Researchers from the Université de Lyon in Villeurbanne Cedex, France,
studied guided imagery (something hypnotists do with most every client) to see if it could improve motor performance in the rehabilitation of burn patients.
The study looked at the effects of a 2-week Motor Imagery training
program, combined with conventional rehabilitation, on the recovery of
motor functions in patients specifically with hand burns.
Fourteen patients at the Medical Burn Center took part in the study
and were randomly assigned to either the guided imagery or the control
group. Behavioral data related to the ability to perform each
successive step of three manual motor sequences were collected at five
The results showed evidence that Motor Imagery training may facilitate
motor recovery, and noted that the belief in the effectiveness of
Motor Imagery was strong in all patients. Motor Imagery may
substantially contribute to improve the efficacy of conventional
rehabilitation programs. Therefore, this technique should be
considered as a reliable alternative method to help burn patients to
recover motor functions.