In my upcoming book, I dedicate a chapter on In-Home Therapy vs In-Clinic Therapy because the in-home version is custom-designed, unique and can be challenging on many levels. That being said, the mirror technique is an integral part of my therapy at home.
In the two videos below, I share an abbreviated version of my practice in order to keep the video short. Thus, the following is a complete explanation of the procedure I have developed over my almost 5 years of recovery. Feel free to use any/all/none of these ideas.
1. Meditation. I begin my brain preparation with meditation. My morning meditation involves a large segment of visualization focused on my hand & arm operating 100% effectively. Did you know visualization is 40 times more effective than physical exercise?
2. A Sturdy Table: very important
3. Music Device: I use earphones with my smartphone, or a JBL Portable Speaker.
4. Aromatherapy: As healthline.com states: Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.
Aromatherapy is thought of as both an art and a science. Recently, aromatherapy has gained more recognition in the fields of science and medicine. Humans have used aromatherapy for thousands of years. Ancient cultures in China, India, Egypt, and elsewhere incorporated aromatic plant components in resins, balms, and oils. These natural substances were used for medical and religious purposes. They were known to have both physical and psychological benefits. (Learn more click here.) In essence, aromatherapy helps activate your brain to allow it to accept your work more effectively, and enable neuroplasticity. I use both an aromatherapy machine and the liquid itself on my upper lip. It’s neuroplasticity at work!
5. iPad/Phone, for music and/or a brain game/eye exercises.
6. Brain Games: I “prepare” my brain for the work ahead with brain games and/or eye exercises. I use Luminosity a lot, as well as Word Search for the brain games; and the NeuroKit app for eye exercises.
7. Colorful artwork: Van Gogh’s paintings are a favorite of mine! You can find them on your search engine.
DURING MIRROR THERAPY SESSIONS
Music: During my sessions, I listen to Barry Goldstein’s healing music. Barry’s music is used in hospitals, hospices, cancer centers and medical practices. He provides free healing music MP3’s on his site, click here to check him out.
It depends upon your stamina, creativity and whether you introduce other components. Below is a video of me with the Bioness devices, if you skip to the middle, you can see the hand version.
For instance, sometimes I add my Bioness H200 to the exercise. I wet the pads, don the device, turn it on to initiate the first of two programs, place my arm into the opening of the table mirror (click here to check one out), and spend 45 minutes (the length of the program) mimicking the device’s movements in the mirror. When that’s completed, I work with the Bioness for the 2nd 45-minute program, picking up/dropping various lightweight articles.
I then practice using my left hand to perform the exercises without the Bioness to see how long I can perform them. I reached 16 minutes once! It was a really good day! I keep striving to reach that, or better, though!
Every practice is different. Some days, I feel my exercises are super-effective, other days - not so much! So don’t get discouraged. It’s normal to experience up’s and down’s during your recovery. That goes for ALL of your exercises - some days, great; other days, not so much. Balancing your expectations is extremely important.
Why do I do all this for the simple mirror exercise? Because all of the above practices stimulate my brain to ensure my practice is the most effective and long-lasting it can be. The more activities you can perform at once, the more the brain is stimulated (or “light it up,” as one of my therapists once told me!) to accept the exercises more effectively; thus, the brain has a much better chance to repair itself by building new neural pathways since it’s highly stimulated.
If you’re interested in using aromatherapy, you can purchase a machine and/or the oils by clicking here.
Additionally, Flint Rehab has a good article explaining this technique more fully, click here to access that.
Finally, this practice is lengthy and intense, and it taxes your brain, but it’s powerful in its effects; and isn’t that what we’re seeking? The more consistent and persistent you are with your therapy, the better your chances for a full recovery.
Thank you for reading everyone. Feel free to comment below or send me a message directly, click here.
Have a great day!