I am grateful to be able to share this post written by my colleague, Ken Girard, from Boston, Massachusetts. Read more from Ken at www.christiansciencema.com
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal (“Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain”) by Melinda Beck describes how medical research is now investigating how thinking can actually help sufferers with chronic pain—and that’s 116 million of our fellow Americans.
While referring to different types of therapies and techniques—some ages old—Dr. Sean Mackey, chief of the
division of pain management at Stanford, told Beck:
…we are only now starting to understand the brain
basis of how they work, and how they work differently from each other.
The article also raises another important issue, namely that the:
…abuse of pain medication is rampant. Annual deaths
due to overdoses of painkillers quadrupled, to 14,800, between 1998 and 2008,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The painkiller
Vicodin is now the most prescribed drug in the U.S.
So here we are. At a crossroads of two apparently different
approaches—pain management through thought and management through drugs. The former is the one that would indicate a new direction—one that perhaps would have less serious consequences. It would certainly be hard to “overdose” on thought.
But each of these approaches raises a deeper question for me—a question of not simply managing pain but of eliminating it.
Is that a reasonable expectation? If I hadn’t seen it for myself first hand, I might have wondered, also.
But the fact of the matter is I did. About 20 years ago, I started
having severe pains in my shoulder—to the point where I wasn’t able to use my
arm. A daunting prospect for a professional pianist—to say the least!
My mom had been afflicted with bursitis in her arm for the last couple
decades of her life. She managed the pain with drugs, but never got over it.
So what did I do? I decided to use the spiritual system of health care that I had been investigating—Christian Science—and within a week, all pain stopped. That was simply the end of it. Period.
Pain management through thought? Or pain elimination through it? The first is a good step forward. The second is a leap beyond.