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The Perception Of Pain In Conjunction To The Mind And Body

2523 words - 10 pages

The Perception of Pain in Conjunction to the Mind and Body

The Perception of Pain in Conjunction to the Mind and Body
Pain is something that connects all of us. From birth to death we can identify with each other the idea and arguably the perception of it. We all know we experience it, but what is more important is how we all perceive it. It is known that there are people out there with a ‘high’ pain tolerance and there are also ones out there with a ‘low’ pain tolerance, but what is different between them? We also know that pain is an objective response to certain stimuli, there are neurons that sense and feel pain and there are nerve impulses that send these “painful” messages to the brain. What we don’t know is where the pain experience actually comes from. Understandably, we know pain happens or is perceived in the brain but is it an actual mechanical response that is controllable or is it just a sensation that the brain experiences. There are several theories and possibilities on why there can be such a separation and a divergence in people from the ones that can seemingly endure painful events and the ones that can’t. Three important claims that are related to pain are: one, pain is actually a perception, two, is that the brain mediates the suppression of pain through the “gate” in the spinal cord and three, is that the mind may be able to decide when the “gate” can open and how far open the “gate” will be. There is much controversy over whether pain is biological and we have no control over the severity of it or how much of it we feel, or whether pain is dependent on the mind or body and can influence one’s perception of pain.
Pain has a known purpose; it is present to protect the body from further damage to tissue and bone and potentially even death. Pain is an instinctive response that our bodies have, it is necessary to the survival of all living things. It helps an individual recognize that something is wrong. It alerts our body that we may have some kind of ailment or that the stove is hot and if we continue to touch it, we are going to damage the skin on our hands to the point of no repair. Pain also has a side that is not as well understood. Pain can be “suggested” and eventually felt through the process of hypnosis, pain can also be felt at times where there is no know stimulus. Pain is very often felt, but much less understood.

The International Association for the Study of Pain defined pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage” (Unk, 2007). Pain being described such as this allows us to see that pain is a perception, not unlike seeing or hearing. Pain is the most common reason that people seek medical attention but pain is very hard to define because it is subjective. Pain perception is the process by which a painful stimulus is relayed from the site of stimulation to the central nervous system (Freudenrich, 2008)....

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