The Brain in Pain

E xciting new research in brain imaging is teaching us what a powerful tool the brain really is. Researchers can now watch in real time how the brain adapts when it learns how to participate in reducing pain symptoms. Control the brain, control the pain!

The brain processes pain in a matrix that includes many parts of the brain. There is no one pain center. The sensory areas of the brain tell us what we feel, the emotional parts tell us how we feel about it, and the cognitive components determine what we think about our pain. This all adds up to an experience that is unique to each of us.

Stress created by ongoing pain can damage nerve cells in the brain. Research has shown that chronic pain sufferers have less gray matter, which means they have lost extra brain cells, also known as neurons. Learning how to manage stress, along with other brain boosting activities, can regenerate brain cells and boost gray matter.

Harnessing the healing powers of the brain is vital to taking charge of your pain.