Did you know you can trick your brain? When I had my stroke, I never heard of mirror therapy being used for stroke recovery, and certainly not a box designed for it. Mirror therapy is a form of mental practice that involves using a mirror to reflect the image of your stronger arm or leg in a way that makes it appear to be the weaker arm or leg. Simple, and yet very effective. Referred to as brain mapping, mirror visualization therapy (MVT) or visual feedback; basically, the brain is tricked to believe what is sees. The goal is to activate the parts of the brain that need to be stimulated in order to regain control of that affected arm or leg.
After my stroke, my neurologist and therapists kept telling me that the more I used my hand and leg (even if it was only visually), it would cause my brain to re-build new pathways. At first I thought to myself “Yeah right”. My hand was curled up and my arm pulled tight. It seemed hopeless. Today, having full use of my hand & arm, I can attest this works. Mirror therapy is something you can do yourself at home. All you need is a mirror box and dedication to practice the treatment daily.
Studies have shown that Stroke rehabilitation can be dramatically improved by integrating physical and mental practice. Patients who have used Mirror Box Therapy have shown an improvement in the motor function and the rewiring of the brain.