According to researchers at the University of Nottingham, illusions can make a difference when it comes to reducing arthritic pain reported to be situated in the hand. In some other cases the sole use of illusions made the pain completely go away.
The tests have shown that by only fooling the brain into registering altered information regarding the pain, a person could be able to feel it considerably less. Scientists managed to reduce the pain by half for 85% of the patients that were tested.
This experiment could easily benefit people who are experiencing heavy pains while undergoing physical rehabilitation. It could help them endure pains of a lesser intensity, and it can aid them by ensuring a more rapid recovery.
What is most intriguing is the fact that this very own discovery was possible due to a Community Open Day even which happened in April 2010. The MIRAGE technology from Nottingham helped the public observe that pain managed to be reduced with the help of induced illusions. The experiment consisted in hand projections that were shrinking and stretching and at the same time perfectly synchronized to the subject’s movement.
Roger Newport, the man in charge of the research was carrying an experiment that was meant to help observe better the obsessive behavior. He said:
The majority of people who come to these fun events are kids — the illusions really capture their imagination and they think it’s a cool trick and can become a bit obsessed with working out how we do it.
There were a total of 20 volunteers for the experiments, all averaging 70 and already suffering from arthritic pains in their hands. They had to rate the severity of the pain they felt on a scale of 0 to 20. More than three quarters of all participants revealed that the pain they felt in their hands and fingers got to be about one half of what they felt at the beginning of the experiment.