When a person's been desk bound all day, it's often not until they stop work they realise how sore their lower back is. The same concept of "attentional focus" comes in to play when the doctor tries to distract a patient while giving them a tetanus booster. "When the person is attending to the pain, they rate the pain higher," said Professor Catherine Bushnell. The Canadian expert used brain imaging to analyse how psychological factors affect a person's feeling of pain. "Activity in pain pathways (are) altered by attention state, positive and negative emotions, empathy and the administration of a placebo," she told a conference of health professionals gathered in Hong Kong on Friday. She used odours and images to alter people's moods and found that their pain "unpleasantness" was far less if they were feeling happy….
said Professor Catherine Bushnell. To read the full article, please go to: