Would it shock you if I said that pain was mostly in the mind? If you disagree, then think about these two very interesting facts.
Hypnosis can be used to reduce, or even completely block out pain. So that means that if the mind can block out pain, then it must have been created by the mind in the first place.
Even more interesting; did you know that for people who are to undergo an operation, but are allergic to anaesthetic, there is the option in some countries to take valium instead? This does nothing to help the pain, but relieves all anxiety about the pain. As a result, patients report very little or no pain, proving that pain is closely associated with the anxiety that you generate about the pain. If you get rid of anxiety the pain goes too.
In my meditation classes, I have met a lot of people that have come to learn how to better deal with pain, so I know this topic will be interesting to a lot of you.
Meditation and hypnosis can both be used as natural ways to reduce pain. Both of these methods work by reducing the anxiety or aversion surrounding the pain. Hypnosis works by suggesting to the unconscious mind that the painful body part has become numb (like when dipped in freezing water). Meditation works by learning to accept the pain and breathe through it, thereby releasing any tension around the pain. As the mind stops focusing on the aversion to the pain, both mind and body relax, anxiety lessens and the pain reduces.
Then, either voluntarily or naturally, the mind can move to other thoughts which replace the pain all together, because you cannot have pain while you are thinking of something other than the pain. For example, having a good conversation with a friend can make you forget your pain for a little while.
Finally, just to give you a taste of what is possible when you eventually gain even more control of your mind. An advanced practitioner like a yogi can re-label the pain to another feeling, like bliss. This makes him or her effectively immune to pain. Now that would be something to aspire to!
Until next time, enjoy a beautiful world and a beautiful mind.