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Pain the Science of Suffering

by Steven Rose

  • ISBN: 9780231120067
  • ISBN10: 0231120060

Pain the Science of Suffering

by Steven Rose

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 08/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780231120067
  • ISBN10: 0231120060
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Description: Pain is one of medicine's greatest mysteries. When farmer John Mitson caught his hand in a baler, he cut off his trapped hand and carried it to a neighbor. "Sheer survival and logic" was how he described it. "And strangely, I didn't feel any pain". How can this be? We're taught that pain is a warning message to be heeded at all costs, yet it can switch off in the most agonizing circumstances or switch on for no apparent reason.

Patrick Wall sets his scientific account in a broad context, interweaving it with a wealth of fascinating and sometimes disturbing historical detail, covering famous characters who derived pleasure from pain, the unexpected reactions of injured people, the role of endorphins, and the power of placebo. He covers cures of pain, ranging from drugs and surgery, through relaxation techniques and exercise, to acupuncture, electrical nerve stimulation, and herbalism.

Pain involves our state of mind, our social mores and beliefs, and our personal experiences and expectations. Stepping beyond his neurologic gate-control theory, Wall shows that pain is a matter of behavior, and its manifestation differs among individuals, situations, and cultures. "The way we deal with pain is an expression of individuality".

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