Sunday, August 16, 2015

Looking Away

 by Pastor Rob Stevenson (2012)

Research suggests that looking away when receiving an injection reduces the strength of the expected pain.  While watching video clips showing a needle pricking a hand, a Q-tip touching the hand, or a hand alone, study participants concurrently received painful or non-painful electrical stimuli applied to their own hand. Participants reported that their pain was more intense and more unpleasant when they viewed a needle pricking a hand than when they saw a hand alone or a Q-tip on the hand.

"Throughout our lives, we repeatedly experience that needles cause pain when pricking our skin, but situational expectations, like information given by the clinician prior to an injection, may also influence how viewing needle pricks affects pain," says lead author Marion Höfle (1)

I marvel at the human mind's ability to conjure up and physically display a sensation like pain. You see the pain taking place.  You hear about the pain.  Then, when you could be experiencing it (but not necessarily really experiencing it), the pain is indeed intense and powerful.  Isn't it like calling those things which do not exist as though they did (Romans 4:17 NKJV)?   Certainly, if the mind is so adept at moving into the realms of pain, then something new and creative might help the mind experience higher levels of love or joy or peace. 

If throughout our lives we repeatedly experienced how a needle hardly hurt at all, and we heard how it barely could be felt, then it probably wouldn’t hurt much.  That happened to me when I was little.  Over and over again I heard from my dad how shots were nothing.  “Why, they are puny, little pricks that have nothing to do with a hurt.  When you get pinched a little bit, that hurts as much as a needle. Just forget about it and don’t look at it,” my daddy would tell me time and time again.  I believed him.  At an early age, a shot affected me hardly at all.  I took them in stride and barely felt them.  It was years later that I related this story to my dad.  He surprised me by saying that he hated needles.  They gave him plenty of fear, and he never wanted one.  In fact he dreaded them.  I still chuckle at that, but the point is, I heard something that helped me have a better attitude about needles.  My faith had been in my dad and his wisdom, even though he hadn’t applied it to himself. 

Let’s take it further.  Have your faith in Jesus take charge of your life.  Let your sight see the good.  Let your experiences be positive.  I marvel at the human mind’s ability. The mind relates to what God creates.  Look away from evil and look to your faith in Jesus.  You will see.

    (1) Marion Höfle, Michael Hauck, Andreas K. Engel, Daniel Senkowski. Viewing a needle pricking a hand that you perceive as yours enhances unpleasantness of pain. Pain, 2012; 153 (5): 1074

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