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And scientists are discovering that the brain controls how we respond to pain signals. For example, how much pain you feel can depend on whether you’re paying attention to the pain, or even your mood.
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Interesting, I wonder how this type of research is shedding light (if it is) on what happens when people meditate or focus in order to minimize the pain or make it more bearable. and if the same process that allows you to regulate the pain easier is linked to concentration.
I remember reading about the gate control theory of pain in psych, proposed by Melzack/Wall in ‘65 (p. 974). Even though it’s imperfect and some of it now outdated, a LOT of research on pain management relies on gate control theory. It’s explained in a much more readable fashion here and here :)