Explaining pain to patients does not always work out as well as you would expect . There are many reasons why sharing this gift of science may not be effective and identifying the reasons and best clinical practice will take a mountain of clever research. One reason may well involve whether the owner/maker of the pain understands it as a process or an entity. A process is changeable, dynamic and has a start and a finish. An entity is something with an independent existence. I believe many people consider pain an entity, so to them it’s independent of the many things which are agents in the emergence of pain. To them it’s an entity that can be unleashed and can come in and occupy their body, and it attaches itself to them like mistletoe on a tree sucking the life out. They don’t want to own it but the link is too strong. They want you to find the body mistletoe and get rid of it. Some people think of cancer the same way.
An alternative view is that pain is a process. If it was an entity there should be an answer to “where was the pain before you experienced it and where does it go when its gone”? We perhaps think of ourselves as entities and it may be only natural to think of pain as an entity too. Perhaps we could consider ourselves as processes and pain as a process within a process?
I have two questions and I need some help:
- Are you a process or an entity and does it matter? And pain?
- In Explain Pain education, we often try to objectify pain to make sense of it via physical means and physical imagery. In doing this, do we risk making it more of an immovable object, an entity with permanence ?
This blog post links to the recent noinotes