Plastic fantastic

I just read a fascinating article on chronic pain. Some doctor in the U.S. did some brain studies on himself and discovered that neurones in his brain were being hijacked to send fake signals of pain. This resulted in a chronic feeling of pain that other doctors were treating with drugs when in fact the problem was brain based. The result was an almost permanent feeling of being switched “on” or alertness as to a pain event that didn’t exist.

He found (using brain scans) that the neurones hijacked to make the pain were those that could do other things – one of which was visualisation. So he decided to hijack them back. Every time he felt pain (which presumably was all the time at first) he started visualising. I guess you could visualise anything, but he chose to visualise the brain scans, specifically the one which showed a healthy pain free brain. The neurones started to forget about making the pain signals slowly but surely.

Over time (6 weeks in fact) he was pain free. After 13 years of debilitating pain.

It made me wonder what’s the way to hijack something like tinnitus. It must be possible.



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