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Pain, Pain, Go Away
by Serge Kahili King

Human beings find it very hard to agree on anything. When we talk about health, wealth, happiness, and success, or fear, unhappiness, doubt, and stress we all have different ideas about what those experiences mean. The differences may be small or huge, but there are always differences. There is one experience on which all humans can agree, however: pain hurts. And most people want it to stop as soon as possible.

When we start to talk about what causes pain, though, disagreement sets in again.

There are currently about half a dozen "theories" about what causes pain. I put "theories" in quotes, because some of the ideas are not theories at all, but simply reasoned opinions or wild guesses. A theory is an idea that can be tested with fairly consistent results, but which cannot be absolutely proven. Some of our most treasured mathematical concepts that are put to use every day still remain theories. A reasoned opinion is often called a hypothesis. This kind of idea can be tested, and the tests determine whether it becomes a failed hypothesis or a new theory. A wild guess, on the other hand, cannot even be tested, but if enough people like the idea a lot they may use it to interpret certain experiences without any real evidence, and they may go so far as to call it a theory when it isn't. A couple examples of very popular wild guesses that go by the name of theories are the "Big Bang Theory" and the "Theory of Evolution." The same problem exists in regard to the cause of pain.

One of the oldest theories about pain is that it is caused by nerve damage. This is a valid (effective) theory when dealing with the acute pain that comes with tissue injury, but there are many other types of acute pain that do not involve tissue injury, and for those types of pain the theory is rendered invalid. Also, it doesn't even come close to explaining chronic pain. Unfortunately, today many types of acute and chronic pain are still treated as if they were caused by nerve damage when they clearly are not.

Probably the most popular idea about chronic pain today, at least among many in the medical profession, is something called the "Gate Control Theory of Chronic Pain." Of course, it is more of a wild guess than a theory, because there is no evidence to support it and no way to use it or test it. It's popularity comes from the fact that it involves the spinal cord, the brain, and the peripheral nervous system. Since these are actual, physical systems in the body it makes the idea sound reassuring to those who like everything physical. The whole idea is quite complicated, and you can look up the details yourself if you wish. In extremely simple terms, however, it assumes that certain kinds of nerves carry only certain kinds of information through "nerve gates" in the spine and that the brain sometimes overrides those signals in some mysterious way. The fact that no trace of any such gates has been found does not deter its supporters at all. In any case, it is neither a theory nor a hypothesis as it stands.

There are other less well known "theories," but we will move on immediately to the "Kahili Theory of Pain," possibly the least well known and most valid theory of all. I named it after my Hawaiian family, from whom I learned most of what I know about healing, but I am also indebted to Dr. John Sarno, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine, and Dr. Majid Ali, Professor of Medicine at the Capitol University of Integrative Medicine in Washington, D.C. for certain elements of the theory. In my book Healing for the Millions I presented this theory in a somewhat incomplete form as "The Dynamind Theory of Pain."

The Kahili Theory is almost absurdly simple, which will no doubt make it quite unpopular with the more scientifically-minded, but here it is anyway:
A. Pain is one of many stress response signals in the body.
B. The experience of pain is a direct effect of oxygen deprivation at the cell level caused by cellular tension and inhibition of the lymphatic and vascular systems.
C. Pain signals may be distributed by the nervous system or by chemical transmitters.
D. To the degree and at the rate that cellular tension is reduced and circulation is stimulated, pain is reduced or eliminated.

This theory has been tested with highly consistent results in thousands of clinical cases around the world. In addition, it provides a clear explanation for all kinds of pain and all kinds of treatments. According to this theory, it does not matter if the treatment is done by medical intervention, drug therapy, massage, hypnosis, exercise, imagination, affirmations, distant healing or any other method. As long as sufficient tension release and circulatory stimulation occurs, pain will go away. And the theory is valid for acute pain from injury as well as chronic pain from physical, emotional, or mentally-induced tension. Of course, sometimes one method is better than another in a particular instance, but the theory says that when they work they are all providing the same benefit, and when they don't they are not.

As stated above, pain is a stress response signal. It is not physical, it cannot move, it never comes back.

It is not physical: Although it is a response to stress, resisting the sensation of pain can cause additional stress tension and sometimes more pain. The more quickly one can relieve tension and increase circulation the more quickly the pain gets less and disappears. Much pain can be reduced or eliminated by drinking water or breathing deeply.

It cannot move: The idea that pain moves from one place to another in the body comes from the awareness of different areas of high tension as more prominent areas of tension are relaxed. Pain is not a thing, it is only a stress reaction.

It never comes back: Pain only exists in the present moment as a reaction to stress. When the reaction is relieved, pain disappears forever, like a wave that is no more when the wind stops. If pain occurs in the same place at another time, it is always a new pain reaction to a new stress.

I gave this article a title modified from an old children's chant about the rain that often works. I'll finish the new chant now. And who knows? Since so many other methods work to relieve pain, it might even help as well.

Pain, Pain, Go Away
I don't want you here today
Cells relax, blood move fast
Feel good now and make it last

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