>Pain perceptors

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Pain doesn’t exist without an addressee who feels it, a perceptor.

The perceptor of pain is the individual in conscious state. The brain can turn on and off the individual’s consciousness. If there is no consciousness, no pain is possible.

– The pain wakes me up at night …

The phrase is not correct. No pain is possible while one is sleeping. The same happens with general anesthesia. No patient wakes up in the middle of surgery due to pain. The anesthesiologist is the one who decides to wake up the patient, thus allowing what the brain is projecting at that moment to reach consciousness. For example, pain. The brain gives and removes the general anesthesia. Turns on and off circuits that generate a perception in the real space-time.

– I don’t think it hurts when I’m asleep.

The idea that the pain arises from tissues is deeply rooted. The tissues are there, day and night. If they hurt, for any inconvenience, it wakes us up … but it’s not true that pain arises from tissues. It always arises from the brain. Before the brain, there can’t be pain. After the brain, anything is possible. An amputee arm can hurt, an arm that no longer exists. It’s called the “phantom limb pain”.

– Think it doesn’t hurt and that way it will hurt less …

The pain perceptor can’t impose its will. As much as one wants to imagine that it hurts, it doesn’t. Imagination can’t dissolve the perceived pain either. You can’t open your eyes in front of a person and imagine that that person doesn’t exist. Neither can you imagine the person and see him, as if he were there.

– The pain receptor…

There are no pain receptors no matter how much the texts in which Medicine students are instructed keep quoting and describing them. There are perceptors, ie individuals. Pain is a private, exclusive matter of the individual in a conscious, perceptive state. There are no receptors for Chanel No. 5 or fried eggs. Only perceptors, individuals who perceive the scent from their own brains with their exclusive screens.

What is a pain perceptor?

We have no idea. Consciousness is a mysterious area, unattainable at the moment.

Consciousness is an attentional state of the brain. There, it’s projected what at that time, place and circumstances the brain selects in order to propose a specific action to the individual.

It hurts, so the brain projects a proposal of defensive behaviour on consciousness.

You are hungry, so the brain proposes to take a bite.

It itches, so the brain proposes some scratching.

It stops hurting, so the brain has ceased to assess threat.

Painkillers don’t protect the tissues. Rather the opposite: they make them vulnerable. If the pain subsides with any therapy, it’s not because what hurts went back to normal, but because the therapeutic action has made the brain modify its assessment.

The cerebral projection of pain has its moments, places and circumstances represented in memory systems. A weekend is just another moment. It doesn’t contain any ingredients of injury on the head, in spite of all the stress accumulated at work from Monday to Saturday. If the weekend is coded as “danger”, “alert”, on Saturday morning the pain perceptor will receive the message.

Researchers are striving to discover new drugs that block the supposed pain receptors. Strange task to block something that doesn’t exist.

We should find a way to neutralize the perceptor by diverting their attention to a particular task. Sometimes it’s effective. The ideal would be to act on the pain projector, on the brain, deactivating the plot of the expectations and beliefs that feed that cerebral proposal of protecting something from a phantom, nonexistent threat.

We have a thousand possible ways of tricking the brain, but there is only one to make it see what is really happening: explaining to it that in the absence of injury, wherever it hurts, NOTHING happens.

>Pain and inaction

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The function of perception is to focus, care for a theoretical or real content and propose an interaction. Perception is a proposition with a variable load of motivation to act in a certain way, with a purpose and significance (positive or negative).

Pain is a perception whose purpose is to force the individual to act defensively. If we contact with a noxious foreign agent or status, pain will force us to avoid it, to flee-fight. If the noxious agent or state is internal, pain pushes us to inaction, to suspend the planned activities.

Standing, walking, bending … are actions that the individual requests to obtain purposes. The brain knows the intention, the desire of the individual and selects its proposal. If the individual’s application doesn’t show any threat (real or theoretical) to physical integrity, the brain activates silent motor programs perceptively. We get up, we bend, we take things … with nothing relevant in the execution. The individual’s request has received the brain’s approval. The action has been painless because the brain’s evaluative action has approved it without hesitation.

If there is a vulnerability assessment (theoretical or real) in an area of an individual’s request for a given action-purpose, it can generate a cerebral fear of damage. The brain doesn’t approve it and perceptively projects fear (fear of injury) and pain (deterrent penalty) while it selects a defensive motor program with inadequate muscles. The individual perceives both cerebral projections: fear and pain, and proves that the action is inadequate, slow, painful, stiff …

Pain has fulfilled its deterrent function. It has forced inaction. If despite the pain the individual decides to continue with its purpose, the pain will increase until it achieves its goal: to compel surrender. It stops acting in the individual’s desired direction and contributes to the inactivity of an area that is considered vulnerable.

Cerebral action of selecting and projecting pain perception in an area also contains a forecast of which actions of the individual are required to turn off the pain. If the brain requires a drug, there will be no relief until the individual performs the action to take it. If the brain requires relaxation, the individual must do it in order to make the pain go away.

Taking an analgesic is an action, something more than introducing a single molecule in the body. The brain calls for actions. Food doesn’t take away the hunger with molecules. Eating is an action that the brain requires by the projection of hunger perception. If you obey, the brain turns off the appetite.

We mustn’t always accept the brain’s proposals. We must learn to value them as rational and sensible or otherwise and act accordingly.

If the brain asks for inaction by an alarmist assessment, we must defend with arguments our willingness to act and get the brain to mute the perception of fear of harm (pain) and to organize the motor gesture with economic and quiet programs.

– Don’t move, don’t do it!

– Come on!

>Pain is not a stimulus

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Pain is not a stimulus, pain is not a stimulus, pain is not a stimulus …

There are no pain receptors, there are no pain receptors, there are no pain receptors …

There are no vias of transmission of pain, there are no vias of transmission of pain…

Pain is a response, pain is a response, pain is a response …

Pain is build up in the brain, pain is build up in the brain …

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Vision is not built in the eyes, smell in noses and taste in mouths. We smell, see, hear and taste the brain’s interpretation of reality.

We see what the brain selects as relevant in every time and place.

Perception is a brain action, not a passive process determined by senses and by what happens, but by the interpretation that the brain does of what has happened, happens and could happen.

The brain imagines reality and projects its assumptions on the screen of consciousness, a mysterious area for which we have no answers or well constructed questions.

Pain is a cerebral decision to project to the individual the probabilistic evaluation of threat that the brain considers at that time and place, trying to capture the attention and behavior of the individual for a defensive alert purpose.

If this probabilistic assessment is correct, the perception is physiological, functional, cost-effective. If it’s not, the perception confuses and bothers the individual with nothing in return.

I would be satisfied if I managed to eliminate from the readers’ reflections terms like “pain receptors”, “vias of pain transmission”, “brain perceives pain” … The brain does not perceive, it generates perceptions. Pain, as everything that is perceived, is an output, a response, that when it emerges, reenters in the network turned into an input from consciousness, from the individual, to the brain.

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Damage is a vague term that requires clarification. In my opinion, the details should refer to states and agents with necrotizing ability. Otherwise all sorts of pain are validated by any kind of tissue degeneration or inconvenience of personal scope.

Once again: pain is not a stimulus, pain is not a stimulus ….


Pain is in the brain …


No brain, no pain …

Inside

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We can divide the world in two enclosures: the outside of the skin and the inside of the skin (exterior and interior).


The classical senses in eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin extract real time information of the external universe through light, mechanical, thermal and chemical sensors. The sensory data are processed in various layers of the neuronal network leading to the mysterious spectacle of perception, the process that gives meaning to the external matter-energy.

The outside-of-skin world is made of trees, birds, houses, people, clouds, cars, carrots, flames, spines, storms… The brain sorts the matter-energy in objects with meaning, endowed with relevance, which is variable depending on its context. It picks out the shape of the important on the background of the irrelevant and, with its filter, proposes  behaviour-interaction patterns (appetitive or aversive) with all the highlighted objects.

Cells live in the inside-of-skin world, individuals endowed with a membrane that divides the internal world in an outside-membrane and an inside-membrane world (extracellular and intracellular).

The outside-membrane world is analyzed in real time by all kinds of membrane sensors. There are no equivalents of the classic senses (eyes, ears…). We don’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell the bowels. For the individual the inside is opaque, sensorially unknown. It’s a black box. For the cells of the outside-membrane world it’s a universe so vibrant and meaningful as the individual’s outside-of-skin world. It’s full of objects endowed with meaning, relevance and emotional valence.

The Homo sapiens (ma non troppo) detests black boxes. It needs to fill it with objects and processes endowed with relevance and affection from its evaluative point of view.

The inside-of-skin world becomes an universe with lungs, hearts, stomachs, circulations, digestions, defenses, bones, muscles, nerves, joints, irons, cholesterols, elusive viruses, diseases, arthritis, migraines, strokes…

The individual can only imagine (wish-fear) events and internal states, their possibilities-probabilities.

The speculative brain of the sapiens (m.n.t.) shows on the conscious screen of the individual the result of its data process on the possible-probable state of the inside-of-skin world.

Usually this projection is a speculative theoretical purr, asymptomatic.

Sometimes the brain’s speculative-predictive process of internal states-events overflows the threshold of the purely theoretical to become an emotional state that fears that the theory could become real at that time-place.

The speculative theoretical purr becomes symptomatic, acquires a perceptive body as pain, dizziness, fatigue, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, anxiety, discouragement, indolence…

The brain projects for the individual his speculations on the black box of the inaccessible.

– It hurts…

– There is nothing wrong inside you. Everything’s normal…

The doctors apply their sensors (stethoscopes, analysis, radiographies, fluoroscopies …) on the inside-of-skin world, on the black box. They feel, look, hear, smell and taste it with artificial sensors and don’t find any relevant objects-states or, what is worse, they find irrelevant states and give relevance to them…

The outside-of-skin and inside-of-skin worlds are full of pre and post-feelings, uncertain potentialities. The senses, natural and artificial, do not detect the past or the future, they are not activated by what was speculated.

Symptoms appear when the brain gives importance to the outside-of-skin and inside-of-skin objects-states.

Once the detectable pathological objects-states are discarded disease states it’s clear: the sufferer suffers the consecuences of a sensitized brain, trapped in the alarmist speculation of the theoretical possibility turned into imminent: what might happen is about to happen…

– There’s nothing wrong inside you. Alarmism should be lowered in the neuronal network. No one could live with a brain like that… The house is secure. We should convince security guards to let you live in it.