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Mind Power

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  • Mind Power


    Cancel your gym membership - new research suggests we can strengthen our
    muscles just by thinking about exercising them.

    Vitoth Ranganathan and his colleagues (The Cleveland Clinic Foundation,
    USA) enrolled 16 participants on a 12 week mental training regime. Five
    times a week for 15 minutes, half the participants imagined pushing their
    little finger against a resisting force as hard as they could, the other
    half imagined using their forearm. The participants were to do more than
    just visualise performing the movement ('external imagery'), rather they
    were to really imagine performing the pushing movement with all their might
    ('internal imagery'). Recordings confirmed they weren't actually moving
    their muscles.

    After the training period, the finger group saw their little-finger
    strength increase by 40 percent compared with before, and the forearm group
    found their elbow-flexor strength was up 13.5 percent. Eight control
    subjects who didn't train, showed no significant changes in their strength.
    Six subjects who trained their little finger with physical exercises for 12
    weeks, showed strength increases of 53 percent. Recordings showed that both
    mental and physical training led to increased electrical brain activity
    associated with the trained movement. This suggests the mental exercises
    had increased the size of the brain signal sent to the muscles, thus
    increasing muscle strength when an actual movement was performed.

    The work has implications for "improving motor function in patients who are
    too weak to participate in conventional strengthening programmes, but are
    mentally healthy and motivated to engage themselves in mental practice",
    the authors said.

    Ranganathan, V.K., Siemionow, V., Liu, J.Z., Sahgal, V. & Yue, G.H. (2004).
    From mental power to muscle power - gaining strength by using the mind.
    Neuropsychologia, 42, 944-956.

    Journal weblink:
    You are not aware of the consequences that would result (if you were granted what you desire) because what you seek might be to your detriment. (O soul) be conscious that your Master is more aware about your well-being than you are.

    ~Ibn Al-Jawzee


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