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9TMR Non-Drug Therapy  2019, Vol. 2 Issue (4): 109-116    DOI: 10.12032/TMRND201902019
Mirror therapy: a potential rehabilitation treatment
Xin Liu1#, Tian-Yang Xing1#, Ran Liu1, Shan- Shan Yang1, Guo-Wei Wang1,*()
1Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine,China.
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As a safety and operable therapy, mirror therapy is very helpful for the recovery of stroke, the relief of pain, and the improvement of cognitive dysfunction and speech dysfunction though activating mirror neuron. It is a supplementary treatment in the rehabilitation process, which is very conducive to the widespread use and application.

Editor’s Summary

The development of mirror therapy has been widely used today in all aspects of rehabilitation programs, such as the recovery of dysfunctions, sensation, dyskinesia and language, especially the improvement of pain and exercise capacity. This review focused the mechanisms of mirror therapy, reported the possible mechanisms that may involve in the therapy such as the activated mirror neuron, prevention of learned disuse of the affected limb, and facilitating motor pathways. This review also introduced the application in the rehabilitation of various diseases, such as in the recovery of stroke, the relief of pain, and the improvement of cognitive dysfunction and speech dysfunction, which provided new directions for the study of mechanisms and the treatment of diseases.


Mirror therapy was first proposed for the treatment of phantom limb pain after amputation. In recent years, it is widely used in many diseases, which shows greatly effective. As a safety and operable therapy, mirror therapy is very helpful for the recovery of stroke, the relief of pain, and the improvement of cognitive dysfunction and speech dysfunction though activating mirror neuron. It is a supplementary treatment in the rehabilitation process, which is very conducive to the widespread use and application. Therefore, this review elaborated on the mechanisms and clinical application of mirror therapy, with a view to providing a new direction for the study of mechanisms and the treatment of diseases.

Key wordsMirror therapy      Dyskinesia      Sensory disturbance      Cognitive impairment      Speech disorder     
Received: 23 July 2019      Published: 06 December 2019
Corresponding Authors: Wang Guo-Wei   
About author: #The two authors have contributed equally to this article.
Cite this article:

Xin Liu, Tian-Yang Xing, Ran Liu, Shan- Shan Yang, Guo-Wei Wang. Mirror therapy: a potential rehabilitation treatment. 9TMR Non-Drug Therapy, 2019, 2(4): 109-116. doi: 10.12032/TMRND201902019

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Figure 1 the possible mechanism of activating the mirror neuron to promote brain remodelin
Figure 2 The mirror neurons in brain
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