Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dealing With Pain

Scientists of the Bergmannsheil University Hospital in Bochum found out in a neurologic study last year that the brains of martial artists seem to react differently to pain than the average brain. The test persons who were practising martial arts dealt with pain in a much more relaxed way and were less sensitive. The scientists assumed that this was because inurement is an important part of the martial arts training and therefore experiencing pain is something rather normal for martial artists and doesn't have such a strong negative connotation as it has for the average person. I wonder whether the same could be true for spankees as well?

The thought occurred to me when I had a little medical intervention several weeks ago. I had some problems with my skin and my dermatologist suggested to improve the skin appearance using a laser. The procedure wasn't strictly necessary from a medical point of view. I'm used to different skin problems and to not being able to do much about it. So I had been reluctant about the lasing for a long time as well. But even my dermatologist, who is very hesitant about surgeries for "cosmetical" reasons, saw almost no risk, but a good chance for some improvement. So I finally decided to give it a try.

I didn't know exactly what the procedure would be like and assumed that I would be given several small injections to numb the areas that were supposed to be lasered. I hate needles, but I knew that this was just a mental challenge. So I decided not to make a fuzz about it. After all, I wanted this and no one had forced me into it.

My appointment was in the morning and my doctor had told me that I would be able to go to work afterwards. So I didn't take a day off and just checked with my colleagues that I would be a bit later.  Still I was nervous when I was led into the surgery room because the last time I had been there some years ago I had struggled immensely with my low blood pressure during the surgery.

But the preparations went quite fast and I tried not to think too much about these possible problems. When I was lying on the treatment couch my doc came in. To my surprise I was told that I wouldn't get any injections at all, the pain caused by the laser was supposed to be bearable without any anaesthesia. That was great news!

I guess some years ago the prospect of being shot at with a laser without any anaesthesia would have scared me. But this time I simply trusted in my pain threshold and my ability to deal with pain which from my spanking experiences wasn't lower than that of the average person. And so, my personal episode of Star Wars began. Darth Vader, formerly known to me as my dermatologist, really seemed to love his toy!

And I? I did what I often do during spankings as well: Counting the hits. There were between less than ten and more than thirty of them on the different single spots. The pain felt a bit like the one caused by the tips of our mean flogger, but there was only one hit at a single time. And so the pain was really bearable. When it built up a bit from time to time I breathed out in a controlled manner like I do during a spanking as well. And with every new spot I was coming closer to my desired aim.

Then it was over. In the past I would have been afraid to look at the results, but this time I was sure that it would be okay and that the little wounds would heal. I was even a bit proud that I managed to take the lasing well, even though the marks proved that it was having an effect. The doctor left and his assistant cooled my skin with icepacks, put ointment on it and bandaged the wounds. Just like Ludwig and I did after my severe caning, I thought. And somehow I found the bandages quite cool. I went up, got dressed, happily left the surgery and went to work as planned.

Indeed the healing process went fine. Unfortunately the lasing didn't solve the whole skin problem but my skin appearance has improved a bit at least. The whole experience left me wondering, though: Did my kinky play as a spankee, the resulting self-confidence and the more positive relation to pain help me to deal better with the surgery? It had been surprising for me how much the whole event had resembled my kinky “heroine” fantasies.

But maybe another experience has influenced my way of dealing with surgeries much more than spanking? Because the changes had already started before I made my first kinky experience. When my mum was very ill she had to suffer through many painful and horrid therapies and surgeries. And she handled it with adorable bravery! I often accompanied her and it became clear to me that many things I was afraid of, like blood sampling, were nothing compared to the things she had to endure. So I decided not to make such a fuzz about these things any more. Maybe that experience even played a role in my decision to take the plunge into the world of spanking.

So, is that  maybe the real reason why I'm more relaxed about surgeries and pain today than I was earlier? Or did the spanking experiences maybe have an additional effect? Interestingly, it only seems to work with pain related to examinations or surgeries that I assume to be good for me. It doesn't work for example with headaches or any kind of pain which indicates that something might be wrong. So, what are your experiences? Erotic spanking and the ability to deal with pain and fear in other situations - is there a positive influence? Does it depend on the fantasies one has? Any thoughts?


EmmaJane said...

AS usual you've come up with a very interesting question.

With pain that I know is coming, that I can mentally prepare for and brace myself I can usually be preprared for. LIke when I got my tatoo (a smallbutterly on my lower tummy!) I could breathe through the pain, embracing the feeling and not let it bother me unduly. I don't know if this was as a result of being kinky and having some play previously (wasn't fully out in the scene but had played relatively hard) or id that's my naturally reaction to pain I can prepare for.

I haven't had very many instances of feeling that kind of the pain. The most was a root canal at the dentist where again I tried to embrace the pain and breathe through it, focussing on the end goal.

However with sudden and inexpected pain like stubbing my toe I am the opposite. I shriek the place down and it feels like the worst pain imaginably!

So maybe it's not being kinky per se, but having a good idea of what pain feels like and being able to prepare yourself for it, whislt also knowing it will soon be over and you'll feel better.

Hermione said...

I agree with Emma. If you know pain is coming, and you know why, you are able to prepare yourself for it, whether is is a spanking or a medical procedure. Unexpected or unexplained pain is quite a different story.

I also believe that being used to receiving pain prepares you well for handling more of it, and I like your description of how you endured your ordeal with the laser.


Ursus Lewis said...

I know for sure, as I had more bottom plays when I came out to the scene, my pain tolerance was higher then it is now, as I don't play that often on the receiving end anymore.

Or with other words, I believe the body learns how to take pain, but it also forgets with less training.

It probably does not matter what kind of expected pain it is. If you are more used to take it, you are better prepared.

Unknown said...

I haven't had much in the way of play pain, but I've found that the whole accepting it and working with it works well. Unlike the comments about though I find this works just as effectively with unexpected pain like a stubbed toe. It might take a second or two to do it, but it's in the same 'category' in my mind.

I seem to have two categories pain is in. There is the sharp external pain like running into the wall or getting hit, and then there is the duller internal pain of something like a headache or a menstrual cramp. And none of those tricks work for the latter. At least for me.

Kaelah said...

Yes, you are right, having the chance to prepare for the pain is an important factor, as well as knowing that it will end soon! I guess knowing that I can achieve something positive by enduring the procedure helped a lot as well. Which was probably similar with your tattoo session and your visit to the dentist (horrible situation nonetheless).

@ Hermione:
Indeed, unexplained pain tends to scare me much more than explainable one, except of course if the explanation is that something is horribly wrong!

@ Ursus:
I've heard from several people that their pain tolerance increases when they play regularly on the bottom side. I've never really played regularly, so I don't know whether that would be true for me as well. But I guess knowing from my albeit irregular play that I can take a certain amount of pain at all already helped me to stay calm.

@ Morgrim:
For me it works for neither of the two. I might be able to take both kinds of pain (running into a wall or a headache) without shrieking (the wall is more difficult), but I'm definitely not relaxed in either of the situations. I guess it only works for me with pain that I have to endure in order to achieve a certain goal...

Indy said...

Are you sure it's not just your martial arts training? ;)
If this is true, I wonder if being insensitive to novacaine as a child has increased my tolerance as an adult. I remember having my teeth drilled without anesthetic a couple times (thankfully, modern drugs work better!). The strange part about that was that it basically didn't hurt very much until the dentist hit the nerve, and it was really hard not to jerk at that sudden onset of pain. After that, it was okay, and I'd just close my eyes when I needed a break.

Eww, having just gone through that, I can't imagine it's helped much with spanking-- I'd have an iron bum if it had!

Kaelah said...

@ Indy:

Hmm, quite frankly Tai Chi doesn't involve so much pain (except for some of the warm-up exercises and when holding positions during the learning process), but don't tell anyone... ;-)

From my point of view your experiences at the dentist would make for a fantastic storyline for a horror movie. Ouch! I only had one little hole in one of my teeth so far and I didn't need any anaesthesia during the resulting treatment. To my mind the injections at the dentist are better avoided if possible, anyway. But this was only a little hole! I had other teeth surgeries which would have been impossible for me to endure without some shots. Not having a chance to get them if one needs them sounds really horrible. I'm glad to hear that the modern drugs work for you!