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A Robotic Arm, Controlled by Imagining Movement

04 Jun

This wonderful story by Linda Carroll for MSNBC.com was posted on the blog of Guided Imagery International.  It’s about Cathy Hutchinson, a 58 yr old woman rendered quadriplegic by a stroke, who learned to move a robotic arm through imagining the movements and actions she wants in her brain.  Carroll writes, “Suddenly Hutchinson is able to do something she could only dream of before: As she thinks about getting herself a drink, the arm reaches over to the bottle and brings it to her lips, where she is able to sip the drink from a straw. It’s the first time Hutchinson’s been able to do anything for herself since the stroke….”

Yep.  Pretty fantastic.  But the research has been telling us for some time now that imagining movement fires signals in the brain in ways that replicate what happens with actual movement, so why not?
 
For the full story, which is pretty darn inspiring on multo levels, click on the Imagery International blog here.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award