Visualisation - Not only can it make you feel empowered, it can have healing benefits too!
In the study, 29 people wore a cast from their elbow to their fingers for 4 weeks. Half of them (14) did a visualisation exercise 5 days a week and the other half didn’t (15).
During the training sessions, those taking part had to mentally contract their wrist, by doing the following: “Begin imagining that you are pushing in as hard as you can with your left wrist, push ,push, push... and stop”. This would take 5 seconds and they would then rest for 5 seconds. This happened 4 times in a row and was equivalent to 1 round. Each daily session consisted of 14 rounds.
During this time, both groups lost strength which is expected when you are not doing any exercise at all. However, the group who visualised lost less strength than those who didn’t.
The group who didn’t visualise lost 45% strength over 4 weeks and the group who visualised lost 24 % strength which was half the amount and made a huge difference.
An ex athletic coach told a story of a sprinter who was having a shoulder operation and was devastated at missing 3 months of training. They devised a plan where he would go to the gym in his mind and run the track in his mind.
He did this for 45 minutes a day, 5 times a week and was totally committed to these mental workouts. He even beat his PB in bench presses in his mind. He said he could feel the great weight and strain but imagined pushing the weight up in his mind.
This amazing mental effort worked, and he recovered in 6 weeks instead of 3 months and had hardly lost any strength or leg speed at all. He even improved so much that within a few months was chosen for the first time to represent his country in an international competition. Amazing achievement, and shows how powerful the mind is.
If you’re not able to do something perfectly, imagine yourself doing it perfectly and to your brain that’s the same thing. Your brain then affects how your muscles perform and you can use that in a range of things, running, holding a tennis racket or speeding up the healing process after an illness.
Never think you can’t do something, if you can imagine it, you can do it !