The exact mechanism of mirror therapy is still being investigated. This is because our brain is such a complex and fascinating organ and we have yet to fully understand how the brain works.
In stroke patients with paralysis or weakness, a part of the brain responsible for moving the paralyzed arm or leg is damaged. In limb amputation or complex regional pain syndrome, the loss or severely limited use of an arm or leg leads to changes in the brain.
By visualizing the normal movements of the paralyzed, lost or disabled limb, the brain is reactivated. This reactivation promotes re-learning of motor function and sensory processing. In summary, mirror therapy promotes "rewiring" of the brain when coupled with conventional rehabilitation therapies.