Optical Illusions Found To Ease Arthritis Pain
Optical Illusions may have healing powers, researchers at Nottingham University recently discovered. Participants found that a simple computer-generated optical illusion soothed their arthritis pain.
It was an accidental discovery and the university’s psychology department was originally giving a presentation on how the brain puts together what people see and what they feel.
A grandmother with arthritis asked to test the Mirage, a machine that creates the illusion of huge stretching and shrinking when someone pushes and pulls their fingers inside a box.
“We were giving her a practical demonstration of illusionary finger stretching,” Dr. Catherine Preston explained to BBC News. “She announced, ‘My finger doesn’t hurt anymore’ and asked whether she could take the machine home with her.”
Kids are usually the ones who find the machine most interesting. It’s a cool trick. But now the machine may be used for something much more helpful.
“We were stunned,” Preston says of the discovery. “I don’t know who was more surprised, her or us.”
The psychologist went on to recruit 20 volunteers, around the age of 70, suffering from osteoarthritis. All had been diagnosed with arthritic pain in their hands and fingers, and they were asked to rate their pain while using the Mirage technology.