Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to increase pain tolerance for fighting

When you are in a street fight for self defense, chances are you will get hit and it will hurt if you make a mistake. Whether you are afraid of getting hit or simply want to know how to handle the pain that comes with getting hit, this guide will teach you how to increase pain tolerance.

Before i start, let me dispel the myth that repeated exposure to pain does NOT increase pain tolerance! In fact, this only makes the pain worse since you've conditioned your mind to expect pain the next time you get hit with a particular object. The reason being is that painful stimuli causes your cells to be more responsive to that stimuli in the future (1). I feel terrible for the students in martial arts or other combat systems who are required to go through that type of ineffective training. That being said, how can you increase your pain tolerance in a healthier way?

Recognize there are two types of responses 1) Physiological - your nervous system receives the painful stimuli and transmits the signals to your brain. This level of pain is out of your control. 2) Psychological - you cannot control pain but you can control how you react to it. Your mindset influences your pain believe it or not. The key to tolerating pain is in your psyche more than it is in your body.

Here are several tips you can use to increase pain tolerance.

* Breathing techniques - Deep breathing allows for endorphins (your body's natural painkillers) to be released. Take a deep breath slowly and exhale as you concentrate on each breath.

* Look at the body part that's hurting - In a study done on those suffering from back pain, scientists studied how subjects seeing their back during surgery affected their pain tolerance. They found that watching their backs during surgery actually increased their level of pain tolerance. They don't know why but it works. If you have a visible injury on your body, simply look at the wound (2).

* Convince yourself that the pain is helping - In another study, scientists split volunteers into two groups. The first was led to believe the experiment would have a devastating effect on their arms. The second was told the procedure would strengthen their arms. The greater the pain, the more powerful the results would be.

* Imagine something horrendous and torturous - It would seem to make sense that thinking of a pleasant thought reduces pain. In reality, the opposite is true. Scientist conducted a study where they showed a list of pictures ranging from pleasant to unpleasant as they induced pain through cold pressor tests. They had to hold their hands in ice cold water for as long as possible. Scientists found volunteers who viewed unpleasant images had higher pain tolerance than those who viewed pleasant images.

* Exercise - There's a study done showing that those who work out end up releasing endorphins naturally and dull pain (3). Exercises provides many health benefits as long as you don't overwork yourself.

Here are training tips to increase pain tolerance. Start by eating spicy foods and as you eat, practice these mental strategies. Get into the habit of convincing yourself that eating spicy foods will help you become healthier or boost your pain tolerance in a fight. Imagine yourself being tortured in the most horrendous way to neutralize the pain experienced from eating spicy foods. Why does this work? There's a chemical found in chili pepper seeds known as capsacian which targets pain receptors in your tongue. When they bind together, it causes a burning sensation and gives you the illusion that you are feeling pain when there's no actual damage being done (4). Another method you could try is submerging your arms in ice cold water for a duration of time as you practice these strategies. Keep practicing until you've made these mental strategies a habit whenever you feel pain. When you get into an actual fight, your body will help you fight pain through adrenaline rushes and it's natural pain killers. Nevertheless, if you actually feel pain in a street fight, use that as a motivation to see your mistakes and find weaknesses in your opponent. Remember to use pain tolerance wisely. Don't start believing that you are invincible to pain all-together.

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