Helping amputees and phantom limb pain


Treating phantom limb pain with free mirrors and mirror therapy ...globally.


CTV News – Meet the ‘Mirror Man’ who’s on a mission to help fellow amputees
By Daniel Otis — Dec. 25, 2018
“Wanting to share this ‘life-changing’ treatment, Sumner has since taken multiple months-long trips to war-scarred countries across Asia, Africa and the Middle East where he gets on a cargo bike laden with custom-built acrylic mirrors to search out others suffering from phantom limb pain. So far, he’s delivered well over 2,000 mirrors to fellow amputees.”


Global Morning News BC: Mirror-therapy and how it helps amputees
Jan.12, 2016
“Amputee Stephen Sumner is raising money to help others suffering from phantom limb syndrome. He shares his knowledge with other amputees around the world.”



Stephen Sumner Method: Avoiding Phantom Pain with a Mirror Therapy

‘In a novel way to help amputees, Canadian Stephen Sumner, an above-the-knee amputee himself, is traveling through Cambodia, Lao and elsewhere in the ‘conflict world’ on a bicycle and with a load of handmade mirrors. He’s trying to teach patients, therapists and doctors a fascinating therapy to stop “phantom pain”‘.



Global News – Oct.30, 2014


Secrets of the Mind By Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran (Part 1)

Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, an eloquent neuroscientist, is fascinated by patients who have unusual abilities or defects in the way they perceive the world.

Southeast Asia Globe: The Main with the Mirror
By Dene Mullen — Jul 12, 2013
“An estimated 80% of amputees suffer from an excruciating syndrome known as phantom limb pain. Unbelievably, the solution to a lifetime of suffering can be found in a simple household accessory…Stephen Sumner has a habit of making people jump. Reclined in a brown leather armchair in Phnom Penh’s FCC, the Canadian is explaining the phenomenon of phantom limb pain when he suddenly lurches forward. “AAAAGH!” he screams as he grasps his prosthetic leg and jolts his head up, the veins in his neck bulging.”



AFP: Mirrors ease Cambodian amputees’ phantom pain
By Michelle Fitzpatrick — Feb 27, 2012
“Sumner, who says his own bouts of phantom pain felt like “lightning bolts through my foot”, is determined to spread the message…he is training dozens of physicians and amputees across Cambodia and, crucially in this impoverished nation, handing out free mirrors — full-length ones for legs, half-length ones for arms.” ( (



NewZitiv: Un miroir pour oublier les douleurs fantomes
By Nathalie Mayer — Mar 01, 2012
“Jusqu’à présent, Stephen a distribué quelques 200 miroirs. Qu’il a pour la plupart fabriqué lui-même et transporté à l’arrière de sa bicyclette. « Chaque miroir coute environ 5 dollars (soit moins de 4 euros). Ce n’est rien mais lorsque vous savez qu’ici, une nuit d’hôtel coute aussi 5 dollars… J’espère encore rester sur place pendant 2 mois mais pour cela, il me faudra trouver plus de fonds », raconte Stephen. Car, même si la « thérapie du miroir » n’est ni parfaite, ni instantanée, ni même efficace pour tout le monde, elle vaut certainement la peine d’être enseignée au plus grand nombre.”


AsiaLife: Man In The Mirror
By Ellie Dyer — Feb 02, 2012
“The first time I tried it I could almost hear the synapses cracking – it was obviously working,” he says, waggling his foot as a demonstration of his technique. Four years on, after regular sessions, he lives his life mostly pain-free and is determined to help others do the same, especially in land-mine-ridden Cambodia where amputees are all too common. For the last month, Sumner – who was the inspiration for a film based on his life called Phantom Pain – has been cycling around the Kingdom with homemade mirrors strapped on the back of his trusty bike, as part of a self-funded mission to inform others of the therapy.”



CTV News: Mirror therapy for phantom limb pain
With Rhonda Low — 2012
“Dr. Rhonda has more on mirror therapy to address excruciating pain felt in an area where an amputated limb used to be.”


Video Montage of Me and My Mirror in South East Asia
Edited by Mike Ryan/Time Equals Nothing Productions — Jan 02, 2013
“Stephen Sumner of in Cambodia instructing amputees how to use mirror therapy to relieve their phantom limb pain.”
Steve-o’s Journey

“2 Times, 10 Minutes, 4 Weeks”

StartSomeGood: Impact Story
By Stephen Sumner — Sep. 01, 2013
“To its sufferers, Phantom Limb Pain is a terribly debilitating condition that is not to be taken lightly. Phantom Limb Pain occurs when amputees feel a sensation as if their missing limb is still attached, and many times this sensation is one of severe pain. Last year, Stephen Sumner, an avid cyclist and above-the-knee amputee who formerly suffered from Phantom Limb Pain raised funds on StartSomeGood to help relieve the suffering of amputees in conflict areas through mirror therapy. This is his story…”



Pacific Rim Magazine: A Cure for Phantom Limb Pain?
By Amy Ross — 2013
“When Stephen Sumner’s phantom pain became unbearable, he found relief using a common household item. He now shares this treatment with amputees across Southeast Asia.”



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