A Different Kind of Pain Medicine

I read a report, many years ago, of something they tried at McGill University, to alleviate severe pain in terminally ill cancer patients. They gave the patients LSD. LSD is an hallucinogenic substance that can alter our perceptions. How did the McGill patients respond to the treatment? How did it affect the pain they were experiencing? I’m not sure what the results were over the long term but the general experience seemed to be “The pain is still there, but now it’s more of an interesting sensation”.

I thought of this experiment, a few years ago, when I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible, pulsating toothache. I suppose I could have gotten up and gone to the emergency room at the local hospital. But I wanted fast relief from the awful pain. I recalled what I had read, years before, about the McGill patients and I wondered if I could duplicate the experience, but without the LSD. I had learned a lot about stress reduction and relaxation. Could I use this knowledge to alter my reaction to the pain?

I started out by taking some deep breaths to relax myself. At the same time, starting with my toes, I began to scan my body, at each part asking myself “do my toes hurt?” and so on, through my whole body. I found myself relaxing more deeply as I went along. Finally, I pinpointed the exact location of the pain, this small portion of my jaw. Ninety nine point nine percent of my body was totally free from pain.

When I experienced this, I was relieved and thankful that now the toothache became nothing more than “an interesting sensation”. I felt relaxed and comfortable. I drifted back into a deep sleep. When I woke that morning, the pain was gone and I called and made an appointment with the dentist.

I’m not a scientist, so I would hardly consider my story proof that my method is good for everybody, or anybody else beside myself, though I have occasionally seen references to similar experiences by other people. I know that both cannabis and LSD are being used quite a lot in treating chronic pain. These drugs produce two changes. They change how people perceive the severity of their. pain and they consequently change people’s mood so their pain doesn’t bother them as much and allows them to enjoy their daily lives. I’ve seen one elderly lady laughing as she’s telling a funny story, occasionally wincing as she shifted in her chair.

Have you had any experiences like this, or, do you know anybody who has. If you have, please post your story on here.