The Purpose of Pain is to resolve trauma and heal. But we have been paying attention the wrong way. Here’s how to do it right. First, a bit of necessary background:
(This requires new learning about how we pay attention. At first it’s a bit challenging to learn about – but the effort is worthwhile, because it will change everything you have known about pain, trauma, addiction and how we were created for healing.)
Take the eye, for example. The central part of the eye that is used for reading is called the fovea, and the vision for seeing enough detail for reading is called foveal vision. I like to call it Central Focus – because something like it exists in every major sensory system. It’s how our attention works, and is how our attention is processed in the brain.
Central Focus is good for doing slow tasks like reading and taking in details of what the environment and other people are like. Peripheral vision, side vision, is good for noticing changes quickly and automatically but with little ability to take in details. So Central vision first takes something in and helps us see it in detail. Then peripheral vision helps us to both quickly see and to rapidly respond to changes.
It’s the same in all major sensory systems: Central Focus for slow processing in great detail, and Peripheral Focus for noticing and tracking and responding to changes, rapidly.
Central vision helps you see a baseball coming near you; Peripheral Focus helps you adjust rapidly so you can catch it, for example. (Especially if you keep your head still, which is what talented athletes do and what too many others of us tend to not do.)
This works best when we are breathing with our lower belly or abdomen, rather continuously. How to get stuck in trauma or to not complete processing: stop breathing and hold your breath.
Trauma resolves when we use our attention properly and continue breathing – without holding our breath.
The brain processes so we know what is happening and so we can respond rapidly when we continue breathing – without holding our breath.
The Purpose of Pain: is to attract and keep our peripheral attention while our Central Focus slows down enough so that we do not lose our peripheral focus on the pain.
This works even in different sensory systems for Peripheral and Central Focus. You can see bleeding in detail when you look at it with Central Focus (and see how much bleeding there is so you can know what to attend to), and feel it with proprioceptive awareness in Peripheral Focus, for instance. (Central Focus is good for telling you if first aid is needed; switching to Peripheral proprioceptive Focus is useful for not having excessive pain and for more rapid healing and processing of trauma.)
This works for all kinds of pain, including emotional and physical.
This is how and why EFT works and getting this backwards is how we get stuck and stay in pain.
So now that you have the background, here’s a summary of what you need to know, and what you need to process so you can process emotional and physical pain, be free of trauma, and heal much more rapidly because the body system is ready and able.
The Purpose of Pain: is to attract and keep our Peripheral attention while our Central Focus slows down enough so we do not lose our Peripheral Focus on the pain. So processing can automatically and rapidly take place. So pain and trauma can heal and resolve completely.
This works even in different sensory systems for Peripheral and Central Focus. You can have slow Central Focus in vision, for instance, slowly scanning what you are looking at, while processing Peripherally using proprioceptive awareness (you can feel where it is).
This works well for all kinds of pain, including emotional and physical.
If you are breathing continuously and avoid holding your breath.
This is how and why EFT works, and getting this backwards is how we get stuck and stay in pain.From David Burnet’s Prayer Journal, 14-Aug-2020
Start practicing using and applying this. You probably need a fair amount of practice to make better habits for processing pain.
If you’re like me and a lot of people I know, you’ve done this well sometimes – and too often have done this backwards with Central Focus stuck on the pain and Peripheral Focus being pretty much unattended to or lost. (That’s called, “Being stuck in your pain”.)
Or you have distracted yourself with being busy, or with comforting yourself – maybe as a result even avoiding the pain you feel, completely. Making you more susceptible to addiction because this works so well – for a while, it’s a short-term help. Makes things worse in the long term, as we never resolve the pain or trauma. You are more prone to getting addicted to what was a short-term help.
Learning how use your attention correctly, including with continuous breathing and not holding the breath – is invaluable in:
- Resolving all kinds of pain.
- Helping to process and remove addictions.
- Resolving trauma and physical or emotional wounds.
- Moving more like a top athlete and being more coordinated.
I think this is how David played his harp and helped King Saul when he was bothered by an unclean spirit.
A friend of mine, Gregg McIver, told me of examples where he’d play one of his many flutes and help people who were overloaded and angry, or otherwise in some emotional pain. Helped a dentist relax when facing a difficult procedure. Helped his own self with pain of a tooth having been knocked out.
I expect there are other good usages, and I expect to find out. Can processing the pain or having trouble moving particular body parts in M.S. be processed more effectively this way? I expect the pain can be and I hope the trouble with movement can be processed better this way, as well. At the minimum, frustration should be reduced when such difficulties are not the main attention of Central Focus and stuck there.
Be careful of the following things listed. If you do these things, this fairly fast and seemingly automatic processing and resolving of pain or trauma will not happen:
- If you stop breathing. Trauma and pain will remain. (When we are in emotional or physical pain too many of us stop breathing too much for good processing to happen.)
- If you fill your attention completely with Central Focus. Trauma and pain will remain. (Most often this happens when all of our attention is grabbed by pain. Central focus is good to see if we need first aid, then it needs to be minimal &/or on something else.)
- If you lose Peripheral Focus completely. Trauma and pain will remain. (You cannot process without Peripheral Awareness focused at least some on the wound or trauma.)
Keys to Succeeding:
- Keep Breathing.
- Keep some of your Peripheral Focus, that part of your attention – on the pain or trauma until it resolves.
- Keep your Central Focus, that part of your attention on something else.
- You can do some things with Central and Peripheral focus, like listening to a Native American wooden flute, pan flute or David’s harp with a pentatonic scale. I suspect that wide notes or lots of overtones are an excellent help in holding your attention and keeping it spread out between both Central & Peripheral Focus.
So…please practice, practice and practice. Learn this for yourself and make new habits which will serve you for the rest of your life.