Pain can be your body's best friend in the sense that it draws attention to an area in the body that's experiencing a problem. Pain identifies the general or precise location of a problem. It reveals the severity of the problem, and it even identifies the type of problem so you can treat the right area. Via pain, your body sends messages to the brain, alerting it that something's not right and that it needs to intervene and fix the problem. When the brain receives these pain messages, it responds in two ways:
- It sends messages to the immune system that there's a problem, and, in turn, the immune system responds by activating an inflammatory response.
- The brain begins releasing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which tell the area of the body in pain that help is on its way.
Through these two activities, the body begins the healing process and the pain begins to subside. Pain can also be your body's worst enemy. Prolonged pain weakens the immune system's ability to function optimally, saps the body of energy and strength, alters the personality, and creates a myriad of emotional and mental stressors. These stressors can cause irrational acts and decisions. More important, prolonged pain causes your world to shrink because you're not sure what you'll be able to do or if you'll be able to manage the pain. While painkillers free the body of pain and allow the brain to think clearly, meaning to think without fixating on the pain, all they really do is mask the pain or deaden certain body mechanisms so they can't function. Painkillers also create other problems because of their side effects and the fact that many are habit forming.
In the August "Your Health Teleclass" Carol explores how conventional medicine, alternative medicine, and intuitive medicine views CFS. Carol shares the hidden psychological meanings behind it and offers suggestions on how to improve immune system functioning, help the mitochondria produce more energy substances, and restore vitality back to the mind and the body.
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