Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | February 21, 2019) – The opioid crisis in America, has reached a fevered pitch following 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017. There’s now strong bipartisan zeal to dissect the components and qualities of pain, so that our congressional leaders will have a better understanding of how to find alternatives to opioids in fighting pain.
“I think we need public education about pain, and the fact that pain is a disease itself.” ~ Ms. Cindy Steinberg, AHIP statement for Senate Hearing on “Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis”
“Pain is the leading reason for patients seeking medical care and is one of the most disabling, burdensome, and costly conditions.” ~National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), U.S. National Library of Medicine
First, there are different pain levels. The Numeric Rating Scale was created for people 10 years old and older:
- 0 | No Pain
- 1–3 | Level 1 – Mild Pain, annoying but doesn’t interfere with daily activities
- 4–6 | Level 2 – Moderate Pain, increases substantially with daily activities
- 7–10 | Level 3 – Severe Pain, incapable of performing daily activities
Second, there are different pain components.
- Sensory discriminative component. How our brain analyzes the pain we feel… it’s location, intensity, continuance, and features.
- Emotional component. Our pain level is often associated more or less by emotions such as fear, anger, loss of control over the situation, helplessness and dread.
- Autonomic component. Pain results in reactions inside our bodies to various systems such as the autonomic nervous system, which in turn results is feelings of nauseousness, increased blood pressure as well as heart rate.
- Motor component. Our reflexes when we experience pain: protective reflexes such as pulling our hand away from something very hot like an iron, changing postures, relieving muscle strain.
- Cognitive component. Pain is characterized based on past experiences, observations or research.
Third, there are different qualities of pain.
- Superficial. Pain that is on the exterior of our bodies, on the skin. There’s both acute superficial pain and deep superficial pain. Deep superficial pain often prompts defensive reflexes.
- Deep. Joints, skeletal muscle, bones, and connective tissue. Challenging to find the source.
- Intestinal. Strong and dull rather than sharp. Symptoms include sweating, nausea and a strong sensation of feeling sick.
Fourth, there is a psychological aspect to pain that impacts the pain level. The psychology of pain is so complex, that there are literally millions of books written on the subject in the hopes we could master it. Yet, the opioid crisis underscores how little we understand pain despite all the information available to us. For example, how are some able to acquire a “high tolerance of pain,” and is this ability linked to positive thinking and or compartmentalization? Mind over matter? Some can walk on coals. Mind power seems to matter in managing pain.
Below is a brief analysis provided by a test subject, a middle aged woman who’s very active, and a runner, a woman who should be suffering from arthritis based on family history, yet she has none, in fact she experiences very little pain (somewhere between 0 and Level 1, she says she has a slight bump in pain level when she walks several miles in the city in her dress boots). Anecdotal examples such as these are only that… a seeming clue based on one test subject that indicates there are indeed healthy daily habits that we can incorporate into our lives that can dramatically alleviate the presence of pain in our lives.
Building a strong immune system. The front line offense for healthy living and minimal pain is a strong personal immune system. Why do most animals seem so healthy despite the many toxins in the environment? It appears animals have supersonic immune systems. They don’t go to doctors. They don’t take medication. It’s rare to see animals limping or howling in pain. So how do they do it?
The key elements in building a strong immune system, recommended by our female test subject, are below. Interestingly, these are the same ideal personal daily habits we’ve all learned in school, and grew up hearing from our parents, basics that our doctors recommended at every visit. Imagine.
- Deep sleep – many people can sleep for eight hours but never reach deep sleep. This is also the challenge with sleeping aids, the inability to reach REM sleep. Eye shields seem like magic, they make deep sleep achievable every single night. Also, no sugar after 3:00 PM. Thirty minutes of exercise every single day.
- Daily exercise – a minimum of 30 minutes of brisk walking is ideal. Weight management is important when trying to minimize pain. Weight in itself can be a contributing factor in pain intensity.
- Daily vitamin – the basic 100% level for all the essential vitamins; since so many vitamins these days carry an excessive amount of extra dosage, stunning percents such as 1500% RDA, our test source recommends children’s vitamins which have a max of 100%.
- Healthy eating – Organic fruits, vegetables, grains, very little dairy, white meat as a condiment, purified water, very little sugar, no trans fats.
- Sunflower Seeds – 1/4 cup a day, serotonin boost that will help with positive thinking.
- Garlic – one clove of fresh garlic pressed into 1/4 cup of purified water, heated in microwave for 43 seconds, add a dash of cold water so it can be chugged quickly (it tastes terrible), chase with something delicious. Garlic has been an ancient cure for 4,000 years. It strengthens the immune system, cures, diseases, can be used topically on any type of would as well as bug bites and poison ivy. Used during World War I & II to fight gangrene. Amazingly, one whole bulb of fresh garlic is only, which typically has 5 – 10 cloves, only costs .59 cents
- Positive thinking – Mind over matter has worked for millenniums. Compartmentalization. It’s impossible to think two thoughts at the same time. So, if thinking positive happy thoughts, you can’t think of pain at the same time. You’re tricking yourself. Music often helps.
In short, deep sleep, healthy eating, garlic, and walking everyday, seem very manageable, inexpensive and honestly… downright simple when it comes to managing pain. Try for yourself and after a few months, please let us know how it’s working for you.
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