by Kerry Cue
Norman Doidge, the author of The Brain that Changes Itself has a new book The Brain’s Way of Healing out this week (Scribe). An extract titled Brain Heal My Pain was published in The Australian, 31 Jan 2015, (paywall link) here.
You can find another extract at The Daily Mail (UK)
The extract tells the story of Michael Moskowitz, a psychiatrist turned pain specialist, who suffered from chronic pain for 13 years following a serious accident when he fell off a blow-up ring being towed by a speedboat. His pain was 8 out of 10 on the pain scale (10 is being dropped into boiling oil).
Moskowowitz began to realise that the areas that process memories, thoughts, movements, emotions and images had been pirated to process pain. He drew 2 maps of the brain one for chronic pain and one with no pain and he visualised the area dedicated to pain in the brain shrinking. He believed that he could reclaim the ‘visual areas’ of the brain where images are processed by forcing it to visualise images of the brain.
He was applying the theory of brain plasticity first brought to public attention by Norma Doidge. After one year of persistent visualisation, he was pain free.
There, at the bottom of Pandora’s Box is one word. HOPE. Something we should all visualise, perhaps.
Photo Source: From Geurnica by Picasso representing the pain caused by the bombing of Geurnica by the Germans in 1937.