ACPR — the Auto-Contractile Pain Reflex Originally titled Intrinsic Bodily Reactions to Painful Emotions: Key to the Puzzle of Somatization © Richard R. Pavek 20 YFH, Gate 6 Road, Sausalito, CA 94965


An extensive group of loosely related functional somatic disorders, disorders without direct organic cause and where the emotions are observed or suspected to have major impact, remain difficult to understand because the process by which the emotions could do this has not been clear. These disorders are known by many names; among them are psychosomatic, psychogenic, hysterical, and functional somatic symptoms. They may be either continuous or episodic. They may involve more than one bodily organ, but not necessarily. They may involve hidden childhood abuse or other unsuspected or unremembered trauma. Most often, several emotions are implicated but their nature may not be initially apparent. Somatization may result when the Somatic Affect, or bodily feeling state, of the emotion(s) involved with a psychotrauma share a common bodily location with a functioning organ. This paper describes the Auto-Contractile Pain Reflex (ACPR), a reflexive reaction to painful somatic affect, which appears central to the formation and pathophysiology of many of these disorders. The probable effects of this reflexive response on several bodily mechanisms are discussed, as well as a general treatment approach.

Full scholarly article ACPR-Emotions-as-Causal-Factors.