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March 25, 1983

Hypnosis also useful in rehabilitation therapy

JAMA. 1983;249(12):1536. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330360006002

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Many physicians know the frustration of trying to help stroke victims or patients with other severe neurological injuries to regain some semblance of normal activity. Even for physical rehabilitation experts, this is a demanding challenge. But one physician's use of hypnosis with such patients may have opened a promising new pathway.

At least Errol R. Korn, MD, can point to definite rehabilitative gains made by "dozens of patients" with stroke and spinal cord injuries in relearning the swallowing reflex, regaining muscle and balance control, and healing decubitus ulcers.

In practicing this therapy, Korn takes issue with some traditional thinking. For one thing, he said at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis meeting in Denver, "many physicians don't even think of hypnosis for patients with severe disorders." Moreover, Korn disagrees with the standard teaching that CNS tissue is not "retrainable." "I believe even injured tissue may be able to regenerate," he