Glutamate is one of the most important transmitters of chronic pain. By using visualizations you may be able to use your subconscious to limit the impact of glutamate on your pain.
The Role of Glutamate
To appreciate the importance of glutamate in the pain process, it's helpful to review the three stages by which pain signals are transmitted to the brain:
In Stage 1, a pain signal is generated in the body (the lower back, the joints, or other location of a pain stimulus) and is sent to the spinal cord.
In Stage 2, the signal is increased and sent to the pain processing center in the brain, the thalamus. This is the stage where the role of glutamate is critical.
In Stage 3, the signal is sent from the thalamus to the cortex, at which point you actually feel the pain.
In Stage 2, glutamate helps to trigger a cascade of events that can seriously increase your pain.
The first is the activation of NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate). This is a powerful protein that ratchets the pain signal up to a new level.
A normal pain signal reaching Stage 2 does not trigger the release of NMDA. But if the signal is strong, and enough glutamate is present in the NMDA receptors on your Stage 2 nerve cells, NMDA is activated and the pain signal is seriously increased.
Once NMDA is released, it makes possible the activation of a chemical that has been called the master control switch of nerve-injury pain, MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase).
MAPK causes more and more pain-generating chemicals such as glutamate to be produced. And at the same time it increases the sensitivity of pain receptors to those very chemicals.
The result is that glutamate causes nerve cells in the spine to be triggered with less input, which in turn requires less glutamate to activate the pain signal, beginning a vicious cycle of less stimulation and more pain. Pain nerves begin to fire out of control. This process, known as level 2 neuron windup, can cause devastating pain.
Visualization - An Alternative
Through visualization statements it may be possible to focus your subconscious on reducing the impact of glutamate in the pain process. This could be true for back pain or pain in the neck or other extremities, arthritis pain, fibromyalgia pain, or neuropathic pain (nerve pain).
Visualization statements represent the specific language that your subconscious wants you to read back to it to help ease your pain. They're simple and are targeted directly at the main factors that could bring you relief.
You can obtain these statements by learning how to communicate directly with your own subconscious mind. The process is straightforward and can be done at home by working with a facilitator over the telephone. You you need no special skills and no previous experience in working with the subconscious.
On one hand, your subconscious may indicate that it's possible to reduce the likelihood of NMDA activation by limiting your release of glutamate. If so, it will probably provide a visualization statement to help achieve that effect.
On the other hand, the subconscious may also indicate that it's possible to reduce the chance of windup in Stage 2 by preventing your body from becoming overly sensitive to glutamate. Again it will probably suggest a visualization that may help to produce that result.
Engaging the Subconscious
The subconscious is quite powerful. When programmed through the very visualizations that it suggests, it may be able to turn glutamate-related episodes of uncontrolled pain into events over which you have a degree of control.
Ben Plumb is CEO and President of The Visualization Group, Inc. The company's service is delivered by people like himself who personally suffered from years of chronic pain, and used the visualization method described in this article to obtain relief when nothing else worked.