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Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Chronic pain" should be a disease

At the present time the 13th World Congress on Pain is being held in Montreal,Quebec,Canada. One of the key persons in organizing this congress is  Dr. Michael Cousins (pictured above), an Australian anesthesiologist (see the following website for a definition: In an article entitled, "Chronic Pain a disease,conference told", (found in the September 4th edition of the Edmonton Journal newspaper) Dr. Cousins is quoted as saying:"Pain has been regarded as a simple problem.It must be recognized as a disease in its own right." Cousins is also quoted in this article as having made the following statement: "One in five people suffers pain that lingers beyond three months, and a third of them are disabled "as badly as people with heart failure."

According to this article,  Dr. Cousins is one of the "wonderful" doctors who is involved in drafting the "Montreal Declaration on Pain, which is "aimed at bringing attention to inadequate pain policies worldwide." As someone who has been in 5 car accidents caused by other people, it surely is a breath of fresh air to hear a  Doctor, (Doctor Cousins) finally talking about how serious and debilitating   "chronic pain." is.

You can read this entire article by clicking on the following link:

Source of image  of Dr. Cousins:

"The International Association for the Study of Pain" has details about the 13th World Congress on Pain, which you can read by going to the following website:
I recall being at a meeting of the Edmonton Pain association some years ago,  and being told by a guest speaker who was employed in the medical field that at that time physicians hardly receive any training in "pain and pain management" at all as part of their medical education. I hope this has changed since then!

As this diagram shows Chronic Pain can end up being an endless cycle for some unfortunate human beings,through no fault of their own:

Source of Diagram:

Medical studies, such as the one reported at:, now  even go as far as saying:

"in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex (within our brain) mostly associated with emotion "never shuts up," said Dante Chialvo, lead author and associate research professor of physiology at the Feinberg School. "The areas that are affected fail to deactivate when they should." They are stuck on full throttle, wearing out neurons and altering their connections to each other.
This is the first demonstration of brain disturbances in chronic pain patients not directly related to the sensation of pain.This constant firing of neurons in these regions of the brain could cause permanent damage."

Certainly if chronic pain can cause permanent damage in the brain it needs to be
regarding as a "disease" by the medical profession!!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.