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Did you know that pain has a purpose? According to expert and yogi Jen Allbritton, the warning system of pain is a life-saving natural response of the brain.

When the nervous system detects a threat to your well-being, it wants to protect and keep you safe. Simply put, pain is protection.

Understanding the Science of Pain: What Exactly is Pain?

The outdated biomedical model of pain can be described as “find it and fix it.” If we identify the “problem” within our system (bone, tissue, joint, etc.), we can fix it, and the pain will go away.

As many of us have experienced in our own bodies, this isn’t always the case. The crazy thing about pain is we can have tissue damage without experiencing pain as well as experience pain without any tissue damage.

Pain science now tells us pain does not reside in the tissues. Pain is constructed in the brain and thus an output of the brain. The brain takes input from the body through nociception (science word for danger detection) and deliberates with many other factors like our mindset about our bodies, expectations, and assigned meaning to output pain.

The most current pain science encompasses neuroscience, movement science, spiritual transformation, mindset, biomechanics, and more, which is why our current understanding of pain now uses the bio-psycho-social pain model. This is what makes this topic so amazingly interesting and complex!

So how does this impact our language and cueing as a movement teacher?

It is in our scope to bring hope and empowerment to our students through the basics of pain education and language and cues that speak to the resiliency and adaptability of our bodies as well as reduce fear around the normal human experience of pain. 

Additional Resources 

About Jen Albritton

Jen has a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree, is a 500 E-YRT with Yoga Medicine and Yoga Biomechanics, is a lead teacher trainer for Living Soul Institute, and cofounder of For the Soul Yoga. She is a self-pronounced body-nerd who is passionate about the brain-body connection and the resiliency of our brilliant bodies. Her personal pain story is what spurs her to continue to learn and love on others through their own pain experiences. 

Lizzy Prindle
Lizzy has been practicing yoga for over four years. She found her practice as her collegiate swimming career was ending; looking for a new hobby she began taking yoga classes and never looked back. She has carried her yogi mindset into her role as beYogi’s brand manager. Working alongside many teachers, studio owners, and yoga brands she has helped expand beYogi’s all-inclusive yoga insurance policy into an education-based membership offering much more than coverage.