Pain is the alert for our bodies when we have injuries, like burns, cuts etc. and without it, ensuring your health is good would be extremely difficult. A disease known by Congenital Analgesia provokes the patient from feeling any pain. The danger of this disease is in not knowing there is something wrong when there is, so you have to keep checking if you burned your tongue or broke your arm if you fell while running. Most diagnosis are based on where the pain is occurring and how intense it is; its how doctors know where to look and without it the whole body must be checked every time there is a suspicion that something is wrong.
Even though pain is necessary, it is not a pleasant feeling and that’s why we use pain killers like Tylenol, but eventually these fade and they can be addictive if the pain is persistent, so here are some non-medicinal, non-chemical painkillers that are effective but not very popular:
1- Feeling Money
Despite the wide belief that money is not everything, everyone is trying to get more every day.
Surprisingly money has a noticeable effect in reducing pain. The following study on two groups of people was conducted, each member of the first group was given a bundle of money, and each member of the second group was just given a bundle of paper; then all group members were asked to put their hand in hot water and keep it until they no longer can tolerate the pain while holding the assigned bundle in the other hand. The results were surprising where people that had money in their hands took longer times to feel pain than the ones who only had paper
2- Eating Food
A very common tradition in the modern world is that people including you eat their favorite food or dessert when they are upset however, this isn’t only a social tradition, it actually has a scientific reasoning behind it.
It wasn’t easy for our ancestors to find food because hunting was the main source of food and it wouldn’t provide enough shares for everyone which used to cause them to go days without food.
Since food was rare, most of our ancestor’s time was spent looking for it which made them neglect everything else, the habit was passed to us like many other evolutionary traits making us forget or ignore what’s upsetting us when eating our favorite food.
It is widely known that quite music is often played in spas and resorts were people tend to go to relax and relieve some stress. New researches discovered that music has effects in reducing severe pains and its not only calming music, but in general patients feel less pain when listening to their favorite music even if it was loud or rocky.
So far there is no clear explanation for why music causes pain reduction, a hypothesis suggested that it could be that our brain is busy with something other than pain when listening to music, but this is not very accurate because the body did not react the same to other distractors.
Side effects worry every parent when giving their children medicine causing them to think about how it could affect them on the long term, which made researchers try alternatives to medicine, one of them was imagination.
A study that included children with stomach aches (the most common pain case for kids) where they were asked to think about a floating cloud for some time, this resulted in a pain reduction for them.
This is similar to tapes that were used in the 90’s for people that were trying to quit smoking, and which was not clear if it was effective or not. Unfortunately, this method did not result in any positive effects on adults.
Imagine you are riding your bike and you fall on your knee, the first thing you’d probably do is put pressure on it with your hands. It is widely common for us to push on the pain area once we feel it and neuroscientists have a very interesting theory regarding why we do it; putting pressure on the area of pain helps the brain identify which area exactly is injured specially in areas that doesn’t have as much neurons like the leg or back, putting pressure also reduces bleeding which reduces pain.
So, the more the brain can identify the place of the pain and its nature, the more it can deal better with it and reduce it.
Although this might sound odd for many, religion helps in reducing pain. Of course, not because of god or angel’s intrusions but it works like a Placebo where its not going to help except for who believes it actually is. For example, reading the bible is not going to help a Hindu in any pain relief.
A study was conducted where two groups, one consisted of religious Christians and another that consisted of atheists and agnostics as a control group. Both group members were exposed to light but painful electric shocks on their fingers with two pictures in front of them, one of The Virgin Mary and the other was the famous Monalissa. The believers felt a difference in pain intensity when looking at Mary’s picture but noticed no difference when looking at the other picture however, the second group did not feel any difference when looking at either picture.
The interesting part is that an extra brain activity was detected with the Christians when looking at the first picture and it is believed that the activity was in the area that is responsible for pain relief.