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Living With Facial Pain

Mirror therapy?

#1

Hi all.
I read about mirror therapy that is applied to relief phantom limb pain (pain allocated in missing body parts). In this mirror therapy the affected take a mirror and mirror their non-missing body part over to the missing one, creating an illusion for their brain that the missing body part is back. Then they do excercises to show the brain that the missing body part not only is back but that it also is in good shape and unhurt. This apparently helps the brain to relief the pain, in an “oh sorry my bad - was sending pain signals where there should be none” kind of way.

My question is this: did anybody here try mirror therapy for our kind of pain, or knows anything about this?

In our cases we are (typically) not missing limbs, so what do I even mean by mirror therapy? Well, we might not be missing limbs but our eyes are looking away from our pain areas, so in order to show the brain that our teeth/tongue/face etc is actually unhurt, we need a mirror regardless.

So the idea would be to look at the affected area in the mirror and do similar excercises as the phantom limb patients do (this should work best with moveable parts, e.g. tongue if you have tongue pain - but possibly could work also when the part itself cannot move).

I looked for studies on this but couldn’t find any. Maybe this has never been studied, or maybe also never actually tried.

Any thoughts, ideas, experiences anyone?

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#2

Very interesting European_sufferer, who knows you could be onto something. I know someone out there must be doing some kind of research so I constantly read everything that might be remotely possible for a cure for this ailment. keeping my fingers crossed,take care.

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#3

Excuse me Venicomb as I don’t intend to not honor your search for a cure. I have personally been moving away from expecting a cure. My goal is to not have it get worse. Thanks for the mirror execise. I will try that. Something I do now is to try “befriend the enemy”. I have given this inner demon a name, an identity. I hesitated to use the word demon as my imaginary persona cares and truly cares about me. I remind myself to gently talk with her when the electrical jolts persist. We dialogue and I ask her for guidance in managing the pain. It has helped me and I thank you both for the reminders to be compassionate to myself.
With love,
Christine

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#4

This has been used for anesthesia dolorous, not for TN. I used the technique for a short time but it had no lasting value and for TN I can’t see how it would help at all.

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#5

Theoretically this might work, depending on the reason for your pain. If your pain is (primarily) due to nerve memory (vs entirely physical), I think you should try it. I made a mirror device but didn’t use it because I felt my pain was entirely nerve interference vs. nerve memory. Good luck with your effort. I hope it works for you.

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#6

Christine, thank you for your wise words. I am also trying not to make an enemy of my pain. I haven’t tried chatting yet, lol, but why not. It’s an interesting phenomena that we can use this pain to help and guide us.

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#7

Isn’t this mirror therapy a fascinating idea. I saw a video and detailed description of a woman helping her husband with this, he had Anasthesia Dolorosa, a terrilble result of cutting the tn nerve surgically, causing nonstop intense pain in spite of completely numb face. No meds can help, it’s one of the worst things you can get. Limited success with the mirror technique.

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#8

Well thank you flowerpower for your kind words. I’m glad we have each other for support. My theory of befriend our inner demon (ooh, not a nice descriptive… but I am human. My idea is not so easy to implement and I do need reminders.
I do Journal writing every night and I write five things that I’m grateful for that also helps me very much. Other times I write more try to work out problems and it really does help.
Namaste.
It’s tough. I having trouble with fatigue from the medications and expending quite a bit of energy focusing.
Christine and Theia (my inner loving goddess)

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