Do we All Experience Pain the Same Way?

One thing every vet will tell you, is that animals experience pain the same way humans do. So just because your animal doesn’t appear to be in pain, doesn’t mean they are not feeling pain.

I understand what the vet is saying and overall I think this is a good mandate to have. However, I also think it is a very simplistic approach to something that is a much deeper topic. For example, not even humans experience pain the same way from person to person. You and I might experience exactly the same event and it causes you a tremendous amount of pain, whereas it may only cause me mild pain. And I’m not just talking about pain thresholds.

What many humans have not figured out, is that a lot of what we classify or feel as “pain” is actually an emotional or psychological phenomenon. Pain does not necessarily reside in the physical tissues. But in my experience, many, if not most, animals have indeed figured this out. So I would disagree with the vet and I would say that an animal’s experience of pain is not the same as a human’s.

We recently went through a healing journey with Jax when he severely injured his leg/armpit. Güliz has written about that process in depth for us, because the journey was mostly between her and Jax. But what I will leave you with today is this video that was inspired by that experience, and by watching Jax metabolize his severe pain. Let’s get this conversation going and then Güliz will take us deeper in with her story

Do we All Experience Pain the Same Way?

17 thoughts on “Do we All Experience Pain the Same Way?

  • September 15, 2019 at 6:37 am
    Permalink

    Wonderful…. such bravery and wisdom!!
    Fear of pain is behind so much of what we do or don’t do; how liberating to transform it!
    Fear of pain is in a way fear of the unknown. Like you say, the mind experiencing the body with trepidation.
    I have a little trick in this regard. When I have some painful issue I go into that part of the body as if it were the whole of me, eg. ‘I’ completely become my knee and so ‘I’ am weak or stiff or swollen, whatever it happens to be.
    And I write down exactly how I, (the knee,) feel.
    The information that emerges is always deep and symbolic and emotional and psychological, always revealing. It’s reassuring and brings me closer to myself.
    My recommendation for all of you lovely LTYH-ers!! : )))

    Reply
    • September 15, 2019 at 12:03 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your process. I need to do more of that kind of checking in at the physical level.

      1
      Reply
    • September 17, 2019 at 8:16 am
      Permalink

      BRILLIANT Rachel! I do a version of this for any physical ailment or illness. The way I language it is that I put my consciousness into, for example, my shoulder. And then I see, hear, feel, experience, whatever is happening in my shoulder.

      Whatever comes to me is always important information, or symbolic imagery, or some other gateway into WHY I am having that symptom or ailment.

      Then of course, as I receive the message from my body – the reason the ailment or symptom is occurring – then the physical condition can release and let go. Because the body IS the subconscious. And once I’ve received the message, the body can stop messaging me 😊

      Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 7:51 am
    Permalink

    Fascinating topic! I am going to explore this the next time pain is abundant! Of course at 50 I feel a lot of stiffness and mild pain…but I know diet and lack of concentrated exercise is definitely a factor! I mean caring for horses is of course physically demanding but not enough for my metabolism! So many facets of life…you ladies always seem to dig deep! I wonder if it ever gets to intense or complicated or if this is your process for keeping it simple? By discovering and diving deeper? Horses definitely help me keep digging into to my journey…and my psyche…sometimes though I just want to be light and easy! I guess life is meant to challenge and explore and most things that are worth anything are always going to be challenging! ✌🏼❤️🐴

    By the way who is savannah? It says she is the author?

    Reply
    • September 17, 2019 at 8:21 am
      Permalink

      Hey Michelle, Savannah is my assistant because I am in Spain right now. So I sent her the text and had her upload it into a post for me. Thanks for pointing that out though I will change the author when I get back, I don’t think she knows how to do that yet 😊

      I hear what you’re saying about keeping life more simple and easy. All I can say in response to that is the words Montaro gave me, when I felt life was just too overwhelming, all the time. He said, Get bigger.

      When you become bigger the heavy burden becomes a tiny pebble that fits in your pocket. So, I guess we’re back to the reason each of us incarnate. And I think for some of us, we do choose a life of rest and ease. And for others, our focus is more on expansion and developing our consciousness and potential.

      Love you and all the rest of the wonderful horse listeners on here, can’t wait to get back home and back to my herd and my dogs and my bed !!

      Reply
      • September 17, 2019 at 9:50 am
        Permalink

        Jini!!! Where are you in Spain? I live in Spain!

        Reply
        • September 27, 2019 at 3:35 pm
          Permalink

          I am home now, but please don’t tell me you live anywhere near Sitges… cause if I missed the chance to meet up with you…!!!

          Reply
          • September 27, 2019 at 5:15 pm
            Permalink

            Jiniiiii!! Of course I live near Sitges!!! I’m in Barcelona. What a near miss…a tragedy!! xxxxx

            Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 12:02 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for another enlightening and encouraging post. Although I don’t have many pain issues, I have an occasional experience with an extremely sharp pain in the pelvis area probably from a couple of hard falls off my horse many years ago. Well, I guess as a follow up exercise to your video, the pain came last night. As I started to breathe and allow the excruciating pain to expand and consume me, a reminder came from your voice in the video to have a conversation with that part of my body. Immediately I recalled that when I forcefully changed (because it is painful) my posture to a healthier position which also alleviates other issues, the pain went away. I felt gratitude to my body for its persistence in changing an old habit, my posture, for the greater good of my whole body.

    [BTW, Jini, are you getting my emails in the last month and a half, i.e., the workshop, the series on portraiture, and a recent follow up?]

    Reply
    • September 17, 2019 at 8:26 am
      Permalink

      Omg Beverly – I have not! However I have been in Europe for the last 2.5 weeks and I have no access to email here. But if it has been a month and a half then they are definitely going missing. I hope you kept copies of them… I will email you when I return and we will figure out a way to exchange that information!

      I love that you had an opportunity to go into this process right away LOL and so cool that you received information and a way forward so quickly. Love it !!

      Reply
      • September 17, 2019 at 10:14 am
        Permalink

        Stop press – YES my assistant has your email and document so no worries 😊 I’ll email you back at the end of the month. Looking forward to digging into it!!

        Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 12:24 pm
    Permalink

    “Pain” isn’t just the nerve impulses, the physical “feeling,” it’s the meaning we ascribe to the feeling. Easy example: I run a hill sprint. At the top, my legs are shaking, my heart is pounding, my lungs are burning, and it feels like I may never catch my breath again. Ask me, and I’ll tell you, “That felt GREAT.” That’s not because I’m a little bit nuts (though it helps that I am); it’s because the meaning of those feelings that other people would call “pain,” does NOT connote injury, or damage to me.That’s not what the feelings mean. Quite the opposite: they mean power, strength, and endurance.
    I learned this from my horse.
    At the end of our regular easy ride, there was a steep hill of maybe 75 yards. I gave him the option of going up that hill any way he wanted to do it. He always chose to gallop. Not a nice canter, mind you. I mean an all-out, kick-ass gallop. At the top he’d snort and prance like Rocky Balboa at the top of the Art Museum steps. Then he’d strut us back to the barn, like he was the prince of horsedom.
    Which he was.
    It’s his spirit that defines my hill sprints as joy.
    Of course, it’s possible that he was a little bit nuts, too.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2019 at 10:12 am
      Permalink

      LOVE this Adam – I think the best of us are all a little bit nuts 🤪 Bring it!!

      I’m not surprised you teamed up with a horse that resonated with your spirit – what an amazing teacher/compadre he is ❤️

      Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 4:14 pm
    Permalink

    I agree, Adam, about the meaning ascribed to the feeling:
    Once I jumped from a stile and landed badly. That night it was agony but since I was very happy at that time, it was a completely different experience; extreme discomfort was simply a sensation whilst I remained in an excellent mood! There wasn’t a need to name the feeling, though quite some days later I realized I’d sprained my ankle.
    Still, I think I’d need to feel euphoric before offering my jaw to a dentist without any anaesthetic! Kudos to you, Jini!

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 7:49 pm
    Permalink

    Tee hee. What a great exploration of pain. I’m a bit if a wimp when it comes to pain. This conversation gives me motivation to explore it deeper. :)) Thanks everyone!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php