Maria Richter, T. W. (February 2010). Do words hurt? Brain activation during the processing of pain-related words PAIN, 148(2): 198-205, doi:10.1016/j.pain.2009.08.009 .PAIN, pages 108 - 205.
According to the research conducted under the direction of Thomas Weiss, Professor of Psychology at the University of Jena, the very word “pain” can activate the pain center (Maria Richter, 2010). The result was reported by the press under the title “Words can Hurt”, and the recommendation was and is a careful use of words in pain management – above all, to focus on positively connoted words.
In the meantime, many coaches and psychotherapists know about the fascinating pain therapy at the University of Jena under the direction of Thomas Weiss, Professor of Psychology at the University of Jena: According to brain scans, just the confrontation with the word “pain” or with words like “burning” or “drilling” activates the pain center in the test subjects (Maria Richter, 2010). The result of the research was reported by the press under the title “Words can Hurt”, and it also received an award by the German Association for the Study of Pain. A recommendation of the researchers involved was and is the careful use of words in pain management – above all, to focus on the positively connoted words. We ourselves – Cora Besser-Siegmund and Harry Siegmund propagated already in the 80s to not to confront the pain patients with a “pain diary”, but to offer them a “bodily experience diary” – the very word gently leads the body in assuming that the body can also transmit pleasant signals.
Thomas Weiss and his team explained the interrelation between the word and pain center with the concept of the so-called Neuromatrix.