During your childhood, did you dread the time when your mom used to apply Amrutanjan or Zandu Balm for your headache or other body pains?
Wasn’t it an ordeal to survive the burning sensation?
But, have you ever wondered how exactly did these balms help in reducing the aches by causing the burning and searing sensation? Sounds counter intuitive doesn't it?
It’s based on a unique biological phenomenon evolved by the human body explained by the “Gate Theory of Pain”.
This theory states that pain is a function of the balance between the information travelling into the spinal cord through large nerve fibers and information travelling into the spinal cord through small nerve fibers.
Think of it as this way, there are two roads converging into a junction(Brain) and in order to prevent a traffic congestion, only one road is opened at a time.
One road(small nerve fibres) carries information regarding pain sensations while the other road(large nerves fibres) carries information about non pain sensations such as temperature, vibration, touch, etc.
Balms and ointments containing Camphor & Menthol take advantage of this phenomena by increasing activity in the large nerve fibres by stimulating the thermal receptors (hence, the burning sensation) and also by the rubbing sensation which is produced while massaging the affected area. This overall, decreases the traffic through the small nerve fibres thereby, reducing pain and providing relief.
Awesome, isn't it?