Think yourself stronger - a safe form of exercise?


Well-Known Member
They talk about it in the Living Matrix Documentary:

I didn't buy it... but who knows.


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
That's fascinating. After reading much of Norman Doidge's latest book I believe it.

A couple of things stood out for me:

  • how much immobilization quickly reduces muscle strength - Immobilization decreased strength 45.1±5.0%
  • Corticospinal inhibition was normal in one ME/CFS study - - it's probably not causing MECFS - but the healthy individuals corticospinal inhibition was normal as well and they were able to counteract the loss of strength through these exercises; i.e. it could help
  • Normal Doidge relates a story of a man able to stop the acceleration and even reduce the extent of his Parkinson's disease via neuroplasticity - using his prefrontal cortex to direct the actions of muscles. The mind is an amazing place.

We tested the hypothesis that the nervous system, and the cortex in particular, is a critical determinant of muscle strength/weakness and that a high level of corticospinal inhibition is an important neurophysiologic factor regulating force generation.

A group of healthy individuals underwent 4-weeks of wrist-hand immobilization to induce weakness. Another group also underwent 4-weeks of immobilization, but they also performed mental imagery of strong muscle contractions five days/wk. Mental imagery has been shown to activate several cortical areas that are involved with actual motor behaviors- including premotor and M1 regions. A control group, who underwent no interventions, also participated in this study. Before, immediately after, and one-week following immobilization, we measured wrist flexor strength, VA, and the cortical silent period (SP; a measure that reflect corticospinal inhibition quantified via transcranial magnetic stimulation).

Immobilization decreased strength 45.1±5.0%, impaired VA 23.2±5.8%, and prolonged the SP 13.5±2.6%. Mental imagery training, however, attenuated the loss of strength and VA by ~ 50% (23.8±5.6% and 12.9±3.2% reductions, respectively), and eliminated prolongation of the SP (4.8±2.8% reduction). Significant associations were observed between the changes in muscle strength and VA (r=0.56) and SP (r=-0.39).

These findings suggest neurological mechanisms, most likely at the cortical level, contribute significantly to disuse-induced weakness, and that regular activation of the cortical regions via imagery attenuates weakness and VA by maintaining normal levels of inhibition.

Forum Tips

Support Our Work



Shopping on For HR

Latest Resources