Friday, June 20, 2014


The belief that pain is necessary for learning - the no pain, no gain theory, often creates behaviors that are detrimental to our well being.

The nurse who pinches the child to obscure the pain of an injection needle is not only causing extra unnecessary pain but also creating distrust!  When people cause us pain 'for our own good' they are setting in motion a series of negative responses - including distrust, confusion and anger!

A theory of how pain works in our bodies and it's perception by our Central Nervous Systems - the Gate Control Theory is actually about substituting a more pleasurable sensation for a painful one by stimulating a different pathway that takes up the space of the painful sensation.   

'The Gate Control Theory was initially proposed in 1965 by Melzack and Wall based on the fact that small diameter nerve fibres carry pain stimuli through a 'gate mechanism' but larger diameter nerve fibres going through the same gate can inhibit the transmission of the smaller nerves carrying the pain signal.  
Chemicals released (endorphins) as a response to the pain stimuli also influence whether the gate is open or closed for the brain to receive the pain signal.  This lead to the theory that the pain signals can be interfered with by stimulating the periphery of the pain site or the appropriate signal-carrying nerves at the spinal cord. 
It is generally recognised that the 'Pain Gate' can be shut by stimulating nerves responsible for carrying the touch signal (mechaoreceptors) which enables the relief of pain through massage techniques, rubbing, and also the application of tens machines, wheat bags and ice packs.'


An opportunity to experiment with some fun


Think about some of your best learning experiences …sports activities, school learning, life experiences…

What were they?
What makes you choose them to put in your 'best' category?
Who was involved in the process?
What was the balance between pleasure and pain?
What type of learning experiences made a positive difference in your life?

How often did someone create pain 'for your own good'?
How much good did it actually do?

Think about some of those experiences… 
Now imagine you could talk to the person who caused you the pain…
What would you want to say to them?

A nice experiment is to take this imaginary dialog to the point where the other person actually apologizes to you for their misguided behavior…

If you are smiling now you know you got it!

Two more fun ways to join our Human Dance party:

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