My practioner had been trying to engage me in yes and no conversation (me grunting replies) and I had been too distracted. I decided to become fully engaged in the conversation. I focused on the sound of his voice and thought of the way he enunciated his fricatives. I emphasized that hissing exhalation of noise in my mind until it became one, continuous rushing of air like the sound of waves crashing on a beach. And the pain was the dull pull of the waves around my ankles -- pushing and receding and swirling the sand around my feet.
I was amazed at what a difference shifting my attention had made in my perception of the pain (my practitioner was amazed at my lack of pain as well). I have a relative who is a physician and will frequently hypnotize his patients so I am aware that the perception of pain is largely mental. I have even endured periods of intense pain without realizing it. The oddest thing about the whole situation is that now, many hours later, the parts of my mouth that were treated during the initial period in which I was amplifying the pain are still quite tender. The parts that were treated while I was ignoring the pain are not in the least. It could be that the first parts of the procedure were actually more physically invasive, but they weren't. It could be that my practioner started poorly and got better by the end. Could it also be that my physical tissues remember the pain differently because I felt the pain differently while it was happening?
Even more interesting to me was thinking about all of these people in the world that focus on their pain. Everyone knows someone like this. No matter what happens to them, they always seem to be miserable. My friend and I were just talking about a mutual acquaintance of ours who is this way. He always complains that he has the worst job in the world. He's a journalist. Before that he was a solicitor. Now he covers legal news, primarily by hanging out at the courthouse and watching legal proceedings or getting dirt from shady sources. Does this sound like the worst job in the world? He was so envious when I was funemployed that he quit his job and was still miserable.
I am infinitely fascinated by empaths (hyperbole), so I wonder -- is this why some empaths can be so miserable? If anything, I am almost blissfully happy 90% of the time, whatever my circumstances happen to be at the moment. Empaths seem to be complaining all the time. Maybe I am doing a better job making good decisions than they are, but I think at least part of it has to do with my ability/choice to amplify happiness rather than pain.