How Thoughts Become Pain:
When we deal with acute or chronic pain, we know that stress has a profound effect on both the intensity and the duration of the discomfort.
Whenever our heart wants something and our “logical” mind wants something else, there is internal conflict. And there is no mammal on the planet with no physical symptoms when experiencing emotional imbalance.
Whenever we experience an emotion, we are not dealing with something intangible and immaterial but with literal molecules that have a specific molecular weight and peptides with a specific structure and sequence of amino acids.
I’m talking about neuropeptides, the so-called “Molecules of Emotion”, known since the 70’s.
Every time we experience an emotion, always following a thought we made about our ‘objective’ reality, Hypothalamus – Brain’s mini plant for the production of hormones and neuropeptides, that regulates and supervises the autonomic nervous system, growth, metabolism, reproduction, the ability to turn experiences into memories and our bodies’ stress response, releases millions of neuropeptides that flood our entire body.
These molecules are the chemical equivalents of our “intangible” emotions and they are absolutely real, proportional to and depending on what we are experiencing.
In every cell there are thousands of receptors for the corresponding Neuropeptides, and as the emotional molecules integrate through them with our cells, they trigger a sequence of chemical reactions that changes cell function in real time.
Our whole body is immediately informed and affected every time we feel anger, serenity, fear, confidence, bitterness, joy, frustration, gratitude, despair, peace, shame, love, self-pity, tenderness, depression.
And it reacts accordingly.
Unless we get accustomed – both as health professionals and as patients – to recognize any new symptom, exacerbation or relapse as an indication that our system has exceeded its endurance limits (physically, emotionally or mentally) and manage Pain as the multifactorial experience it is, we might be wasting valuable time and not delaying the return to optimal function and quality of life.