Are You in Pain? Could it Be in Your Mind?

Pic Credit: avmedia.info

Are you suffering from chronic pain?

Have you tried various pain relievers but none of them seems to be working and there is no real medical reason for the pain? This could be a case of Mind Body Syndrome. This is a condition in which the real pain exists in the mind and not in the body.

 

What exactly is Mind-Body Syndrome?

The nervousness before any examination that translates into a jittery feeling in the stomach is a classic example of Mind Body Syndrome (MBS).  With changes in our thinking patterns and the ways we feel and handle stress, we can reduce the physical pain the body goes through. MBS is the concept that explains how one can heal the body by bringing about changes in the mind.

 

The Central Ideology of Mind-Body Syndrome

Our central nervous system can independently cause pain through the development of learned nerve pathways. A lot of research over many years has shown that there is some linkage between our emotional and physical conditions. There is more study going on now to show how these emotions are translating into physical pain and other disorders. It is learnt that irritable bowel, jaw pain, migraine, acute back/ neck pain and many other disorders causing issues on a daily basis can be attributed to negative emotions like anger, grief, tension etc.

 

Mind-Body Syndrome (MBS) & Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)

(Both TMS & MBS are at times interchangeably used to refer to the same thing)

TMS is a disorder that involves the muscles, ligaments and nerves of the neck and back that causes acute pain to the person.  A patient with TMS has no identifiable source of pain and this pain can be eliminated by a mental process that involves focusing on the emotional, rather than the physical. So it is actually physical pain with roots in emotional tension.

When pain is caused by a nerve pathway, there is no damage of the tissues, no cuts; but instead, areas of the brain are activated, creating pain and/or causing nerves to fire. This in turn produces tension in muscles or reactions in visceral organs.

 

Symptoms of Mind-Body Syndrome

MBS occurs in the person as a whole and not in body parts. So it is best understood by evaluating the person’s body as well as the mind. MBS symptoms start out in childhood or adolescence. like anxiety, stomach aches, dizziness and fatigue that later leads to fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, back or neck pain.

It is also dependent on upbringing, the family atmosphere, the relationships shared with family members and the kind of incidents and events a person has undergone or witnessed. The negative emotions remain in the mind and start showing up as eating disorders, chest pain, palpitations and numbness as one grows older.

For instance, if you have back pain or neck pain and the MRI doesn’t show any serious abnormality, then you are likely to have MBS/TMS. Also, if there is no clear evidence of nerve damage or a change in muscle strength or sensation in the arms or legs, then there are chances that you may have MBS/TMS.

 

How to Beat Mind-Body Syndrome

  1. Start maintaining a journal of your daily thoughts.
  • In this journal, write down your fears, worries and anxieties.
  • Start introspecting by linking your emotions to your physical body condition.
  • You’ll slowly notice certain changes during the process which also you need to make a note of.
  1. Set apart at least 15 minutes every day to sit quietly trying to clear your mind of any thoughts.
  • Even if thoughts arise, acknowledge them and release them rather than weaving stories in your head around them.
  1. You must also start setting yourself some small and large goals to see how your physical body is responding.
  • So keep a track on activities that would cause a lot of pain to you and try doing them while practicing the above steps.
  • Also imagine yourself doing those activities without any pain.
  1. Have a positive attitude throughout.
  • Creating positive images of yourself comes a long way in helping reduce the pain.
  • Keep boosting yourself by sending positive messages to your mind.

A little bit of exercise, a daily commitment to follow these steps and a never give up attitude are the three keys to help you completely get rid of the pain without any medication.

So the next time on, when you feel like your back is going to break, just stop a moment and analyse if the pain is actually physical or it is just in your thoughts.

 

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