disease. Many die every year from the side effects of pain pills.
Your body can be pain free and pain tolerant with safe, natural approaches. Exercise that challenges the body and causes little pains reduces chronic pain and increases muscle tone. For those who don’t exercise, pain can build up in the body unless it’s worked out with therapeutic massage. Athletes receive therapeutic massage to treat minor injuries during training. Physical therapy sessions often include exercises that challenge the patient’s damaged and diseased body.
Acupressure, pressure applied to specific spots on the body, causes a little pain to reduce a greater pain elsewhere. These acupoints have been mapped on the human body for more than 2,000 years.
Acupoints are stimulated by inflicting little injuries that initiate a healing response. Acupressure is like a micropunch that does not bruise but feels achy. Acupuncture is like a microcut that does not bleed but feels sore. Moxibustion is like a microburn that does not blister but looks like a mild sunburn.
A doctor came to see me with arthritis from an injury in his right leg so I explained about the Asian notion that pain is energy called qi and that microinjuries stimulate a healing response. During the initial exam, I noticed he did not take pain medication. I asked him what medications he had tried since the injury. He responded, “I do not take NSAIDs; I never have; I’m a pathologist. I see the damage done to the intestines every day at work.” After seven treatments combining massage, acupuncture, and moxibustion, he reported he was able to return to the racquetball court playing stronger without pain.
The definition of pain from Asian culture does not identify pain as good or bad, but as yin or yang versions of injured qi, energy. They, therefore, believe that the power of pain can be harnessed to relieve pain. Instead of suffering, you can control pain with the right stimulus at the right place and with the right choice of stimulation.
The Asian message asserts you can tame pain. To pain proof your body, embrace or endure it, for the pain you feel today makes you stronger and pain free tomorrow.
Michael Turk, 530-213-3127, www.MichaelTurk.com