Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Phantom Limb

I thought this was old news...the idea that mirrors help to diminish phantom limb pain. From the article, it seems researchers seem to believe that the restored image of the limb, and its tricking of the brain may be the underlying magic, but I would guess that most of, if not all, of the subjects in this medical study make use of a prosthesis. So--why doesn't this fooling-the-brain work just as well when the healthy leg and prosthetic device are identical? If the idea is to fool the brain, why should it matter if the limb is clothed or unclothed? I would imagine that as adults, we spend most of our visual time viewing our legs clothed rather than unclothed, and that this--pants, shoes-- is a normal or natural state of perception.
There is a fairly famous bit of parapsychology that was included on that Leonard Nimoy hosted 70s documentary, in which kirlian photography reveals the whole energetic imprint remains around a leaf that has been cut. The human body likewise 'knows' its entire physical self, energy is still directed around physically missing areas. Of course pain is likely to occur in this field--it still belongs to the body. Directing such energy would logically be the answer to pain alleviation. That is why the mirror seems to be magical. Mirrors are water energy in the classic chinese medicine system, and a very appropriate choice in dispersing the fire energy that likely led to a lost limb. Mirrors have ancient usages in absorbing and redirecting energy, and also are involved in occult transformation. I would guess that the mirror method would work even in a blind subject study--even if the patient wasn't able to view the 'wholeness' or even if the mirror wasn't set up in a particular position so as to 'fool the brain.' I would also speculate other forms of energy work might work just as well in relieving phantom limb pain.

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