The Psychological Origin of Body Pain and its Treatment with EMDR

For centuries, the relationship between body and soul has been treated with reductionism from an idealist materialist point of view. In this way, the dilemma of giving importance to one component and rejecting the other is resolved. The same reductionism is evident as to the origin of thoughts: thoughts are produced by the brain, no matter how they are produced. The brain is then conceptualized as a computer isolated from the integrity of the body and interpersonal relationship. Psychosomatic, psychiatric, psychosocial mechanisms and general characteristics of learned pain, which can be effective in the emergence of mental diseases and mental pain, which can lead to tension-type headaches as a symptom of psychosocial stresses of mental origin, are seen in body pain.

Pain is undoubtedly one of the most disturbing life processes that people are very familiar with. When the publications related to pain are examined, pain is generally; It is examined in three groups as acute pain, continuous pain and chronic pain. acute pain; The person lives markedly restless. That is, the sympathetic nervous system is overstimulated. Chronic pain persists for more than 6 months. Autonomic response does not occur in chronic pain. chronic pain; has serious physical and psychological effects. As the pain prolongs, hormonal and metabolic functions also lead to deterioration and suppression of immunity. It causes physical damage in the future, depression, family and marital problems, and even suicidal attempts. Considering pain as a permanent medical problem because of the idea that pain is a constant physical problem for years, may cause the patient to be blamed if there is no physical reason to treat such pain, and all treatments fail.

As a result of some studies, it is suggested that the cortical region responsible for pain perceives and responds to pain when the message about pain reaches a certain speed and passes this threshold, assuming that the nerve cells in the spinal cord act as a gate and regulate the flow of nerve impulses coming from the peripheral nerves to the brain. This emphasizes that pain perception is affected by cognition, emotion and behavioral factors in somatic messages.

Stress and various mental illnesses can cause tension headaches. Headache has been reported to be the second most common complaint in patients due to somatic complaints. Most illnesses are affected by stress, mental conflict, and generalized anxiety disorder. In some disease states, this effect may be greater. We all know that we have a certain limit of resistance in our daily life. Challenging life conditions or events, unmet spiritual needs, inability to express ourselves, etc. these problems lead to the breakdown of psychophysiological defenses. In people with limited skills who cannot express their feelings verbally or in environments where psychological and behavioral communication ways are blocked, mental conflict, anxiety and its types unconsciously express anger, resentment and reaction indirectly through body language. The patient indirectly expresses his anger, resentment and reaction unconsciously with pain complaints. They use pain complaints to expect these behaviors from the environment such as attention, support and care. Thus, pain comes into play as a communication tool and meeting various psychiatric needs. Over time, the emotional discomfort caused by the pain increases with the persistence of the pain, resulting in the development of a psychological problem as a medical condition. Pain is a learned emotional experience. Therefore, psychological contexts cannot be ignored in the evaluation of pain.

Some of the theories explaining pain in psychology are; psychoanalytic theory, door control theory, operant pain model, conditioned fear, pain model, psychophysiological model, cognitive behavioral model. These approaches have also created their own treatment models. It is the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) technique, which takes the theory of treatment technique used in the treatment of chronic pain from the Information Processing approach.

In 1987, Francine Shoprp developed the EMDR technique and conducted many studies, discovering that voluntary and systematic eye movements reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts and the intensity of negative thoughts.

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