Following an amputation, abnormal sensations can be felt from
the amputated body part; that is, a patient may feel sensations
in a limb (or any other amputated body part) which is no longer
part of his/her body. Amputees are not the only people who have phantom sensations; those with
spinal cord injuries, peripheral nerve injury, diabetic neuropathy, and
stroke survivors all report similar feelings. The sensations
can be changes in size or position, or actual feelings of
heat, cold, or touch. In some patients, these abnormal sensations
include pain. Because the pain is experienced in a part of
the body that is no longer present, it is called phantom
Can the phantom pain occur without loss of a limb?
Point to Ponder #2
When we burner our hand on the stove, it hurts – but only because our brain
says so. Damage-detecting sensory receptors in the hand send a message to the spinal
cord, spinal cord neurons relay the message to the brain, and the brain
decides (1) damage has occurred, (2) it has been inflicted on the toe,
and (3) something needs to be done (we pull the hand away,
utter an expletive). It may feel as if our hand is still burning, but
the experience is all contained within our brain.
What type of pain is this an example of?
What do we do next time we are around the stove?
Point to Ponder #3
Why can someone else tickle you, but you cannot tickle yourself?"
Because the brain controls movement, it knows what your hand is going
to do before you do it. Thus it anticipates the exact force, location,
and speed of the tickle and uses that information to desensitize you to
your own roving hands.
So your brain basically overrides the tickle sensation.
Point to Ponder #4
As soon as we feel an small itch, our first natural response is to scratch the spot of the itch.
What happens if you try not to itch that spot? If you hold out long enough the itch goes it without you scratching it, Why? Try it.
Why is it the more you think about itching the more you itch?
Point to Ponder #5
Between stimulus and response there is a "pause". That pause represents a choice. To acknowledge the stimulation then make a choice before the response is called control.