EMDR is short for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing and is used as a psychological treatment for various conditions including CRPS and chronic pain.
It is classed as a fairly new form of psychotherapy and it is often used as a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is some research available for EMDR as a treatment for CRPS or chronic pain but the treatment is treated as controversial.
EMDR or Eye Movemement Desensitisation Reprocessing was originally designed by a psychologist by the name of Dr Francine Shapiro and is an 8 phase treatment.
It was during a chance observation that she saw eye movements reducing the intensity of the person’s thoughts after seeing her own stress reducing when her eyes moved side to side. (Anapsys website 2011)
According to the EMDR Institute Inc, EMDR is:
“…a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.”
Or to break this down further, the Helpguide. org in their guide on EMDR (2011) says that:
“EMDR involves recalling a stressful past event and “reprogramming” the memory in the light of a positive, self-chosen belief, while using rapid eye movements to facilitate the process.”
EMDR is considered to include elements of cognitive behavioural therapy along with some eye movements. It is considered a safe therapy with no side effects, making it useful for many conditions such as CRPS, chronic pain, PTSD, depression or anxiety. In EMDR there is no talking therapy or any form of medication, but instead according to WebMD it uses:
“…a patient’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.”
In an average session of EMDR therapy you will concentrate your thoughts on traumatic memories and any negative thoughts and feelings whilst watching your therapists’ finger move from side to side or diagonally. (Helpguide.org)