Last night, Cafe Sci was back after a summer break, with a great turnout of over 60 people. Dr. Tim Salomons gave a fantastic talk on ‘Training the brain to beat the pain’, discussing how our thoughts affect our sensitivity to pain and how it can be a target for reducing pain sensation using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Tim discussed not only the physiological causes of pain, but also the psychological causes which can largely affect our perception of pain.
His research has shown that positive thinking through CBT can reduce pain sensitisation, which works in some people, but not all. Finding out who is amenable to CBT, and why, are Tim’s next steps. Pain is also a crucial sensory mechanism, protecting us from danger and those born with congenital analgesia, suffer from constant injuries – which can be life-threatening – due to the inability to recognise harmful situations. Tim’s research will also be looking at how psychological therapy could be used to help those with this condition feel pain sensations.
You can find out more about Tim’s research here – http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/life/weird-life/positive-thinking-helps-manage-pain-1.479633