Neurochemistry of Pain Relief Using Feldenkrais

Using the widely accepted Wall and Melzack “Gate Control Theory” of pain, Feldenkrais may work to achieve pain relief by activating pain inhibitory cells in the spinal cord.

The Gate Control theory proposes that inhibitory nerve cells in the spinal cord control whether a pain impulse coming from the periphery, such as the foot, is relayed to the brain or not.

A Swiss research team has discovered which inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord are responsible for this control function. As the study published in Neuron shows, the control cells for the gate are located in the spinal cord and use the amino acid glycine as an inhibitory messenger.

Based on everyday experience we know that gently rubbing or holding an injured extremity can alleviate pain in this area. According to Gate Control theory, non-painful contact (touch) with the skin activates the inhibitory cells. The researchers verified this hypothesis and confirmed that the inhibitory, glycine-releasing neurons are innervated by such touch-sensitive skin nerves (mechanoreceptors.)

The pharmacologists were also able to demonstrate that neurons (nociceptors) where the relay of the pain signals takes place are primarily inhibited by glycine signals. These findings identify for the first time the neurons and connections that underlie the Gate Control Theory of pain.

Pain relief is often achieved by a single simple, yet precise Feldenkrais lesson. This can now partially be explained by mechanoreceptors activated by the simple touch of a Feldenkrais practitioner. Pain relief is also achieved by the overall improvement in the body’s organization for movement, mediated in the brain by the process of neuroplasticity. 

 

Feldenkrais, neuroplasticity and chronic pain relief

Neuroplasticity is a modern term that refers to our brain's ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. Scientists used to believe that changes in the brain could only take place during infancy and childhood. By adulthood, it was believed that the brain's nerves and structure was permanent. Modern research demonstrates otherwise.  The brain continues to create new neural pathways and alter existing ones in order to adapt to new experiences, learn new information and create new memories as long as we are alive. This is the basis of the Feldenkrais Method's ability to heal chronic pain: learning to adapt in new ways to the same old stimuli and stressors, to create new responses to the same movement questions, and have these new responses become permanent. These new responses create more effective environments for healing those nagging chronic pains we all seem to have. And that is really what we're after: permanent chronic pain relief!!

What to do if you injure yourself in Encinitas, California

Encinitas is a beautiful place. And a wonderful place to live and work. I know all of us who live here are grateful every day for the richness and diversity of things to do and places to go in the 92024. From the La Paloma theater to Queen Eileen’s, and from enjoying some golf at Encinitas Ranch to hanging out at Dog Park, Encinitas has endless opportunities for enjoyment. It also has some interesting architecture, a myriad of neighborhood design concepts, a world class library, the Self Realization Fellowship, the San Diego Botanical Gardens, and our magnificent beaches.

Runners, swimmers, and cycling enthusiasts flock to our perfect weather and endless variety of workout venues: beaches, pools, stairs, streets, trails, parks and gyms abound for both recreational and professional athletes alike.  And eateries are everywhere, healthy and otherwise. But mostly healthy!

So you live here, work here or are visiting Encinitas, and unfortunately you hurt yourself. If you are in a great deal of pain, if it is really an emergency, please visit Scripps Encinitas Hospital. If you have a sprain, strain, backache, neck pain or other non-emergency problem, then you have choices. Start with your primary care physician. They are a great choice to evaluate you as they already know you and your history.  If you do not have a primary care doctor there are many of them to choose from depending on your insurance situation. Try a resource like Encinitas Pain Resources to choose a primary care doctor or specialist. If you’ve seen a doctor and they have recommended some type of physical therapy to help you relieve your pain, your choices are endless. Because this is Encinitas, alternative therapies are huge and growing in popularity every day. We have chiropractic and acupuncture, massage and wheat grass shots. But maybe you’re looking for something else?

Encinitas also has the only Medical Doctor in Southern California certified by the Feldenkrais Guild of North America to practice the Feldenkrais Method, Lori L. Malkoff, MD, MPH. If you have been looking for an effective alternative pain treatment and pain relief center, the Feldenkrais Center of San Diego, located in Encinitas, may be a great choice. The Feldenkrais Method is a modern approach to acute and chronic pain relief without drugs, surgery, or injection. The results can be remarkable. Feldenkrais uses a series of lessons and gentle manipulations tailored to the individual. This process “reorganizes” the way the parts of your body work together to enable free and easy movement without pain.

Once you’re back on your feet, you can continue to explore the endless opportunities for fun that is Encinitas, California: one of the most beautiful places in the world! 

Source: http://www.thefeldenkraiscenter.com