Rarely do I come across simple, highly effective, worth a multi-million dollar solution.
People with phantom arms/limbs suffer from real pain. Phantom limbs are imaginary limbs that recent amputees believe they possess. Moreover, like real limbs phantom limbs also develop pain and stress.
The challenge is how do you solve a problem in the limb when there is no limb.
A conventional doctor would have probably offered medical treatments, medicines and other therapy that might probably run into hundreds of dollars. But the bigger question – is there a way to solve this problem in a cost-effective manner.
Go see a neurologist, and this is what he will do.
There are two theories as to what causes phantom pain. The first deals with mismatched signals between a person’s vision and the intact neurons that dictated the movement of the missing limb. Eyes see one thing, neurons another. Another theory posits that proprioceptive-or muscle-memory retains certain positions of limbs, some of which are painfully distressing.
The “mirror image therapy” uses the reflection of the intact limb to trick the amputee’s brain-in a good way to cure the phantom pain.
Surely inspiring for us. Simple, non-conscious, efficient, and yet so mightily effective.
(V.S. Ramachandran, a leading neuroscientist, developed this therapy for phantom-limb pain using a drugstore mirror. The therapy has since been used at Walter Reed Military Hospital with soldiers who have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan.)