Getting the pain you expect

Irene Tracey is the Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetic Science and Director of Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB). Irene is a leading expert on using neuroimaging to study pain processing in the human brain.

Professor Tracey demonstrates through a series of fMRI experiments that pain is not a physical entity but a perception, and is something that is highly malleable and subject to very many influences, often put to one side in a clinical encounter.

Heightened anxiety increases pain for chronic pain sufferers, anxiety makes the pain worse or turns the volume up. Fear and anxiety is a central amplifier to the pain experience. God says don’t be afraid for I am with you. Intimacy with God is often borne in the furnace of affliction. “There’s an opening of the soul that happens during times of stress or duress. Invite someone to take a closer look at Christ and his church.

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