People who cannot feel pain

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby Bao on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:08 pm

Well, it can be entertaining as well...

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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby Andy_S on Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:16 pm

As noted above:

There is damage, and there is pain.

Damage can mechanically prevent a person from continuing to fight/attack.

Pain - not so. Many people have high pain thresholds, especially when adrenalized. So any technique that relies purely on pain - eg a pinch to the inner thigh, a spearhand into the armpit, a finger into the clavicle - is really going to be low-use, or used to gain only a very short advantage at best.
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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby SteveBonzak on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:25 pm

To quote someone who I should probably not name..."There are some people who you just have to shoot."

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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby Michael on Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:34 am

SteveBonzak wrote:To quote someone who I should probably not name..."There are some people who you just have to shoot."

-Steve

Ha, ha, I was thinking the exact same quote from CM.

I think it's an inborn quality of someone's energy system to be resistant to physical force. When I did martial arts for about a year, I found that no amount of force on my pressure points (except eyes and throat) had any effect on me whatsoever. Joint locks could be uncomfortable, but I was pretty slow to respond. A full power strike to my solar plexus made it tough to breathe for a short time, but did nothing to prevent my reaction or immediate ability. A full-on punch to my CV-26 (upper lip under the nose) by a combatant wearing two large rings made me hesitate for half a second. There was some minor swelling later.

Changes to my energy system since those bygone days have blessed me to become sensitive to things I could not even feel prior. Now I feel punches and sparring is no fun.

In addition to boxers and other athletes, you've also got Hollywood stuntmen, who I'm sure are skilled, but they must have a very powerful energy system to sustain such impacts and keep on ticking. I think it's mostly due to wei qi. Just an educated guess.
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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:57 pm

Michael wrote:I think it's an inborn quality of someone's energy system to be resistant to physical force. When I did martial arts for about a year, I found that no amount of force on my pressure points (except eyes and throat) had any effect on me whatsoever. Joint locks could be uncomfortable, but I was pretty slow to respond. A full power strike to my solar plexus made it tough to breathe for a short time, but did nothing to prevent my reaction or immediate ability. A full-on punch to my CV-26 (upper lip under the nose) by a combatant wearing two large rings made me hesitate for half a second. There was some minor swelling later.

Changes to my energy system since those bygone days have blessed me to become sensitive to things I could not even feel prior. Now I feel punches and sparring is no fun.

In addition to boxers and other athletes, you've also got Hollywood stuntmen, who I'm sure are skilled, but they must have a very powerful energy system to sustain such impacts and keep on ticking. I think it's mostly due to wei qi. Just an educated guess.


Have you perhaps considered that you may have had a syndrome related to your nervous system which the martial arts had somehow cured?
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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby Michael on Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:37 pm

My other mutant power is choosing the slowest checkout line in the supermarket. :D I say that joking because I think this whole thing will sound like a fish story to many people. However, for those who might gain some insight or enjoy someone relating their POV, I'll tell this the best way I can for people to understand.

Have you perhaps considered that you may have had a syndrome related to your nervous system which the martial arts had somehow cured?


I have given it a lot of examination and spent the past ten years trying to understand my own health and various symptoms, learning the basics of Chinese Medicine, becoming adept at qigong and energy healing, and a novice at TJQ. Based on that background and many other experiences too lengthy to go into here, I don't think it's possible the MA cured a neurological problem relating to pain resistance.

When I was a kid and had collisions playing sports with other kids, it was obvious that something about me was much more resistant to impact than the other boys, later teens, eventually Marines, and finally with a decent sample of adult MA students and MA instructors testing their techniques on me. Until I got into an MA class and saw so many examples of how maximum pressure on my points caused no pain, maybe slight discomfort at times, but that minimal pressure on those same points of other men disabled them, I had basically thought that the other guys in class (and my boyhood playmates) were just pussies. It's tough to escape the limited perspective dilemma.

Once a Chinese Medicine doc took my pulses and couldn't believe my age since he expected someone in their mid 30's to have at least one relatively weak pulse. I think such experiences and these symptoms of impact resistance are based on inborn wei qi and overall robustness of internal energy flow, but that is merely a very partially educated guess on my part.

I can't go into why or how here because of complexity, but specific changes to my energy system in 2005 drastically reduced my resistance to impact and external injury, such as abrasions of the skin, as well as a very noticeable drop in resistance to atmospheric extremes like heat and cold. Additionally, I had reduced ability to heal external wounds. It happened from one week (or less) to the next, not some gradual degradation of health or malnutrition. I also turned it back on a few times and saw immediate recovery of healing ability, such as large, month's old callouses on my hands disappearing in less than an hour. No, not like Wolvie. :P I hope this doesn't sound like a comic book origin story.

So that's my experience, but I know that I don't know enough to extrapolate it to other people or conclude my experience is the norm, or that my guesses about the reasons are necessarily accurate. What is the norm, I think, is that in addition to athletic attributes such as: reflexes, speed, and strength to do work or lift weight, there is, I believe, an additional attribute of extreme impact resistance that a small percentage of people have based on internal energy dynamics granted at birth. I think the boxing example is good. Perhaps the former US football star Emmit Smith is also an example. This relatively small guy carried the ball thousands of times and had almost no injuries his entire, lengthy career.

What I consider interesting about my experience is that is has shown me that changes to the energetic system, manipulation of the acupuncture points, etc., can result in immediate and profound effects on a person's physiology, mood, and cognitive ability. Immediate. That's what I consider "internal power".

It's fascinating to me and one of the reasons I like doing qigong, TJQ, and reading up on Chinese Medicine. It's massive self-discovery, and all those physical laws, tai ji, wu xing, and ba gua, those patterns exist inside as well as outside, so it's also discovery of valuable knowledge of the world we live in.
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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:47 am

Thanks a lot for sharing Michael.

Have you perhaps seen this phenomenon occurring the other way around - with 'normal' people gaining these abilities through some form of practice or intervention?
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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby Michael on Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:31 am

You're welcome, JB. I could say more in the right venue to get into details and complexities about which I can only make educated guesses, and maybe firm up the outlines of some fundamental concepts at play. Maybe we'll have a chance to talk at some time in the future.

Have you perhaps seen this phenomenon occurring the other way around - with 'normal' people gaining these abilities through some form of practice or intervention?


Although I have never seen the instigation of this kind of impact resistance in someone who was born with little or none, that is not meaningful at all because I have never been in a position to see such developments in other people.

In the same context and time frame of what I was saying about my impact resistance and wei qi being turned off and on, I experienced profound changes—rapidly increasing or decreasing—to my sensory perception of: sight (20/20 type measurement, color distinction, night vision, etc.); visual acuity (extremely tiny ocular data input within full range of approx. 180º of vision, resulting in automatic and near-instantaneous mental reaction time to stimulus); smell, thermal sensitivity, electromagnetic sensitivity, and qi sensitivity. All of these were altered without direct effort on my part, my only action during this time being unrelated and generalized qigong practice.

I experienced these input sensitivity range—or human antennae dB variation—thresholds changing 100-200% in either direction within 24 hours or less, mainly as a result of manipulation of the central energy channel, or zhong mai in Chinese Medicine. If this is true, the implication is that augmenting or optimizing someone's impact resistance is doable by manipulation of energy points, the potential of which is perhaps already evidenced by iron palm or golden bell type training, although I've not done those myself and have heard that they can have some drawbacks. The only uncontrollable thing I experienced was variability between the two eyes: they never changed in the same ways each day in regards to measurable vision, 20/20 type stuff and color differentiation, night vision, etc. For visual acuity, that seemed to be a mental thing and was equal in both eyes, perhaps because their physical differences are very small. I have reading glasses to assist one eye, but I rarely use them.

This was very meaningful for me to understand how such drastic changes could be effected by energy (qi) manipulation of specific acupoints under the correct circumstances. It is one thing to see some theory in a book, another to see an acupuncture patient get better over a couple of weeks or more, and yet another thing, a nearly miraculous and beautiful thing, to know that the energy regulations system of the jing luo is so perfectly designed that it can be used to achieve very quickly all sorts of results within the body and its various systems and physiological functions. If what I've described is true, this means that health problems can be improved by an external method to assist the body to correct its imbalances under almost any circumstance.

It is one of the great achievements of the Doctors of Chinese and Oriental Medicine to understand, from observation and testing over thousands of years, the constant patterns of energy interaction in both the cosmos that sustains and contains us, as well as within the microcosm of individual experience, allowing for predictable and therapeutic results from the manipulation of this fantastic energy regulation system within the human body.

Here is an important disclaimer: I am not such a doctor. It is only because I have such a limited understanding of what is being described that I would be willing to try and discuss it, especially on an internet discussion forum. I'm sure there are several people on RSF who are very qualified to explain these concepts much better than I can, and it's likely that because the complexity involved requires decades in order to develop a proper understanding and working knowledge that people who do know would not think it very helpful to try and distill that into a few internet posts. So, take everything I've written here with a very large grain of salt and other limitations on accuracy and appropriateness.

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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby meeks on Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:59 pm

bailewen wrote:This just goes to show, there are disadvantages to joint locks that rely on pain. One of the advantages to Aikido, when it's done well, is that it does not depend on pain. It's more like Taiji in that you are supposed to blend perfectly with the incoming force and redirect it. When done well, there is nothing to fight against. You just lose your balance and get led around. "pain" never figures into the equation.

I had never thought of a person who just doens't feel pain but the example of someone who is drunk, high (on certain things) or even psychotic has been always been a common one, IME.


Agreed. I feel that in the beginning joint locks are about localized pain to the joint and later the joint lock is about controlling the person's root through the connection created by locking the joint 'through the limb' rather than 'at that spot'. Pain at that point is the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself as the real goal is about controlling their root.
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Re: People who cannot feel pain

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:43 pm

meeks wrote:
bailewen wrote:This just goes to show, there are disadvantages to joint locks that rely on pain. One of the advantages to Aikido, when it's done well, is that it does not depend on pain. It's more like Taiji in that you are supposed to blend perfectly with the incoming force and redirect it. When done well, there is nothing to fight against. You just lose your balance and get led around. "pain" never figures into the equation.

I had never thought of a person who just doens't feel pain but the example of someone who is drunk, high (on certain things) or even psychotic has been always been a common one, IME.


Agreed. I feel that in the beginning joint locks are about localized pain to the joint and later the joint lock is about controlling the person's root through the connection created by locking the joint 'through the limb' rather than 'at that spot'. Pain at that point is the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself as the real goal is about controlling their root.


You two would be surprised at how much more difficult it is to do this once a person as described is involved. Because they don't feel discomfort, one needs to go through a much longer level/movement to make them move like one wishes. I had the guy described (about my height and weight) fully cooperating with me, and it was still considerably more difficult to move him than some martial artists 30kg heavier and 20cm taller. The only way to move that guy around was to either cause him damage, or be very close to doing so. This is, however, when trying to use imbalancing through joint locks. That's not my thing anyhow. Other methods and shenfa worked pretty well on that guy - he did not have any more balance than the average Joe. In fact, I suspect the locks where helping him cling to something, while other methods did not.

From Michael's description, I think he can attest to that. The lowered sensitivity is a whole-body thing - it's not localized to their feeling of the particular lock. So the spine, too, does not feel too stressed. I suspect that in turn, this naturally make these people stronger than average, if not very strong, over time. This is because when they lift things, move things around, etc, it happens as well - they are not easily challenged, so they push their limit with many physical activities. They'd carry more groceries. They'd move heavier furniture. They'd go the extra few pullups and pushups in gym class... etc.
Last edited by jonathan.bluestein on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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