Yesterday when I went to get an additional tattoo. I sat in the chair and thought I was ready. When David put the needle to my back, I had second thoughts. It hurt! I told him that he needed to be prepared for some whine! I had to remember to take a deep breath and release my shoulders. I also realized how much I rely on music when needing a distraction for pain. David had forgotten to turn on the music. He stopped when I mentioned it and turned on his music for me.
The full tattoo took an hour. He worked mostly straight through with a few breaks to take care of other business and give me a chance to check it out at the mirror. But what I realized was that after about fifteen minutes of David putting the needles to my skin, the sharp pain that was at the beginning was gone. I am sure the music helped distract me. I am sure that the great conversation I have with David each time also helps. But it also dawned on me that the pain receptors in our bodies had sent more endorphins to me to help me with the pain. I did not even consider the last 45 minutes of being tattooed as painful at all- instead a sensation that was uncomfortable but not grimacing in any way.
Often times when I get a call from a woman in early labor and she is really having to work hard with the early contractions, it makes me wonder how she will be doing in active labor. But it is amazing when active labor arrives, she is stronger and can handle these contractions even better than the earlier ones. This is what I was reminded of when being tattooed.
Endorphins are among the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system. At least 20 types of endorphins have been demonstrated in humans. Endorphins can be found in thepituitary gland, in other parts of the brain, or distributed throughout the nervous system.
Stress and pain are the two most common factors leading to the release of endorphins. Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. In contrast to the opiate drugs, however, activation of the opiate receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.
Trust your body- it will protect you and assist you naturally. Our bodies are truly amazing!