How can Mirror Therapy help you?
Mirror Therapy involves the use
of a mirror "surprise surprise" to
create a reflection of your
unaffected limb in place of your
affected limb during therapy.
The affected limb is stimulated by
visual cues from the opposite side
of the body
Why should you care about mirror therapy?
Well, it could help reduce persistent pain and improve motor skills after stroke or other injury. Let’s dig into what mirror therapy is and how it can help with stroke rehabilitation.
How Mirror Therapy Works
Mirror therapy involves the use of a mirror – surprise, surprise – to create a reflection of your unaffected arm in place of your affected arm during therapy. The mirror image ‘tricks’ your brain into thinking that your affected arm is moving like your unaffected arm. You’re not actually tricking your brain though – you’re a little too smart for that – but the illusion helps your brain rewire itself through a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity.
While this phenomenon revolves around neuroplasticity, some of the success can be attributed to the mirror neurons in your brain.
How do Mirror Neurons Help?
When you move, it’s because motor neurons fired in your brain have told your muscles to move. Every time you walk, talk, sit, or stand, it’s the result of motor neural activity going on in your brain. These motor neurons are found in the same area of the brain that mirror neurons are located.
Mirror neurons are a little different, though, in that they fire when you simply SEE a movement occur. In other words, when you watch someone move, your mirror neurons are firing off.
It’s no coincidence that the word ‘mirror’ is used here. Mirror therapy triggers mirror neurons to fire when you see the illusion of your affected limb moving in the mirror. Even though it’s just a reflection of your unaffected limb, studies have shown that your brain still perceives it as your affected limb and your mobility can improve.
Pretty cool stuff, right?
For more information and to book a Mirror Therapy session contact us