Phantom Limb.

Some years ago I ran a workshop for tattooists on how to induce hypnosis for pain management.

I would ask the tattooist to provide three people who wanted tattoos, one for me to demonstrate, on two for the artist to practice on.  On this occasion, I was in Leicester the artist had told me he had some regulars who were interested one of which was a former serviceman who was a double leg amputee following a blast incident in Northern Ireland. He wanted two Nike basketball logos (the leaping man) in black behind each thumb. I suggested that we do the first in trance and the second in normal awareness to demonstrate the difference. it was a good day all went well and the tattoo artist regularly uses hypnosis on his more “anxious” clients.

The phantom limb you ask, during the day the former soldier and I chatted I am a former serviceman and also served in NI swapping stories and such like and eventually the conversation got round to his legs, did HMG look after him and other such stuff. This is when he dropped phantom limb syndrome into the conversation. To understand what this is, imagine you have an itch on your foot a really deep irritating itch, how do you deal with it because you don’t have a foot to scratch, similarly when the foot gets cold, how do you get it warm? Similarly when it aches or just feels uncomfortable what do you do?

What he did was take a prescribed morphine injection. Remember morphine is an opiate whatever it is still hurts, you just don’t care “Opiates” change your mood.

I asked him a question, now to understand how this question worked. humans are logical and we need answers.

“How does the Morphine they inject into your arm, get into the legs you haven’t got, in order to take the discomfort away?” This confused him greatly, as it was intended to.

some trance work on separation and detachment and pain management using self-induced hypnosis, and the amount of medication an the occurrence of painful episodes was significantly reduced.