psychology of pain

Pain is interesting. At least I find it interesting. And I guess that comes from my work in helping women prepare for birth. Pain comes up a lot! In fact it comes up too much in my opinion. More than it should do. And this is because a fear of pain is probably one of the most common fears I come across. Well, it’s only to be expected, after all childbirth is the gold standard when it comes to pain. Everything is compared to childbirth.

And yet in some countries, childbirth is not considered or thought of as being painful. Now THAT is interesting!

This raises all sorts of questions for us around whether something is universally painful.

  • How subjective is pain?
  • Can we do anything to avoid it or reduce it in some way?
  • Do we all experience it differently?
  • Is it psychological or is it physical. Or both?

These are just some of the questions I’m going to be getting to the bottom of in this episode of the podcast.

Today I’m joined by my guest Dr Gary Keil. Dr. Keil was originally a pharmacist but has continued his hunger for knowledge in better understanding the human condition, why we behave the way we do and how we can improve.

“I am passionate about how the mind and body work together, and how both can be fully developed to create happier, healthier and more creative individuals. Neuroscience and neuroplasticity, philosophy/theosophy/positive psychology, and mind-body practices like yoga and meditation are my main passions but I’m a FIRM believer that what you put into your body is just as important as how the innards work.”



During our chat Dr Keil talks about

  • the difference between pain and suffering
  • how pain has both emotional and physical components
  • what we can do to reduce our experience of pain, and what is likely to increase it
  • how our beliefs impact our experience of pain
  • the opposite of PTSD, PTGO
  • what we can to prevent our experience of trauma
  • the length of time it can take to train and change our minds

It’s a fascinating conversation and one that I hope you enjoy.




Alexia Leachman
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