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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kristen Mitteness

The Truth About Pain

Pain is defined as physical suffering or distress caused by illness or injury. It is your brain telling you that something is wrong with your body.

We all have different pain thresholds. My grandfather, who was a medical doctor, is quick to inform that the reason women bear children is because men would never be able to tolerate the pain that accompanies labor.

It is estimated that around ten percent (give or take) of our nerves actually send a pain signal to our brain. A problem may exist without pain.

For example, we all know someone or have heard of someone who appears “healthy” yet becomes diagnosed with a specific illness. The first physical symptom is often pain and usually shows up much later than the problem begins.

The following suggestions are ways you can prevent pain, illness and many other symptoms from occurring before they have a chance to start. Of course, not all illnesses or injuries are preventable. But, if yours is, wouldn’t you want to know what you can do about it?

Eat Well

Up until approximately 10,000 years ago humans hunted and foraged for their food. 99.9% of the current human genome is the same as it was back then. That means the food we were designed to eat is the same today as it was many years ago. Unfortunately, much of the food we eat today is made in a factory, loaded with addictive chemicals and is artificially colored and flavored.

This is a far cry from the fuel our bodies need to function optimally. Cheap, fake food is quick and easy, but that doesn’t mean we should be eating it. It’s safe to say that our current diet is making our society, overall, sicker and fatter. Choose foods that your great grandmothers would recognize. Make your meals from scratch. Simply eat real food. Your body and brain will thank you.

Get Up and Move

Humans are not designed to be sedentary. Just like our diets should, to the best of our ability, mimic our human ancestors, our movement should, too. Walk, jump, stand, sit, move your body through space on a regular basis.

Practically speaking, one hour of high intense cardio at the gym will not make up for the other 23 hours of your day you spend sitting or sleeping. We need to move around on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to be structured workouts. Do you have a desk job? Stand up at the top of every hour and stretch for two minutes. Your productivity will increase and your stiffness will decrease. Your brain and body will thank you.

Optimize Your Nervous System

With a proper diet, your nerves will have the fuel to function appropriately. With proper movement and posture, your joints and muscles will allow your nervous system to flow to and from the brain so you receive appropriate signaling for your body to function. When your spine is aligned and all of your joints are moving well, the nerves from your brain can properly communicate with the rest of your body. Every nerve in your body begins in your brain, moves to the spinal column and exits somewhere along your spine. All of your muscles and organs are controlled by the nerves from your brain by conscious thought or automatically. Keeping your spine aligned and moving will keep your nervous system and the rest of your body functioning well. Your brain and body will thank you.

Remember, only about ten percent of your nerves actually signal pain. No pain does not necessarily mean no problem. Luckily, we have the choice. We can choose to fuel our body with chemicals, sit all day and slump at our desks until symptoms occur. Or, now that we understand the truth about pain, we can choose to eat real food, move our bodies regularly and keep our nervous systems healthy. True wealth is health and prevention is the key.

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