What is the biggest fear of a modern person? Each of us is afraid of pain.
This became especially evident in the 21st century. However, our body does not mutate, and the pain threshold does not change either, we are just so accustomed to comfortable conditions that even the slightest pain makes us go to the pharmacy to buy pain relievers.
You have probably noticed that one person easily tolerates hot tea poured onto his hand, while another begins to scream from an ordinary splinter. It's all about the pain threshold, and the higher it is, the easier a person can endure any injury.
For example, professional fighters specifically torture themselves in order to increase their pain threshold, without which no fight is complete.
Human pain perception systems are quite complex, since a large number of neurons, neural structures and receptors take part in it. It is not in vain that such a large number of analgesics have been created that affect various parts of the pain system.
Before telling you about natural ways to overcome pain, let's dwell on the incredible discovery of scientists - these are three families in which each of its members inherits a unique anomaly, none of them feels pain, none at all.
It all started with a search for some information in the genes about pain symptoms. However, experts had very little hope that they would be able to find one gene, turning off which, they would achieve a complete loss of sensitivity to pain.
The people found by scientists are not carriers of any neurological disorders, they also have absolutely all the feelings characteristic of an ordinary person. All three families live in Pakistan and belong to the same clan. Scientists in different years studied 6 representatives of these families (children and adolescents).
The children did not understand at all what pain was. One of the teenagers (a 14-year-old boy who died shortly after jumping off the roof) earned his living by dangerous stunts: he pierced his hands with daggers and walked on hot coals. All studied children had severely damaged tongue and lips, as they bit them at an early age, when they did not yet understand that it was harmful. Two of them even bit off a third of their tongues. Everyone has a huge number of scars, bruises and cuts, sometimes the children did not even notice that they had broken something for themselves, the fractures somehow healed and they were found after the fact.
They are good at distinguishing hot from cold, but do not feel pain if they get burned. They have a well-developed sense of touch, they feel everything perfectly, for example, as a needle enters a finger, but for them this is not an unpleasant sensation.
Children's health and their intellectual development are also normal. And their parents, sisters and brothers are carriers of the usual pain sensitivity.
As a result of the analysis of genetic markers, it was found that the SCN9A gene had mutated in all children, but each family had its own mutation in it. What is known about this gene is that it activates precisely in those regions of the peripheral nervous system that are responsible for pain.
After conducting a series of experiments, the scientists came to the conclusion that the mutations they found completely turn off the work of the gene. As a result, stopping the work of a single gene is a sufficient and necessary condition in order to lose sensitivity to pain.
This discovery gave scientists the opportunity to develop new effective pain relievers, and, probably, in the near future, win a complete victory over pain. After all, choosing an inhibitor that can suppress the activity of a certain protein is a routine job in modern pharmacology.
The authors of the study add that they have previously discovered a hereditary anomaly associated with this gene. It was called primary erythromelalgia. But it has completely opposite characteristics.
In people with this gene mutation, pain sensitivity is off the charts and beyond. Even the smallest stimuli (for example, light exercise or warmth) can cause severe pain attacks. This disorder is associated with other mutations in the SCN9A gene that alter the sensitivity threshold.
Mutations with changes in sensitivity in this gene protein have not previously been found in humans, but this phenomenon has been actively studied in mice. Mice, in which the gene was partially desensitized, had a low pain threshold, but if the gene was completely out of order (which happened in 6 Pakistani children studied), then the mice died shortly after birth. Most likely, their gene performs some other important functions.
Now let's return to the topic sounded and tell you about several ways that will help you increase your pain threshold.
1. Drink coffee or drinks containing caffeine
When the average person decides to lose a few extra pounds in spring before the start of the beach season, they run to the gym to quickly say goodbye to the annoying unnecessary weight. He pedals hard, dies on the treadmill and pulls iron. After training, he feels good, but only until the next morning.
The body does not know such loads, and therefore the back does not unbend, the arms hang, and the muscles of the whole body painfully react to every movement. However, all these consequences can be completely avoided: you just need to preheat the body with caffeine.
The researchers conducted an experiment: the first group of volunteers received tablets with caffeine, the dosage of one capsule was equal to almost three cups of coffee. The second group of participants received ostensibly pain-relieving pills, which were actually placebos. After that, the volunteers spent almost the whole day in the gym, exercising hard.
As a result, the first group of participants felt very good the next day, some even wanted to go to the gym again the same day.
As it turns out, ads don't really lie, and caffeinated beverages can actually make us superhumans who can handle obstacles with ease. But there is good news for those people whose most serious physical activity is moving a computer mouse.
In another study, volunteers were asked to work at a computer continuously for 90 minutes. After this time, people have numb wrists, neck and shoulders. But before starting this experiment, the subjects were asked to drink coffee. Those who agreed experienced much less pain than those who refused.
2. Look at the place that hurts
Think back to the last time you had pain. Did you damage something then? Probably cut your toe or twisted your leg. Surely you were at that moment possessed by the usual human reaction: you swore and thought about how much it hurt you. But it is best in such a situation to include logic, that is, it is good to consider your damage and assume the degree of their seriousness.
You will be surprised how much this action will numb your pain. Scientists have conducted an interesting experiment. They gave the volunteers "magic" mirrors, and they themselves armed themselves with a laser and "burned" the right hands of people. Participants in the mirror saw their left hands, which were not subjected to "torture".
As a result, they felt the pain, but it quickly subsided, as people saw that nothing was happening to their hands. An important addition: you need to look strictly at your own injuries, seeing other people's injuries will not diminish your suffering.
Scientists to this day debate whether eye contact with trauma actually reduces pain threshold, but no matter what conclusion they reach, logic is always better than hysteria.
3. Remember to laugh
Imagine a situation: you wake up in the middle of the night with a strong urge to go to the toilet. With half-closed eyes, you go to the toilet, stumbling over the threshold and falling along the way. You are hurt, hurt and you want to cry. Is it weak for you to laugh at yourself in such a situation?
As psychologists say, laughter is the best medicine. While laughing will certainly not stop the bleeding or cause the cancer to evaporate, a sense of humor will definitely lessen your pain. When we laugh, our brain releases the hormones of happiness, endorphins, which have a pain-relieving effect. As a result, you will suffer less, you just have to force yourself to laugh at the right moment.
The experts conducted a series of studies, during which they studied the behavior of participants in the laboratory and at home. Some of the volunteers watched boring popular science programs, and some funny videos. As it turned out, the laughing participants in the experiment tolerated pain much more easily compared to those who delved into documentaries.
Moreover, just 15 minutes of laughing is enough to lower your pain threshold by 10 percent. However, in order for laughter to have a healing effect, it is worth learning how to laugh correctly: the laughter must be from the heart, and the air must be breathed in deeply. You should not pay attention to the sidelong glances of others, because the one who laughs last laughs well.
4. Try to convince yourself that pain is good.
Neurolinguistic programming is treated differently. Some have learned from their own experience the benefits of affirmations, while others believe that this is complete nonsense. The fact is, the pain of pain is different.
For example, a aching tooth is a sign of dental problems, while muscle pain after exercise is just an indicator of mild atrophy, in which case the person's brain perceives pain as something good.
To prove this, experts again conducted several experiments. Tourniquets were placed on two groups of volunteers to restrict blood flow. They were asked to endure these sensations for as long as possible. The first group was told that such an experiment was dangerous for their health, and the second that it was very beneficial for their muscles, and the longer they endured, the better they would be.
As a result, it turned out that the pain threshold of the second group of people was much higher than that of the first. The experiment was carried out several times, but the result did not change. The frightened volunteers stopped the experiment after a few minutes, and the participants from the second group held on firmly, believing that they would get biceps like Schwarzenegger's.
As a result, a small lie in its own salvation turns out to be extremely useful. So the next time you hit your finger on a nail, don't think about the pain, but about the experience you get with it.
5. Look at something creepy or terrible
Imagine yourself at the dentist's appointment, you are trembling with fear, you look in horror at the instruments of torture and cover with sticky sweat. You want to distract yourself and look at the wall, where you see pictures with cute animals and beautiful nature. The doctor wanted to take care of you, but he doesn't know that horror pictures will look much better in this case.
Scientists conducted an experiment: they showed volunteers slides that depicted people in different life situations, from ordinary to the most catastrophic. Before that, each of the participants put his hand into a bucket of cold water and had to hold it there for as long as possible.
It turned out that those who looked at the unpleasant photographs held their hands in the water much longer than those who admired the flowers. Therefore, if you want to distract yourself from the painful sensations, or to distract someone from them, then you should not include good cartoons, the worst horror movie in this case is just what you need.
6. Warrior massage
With this exercise, you will also train your brain to deal with pain. To perform it, you need to calm down, relax as much as possible, do not hold your breath and do not pinch. The correct technique can be found online or by consulting a specialist.
The person lies on his stomach, and at this time the partner creates pressure and tolerable pain clamps in the trapezius muscle, in the area of the thighs and the front of the neck. This massage should be performed for about 10 minutes while the pain is tolerable.
7. Try screaming
Screaming will help you realize your resilience potential to its highest point. Screaming is actually a completely versatile exercise that should be done as often as possible to flex your lungs, invigorate your body, and strengthen your voice. Try yelling in the car with music turned up at full volume or in nature.
8. Wedge wedge knocks out
It may seem strange, but in fact, you can save yourself from severe pain with a little pain. This human feature began to be used two hundred years ago, when during the extraction of a tooth, the doctor's assistants pinched the patient's hand to distract him from the main severe pain. It turns out that epicritical pain can suppress protopathic pain.
Neurophysiological studies have shown that mild pain knows how to inhibit the excitation of nerve cells from severe pain. As a result, severe pain may not even reach the brain cells, that is, the person will not feel severe pain at all.
This explains the fact that when some kind of injury happens to a person, he begins to bite his lips or scratch his hands. At least, you can distract yourself this way before the doctor arrives.
9. Keep track of the meaning you attach to your pain.
The sensation of pain directly depends on the importance that is attached to it. For example, birth pain in different cultures is given different meanings: somewhere women work and go about their usual activities almost until the last day, and immediately after the birth of a child they are ready to return to them.
In the culture of the West, birth pain is assigned too much of a role, a woman is tuned in to suffering from the very beginning, so this is what happens in the process of childbirth.
Proven fact: focusing on pain increases the pain sensation many times over. From here comes another way to cope with pain: learn not to pay attention to it and not give it too much importance.
Moreover, you can reduce your pain sensations if you are sure that everything will go away very soon. For example, during the experiment, patients were given a placebo, but their pain decreased. Scientists say that the endorphins, which the brain produces in anticipation of a speedy recovery, are to blame.
10. Control your emotional background.
An important role is played by the emotional background of a person, his mood, which accompanies pain. This statement is confirmed by the research of Dr. G. Becher, who analyzed the painful sensations of wounded soldiers during the Second World War.
The doctor saw that wounded soldiers needed far less morphine to relieve pain than people after peacetime surgeries. The doctor associated this phenomenon with the emotional state of the person: the soldier was immensely glad that he did not die, while the person after the operation easily falls into depression and, as a rule, is rather pessimistic.
That is, a positive attitude is of the greatest importance in the issue of pain perception. Here's another reason to be optimistic.
11. Engage in self-hypnosis
There have been many experiments that have shown that our attitudes have the strongest impact on the perception of pain. For example, at competitions, an athlete does not feel pain, because all his attention is focused on achieving the main goal - victory.
Scientists from the University of Oxford conducted a study that once again proved the importance of mental factors. In the experiment, 12 students took part (among them were agnostics, atheists and Catholics). The students were shown two paintings by the 17th century painter Sassoferrato - "Madonna" and "Lady with an Ermine". After that, the participants were struck with an electric shock.
As a result, it turned out that believers felt less pain in comparison with atheists and agnostics after watching Madonna. However, after watching Ladies with an Ermine, no difference in pain perception was found.
That is, the mental well-being of a believer who saw the image of his faith changes, which, in turn, helps them feel less pain. The authors of this study noted that a similar state can be achieved through meditation.
So, any mental attitude that is aimed at suppressing pain actually suppresses it. This effort can be meditation, prayer, and the attitude that the pain subsides, or it does not exist at all. Sometimes even such a completely childish method works, in which a person repeats to himself "does not hurt".