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  • Jean Ang

Who likes pain?

"Pain is not God's great goof. The sensation of pain is a gift—the gift that nobody wants. More than anything, pain should be viewed as a communication network.

I do not say that all pain is good. Sometimes it flares up and makes life miserable. For someone with crippling arthritis or terminal cancer, pain dominates so much that any relief, especially a painless world, would seem like heaven itself.

But for the majority of us, the pain network performs daily protective service. It is effectively designed for surviving life on this sometimes hostile planet.

In Dr. Brand's words, "The one legitimate complaint you can make against pain is that it cannot be switched off. It can rage out of control, as with a terminal cancer patient, even though its warning has been heard and there is no more that can be done to treat the cause of pain.

But as a physician I'm sure that less than one percent of pain is in this category that we might call out of control.

Ninety-nine per cent of all the pains that people suffer are short-term pains: correctable situations that call for medication, rest, or a change in a person's lifestyle."

—Excerpt from Philip Yancey's Where Is God When It Hurts.

"Pain employs a tonal range of conversation. It whispers to us in the early stages of damage: subconsciously, we feel a slight discomfort and toss and turn in bed. It speaks to us as danger increases: a hand grows tender and sore after a long stint at raking leaves. And pain shouts at us when the danger becomes severe: blisters, ulcers, and tissue damage break out, forcing us to change behavior." 

Pain sensors loudly inform your body of danger and should be viewed as a communication network. Sadly, it is a gift that nobody wants. Your pain sensors that we often take for granted faithfully stand on guard with the singular purpose of keeping you from injury. Physical pain is a signal alerting you that something is wrong and to attend to a situation that needs change.

—Excerpt from In His Image by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand


Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants by Paul W. Brand and Philip Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts and In His Image by Philip Yancey are books that have changed my entire perspective on pain.

In my line of work as a Chinese Physician, I help patients alleviate pain (and discomforts) every day. Menstrual pain, gastritis (pain), head pain, lower back pain, knee pain, emotional pain and more. Their pain signals and points out conscientiously to me where and how I should address in order to return to them their quality of life. Pain-free status is what everyone aims for, but if the problem is not dealt with, pain persists.

Chronic pain is torturous. Please consult a medical doctor or a professional TCM Physician to seek help if your pain is unbearable. Let us seek and remedy the source of your pain.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

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