Auto-Contractile Pain Reflex (ACPR)

– Richard R. Pavek, Developer of SHEN Therapy

What is ACPR and what does it do to our bodies? For years, ‘psychological factors’ have been implicated as being causal in a number of biophysical disorders. These disorders have several common threads. Usually they are nuisance disorders, generally untreatable, bothersome to the physician, draining the physician’s and nurse’s time. The list includes everything from chronic low back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, migraine, heart disorders, to ulcers – the list goes on and on.

Prescription drugs may alleviate the symptoms, but not everyone agrees that drugs cure these disorders. Those disagreeing include a great many medical professionals who know they are merely providing a stopgap to the problem but have nothing else to offer. It includes a large, very large, group of increasingly dissatisfied patients, who view long-term drug treatments as crutches and who want to get well without them.

Current Medical Science believes that emotions are in the brain, and that anything felt in the body is the result of signals sent by the brain. This is clearly not what most people believe about emotions; most accept that emotions are felt experiences, sensations and feelings that occur inside the torso. Most people are also aware that painful emotions, such as grief, shame, and fear can remain in the body for a long time after they start, long after the incidents that they were associated are over.

Medical science has been unable to explain how emotions can affect and upset the body. Even how the feelings and sensations of emotions could remain trapped there for so long is a mystery because medical science has overlooked a very simple factor; the body contracts whenever it feels pain. It is this contraction that is the culprit.

“Early in SHEN I discovered that ACPR, an involuntary contraction activated by pain to prevent tissue damage from the sharp ends of broken bones, also traps painful emotions such as fear, grief or shame. Since involuntary contractions are not under conscious control, they can continue trapping the painful emotions indefinitely.” (Richard Pavek, SHEN’s developer)

The contractions caused by ACPR squeeze the tissue of the organs, restricting the flow of blood and other cellular nutrients and preventing the removal of waste metabolites; this prevents the organs from functioning normally. The contractions will continue squeezing as long as the painful emotion remains inside. When the painful emotion leaves, the contractions will end, and the organs will regain normal functioning.

In SHEN we selectively apply the polarized ‘qi-energy’ between our hands in specific patterns found to break the involuntary contractions that trapped the emotions. SHEN procedures counteract ACPR, relax the body tension around the emotional pain, and assists the emotion to surface.


Note: This material excerpted from the chapter: The Dynamics of Emotion, in The Text & Training Manual for the SHEN Therapy Personal Empowerment Workshops.