The Art of Distraction

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Pain is necessary and important. In fact, it is an inborn drive, vital to our very existence (Hebb). Pain prompts us to change something, for instance, to move our hand off of a hot stove. It, therefore, prevents us from causing damage or even death to ourselves. It motivates us to protect an injured area, and the abatement of that pain lets us know when it is safe to use that area of our body again (Doctor's Surgery Center). While pain is a crucial sensation, required for our survival, it’s no secret that in our day to day lives we want to avoid it at all cost. Pain doesn’t feel good. Therefore, if we can avoid it, we will. This desire to avoid pain makes pain control a very big business. Google the word “pain” and you will get a return…show more content…
To effectively look at pain we must consider what pain is. It cannot be directly measured and different people experience it differently. You can apply the same stimulus to two people that seem identical and the pain threshold will be very different, this factor affects how we experience pain. (Zimbardo, Johnson and McCann) National Public Radio’s Patricia Neighmond explains, “The perception of pain results from a complicated mixture of interconnections, between things like anxiety, fear, happiness and memory.” She goes on to talk about context, “We've all seen the kid who gets hurt on the soccer field who toughs it out in front of his or her friends, only to wail in pain once in the isolated safety of a parent's car.” Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer inserts “… that child probably did feel less pain out on the soccer field because their brain activity was focused elsewhere. And people who are anxious and worry a lot are likely to boost their pain levels because so much of their brain activity is focused on the expected pain.” Neighmond says that this “…actually changes the activity in the nerve connections and the chemical environment that bathes the brain in very powerful ways to actually turn off pain perception.” (Zeltzer) While the sensation of pain is not something concrete that can be measured with an instrument, there are different classifications of pain. All pain falls into one of two basic categories: acute or chronic.
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