The principle of Mirror Therapy is the use of a mirror to create a reflective illusion of an affected limb in order to trick the brain into thinking movement has occurred. Mirror therapy allows the brain to be activated during the imitation movements and interact simultaneously with the motor neurons. For example, if you put your left hand behind a mirror and right hand in front, you can trick your brain into believing that the reflection of your right hand in the mirror is your left. You are now exercising your left hand in the brain!
Sensory Electrical Stimulation Combined with Mirror Therapy
10 Easy Exercises to try with clients suffering from neurological injuries such as stroke are listed below. The key is to go at a slow pace and imagine the “hand in the mirror” is truly the affected side.
Make a fist and then open your hand slowly. Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps.
Touch your thumb to the tip of each finger. Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps for each finger.
Turn your palm up and down. Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps.
Pretend to play the piano, pushing each finger on the table one at a time. Continue for 2 minutes.
Place a washcloth on the table. Wipe the table in a circular motion, back and forth, and up and down for 2 minutes.
Place a water bottle on the table, grasp it with your hand, lift it up 2 inches, place it back on the table and let go. Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps.
Place 5 coins on the table. Pick them up one at a time until they are all in your palm. Place them back on the table, one at a time, using your thumb and your index and middle fingertips. Repeat 5 times.
Place a foam ball on the table. Pick up the ball, squeeze it and place back down on the table and let go. Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps.
Place 20 small objects (marbles, poker chips, blocks) on the table. Position a bowl next to the small objects. Place the small objects, one at a time, into the bowl. Repeat 3 times.
Crawl your fingers along the mirror in various directions (up, down, diagonally) for 2 minutes.