I'm blown away by the number of people I've talked to recently who are in pain or know people in pain. A recent statistic from the National Institutes of Health claims that 100 million Americans, or one third of the population, suffers from some form of chronic pain, from mild to very acute. 1 in 3 people? Wow.
So, I asked myself, what is going on that is creating this epidemic? Are there certain factors common to us all that may be contributing to pain's longevity? I don't know the answer for sure, but here are some thoughts I had on the question: why are so many people in pain?
Screens, Screens, Screens
Is there a correlation between all this screen time and the level of pain in our bodies? It certainly bears considering. We know that electronic devices emit electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) and these may contribute to compromised immune systems, higher stresses, and less healthy bodies.
Neuroscientist Dr. Olle Johansson, professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, believes that EMFs pose significant health hazards. If this is true, it's possible that they also contribute to chronic pain. It's certainly something to consider, and it might be worth experimenting with by cutting way back on screen time to see if it lowers overall pain levels.
Real Face Time
There are basic needs that we have as human beings, and some of them include real face time with other humans. It is now known that babies who are not mirrored - who don't have someone who spends time gazing into their eyes, making faces, playing peekaboo - do not develop as well cognitively, emotionally, or physiologically as babies who do have someone making eye contact with them often.
If face time is important for us as babies, it's probably important on some level all of our lives. This means that there is a physiological response to connecting with and making eye contact with another person. When we don't have it, it's possible that there's a physiological deficit which may translate into body pain.
What would happen if we started looking each other in the eyes more often and had the experience of really seeing each other and being seen? Another way of reducing overall pain levels? Food for thought...
In Or Out Of Balance With The Earth
Being outside in a natural setting for any length of time has become something to write into our weekly planners. We often have to make an effort to schedule in time to walk in the woods, go camping, or take a vacation by the beach. These little bits of time in nature may be too short and far between for our bodies to stay healthy. Native American wisdom says that healthy bodies are tuned to the rhythms of the earth and that our bare feet need to touch the earth in order to stay attuned, otherwise we become out of balance, both physically and emotionally. Is our disconnection from the earth contributing to increased pain in our bodies?
Dr. Joseph Mercola says, "research indicates that electrons from the Earth have antioxidant effects that can protect your body from inflammation and its many well-documented health consequences." Hmmm...inflammation and pain tend to go together. So, regular walking, sitting, or lying in direct contact with the earth may prove to be a pain reducer.
We live on a planet that seems to be tearing itself apart. Is it any wonder that many of us feel that in our bodies? The huge disparity between the world we want to live in and the world we currently see around us creates incredible stress. Can we live in this environment and not reflect some of that pain in our physiology?
Maybe finding ways to increase our exposure to positive news can also play a part in overall pain relief. Examples of positive news sources include:Positive News, Huffpost Good News, Sunny Skyz, andGood News Network.
I am not suggesting that chronic pain is created solely by any of the factors listed above, but I do think that it's possible that they contribute to the intensity and longevity of physical pain.
So, it may be worth a little experimentation to:
- decrease screen time
- increase face time
- spend more time outdoors and on the earth
- focus on positive news
As always, I wish you well on your path,
Disclaimer: The content in this post is the opinion of the author. None of it is intended as medical advice.