Exercise experiment

I’m trying something new and I will reveal the results later as I’ve just started.
We know that mental imaging of a movement can help with neuroplasticity and that repetition and strength training are important.
Lets say you are doing a rowing motion with bands or a machine. So you do 15 reps, stop and do 15 reps with no weight or bands, just free-hand. motions, then sit back and relax performing the motions in your imagination with focus and many mental reps. Do the whole cycle maybe twice or three times. This can be done with biceps curls, presses, squeezing a ball or putty for the hands or even walking ( just walking, then taking breaks and using mental walking). Focus is very important so you can tell the brain you mean business. We shall see…


That’s a very interesting concept and I’m curious to hear how you get on with. Please do keep us posted and good luck with it :smile:


Shwmae @Outlander, the neurones associated with that activity will light up but only very faintly, yet, I think it is beneficial and can be used effectively as part of stroke recovery. I can’t see what is going on under my lid but one thing I have practiced for three years and feel I can confirm results with is imagining a task I am about to embark on. Every morning, I mentally walk through certain tasks I aim to achieve each day and I have found that the practice has made the execution of those tasks easier with less fatigue. I compare this to activities I undertake without such preparation. For me, I am going to say that envisioning has aided me over three years and perhaps can be attributed to the areas of improvement in my rebuilding. I also think that because it is a harmless pursuit, it can only help keep the mind limber and spry.


You’re on to something, Outlander

when practising violin, for example, a well known method is to go through the piece, playing it in your imagination, fingering each note, and conscously go through the feeling of bowing, crossing the strings, and all the movements involved.

I have little or no proprioception in my right limbs ; imagination is all I have when moving my hand for example. If the lights are out there’s no way I can tell if I have in fact moved my hand… I just have my imagination ; if I turn the lights on to check, more often than not my fingers have moved to the shape or position I imagined… or close to it… but the imagination comes firrst, and guides the movement… I have no feedback and I just have my imagination to guide me. If we imagine or visualize our intent, that is the first step towards actually doing the movement. For most folks, with normal proprioception, they can feel the fingers or hand has in fact moved / I can’t… yet !!

Good luck, Roland


I am a great believer in imagination and what can be achieved when it is exercised.

Equally it is well to be aware that negative imagining can produce barriers that seem insurmountable.

So work with it and surprise yourself with positive outcomes.

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :+1:


Thanks all, for your interest.
@Rups interesting that you START with the mental imagery. Yes…a harmless pursuit.
@pando I’ve started to play piano pieces in my mind when meditating. We will see where that goes.
so you also seem to start with the mind. Good info.
I also will paint a picture and move my hand as if holding a brush.
@Bobbi I have to be very aware of negative thinking. It actually makes my spasticity worse.

I left out the main reason for this experiment. It is to beat the evil “Spasticity”.


@Outlander and anyone else

I think what you are referring to is something we all encounter.

If you have ever somehow cut off blood supply to a part of your body then there is a sequence. First the affected area is deadened and feels numb. Then as it recovers there can be intense pain and spasm, until ‘normality’ returns.

Maybe I am over optimistic, but these pains, numbness, loss of control, could actually be the first symptoms of a recovery. Trying to stop what is possibly a natural and healing process could be a mistake.


I wonder how many things we do that are actually detrimental?
I suppose it’s a question of what makes us comfortable, and what we think will get us through the strormy days


Comfort is a natural goal, but it could also be a barrier to progress.

Forgive me for coming up with these ‘clever’ answers.

I, like you, am coping with the horrors, the unpleasantness, the dreariness, of stroke. I too am searching for answers. I certainly do not ‘know it all’.

1 Like


Without question ; You’re my hero !!

ciao, Roland



If you continue to pump up my ego like that, it will likely explode.

Then where would we be?

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :laughing: :+1:


My son used to be a springboard diver & then a diving coach at competition level.
Mental rehearsal as well as physical mimicry are important parts of a preparation .

Mirror therapy in the treatment of missing limb phantom pain is based on the same principle as you appear to be exploring with some slight adjustments. It’s also suggested that mirror therapy transfers over into stroke rehabilitation although having tried it several times it didn’t work but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for others.

There are also several techniques in business planning that start with an imagined end state and use imagined hindsight to frame the course of action to deliver a successful outcome.

There are many precedences for techniques using the basis that you are exploring. Exploration of what’s been written by others may refine or and add to approach and success .

Be interesting to hear how you get on
Ciao Simon


@SimonInEdinburgh Yes, interesting Simon. The mirror did nothing for me. Your son reminds me: I was a Power- lifter in my 30s, part of a team. We would always mentally lift the weights before the real lift.
I was bench pressing 340 lbs. ( sorry, I don’t understand the Kilos thing). NOW, I’m lucky if I can just lift the bar with no plates…sad.


That was a very insightful comment!

I also believe in imagination, or imaging…I believe that is also part of neurofeedback. It is how I made arts and crafts, and patterns for clothing or household items I wanted to sew and played volleyball or got through public speaking engagements. And many other things.

Best wishes. I expect it will be helpful.


@DeAnn much of what I write on this forum comes about after this thinking it through stage. Well before stroke in my employment I would work through plans and problems, sometimes very ordinary stuff, but producing good working answers.

It is a common thing that everyone no doubt does, but I think it is largely unrecognised. Using it can make a big difference to how our intentions work out. There are no guarantees of results but I think that what one puts in is proportional to what one gets out.

I look at the progress of others, not as something to envy, but as a road plan opening up the possibilities. Looking at others I see the rate of progress of an individual varies from one to another. I’m not sure there is a magic instant answer but it does give reason for continued hope.

Having a stroke has given me something to do. My choice is to survive and somehow to recover what I can in whatever way that is possible.

This piece was written in the middle of the night after waking. Maybe what I am saying is that this is not the time to do as one is told or what others suggest. Could be it is time to find your own path, your own direction.

Soon, back to bed.

I vaguely remember a book written in a different age by an author named John Bunyon.
His work, ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ sounds relevant. I don’t recall anything but heavy religious overtones. I might have a look in the morning and see if it speaks to me.
. . . but now to bed.

Enough from me. May you fare well and . .

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :+1:


Time is divided by the isochron of now into past and future.

All thinking of the past is remembering .
All thinking of the future is imagination.

It would be surprising if the brain through several million years of evolution hadn’t had its evolving capabilities shaped by such a fundamental divisions of such a fundamental quantity!

@Bobbi I totally agree with you - the progress of others are my frames of reference (something in a community to be celebrated). They define what’s possible and they define at what cost of achievement although often that isn’t less visible. No single frame of reference is a directly reusable model but the aggregate of all frames of reference show norms and extremes; so possibilities.

@DeAnn in all the creative fields the whole of preparation is through imagination :slight_smile:
When we do something mundane and or mechanical we use rememberance of previous times - maybe laced with imagination of variations to improve performance. The moment you move to create then the whole of the result can only reside in the imagination until one is finished .

I wonder if there is something philosophically usefully in our journeys through life_after_stroke - it is all in the future and therefore intimately related to imagination.

I like to talk of my journey as ‘capability development’. I’m not engaged in going back to an old closed chapter - I’m proceeding through the next to future ones. I’m not a fan of the words ‘recovery’ or ‘rehabilitation’ because they embody a mindset that is backward looking. [Nor of the word ‘patient’: I am not ill, nor is telling me what to do appropriate. Advising me what I can choose to do is helpful]

Personally I look back very little - I look forwards.

I think there’s a correlation between attitude or outlook and progress. I think like sleeping well is a prerequisite I’m thinking well is also part of her recipe for a rewarding post stroke life or indeed any life

Some might take meaning from INTP - almost polar opposite to ESTJ


Without being too contentious, I hope, I beg to differ.
In order to imagine, to see into the future we must have a clear view of the past.
Without memory we have nothing with which to build images.

However I think what you are saying is that we need to avoid imagining that what happened in the past will define and limit the future. Stroke is limiting enough without even more restriction. We have an opportunity to rebuild, which can only be a good thing, perhaps with the condition that we need to make a good job of it.


By all means differ away :slight_smile:
I get your theme, I don’t think we are disagreeing so much as emphasising different aspects - so I do diverge from your expression. Referring to the past to project into the future is a limited form of imagining I think.

Some will feel comfort and contentment with that.

The actions we take can only be as a result of the capabilities we possess which must be learnt in the past , however looking to the future has a ‘breakthrough’ is to diverge from the the past.

A bit like ‘common sense’ can be obvious when you’ve seen it but invisible to 99.% of people until it’s described to them


Oh my goodness what has my wee post on exercise spawned? lol


Don’t interrupt, now.
We have a full scale battle going on here.
:person_fencing: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: