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Oxygen deprivation vs brain process

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by If 6 was 9, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Hi all, apologies if this has already been asked but one of the late Dr Sarno's theories about pain was that it could be explained by mild deprivation of oxygen to the part of the body afflicted by pain.

    I have no trouble accepting this but how would you explain the pain experienced by amputees in their phantom limbs? Clearly this can't result from reduced blood flow and oxygen deprivation.

    So either the good Doctor either didn't have it quite right or pain can also solely be caused by some sort of neurological process in the brain, one that involves an illusion (some might argue that the way the brain constructs our total reality is illusory, but that's possibly a whole PhD's worth of reply).

    Can someone please clarify or point me towards the info that might explain this.

    Many thanks.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    If 6 was 9 likes this.
  3. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think its been said before as plum pointed out but yes- the O2 theory may have some truth but is not validated. Phantom limb is an excellent example and we know why it happens, there are areas of the brain that represent the part of the limb that was amputated and they are still in the brain even if the limb is gone. They continue to represent the limb even if it is cut off and sometimes pain or sensations occur.

    Similarly, as Alan Gordon and Howard Schubiner explain, neural pathways can create many different symptoms whether or not there is tissue injury. Sure, O2 deprivation might be occurring if you are stressed and your autonomic nervous system is ramped up, but there is still a brain pathway for that.

    Ultimately, all pain is "in the brain." I think Dr. Sarno had a good working theory but he wasn't a neuroscientist and he came up with the theory before neuroscience was as developed as it is now. You allude to the point that our whole reality is constructed by the brain...yes definitely a whole phD worth of information there but it's really true! I've worked with so many patients who suffer from stroke or brain injury that I see their reality being altered.

    Just read a book on the construction of emotions by the brain you might find interesting: How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett, a neuroscientist. If you're interested: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QPHURT6/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
  4. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Thanks MindBodyPT. I've been using the 12 daily reminders as meditative truths, I might have to change the wording of that one (No.2). Maybe it could be worded "The direct reason for the pain is a change in the autonomic nervous system servicing the affected area." Not as simple as it was originally!
    Thanks for the book tip, I've seen that come up a few times now and heard her interviewed in the Invisibilia podcast. Hers is an interesting theory, that emotions aren't innate at birth, but learned and part of our construction of our reality. Will have to read it...
    plum likes this.
  5. CarboNeVo

    CarboNeVo Well known member

    If 6 was 9, it really doesnt matter in recovery, the only thing one should know that the pain has a psychological route rather than structural and he should work on the psychological factors that are causing it, hence - fear, emotions, personality traits :)
    Good luck with you recovery!
    plum likes this.
  6. CarboNeVo

    CarboNeVo Well known member

    Hey @MindBodyPT do you recommend this book? I was always interested how emotions work in our body and the science behind them.
  7. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep! How Emotions Are Made is really interesting, I heard about on the podcast Invisibilia for the first time. It's different than you might think...basic premise is that emotions are concepts created by society and we learn them from our environment, rather than being innately programmed into our head. She talks about how people (even babies) can feel things on two axes: high arousal/low arousal and positive/negative, but all the nuances of emotion like anger vs rage vs annoyance, etc, come from culture. Fascinating!
    plum and CarboNeVo like this.
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm also reading How Emotions Are Made and enjoying it very much. The writing makes the research very accessible to lay persons. There is a chapter on Emotions and Illness that is in line with mindbody concepts. Very interesting book!
    MindBodyPT, plum and CarboNeVo like this.
  9. CarboNeVo

    CarboNeVo Well known member

    Perfect guys, gonna read it as well then :)

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