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Clin Rehabil. 2002 Jun;16(4):368-77.

Hypnotic imagery as a treatment for phantom limb pain: two case reports and a review.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University College London, UK. oakley@the-croft.demon.co.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To provide a theoretical background, to review existing literature and to present new case material relevant to the treatment of phantom limb pain using hypnotic imagery.

METHOD:

This paper presents two new case reports involving the use of hypnotic imagery procedures in the alleviation of phantom limb pain and reviews 10 previous clinical studies which have involved a similar approach. The earlier studies were identified by electronic and manual searches of the relevant literature.

RESULTS:

Two main treatment strategies can be identified: (1) ipsative/imagery-based approaches and (2) movement/imagery-based approaches. A common finding is the need to treat the phantom limb as a 'real' body part, to accept its existence as a valid mental representation and to avoid treating the amputation stump as the sole source of the phantom pain sensations.

CONCLUSION:

Hypnotic procedures appear to be a useful adjunct to established strategies for the treatment of phantom limb pain and would repay further, more systematic, investigation. Suggestions are provided as to the factors which should be considered for a more systematic research programme.

PMID:
12061470
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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