Modeling And Pain

Discussion in 'Zealot Archives' started by Bionic Modeler, Apr 5, 2008.

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  1. I did not know where to post this so I posted it where nearly everyone goes regularly. I feel it is important to all who suffer from severe chronic pain. I am a disabled person with lesions on my sciatic nerves on both sides. While not going into the nature of my disease I want to share something with all of you.

    I read an article a while back about pain and the brain. The same part of the brain that processes pain also processes pleasure. The brain is very poor at processing both at the same time. To make a long story short, if you can get that part of the brain to feel pleasure, you will not feel your pain.

    What does that have to do with modeling you ask? Well since I took up modeling I noticed a strange phinomina. I usually can't stand for more than ten or twetny minutes and then my sciatic nerves flare up and send me screaming for pain pills. But my wife asked why I can literally stand for hours when I'm modeling (My workbenc is at waist level because I can't sit either.)

    I said I didn't know but that was an intereting question. So over the past few years I noticed that when I concentrated on my modeling I was feeding the pleasure center of the brain. Consequently my pain was shut out. Now you might think I'm crazy, but listen to this. Of late my lessions have impinged severly to the point that I can't even walk for more than a few yards. The last few days I had to triple my pain meds. Today, I forced myself back to my modeling and withing 15 minutes I was no longer thinking about my pain.

    Standing here and typing this is no longer stimulating that part of the brain and I am noticing the pain returning without even thinking about it. Why? because I believe this form of activity does not bring pleasure the way modeling does. So my pain is back and now I have to leave because I can't stand here any more (Oh, my computer desk is also at waist level so I can stand).

    I believe that the article I read is correct. If you suffer from chronic pain check out this theory. If you have the same experience let me know. I would like to share our findings with the medical community.
  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Gate theory. Pain is felt in the brain. When you occupy your brain to the extent that you are, especially doing something that you like, you are essentially not allowing your brain to feel the pain. I personally have 5 ruptured discs, a 3.5" titanium plate holding my head up and 4 titanium interbody cages in my lower spine. I also have an Occipital Nerve Stimulator (one of the first 20 people in the country to get one) implanted in me. The effect is not a placebo effect, it is real and I am happy that you get relief from your pain. I too experience the same effect and thus share in your experience. You may find that you are a good candidate for an Occipital Nerve Stimulator, you may want to check it out. If you have any questions about it, P.M. me.
  3. greenelf1967

    greenelf1967 Member

    On the subject of pain. 2 years ago in June i had a bicycle accident and i cracked 3 ribs,lost some sight in one eye,suffer now from short term memory loss (about 1/2 hr worth) and also broke my collar bone of which i have had two operations on it so far (awaiting a third) and have lost all feeling in my shoulder and upper arm,I am currently taking 12 tablets a day for the pain.

    I had always worked about hrs a day for the last 24 years(only having 2 days off sick in that time),so due to the major boredom of doing nothing i took up paper craft to keep the mind active. If i try to do most things i end up with severe pain in my shoulder pretty fast, but i found that whilst doing paper modeling i can end up doing it for about 4-6 hours continuously without a break and also without any recollection of pain.

    On the basis of this I would strongly agree that doing modeling does bring a sense of happiness to the brain and takes it's mind off the pain, and would strongly support the thesis that craft making probably of any sort does help with pain relief
  4. I agree. I don't think paper modeling in of itself is the solution but rather doing something that intensely occupies the mind while at the same time brings satisfaction and pleasure. I think if anyone is holding back from modeling or crafts of any sort that one loves because they think their pain won't allow it is missing out on the best pain pill of all. Dive in and go for it. If modeling can relieve my pain it can anyones.

    Any questions?
  5. David H

    David H Member

    I am sorry to hear about your medical problems and pain and very glad card modelling gives you relief.

    I think paper craft has a couple of advantages over other modelling types:

    It's relatively inexpensive
    It doesn't (in most cases) take up too much space or make a mess
    It is light weight scissors and a scalpel (save cutting laminated formers)
    It is stress free - you screw up you print it out again and have another go

    But most important for me is that it is totally absorbing; just figuring out how to make that thingy in to that shape and join it to the next one, sssh! An hour of paper modelling is a total mental work out and blows the stress of the day away.

  6. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    I totally agree with your premise. I have been increasingly affected by sciatica myself (thinning disks in the lumbar area aggrivated by an oversized bay window), and have a taste of the pain whereof you speak. When dragged off shopping with my wife, about an hour of standing is all I can take, but in a hobby shop, I can wander the aisles all day if allowed to. Hobbies, whatever the type, certainly do improve the quality of life, and likely extend it as well.
  7. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    It's really distressing to hear about the pain you guys have to deal with, and I admire your fortitude in living with it. It's fascinating to hear that card modeling (and presumably other similar forms of mental occupation) can block the pain so effectively!

    Probably all of us here are familiar with that intensely satisfying feeling of complete focus in a creative task, and it's wonderful to hear that it can have a powerful pain-blocking effect as well. What I'm wondering is if there is not some way of experiencing that sensation without needing to stand?

    Granted, card modeling while reclining would be a challenge, but what about something like designing or re-skinning models on a PC while reclining? I knew a woman with back problems who had a special rig that allowed her to use a PC while lying on her back.

    I know when I'm designing or Photoshopping, I experience that same intense creative focus as when I'm building. Are there possibilities here for you guys?
  8. I have been dealing with this condition now for 5 years. 4 major surgeries later and it looks like one more to go I have tried just about everything to achieve a reasonable quality of life. My condition is very complicated as well as rare (you can all be glad of that). I actually can't lay down on my back for more than 30 min either. So I do a little of all rotating whatever feels right at the time. I tried the modeling laying down and that is difficult. Not to mention messy. So I have resolved myself to standing. I can only sit for an hour or so a day so I save that for when my wife wants to go out and eat.

    Modeling brings me the most satisfaction. I would like to try the computer graphics stuff but truthfully I can't seem to absorb that stuff like I used to. The medicine (morphine) impairs that part of my brain and when I try doing anything like that I start falling asleep.

    So I think I have what works for now. But I would love to learn how to design. I am an artist and tried doing some of the hand drawn models but can't seem to stay focused on it.

    But hey, thanks for the encouragement
  9. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    At the risk of asking a stupid question, can you lay on your stomach comfortably?

    If so, maybe you could lay on a bed with just your upper body from armpits upward over the edge, using the floor (or low table if the height is not suitable) as your modeling/computing surface, for times when standing isn't an option? Any chance that would work?

    Another suggestion - how about "re-skinning" or enhancing graphics not with a computer, but with a paintbrush? Would hand-painting/weathering models be an option? Besides the enjoyment potential, if you are building models for re-sale, hand painting/weathering them could add to the value, particularly if you have experience/skills as an artist. A trained artist + water colors + paper model could = unusually attractive and unique builds.
  10. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member

    Tim as a fellow Sciatica sufferer (Lasting Gift of NY's Finest) I use a kneeling chair for work (CAD Designer in an office) and at home for my Modelling desk, has worked wonders for me, not a cure and I have heard everyone offering me suggestion after suggestion but I do believe my situation was helped by the chair.

    Something like this
    Image:Kneeling chair.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    In the meantime best of health and good modelling

    John John
  11. greenelf1967

    greenelf1967 Member

    it's funny you saying about learning about graphic design , I have a memory span of 1/2 an hour and has been so since june 2006 i can remember everything up to my accident but nothing afterwards.
    I self taught myself in using photoshop and also a couple of 3d programs, but the main one i was starting to learn was 3ds max studio,I had always wanted to master it and had all the courses lined up for it then i had my accident, so now i'm left with photoshop which i use to re-designed models that i have as my brain cannot take in any new information which is a shame as i had quite a few ideas that i wanted to make reality.
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