Taste is the most wonderful of our senses. But when thinking about getting rid of pain most people don’t realize their sense of taste can help. It incorporates smell and that is very important – smell is a very primal sense. But taste also has so many other sensory parts to it. When you chew you hear something, your saliva starts to enliven your whole mouth, and you’re going to feel the texture of the food that you’re taking in to help your body.
Taste is an example of multisensory integration that is called unified perception. What we hear affects what we see, what we see affects what we taste, and what we touch affects what we hear. Everything matters for taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch. While eating we forget it’s often with our ears. And if you don’t believe it, try eating one potato or corn chip without making a noise. That crispy, crunchy, and crackly sound heard while biting and chewing, makes us want to eat more. The sound sells more chips and wine tastes best when sunlight is shining through it. One of the finest culinary experiences of my life was eating a lobster on a sailboat.
FOOD AS HEALING
Food can be actually healing! For example, you can eat fresh vegetables and herbs that are very healing and taste great in your mouth. And not only are you going to use those herbs to get the actual nutrient to help your body heal and reduce stress but you also can use that sensory experience to lessen your pain.
What is wonderful about pain relief – it’s at least a little bit harder to be in pain if you have a beautiful dark chocolate melting in your mouth. Or when you’re eating something that you absolutely love which reminds you of happy memories from when you’re a child.
Some people love ice cream. Other people say, “I love having a beautiful steak,” and when they smell it and they feel it is such a perfect experience in their mouth, they just say “wow.” When you decide to focus on a marvelous culinary experience you’ll be surprised when you then scan your body and see the pain is less. I know that every time I just started to suck on some chocolate and I had a headache, my headache started to dissipate.
But there are lots of other tastes to try. you need to find out the kinds of foods and tastes that will release all the good feelings that you have in your body. And then that will actually lessen the amount of pain that you feel. The wonderful thing about taste is it can be totally overwhelming in some ways because there is so much that has to go on for you to taste. When you’re chewing – that is going move your jaw in a certain way and if you have pain in your jaw then you’ll be very surprised to find out that the jaw is not going to hurt as much if you’re getting something really good out of it.
Oral Additives and herbal remedies
People the world over use oral additives to help them feel better. And one of those is raw ginger. Now if you never chewed on ginger before I wouldn’t suggest you take a whole handful of it at once. Peel it, take a little, a very little taste of it to try. It’s a natural pain reducer that you might need to get used to. But believe me, when you have ginger in your mouth whatever part of your body aches is all of a sudden no longer important. You’re going to be focusing on your mouth not on the pain from that particular part of your body. I don’t care that your back hurts, I don’t care where it is, because obviously, you can use ginger on the outside of your body.
That’s just one example of nutrition and herbal remedies that can actually help you. Speaking of oral fixations – do you realize that so many people in America are overweight because they want to have something in their in their mouths to comfort or distract them? Part of their brain understands that taste is a wonderful way to lessen your pain. But what I’m going to suggest to you is that you don’t need to eat all the time in order to have less pain. Make use of the fact that you can remember a tasty cream puff or whatever gets you going. Cream puffs are not easy to find commercially, so I actually make my own, just throwing that in there.
And what is great about cream puffs is it has something that’s nice and smooth on the inside that could be a custard and then you have the actual pastry itself which is a little bit chewy and tough but when it’s nice it melts and has a lot of butter. And then on the outside of the puff you can have a melted chocolate, a melted caramel – something like that. Then you just get a certain amount of sweet into your mouth. And that sweetness also helps relieve pain (obviously if you have diabetes or a sweet addiction then don’t use cream puffs).
So there are so many ways that you can use taste to heal. It’s very underutilized, but using all of your senses at the same time is even more wonderful. In other words, when you’re chewing something be present with that action and enhancing by really smelling what you’re eating at the moment, and also have some music playing – the kind you really enjoy. Really look at your food, see how beautiful it is – all these things added together is going to actually reduce your pain! Use your senses daily and reduce your pain today. Use this slogan to remember.