In 2009 and then again in 2010, I had the privilege and fortune to complete a 9-month mentorship founded by one of the foremost Physical Therapists in the World, Gary Gray of the Gray Institute, I realize that’s a big statement…but not undeserved. They call him the “Grandfather of Function”. Only 80 or so practitioners from around the globe get this honor each year. One of the greatest blessings of the experience is meeting and connecting with like-minded, intelligent, hungry-for-solutions-and-understanding professionals who have hearts swelling with love and care. Joel Thomas was one of those very individuals perhaps with a heart bigger than most. Please enjoy his composition that is full of depth and knowing.
Pain, by Joel Thomas
Pain: “Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever he says it does”. Pain is a noun. Pain is a “feeling or perception driven by the nervous system that drives the nervous system.” Pain is 3D or multidimensional. Pain is Tweakology: sharp vs. dull, instantly immediate vs. constantly consistent, specific & general, helpful & harmful. Pain is a realization. Pain is a problem. Pain needs treatment. Pain is treatable. Pain usually goes away. Some pain lingers or lasts for weeks, months, and years. Pain is a mystery (solved & yet unsolved). Pain is mind, body, spirit. Pain requires creating unique environments. Pain requires principles, strategies, techniques. Pain facilitates natural healing processes and transformational grace. Pain is defined. Pain is an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Pain is always subjective (principle). Pain is learned (principle). Pain is experienced as a result of life. Pain exists from the womb until death. Pain is emotional. Pain is qualitative and quantitative. Pain is neither black nor white. Pain is gray. Pain is hot & cold, and sometimes both. Pain: “depends”. Pain is realized and unrealized. Pain is tolerated and tolerable, yet also intolerant. Pain is physiological and pathophysiological state of being. Pain is unpleasant. Pain is distinguishable and indistinguishable. Pain is on, off, and on‐off. Pain is accepted and unacceptable. Pain is loved and hated. Pain is yin & yang. Pain is function. Pain is assessment and analyzed. Pain is a word that traces its origin to English, Latin, and Greek words such as: payment, penalty; to pay, or to punish, as well as revenge. Pain is God and God’s Grace! Pain is internal and external. Pain is inflicted and self‐inflicted. Pain is a choice. Pain is a price. Pain is a risk. Pain is an opportunity. Pain is growth, development and learning. Pain is a struggle. Pain is a challenge. Pain is rewarding. Pain is the threshold between overload and injury. Pain is tissue growth and tissue damage. Pain is discomfort, distress, and suffering. Pain typically leads to evasive decisions and action, but not always (it depends on the person, the environment, and the stimulus). Pain is trouble, care, effort, and accomplishment. Pain irks, annoys, and humbles. Pain is gradual and pain is sudden. Pain interferes with function, performance, and life. Pain is a symptom. Pain is a threat. Pain is a defense. Pain has a cause. Pain has a source. Pain is a communication signal or alarm. Pain adjusts behavior. Pain requires decision and actions. Pain is change. Pain transforms . . . Pain is a Gift.
If you would like to contact this gifted practitioner check out his website.