A few months ago we posted a blog on the effectiveness of using imagery to increase performance. One of the underlying processes that allows a person to increase performance through mental rehearsal is the response of the central nervous system.
A recent study, takes this one step further showing that imagery can slow or even stop muscle loss resulting from inactivity.
In the study, published in the journal Neurophysiology and featured on the blog PsyBlog healthy people had their hands and wrists immobilized in a cast for four weeks.
During this time one group did no exercise, while another imagined strong muscle contractions in their wrists. They did this for just 11 minutes, five times a week.
After four weeks the casts were removed. Those that did no physical or mental exercise saw a loss of muscle strength of 45%. The group that imaged the muscle contractions only saw a loss of only 24%.
This research helps extends our knowledge about the interaction between the mind and body and lends credence to the potential physical effectiveness of using imagery to promote peak performance.