‘What Your Eyes See Is Reality’
Erez Avramov, Life Rebuilder
Feature Image of Erez Avramov and the mirror box was sourced as a still frame from the YouTube video dated 8 July 2013 (below).
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Dear Pain Matters blog readers,
Phantom limb pain (PLP; phantom pain) is a terrible affliction that affects up to 90% of all people who have lost a limb, or part thereof, due to trauma, injury, disease or surgery.
Mirror therapy may be an effective and inexpensive pain treatment option for some patients with phantom pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), pain after stroke and other pain conditions.
EREZ, AMPUTEE AND LIFE REBUILDER
Erez’s Traumatic Life Events
Erez Avramov, Life Rebuilder, survived 3 serious motor vehicle accidents (MVA) and a serious heart attack. Sounding more like an action thriller story than an enriched life story, Erez is a perfect example of ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’.
During his first accident, Erez was involved in a serious head-on crash with a semi-truck after his vehicle hit black ice and spun out of control near Merritt, BC, Canada, in November 2010. He suffered many injuries including fractures to the sternum, hand and ankle, a crushed rib cage as well as a leg that was broken in 17 different places.
Several years and multiple surgeries later, Erez opted for elective amputation to improve mobility of his MVA-injured right leg below the knee (ADV Pulse, 2014)
Erez holds the honour of being the first amputee ever to enter the Dakar Rally race in South America. Sadly, he had his second near-fatal accident when he crashed his motorbike during one of these desert races.
More recently, Erez had another vehicle accident in December 2017 that was followed by a serious heart attack just one (1) month later.
Being optimistic by nature, Erez always tries to gain valuable insight even from the worst moments in his life. For his inspirational views, please visit his website:
Erez’s Mirror Therapy for Phantom Limb Pain
Following his elective lower right leg amputation, Erez suffered phantom pain.
In his words,
‘… the results and the process [of mirror therapy are] just amazing.’
Erez used a custom-made 3-sided mirror box that included a white-framed mirror. Hinged on both sides, the mirror box can be unfolded and assembled like a ‘triangular tunnel’. A plain mirror may also be used.
Erez’s good leg was placed right next to the mirror while his amputated right leg remained well hidden inside this triangular tunnel.
As Erez moved his toes very slowly, he tried to imagine moving the same muscles in his phantom toes at the same time.
Given that he spoke about mirror therapy with such amazing clarity, I will quote Erez from here on (see his YouTube, below),
‘… This is the important part … you move your toes and you try with your mind to move … your missing toes – but when you look at them in the mirror, it’s as if they are there … and you feel your muscles in your residual limb … Move those toes as if they are there.
Then I will start to do some rotational work , and I will move both legs in the same direction as if everything is there.
Because what happens is: Your brain sees this leg and your foot. It thinks it is there.
This is the most bizarre thing there is. It is as if you still have it … You really have to be open-minded and to accept the fact that what your eyes see is reality … It’s almost like you bypass this reasoning side of your brain …
I will move my muscles. I will move my residual limb as if I have an intact full foot …
The results were amazing … [inserted: my painful ‘tiger-clawed’ phantom toes were] released, so the pain is gone …
… the protocol is 4 weeks of 10 minutes every day. You do this for 4 weeks …
… You cover your residual limb. You use … a … magazine cover, or whatever, … to hide your good foot so you don’t see it, and all you want to see is your reflection of your foot, as if you still have [a] missing limb …’
Watch Erez Avramov’s helpful video, here:
‘Mirror Therapy – Personal Success Story’
An 8-minute YouTube dated 8 July 2013
Thank you very, very much, Erez, for sharing your powerful story about your personal experience with mirror therapy!
I am sure that your story will inspire others to try mirror therapy for their phantom pain.
Blogger, Pain Matters (in WordPress)
(2) Amputee Pursues Lifelong Dream to Race the Dakar Rally. ADV Pulse (27/10/14).