US experts say they have strong scientific proof that mind over matter works for relieving pain.
Positive thinking was as powerful as a shot of morphine for relieving pain and reduced activity in parts of the brain that process pain information.
The Wake Forest University researchers say their findings show that by merely expecting pain to be less it will be less.
[ BBC News, Sept 5 2005 ]
My friend Watson suffers from painful bouts of migraine on a periodic basis. He has to have some kind of medication with him always, or else, its usually hell when he gets his migraine attacks. On a recent trip from Baguio City to Manila which he blogged about, he was caught off-guard with no medicine on hand, and simply had to sleep it off.
Now this news about the power of positive thinking as pain reliever might help Watson and thousand others who have regular episodes of pain attacks.
In the study, when the researchers classified the pain stimulus being given as moderate --- when in fact, it was severe --- the subjects thought it was moderate, and reported less pain felt. The brain indeed is a powerful influence peddler.
This might also be the reason why we Filipinos remain happy in spite of what's happening to us. In spite of the rising fuel prices, in spite of the daily traffic, in spite of the air pollution, in spite of the corruption, in spite of all other bad things, we remain happy.
In fact, among neighboring Asian countries, we are 93 percent happier! We are better off than Japan and Taiwan, which are just 90 and 89 percent happy, respectively. The World Health Organization (WHO) statistics for suicide even ranks the Philippines as the lowest in Asia. Read more about us Happy Filipinos.
Leslie Caron, a French film actress I like, once asked: "In order to have great happiness you have to have great pain and unhappiness --- otherwise how would you know when you're happy?"