Study: Heartbreak Can Increase Brain’s Sensitivity to Pain

Posted on Aug 3, 2011 | 0 comments

Study: Heartbreak Can Increase Brain’s Sensitivity to Pain

Rejection & Break-Ups can Activate Part of the Brain that Senses Physical Pain

Most people have or will experience the pain of a break up at some point, which can leave you feeling depressed, sensitive and even ill. When this type of emotional pain is severe enough, it can actually impact your physical health in a number of ways.

In a recent study using neuroimaging, researchers at the University of Michigan found social rejection and other emotional situations such as breakups actually activate a part of the brain that is used to sense physical pain. These findings lead way to the reality that pain can be felt both emotionally AND physically during a break up. This study was the first to show that feelings of rejection activate the part of the brain involved in physical pain, not normally activated in neuroimaging studies of emotion.

The Holistic Wisdom of Ancient Medicine

Science is finally discovering what ancient medical systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have known for millennia. According to TCM, each organ system has an emotion, a sense organ and a season tied to it. Likewise, each physical state or condition has an underlying connection to our emotions, thoughts and experiences. For example, the spring season relates to the wood element, liver and gall bladder, as well as the negative emotions of anger, frustration and resentment, or the positive aspects of creativity, leadership and enthusiasm. TCM philosophy and other sources of healing wisdom teach us how to balance and heal our emotions by addressing specific aspects of our physical health in alignment with our mental and spiritual well being.

Everything is Psychosomatic

The whole concept of psychosomatic issues is a misnomer, as everything is “psychosomatic.” Straight forward pain is just physical, but when we attach an emotion to it, it becomes suffering, which is an integral part of our existence. Understanding this concept can help us deal better with the pain and suffering, help gain acceptance of it, and as a result, find some relief.

All beings experience the kind of pain and suffering that one goes through as a part of life, so giving rise to love and compassion will help you gain a better understanding of others and experience more compassion for yourself as well. Simple meditation exercises which help calm your mind and allow for your natural healing capacities to arise can help greatly in cultivating more acceptance, love and compassion for yourself and others.

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