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A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in mid 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

The 52:52:52 project, launching on this site and on social media in mid 2024, will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

This site addresses what's changing, at the personal, organisational and societal levels. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 elements of life, from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and much more besides, which will help you better prepare for related change in your own life.

What's Changing? - Pain



Please see below selected recent pain-related change.


See also:


May 2024

  • Our bodies keep the score. But what is the score, and how can we discover it? To generalise, our bodies are repositories of pain. The more difficult our trajectory to life has been, the more we are likely to feel negatively towards our bodies and the more troubles they are likely to give us. If early care-givers did not take a delight in our physical form, we are unlikely ever to be able to take pleasure in our own appearance. A second area where our bodies function like recording machines is around fear: how on edge or primed for danger do they feel? Our bodies can be permanently vigilant, as though waiting for a blow or attack. We may have trouble sleeping and our digestive systems may be unable to unclench - indicators of a past filled with cruel or unpredictable dynamics. 


February 2024


January 2024


November 2023

  • The School of Life believes that, to generalise, our bodies are repositories of pain. The more difficult our trajectory to life has been, the more we are likely to feel negatively towards our bodies and the more troubles they are likely to give us. Two problems in particular stand out. Firstly, low bodily self-esteem. If early care-givers did not take a delight in our physical form, we are unlikely ever to be able to take pleasure in our own appearance. We will be tempted to interpret the gaze of others as hostile, we’ll look at ourselves in the mirror and flinch; we’ll feel sorry for a partner who has the misfortune to have to deal with us close-up. And equally, if a caregiver directed contempt towards our characters, a little of their disdain tends to wash over into our physical self-perception.


March 2023


February 2023

  • Big Think noted that, according to Buddhism, the path to liberation from suffering and the attainment of lasting happiness lies within the realm of the mind. Through the cultivation of wisdom, ethics, and mental discipline, we can achieve this. By following the Eightfold Path, developing mindfulness and compassion, and accepting impermanence, we can think our way to freedom from existential pain.


December 2022


July 2022

  • Chronic pain, defined as pain felt for longer than three or six months, affects one in five people around the world. It often affects younger people in otherwise good health in their most productive years. Low back pain, the most common cause of chronic pain, is the leading cause of years lost to disability around the world. Yet despite the enormity of the issue, the management of chronic pain has been one of the greatest failures of medicine, warned Psyche.


June 2022


May 2022

  • According to the biopsychosocial model, experiences of pain go beyond the purely physical: in particular, your mental state impacts your feelings of pain, which can make such feelings better or worse. Effective treatment of the psychological aspects of pain relies on your self-knowledge, specifically the knowledge you have about your negative thoughts, experiences and beliefs regarding your condition and potential to get better. However, being in pain can tax one’s cognitive resources and experiences that accompany being in pain can provide misleading information about the nature and extent of pain. This points to a potentially surprising conclusion: we can turn to others, such as friends and family, to make it easier to know things about what seem to be such as fundamentally personal experience as pain.
  • Persistent pain – also known as chronic pain – is defined by the World Health Organisation as pain lasting longer than three months. Persistent pain doesn’t have the same survival function as acute pain. If you had an injury before the pain began, it should heal within this time, yet the pain persists. Crucially, persistent pain also often occurs without injury or in the absence of another underlying medical condition.
  • Chronic pain affects as many as 50 million people in the US alone, and it is commonly thought to be exacerbated by inflammation. However, a recent study suggested that excessively fighting inflammation can actually hinder bodily healing, causing pain to stick around longer. If confirmed in a randomised clinical trial, the finding could implicate non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and aspirin in causing chronic pain, claimed a Big Think report.
  • The Footsteps Festival is an online event coproduced by people with pain and providing a wide range of events and activities to help live well with pain.


February 2022

  • A pain education course can help people better understand their chronic pain (generally defined as persistent or recurrent pain that lasts for more than three months). For example, a course can explain how pain is always real, but that it isn’t always caused by tissue damage, and that it can vary depending on the context you’re in. This kind of psychoeducation can help to reduce the intensity of chronic pain. 


January 2022

  • Humans can end up being cruel, not for money or territory, but in the hope of alleviating their own sufferings by making someone near them suffer in their stead. Cruelty is at heart an attempt to make ourselves feel better by doing to someone else a version of what was done to us. Amidst the seeming normality of family life, people will hence inject someone else (a spouse, a child) with a poison - an ill will, a contempt, a hostility, explained The School of Life. 


December 2021


November 2021


October 2021

  • Despite global declines in poverty, increases in literacy and growing access to health care we have seen over the past several decades, many people in the world are in immense pain, which can be seen in disconcerting upticks in addiction, depression and suicide, particularly in wealthier nations. Wealth, technology and other advances may be aiding and abetting this suffering, according to Stanford psychiatrist and author Anna Lembke. What's going on? The human brain seeks balance. When we overindulge in food, drugs or tech, our brains look to bring us back down to Earth, which tips the balance from pleasure to pain. What can help right this balance? Accepting that pain is sometimes OK and learning to sit with it, rather than fight it, Lembke says.


November 2020

  • Many people today live longer than ever but modern lifestyles often mean too little activity, poor nutrition and chemically deficient food. This can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, autoimmune disorders, cancer, chronic pain, and the like. Medicine can treat the symptoms of these diseases, but not always the underlying causes. Sarah Warren, a certified Clinical Somatic Educator, seeks to educate chronic pain sufferers about how to move properly. Warren explains that while poor posture and ingrained muscle patterns contribute to chronic pain, you can train your body to move differently and try to alleviate that pain.


October 2020

  • Ultra-endurance athletes may have a lower sensitivity to pain than other elite athletes. A German scientist completed a study on the pain tolerance of ultra-endurance runners. Subjects in the study had to hold their hands in ice water for as long as possible. The non-athlete control group lasted an average of 96 seconds before giving up; every single one of the runners, in contrast, made it to the three-minute safety cut-off, at which point they rated the pain as a mere 6 out of 10 on average. There have been some hints in previous studies that pain tolerance is a trainable trait, and that endurance training is one way of enhancing it.


September 2019


July 2019

  • Searching for new ways to help people manage chronic pain has become a Holy Grail for the pharmaceutical industry. Demand is rising inexorably while concerns are growing about the effectiveness and long-term impact of established treatments, such as opioid drugs. Stem cell therapy is an emerging treatment option for chronic pain. It uses a person’s own stem cells to repair damaged tissue and regenerate healthy tissue, to help repair and heal damage and degeneration. Stem cell treatments have reduced the need for prescription medication and surgery, proving to be a helpful tool towards managing and potentially eliminating pain in the body. Meanwhile, advances in nanotechnology, which manipulates particles that are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, may have the potential to transform pain management. The technology supports minimally invasive surgery, which reduces peripheral damage and speeds up recovery, and makes it possible to deliver medication in the smallest doses where it is needed most, reducing potentially harmful side effects.


June 2019


May 2019


December 2018