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Dr. Zafirides Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Peter Zafirides, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician

    Hi Everyone,

    I thought you might find the following study from the American Academy Of Neurology rather interesting.

    -Dr. Z

    Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

    Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others.

    "Our study is quite significant because it provides an objective way to understand pain and why different individuals have different pain tolerance levels," said study author Tobore Onojjighofia, MD, MPH, with Proove Biosciences and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Identifying whether a person has these four genes could help doctors better understand a patient's perception of pain."

    Researchers evaluated 2,721 people diagnosed with chronic pain for certain genes. Participants were taking prescription opioid pain medications. The genes involved were COMT, DRD2, DRD1 and OPRK1. The participants also rated their perception of pain on a scale from zero to 10. People who rated their pain as zero were not included in the study. Low pain perception was defined as a score of one, two or three; moderate pain perception was a score of four, five or six; and high pain perception was a score of seven, eight, nine or 10.

    Nine percent of the participants had low pain perception, 46 percent had moderate pain perception and 45 percent had high pain perception.

    The researchers found that the DRD1 gene variant was 33 percent more prevalent in the low pain group than in the high pain group. Among people with a moderate pain perception, the COMT and OPRK variants were 25 percent and 19 percent more often found than in those with a high pain perception. The DRD2 variant was 25 percent more common among those with a high pain perception compared to people with moderate pain.

    "Chronic pain can affect every other part of life," said Onojjighofia. "Finding genes that may be play a role in pain perception could provide a target for developing new therapies and help physicians better understand their patients' perceptions of pain."
    BruceMC and North Star like this.
  2. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    (Disclaimer: This isn't meant to be confrontational to the original post. I just wanted to post additional information on genetics and the mind/body connection.)

    Research over the past decade into Epigenetics has proved that the mind controls the DNA/genes.

    When I worked with people who have Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD or DID), their eye color and eyesight and illnesses (even incurable diseases) would change instantly depending on which alternate personality was in the body. One minute, a patient might be wearing glasses, and the next minute, she's taking them off and can see perfectly fine, because a different alternate personality had come into control of the body. There are lots of reports of things like this with multiples. When they fully integrate all of their personalities into one (emotional healing causes this), basically all of their illnesses, whether major, minor, or incurable, go away. They drop weight drastically down to a normal weight for their height without dieting. It's pretty amazing.

    With epigenetics, scientists have proven that our thoughts (this really means our emotional state, since thoughts are the product of our emotional states) and food both control our genes. Our emotions/thoughts and the food we eat turns genes on and off, according to epigeneticists. It's nice to have solid proof on this now, and exciting! It's great to know we aren't victims of our genes, but that we can control our genes just by resolving our emotional issues, and even by eating healthier food.

    I imagine pain tolerance is also a product of emotional issues. It would be an interesting study to monitor the genes for pain tolerance as a person went through a healing process like Dr. Sarno's or the Presence Process. Multiples usually had VERY high pain tolerances. They had shut down their emotions to where they couldn't feel them, and so they also could hardly feel physical pain. The two are linked. When a multiple would fully integrate (heal), they could feel just like anyone else, so their pain tolerance dropped dramatically.

    - Brian
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
    Peter Zafirides and North Star like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I guess the jury is still out on whether genes cause illness or pain. From recent posts and reading there are disagreements
    on the subject. Those who disagree say it's more TMS from repressed emotions or our personality.
    I prefer the latter, and your interpretation, Brian, that we can control our symptoms by resolving our emotional issues.
    I'm sure Dr. Zafarides agrees, and posted the genetic side of the argument for discussion.

    A friend emailed me from Colorado just before Easter that he had caught a cold, and believed it was from wearing
    himself out physically and emotionally with a lot of work. Because he wore himself out, his cells, not his genes, gave him the cold.
    Peter Zafirides likes this.
  4. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    Thanks, Walt. I just added a disclaimer to the top of my last post. I don't want to be confrontational--just informative.

    The human body is a complex thing, and it's hard to prove, scientifically, what it's doing at the genetic level.
    I'm glad epigenetics research has discovered what it has about mind-body issues. Hopefully, more scientists will catch on to it.
    Peter Zafirides likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Brian, no problem. I took, and am sure everyone took, your post as not confrontational, but informative.

    Forest, who is the host-manager of TMSWiki.org likes it when members can exchange thoughts on subjects like this.

    I see that you joined the Wiki last month. I think you'll really like it. I've learned a lot from it about myself and
    how to react to others in my life.

    What is giving you pain? Are you using any TMS techniques to heal, such as journalising?
    Peter Zafirides and North Star like this.
  6. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    Well, I've had little pains and weird issues over the years. My posture's not great. I had candida for quite a while.

    No, I haven't journaled about any of my pains. My journaling was main just me writing down, as best I could, what I felt God was trying to tell me. It was mostly about spiritual stuff and some emotional stuff.
    He eventually told me that I could go to the doctor all I wanted, but my issues were emotionally caused, and they'd persist until I dealt with the emotions.
    So I found Dr. Sarno's stuff somehow and listened to his books on audio book.
    At some point, I discovered I could do muscle testing to find emotional problems that were causing my physical problems.
    Once I discovered that, I adapted an old method of healing, for myself, that I used to use with people who had Multiple Personality Disorder.
    So, in that method, my adaptation was that I had to imagine the part of me that was emotionally hurt, and just talk to it lovely to work out the problem.
    But I discovered that I could use muscle testing to figure out the exact emotional cause of each pain or sickness. Once I discovered that, I knew exactly what to discuss with the emotionally-hurt part of myself.
    After I did that, the pain or illness I had would go away immediately.

    For instance, I couldn't work out for at good year or two because I kept straining tendons no matter how little weight I used.
    I discovered that tendon problems had to do with anger. I'd muscle test to figure out what was causing that anger. When I got my answer, I talked to that part of me.
    Suddenly, the tendon strain was gone once I finished talking with that part of myself in a very loving way.
    Before, I'd strain a tendon and it'd be a week or two before it stopped hurting (and before I could attempt to working out again).
    Now, I can find and fix the problem right after I strain a tendon, and go right back to working out. It only takes a few minutes.

    I thought I'd created that technique myself, but I eventually remembered Dr. Sarno's stuff was somewhat similar.
    The only addition I added to it was the muscle testing for answers, and the creating a scenario in my head of talking to that part of me very lovingly.
    I'm not sure how lasting that change would've been though. So I started the Presence Process for lasting change. :)
    I was able to get rid of my candida problem I'd had for a few years, too. It came back recently, but I got rid of it in a few minutes. It was the anger at myself for being worthless that caused it.
    Subconsciously, I thought I'd be less of a burden on those I love if I were dead, so my body was using candida to try to kill me off. How weird is that? I even had a psychologist once pick up on that pattern.
    Peter Zafirides likes this.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr Z, thanks for posting that! And Brian, what an interesting addition to the topic. Welcome to the forum, btw. Are you a counselor? (You mentioned working with MPD.)
    Peter Zafirides likes this.
  8. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    Oddly enough, no, I'm not a counselor. I never charged anyone for working with them. I've just always been good at understanding people and good with psychology. I learned a very effective method for helping people with MPD many years ago, and used it for about 5 years with multiples. I got the hardest of the hardest cases (people who were SRA victims [ritual satanic abuse], so they were extremely difficult to help--burned me out). The one multiple I worked with who was not an SRA victim had about 5 personalities and it took only a few hours to help her heal and integrate. The SRA victims, on the other hand, had hundreds of personalities and took daily help for 1-3 years. And I was usually only able to help them to a certain point, not full integration. Had I known how to deal with my own emotional issues back then, I would've had more success with them. But it taught me a lot about myself and about people, psychology, and healing, so it was beneficial. It might have helped if I'd gotten more non-SRA victim multiples who were easy to help. That would've at least boosted my moral a little. lol
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
    Peter Zafirides and North Star like this.
  9. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    The TMS journey opens up such a rich opportunity to discover oneself, doesn't it? And boy…your heart to serve people is certainly right out of the TMS profile, eh?

    I know you'll enjoy the forum and I look forward to hearing more from you; your background is certainly intriguing!
    Peter Zafirides likes this.
  10. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    Thanks, North Star. :)

    Yeah, the TMS journey definitely opens up self-discovery. But I would've been stuck without the Presence Process. It put all the pieces together for me and showed me how to properly view and receive my painful emotions so they could benefit me rather than cause me to want to resist them (which causes the suffering).
    North Star and Peter Zafirides like this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ho, Brian. Your work helping people with multiple personalities is fascinating.
    And I will definitely look into the Presence Process.

    You have a book in your experiences. I hope you take some time to write it.
    You can get it published free at CreateSpace.

    You don't have to be famous, and you don't need academic credentials or an agent.
    Just write it and self-publish it. When you do, I hope you add the spiritual element to healing.
    North Star and Peter Zafirides like this.
  12. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    Hi, Walt.

    Thanks for the advice. I have a Create Space account.
    I guess I'll just have to trust that if it's meant to be, people will buy the book(s) I put out.
    North Star and Peter Zafirides like this.
  13. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician


    Great post! No need for a disclaimer at all. I have learned so much from all of you.

    My sense is the nature/nurture effect on pain is bi-directional. Our genes allow for a baseline expression of traits, but your thoughts on epigenetic changes to the DNA are spot on. We are only now starting to understand the impact of epigenetic changes.

    Thanks for stimulating such a great discussion. I look forward to learning more from you in the future!!

    - Dr. Z

    PS: Here are a few articles from my website on pain research that may interest you:

    1. Sensitivity Pain My Depend On Your DNA
    2. When Stress Causes Pain: A Genetic Risk Factor Is Identified
    3. Stress and Physical Pain: New Clues Emerge
    4. Why Stress Reduction (and brain size) May Be The Key To Managing Chronic Pain
    5. How Chronic Pain Affects Your Brain
    North Star likes this.
  14. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    Thanks, Dr. Z, for starting a great discussion! It's interesting that we can find the DNA evidence for pain tolerances in people. That's awesome that you are familiar with epigenetics, too. I don't think many doctors are aware of it yet. You're on the cutting edge, and probably influencing many other doctors. Great posts!

    - Brian
    North Star likes this.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    North Star likes this.
  16. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Brian, you mentioned in an earlier post here that you were angry with yourself
    for wishing you were dead so you wouldn't be a burden on others.

    This is what the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" is all about, with James Stewart.
    You've probably seen it. If not, it can be rented on DVD from Netflix.
  17. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Genes may predispose, but - from what I've read (Bruce Lipton/Gabor Mate) - it's always environment, environment, environment that is the big factor affecting how those predispositions manifest as pain symptoms and even as disease. My next-door neighbor Tom S. was in fine shape for 25 years while he was working as an electrician and leading Boy Scout troops. Then, he retired, began to experience a reduced income, and, bingo, his mother died. Within three months, Tom developed ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), became wheelchair-bound, and died a few weeks later. For all the 54 years of Tom's life, he must have had the gene for ALS. However, it never manifested until he endured a quick succession of Holmes-Rahe life stressor events. It was too much: his body began "to say No!" Of course, this story is only anecdotal and based on my own near-sighted observations, but it does illustrate how much the inner emotional environment affects how heredity manifests in an individual. I suspect this same process also affects to what degree those pain genes lead to an increased perception of pain by a susceptible individual.
    North Star likes this.
  18. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bruce, as always…you add thoughtful additions….

    How sad about your neighbor. I expected my Father in Law to cross the rainbow bridge shortly after he retired - all sorts of external pressures at that time. He instead had a seizure and is in the beginning stages of dementia. Very sad scenario.
  19. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, North Star, it seems that the psyche can react negatively both to the shock of life's successes and the shock of life's tragedies and the result can be chronic pain, ill health or even, in my neighbor's case, early death. The changes associated with success and failure can both shock your metabolism. But it does seem as though you are less able to adapt to those changes if you've had a stormy childhood with all kinds of parental conflicts before you confront those changes. I guess that's why soldiers from stable homes are able to handle combat longer without developing PTSD than soldiers with conflicted, unhappy early family lives. Not that combat isn't traumatic for everyone who's been through it, but more stable individuals seem to be able to endure it better.

    Sorry to learn about your father-in-law, but retirement sure seems to upset a lot of people, in many cases, even more so than a death-in-the-family. I guess retirement involves a transition - often a painful one - that challenges and destabilizes your fundamental self-image, the one you've fashioned for yourself during your working adult years. With retirement, you have to face and deal with a lot of unfinished business that you were formerly too busy to bother much about. Things like those existential issues that Dr Zafirides talks about: meaning, death, purpose of existence etc. etc. etc. The makings of a big life crisis!
  20. BrianC

    BrianC Well known member

    Thanks for the recommendation. I saw it a long time ago.

    In my conscious mind, I don't hate myself or feel that I'm worthless. I love myself and do what is loving and gentle for me. What I was referring to is that there's an emotional part of me, subconsciously, that feels I'm worthless and a burden and that others would be better off if I were dead. But I know that's irrational. It's one of those feelings I'm working on in the Presence Process so it can come up, process, then move on. I'm learning to just be with the emotion unconditionally instead of being scared of it and pushing it away.
    BruceMC and North Star like this.

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