What is Pain?

The comprehensive guide to understanding pain, how it manifests, how it is signaled and how to manage it, whether you are dealing with acute pain from an injury short-term or life-long, chronic pain.

What is Pain?

"An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage." ~ International Association for the Study of Pain


  • Pain is a personal experience that is influenced to varying degrees by biological, psychological, and social factors.

  • Pain and nociception are different phenomena. Pain cannot be inferred solely from activity in sensory neurons.

  • Through their life experiences, individuals learn the concept of pain.

  • A person’s report of an experience as pain should be respected.

  • Although pain usually serves an adaptive role, it may have adverse effects on function and social and psychological well-being.

  • Verbal description is only one of several behaviors to express pain; inability to communicate does not negate the possibility that a human or a nonhuman animal experiences pain.

My own personal experience with managing chronic, debilitating pain, I do not believe it is ONLY signalling "tissue damage" and could lead to significant issues in diagnosing pain.

Psychological, energetic and mental triggers can lead to you experiencing physical pain.

The definition of pain here at Warrior Relief is adopted as:

"A challenging or traumatic experience that may be damaging to the life experience of our mind, body and/or spirit."

The mind, body and spirit are all interconnected to our various life experiences and we must acknowledge that when we experience a setback - no matter how minor or major it may appear to another person - it can be traumatic enough to lead to not just physical damage, but emotional, mental and spiritual damage, as well.

Nearly all ancient cultures viewed pain as a spiritual experience - a gateway to evolution. They also viewed it as a memory stored in the energy body (spirit) of a person and the person will continue to re-experience this pain annually until they have fully transformed from it.

Research has now shown this is true: that people who have experienced a trauma will re-experience that pain on the anniversary of that trauma - whether they are conscious or not of the annual cycle of the body's memory of that trauma.

This re-experience can emerge as re-injury, the body or mind bringing up phantom pain associated with the trauma near the anniversary of the event, or you may even experience psychological or emotional disturbances surrounding that time of year without connecting it.

"The Body Keeps the Score" explains how trauma re-emerges - be it mental or physical. We've now had several documented studies on how re-emergence happens. Its an unconscious, physical survival mechanism to remind you that you may be "unsafe" and triggers you to re-experience this originating trauma as pain in order to keep you from a potentially similar situation.

One of the reasons I discuss this at the outset, is this is one of the most ignored experiences of pain and if you understand this from the outset, you'll be armored up to recognize this when this happens to you.

Pain is a common problem every one of us experience at some point in our lives. Sometimes, it only lasts for a short time. This is called acute pain.

Other times, it persists and may be linked to underlying issues. This is called chronic pain.

The 2016 National Health Interview Survey said that about 20 percent of U.S. adults have experienced chronic pain (defined as pain on most days or every day in the past 6 months).

However, this survey was done with a very minimal cross section of the American population and ignored completely the re-emergence of trauma annually expressed as pain.

International pain research experts say that due to the minimization of pain and trauma experiences by medical doctors towards various groups of patients (ranging from racial prejudice to gender prejudice), this percentage could actually be as high as 35%.

Pain often affects our quality of life and ability to pursue our goals. When we minimize our pain, we try to bear down, ignore it, and even cause further damage because complaining about our pain makes us sound "weak".

People like me - who struggle with chronic pain daily - may have difficulty moving around, stretching, using their bodies to their full potential, trouble with concentrating, focus, foggy brain, memory issues, cognitive processing issues, emotional dis-regulation and trouble sleeping.

This could lead to other issues such as anxiety, depression, frustration, and irritability. We may struggle with problems relating to others because the pain we are experiencing can cause us to shut down and even dissociate from our bodies. Our energy is depleted from constantly fighting pain that seems at times, unbearable.

When we turn to addictive methods of trying to manage our pain so we can get on with living our lives, those addictions can cause further damage: alienation, numbing, avoidance, conflict in our interpersonal relationships, and becomes a cycle of dependency and avoidance of the deeper emotional, mental and spiritual pain we need to address to reconnect with others and be aligned to live our best lives.

This is why I wrote this comprehensive pain guide for you. As an expert on pain (having lived with it my entire life), I hope this guide helps you learn to adopt a new way to view pain, not as an impossible obstacle that blocks you from living your best life, but as a gateway through which you can heal the source of your pain and help yourself become so mentally and spiritually strong that you overcome any challenges you face going forward.

If you can learn to channel your pain into your warrior transformation, you will become truly unbreakable, unstoppable and be able to live your most authentic life fully aligned: mind, body & spirit.

And that, my fellow warrior, is my greatest wish for you.



What is the Purpose of Our Pain?

Pain is our warning signaling system.

The perception of pain is one of our main protection and safety mechanisms for physical survival and self-preservation. The perception of pain signals to us that something is threatening us.

This is why every person's pain system is unique to them. What one person may view as threatening, harmful or dangerous, may be experienced as exhilarating and thrilling to another.

The wonderful thing about pain is it *can* provide for you the capacity to warn you before even more significant injury occurs. Such as sticking your hand into a flame as a small child, not knowing it can burn you. That sensation warns you before you burn your hand to the point of significant disability! Aren't you glad you have that?

Pain will intensify as the potential for greater or even life-threatening harm increases. The discomfort from pain signals that we need to move away from the experience, or do whatever we can to reduce the discomfort (avoiding the activity for now) before further damage or injury occurs.

Now, let's look at Pain another way.

Pain has its place in life. When it is honored and processed in healthy ways, the positive aspects of pain begin to emerge.

It can give you an opportunity to reflect and make new life choices.

Deepen your compassion and empathy for others.

Awaken the gratitude and appreciation for what you have.

Move you to take action and confront the source of the pain and conquer it.

Inspire you to seek out healthier habits and relationships.

Deepen a level of acceptance and discover meaning.

Finding purpose in your pain is an essential part of healing from the pain and gaining a deeper reservoir of strength.

You may not understand “why” such pain accrued; but if you are viewing it as "why me", rather than, "ok, this happened, it is what it is, what can I learn from it and expand my life as a result of it?" you are choosing victim-mindset over a victorious one.

Yes, the randomness of life can be maddening. Here I am with a genetic condition so ridiculously rare it doesn't have name... but hey, I can't change it, so why not channel it into something meaningful and deeper for myself and others?

How you not only manage your pain - but how you channel it - can inspire you to a new way of living and being -- and encourage, motivate and inspire others as well.

So, if you find yourself sinking into the pit of self-pity, I get it... we all do that. Its ok, to wallow, for a little while, but if you do it too long, you'll find yourself swallowed up by a darkness so vast that you may struggle to ever find the light.

We all go through that dark night of the soul when we stare into the abyss and wonder "why?"

So yes, there is a multi-layered purpose for our pain, and if you go to the center of your pain, breathe through it and ask for the gift - the wisdom, insight and lessons you learn will bring you endless meaning and purpose to your life.

My FInal Thoughts On The Purpose of Pain:

There is a great quote I refer to quite often.

"Life happens FOR us, not TO us."

This slight mental shift in thinking about life as you go through the pain of an injury, or dealing with chronic pain ~ will carry you through as a WARRIOR - so you can dive deeper into your reservoir of fortitude and discipline.

But, I'd like to challenge you to shift the paradigm for you in this moment when you are seeking a solution to your pain from someone who's lived in at times unbearable, chronic weeks-long pain with very little that I could use to support me, until I created WARRIOR RELIEF:


Processing the Sensation of Pain

Pain can range from a minor inconvenience to a full-blown sink to the ground curled up in a ball level of excruciating discomfort.

Sensations of Pain We Experience

So originally, pain was described as "an unpleasant sensation". However, most of us are taught to ignore "unpleasant sensations" because it is so minor, it means nothing. Many people are conditioned to ignore "unpleasant sensations" and stop whining.

However, sensations of real pain is truly subjective and its variances in intensity can range from someone who has adopted a high pain threshold and feels very little associated with a minor inconvenience to someone who has an overactive nervous system with 10X the number of nerve endings due to genetic variances and feels every tiny painful sensation as excruciating.

This is fundamentally WHY one person's intense experience of pain can be another's minor inconvenience. When someone has an overactive nervous system or has a genetic variance that produces significantly more nerve endings that can signal pain to the brain and other areas of the body, their pain levels are on a whole other level of intensity.

The average medical doctor was never taught about these genetic variances and typically associates the sensation of pain their patients experience subjectively in comparison to their own personal pain experiences. This pain diagnosis is further complicated when other subjective qualitative biases surface (gender and racial prejudices or assumptions based on misinterpreting legitimate genetic variances as "drug-seeking" behavior).

I've personally told doctors in emergency rooms that YES I am in intense PAIN and NO I cannot metabolize ANY drugs and don't want them and just want a topical and a heating pad, only to have them note in my medical record "drug seeking behavior". HUH???

Often due to these uneducated biases, your pain may either be ignored or totally minimized by western medicine. Especially if you are dealing with an undiagnosed, chronic medical condition. Some medical professionals will want to refer you for psychiatric evaluation as a hypochondriac - rather than give you a full genetic assessment to address underlying hidden issues. Not only is this not acceptable, it is highly unethical.

I've even had medical doctors tell me "its all in your mind". Uh, no. My full body tremors, muscles seizing to the point I cannot walk because they are rigid with deep nerve pain and the numbness I'm feeling in my entire body is NOT my imagination.

So, if you've ever experienced someone invalidating or minimizing your pain sensations - its largely due to unrealized bias and ignorance.

  • So, let's dig into the variety of pain sensations we might experience - because Warrior Relief was formulated to target EVERY type of pain sensation I could possibly think of:

  • Stabbing
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Shooting
  • Searing
  • Cramping
  • Seizing
  • Aching
  • Throbbing
  • Tenderness
  • Heaviness
  • Squeezing
  • Vice-like
  • Pressure
  • Gnawing
  • Freezing
  • Tingling
  • Electric shocking
  • Dull
  • Intense
  • Gripping
  • Prickly
  • Visceral
  • Pins and Needles
  • Expanding
  • Deafening
  • Hot
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Sensitive to temperature
  • Tension
  • Tightness

The above list are more descriptive ways to explain and share your experience with pain to help individuals and professionals understand what you are experiencing. Many times sensations will overlap, but one may outweigh others as the nervous system is seeking to send the right message to the brain and body to alleviate the source of pain. Yes, you can feel these various symptoms alternate as your nervous system signals change, or you may feel multiple sensations all at once.

Pain Intensity

Why the traditional pain scale is purely subjective and how to adopt a healthier approach to managing your pain.

An Alternative to the Pain Scale

Now let's discuss intensity.

Many medical professionals bring out the "SCALE" of pain: You know that one. It's a 1-10 completely subjective scale ranging from happy to angry faces.

This is supposedly to help them diagnose the intensity of your pain.

However, you may be - like me - a rather stoic individual where pain doesn't register across your face or body language, because of the years you've learned to hide pain.

How many times have you pointed to the "8" on the scale while sitting there rather stoically, only to have that medical professional scoff at you and tell you "if your pain was truly on an 8, there is no way you'd be sitting up, much less be able to walk."

Again this culture of bias and subjectivity is extremely damaging to those who suffer with years of on-going chronic pain. Yes, you know your pain levels. Yes, because you've grown accustomed to living in pain on a daily basis your pain threshold is much, much higher than someone who just came in with a busted arm.

I'm here to validate your own personal experience with your pain and share with you my scale that maybe YOU can adopt for yourself.

I call it the "SPOON" Scale.

I have only so many spoons full of energy and pain tolerance I can dedicate to each day of my life, before chronic pain becomes unmanageable.

No one gets to dictate to me how many spoons I have before my energy runs out and I MUST
engage in rest and self-care.

Some days I have 20 spoons. Some days I only have 2 spoons. I have to be cognizant of my energy and pain tolerance resources so I can reserve something for myself before I run out of spoons and crash in an autoimmune flare up of pain.

Even if you are suffering an acute injury - say a knee injury or back injury - that's caused you to be very aware of your resources, the "SPOON" Scale may help you dole out to the areas of life that are key to you while retaining a reservoir for your own pain tolerance.

We all have a limit to the level of pain we can handle in any given situation.

By adopting the "SPOON" Scale you can say, "I only have 2 spoons to give". You can replace spoon with whatever term works for you. My friend uses the F*** word, I only have 2 F**** to give today. :-)

Yes, its still a subjective scale, but YOUR energy reservoirs are your own and you must understand how much you have left inside of you before you break your limits where pain comes into play.

The RELIEF part of WARRIOR RELIEF Is the Self-Care Quotient WE MUST EMPLOY to heal, rejuvenate and rebuild.

So, if you can take anything away from this, learn how to describe your pain, and learn to use the SPOON scale to manage your energy and pain levels so you don't overdraw on your daily energetic resources and employ a strategic, thoughtful process of rest and recovery so you build back up your own inner bank account of SPOONS that you have to give.

Types of Pain

What are the Types of Pain?

There are many types of pain we experience throughout our lives: acute pain (also known as nociceptive pain), visceral pain, somatic pain, nociplastic pain, neuropathic pain, and radicular pain.


Acute pain happens suddenly, starts out sharp or intense, and serves as a warning sign of disease or threat to the body.

It is caused by injury, surgery, illness, trauma, or painful medical procedures and generally lasts from a few minutes to less than three months. Acute pain usually disappears whenever the underlying cause is treated or healed.

The most common signs and symptoms of acute pain include:

  • sharp pain
  • throbbing
  • burning
  • stabbing pain
  • tingling
  • weakness
  • numbness

Common causes of acute pain include:

  • blunt trauma
  • broken bones
  • surgery
  • dental work
  • childbirth
  • cuts and infections
  • burns
  • pulled or strained muscle
  • sprains of body part

This includes pain from physical injury or trauma, but could also include something such as chronic pain from arthritis or cancer.

Acute or Nociceptive Pain is the most common type of pain.


Visceral pain originates from damage to internal organs.

Visceral pain is described as dull and diffuse and often poorly localized. It is frequently mediated by the slower, small unmyelinated C-fibers. Visceral pain is often perceived as more unpleasant than somatic pain.

Examples for visceral nociceptive pain:

  • Tumor invasion
  • Obstructions (bowel, ureter, bile duct)
  • Colic
  • Angina
  • Pancreatitis
  • gallstones
  • apendicitis
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)


Somatic pain is due to stimulation of peripheral nociceptors in your tissues capable of responding to stimuli such as mechanical (pressure), thermal, chemical and other stimulation.

It most most commonly described as sharp, localized pain that is predominately being carried by fast, myelinated Aδ-fibers.

This includes skin, muscles, joints, connective tissues and bones. It is often seay to pinpoint the source and location of somatic pain.

Examples of somatic nociceptive pain:

  • Burn
  • Fractures
  • Incisions, Wounds
  • Cellulitis
  • Shingles
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • connective tissue disorders
  • joint pain
  • Musculoskeletal Pain

It can feel like a constant ache, sharpness, or gnawing and can be either deep or superficial.


Neuropathic pain results from dysfunction of the nervous system. It is an issue with the nerve signaling mechanism itself. Whereas nociceptive pain is a pain sensation from tissue damage, neuropathic pain is a pain sensation from nerve

Nervous system disorders results in damaged or dysfunctional nerves misfiring pain signals. This pain seems to come out of nowhere, rather than in response to any specific injury.

You may also feel pain in response to things that aren’t usually painful, such as cold air or clothing against your skin.

Neuropathic pain is described as:

  • burning
  • freezing
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • shooting
  • stabbing
  • electric shocks


Nociplastic pain is mechanistically different from nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain.

It can be defined as chronic pain and results in increased sensitivity from a chronically altered function of pain-related sensory pathways in the periphery and central nervous system.

It consists of multifactorial processes from different inputs, which could be either a bottom-up response to a peripheral nociceptive, a
neuropathic stimulus (known as central sensitisation), or a top-down CNS-driven response.

Nociplastic pain is a descriptor of the type of pain experienced. It encompasses pain from stereotypical terms such as dysfunctional pain or medically unexplained somatic syndromes.

Nociplastic pain usually is the result of disorders such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, electrical injury, multiple sclerosis, complex regional pain syndrome, spinal cord disorders, and chronic headaches.

This typically persists longer than 3 months. It arises from altered nociception and can cause significant emotional distress and disability over time.

There are three categories of nociplastic pain:

Supraspinal - resulting in hyperresponsiveness to pain stimuli, hyperactivity, disordered signaling pathways between the brain and nervous system, inhibition of GABAergic transmission.

Spinal mechanism - clustering narrowing of signals from different spinal nervous system signalling.

Peripheral mechanism - proliferation of sodium channels and sympatho-afferent coupling mechanisms that signal pain leading to increased sensitivity to pain.

Nociplastic pain indicates malfunction of the pain signalling pathways that need to be retrained.


Radicular pain also known as radiculopathy is pain where a spinal nerve gets inflamed, compressed, or irritated in some way.

The resulting pain can traverse the length of the nerve fibers and be numbing, tingling, radiating back or leg pain, or present as muscular weakness. It can signal as burning sensation, stabbing pain, or pulsating pain.

Radicular pain can make it hard to stay mobile and can cause significant depression, frustration and despair.

Though there are different types of nerve pains, radicular pain is physical damage to spinal nerves, whereas neuropathic pain is a term that includes radicular pain as well as other forms of nerve pain, such as: diabetic nerve pain, alcohol-related, chemotherapy induced, etc.

Both are different from nociplastic pain because its not due to misguided signalling pathways but directly linked to a pinched or inflamed nerve.

Pain is a Complex Beast.

Understanding Your Pain is Key to Healing

Pain is as complex as it is unique. No two people experience pain exactly the same way, partially due to genetics, partially due to how we communicate about our pain within our culture.

Everyone will interact with a painful stimulus at some point in their life, except for those rare individuals suffering from Congenital insensitivity to pain.

Even though the experience of pain is slightly different for everyone, pain is designed to help you tune into yourself in order to heal, recover and become stronger.

It is an innate warning system designed to guide you back to your wellbeing and safety.

Knowing the types of pain that you can have will help you determine whether your condition is acute or chronic, physical or psychological,
or some combination thereof.

Remember, pain doesn't fall perfectly into one of the above categories.

Every pain condition is different. Learning to describe and communicate openly about your pain will go far in assisting your professionals to help you to find a solution.

Pain terminology is a way you can help others help you try to classify the pain that you are dealing with.

The better you can verbalize and quantify your pain, the more clearly everyone can understand what you are dealing with and how to help you better.

The psychological component to pain along with your mindset will influence whether pain holds you back in life, or if it becomes a gateway to a higher quality of life.

Your mindset when dealing with pain is EVERYTHING when it comes to healing and restoring your quality of life - whatever that looks like for you.

This is why WARRIOR RELIEF is all about aligning mind-body-spirit - focusing not on feeling the pain and pushing through, but acknowledging that pain is a part of life and its there to help guide you.

Some pain can be pushed through, but only you can assess the cost of that choice and what its risks are to your long-term health.

Your mind is your greatest weapon against letting pain stop you from living your best life.

If you learn to treat pain
as a pathway to a deeper level of accessing your true determination, fire and passion for life, it can become your greatest teacher.

Take the time it takes to heal, rest, and rejuvenate your body as it heals.

OWN the lesson the pain has to teach you, not the pain itself.

Do not call it "MY pain", but call it "the pain". Do not identify your pain as you. All pain is a message. How you interpret that message is entirely based on your own internal dialogue and your mindset.

When your pain signalling mechanism goes haywire, there are physical and psychological tools available for you to retrain your pain signaling system. I promise you can break the pain cycle, reduce your pain levels, and heal.

I am living, walking, talking proof of that.

Do not be afraid to challenge yourself and push out of your comfort zone in dealing with pain.

Resetting the nervous system is absolutely the most critical part of the pain management mechanism and will go a long way in preventing a vicious chronic pain cycle.

This is why WARRIOR RELIEF was programmed with bioresonant frequencies designed to help retrain pain pathways from the first application. It doesn't just block pain signals, it actually helps your body listen to itself and communicate more effectively.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to manage your pain as soon as injury occurs. Ignoring it can lead to life-long negative consequences, reinjuries and chronic maladaptive pain signaling issues.

Stay on top of your health and you will learn that your pain is a great safety messaging mechanism, not designed to block you from living your best life, but guiding you to a better quality of life.