The patient places the affected limb (hand or foot) in the box and the unaffected limb in front of the mirror.
Then whilst looking at the reflected image and doing gentle symmetrical exercises it appears that the affected limb is moving normally.
Patients with no limb or movement are to visualise and attempt to move the affected limb into a comfortable position whilst simultaneously moving the unaffected limb in the same way.
In Complex Regional Pain Syndrome CRPS, phantom limb and other Neuropathic pain conditions, this visual feedback helps the patient to "move" the affected limb in the mind and to unclench it from potentially painful positions, satisfying the brain by making oneself believe that the limb is actually normal.
Patients' recovering from a stroke or injury benefit tremendously, as the use of this technique shows improvement in the motorfunctions of the affected limb and aids a speedy recovery.
NOTE that it is very important to practice symmetrical movements within the mirror box. In some cases, it can feel very unpleasant to leave the limb in the box still and exercise the limb in front of the mirror only.
Take a look at this video posted on YouTube by stroke survivor Doug. Although Doug has not regained any movement he is showing the signs of the brain re-mapping and hopefully he will regain some movement soon.
Doug has no connection to Reflex Pain Management Ltd and posted this video totally independent of us.