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Mental Practice Helps with Motor Recovery Even After Severe Stroke

how mental practice boosts stroke recovery

Mental practice is clinically proven to boost mobility after stroke.

And it even provides hope for recovery from post-stroke paralysis.

This is a bold statement to make, but we’re backing it up with hard science.

If you’ve never heard of mental practice before, get ready for some amazing news.

How Does Mental Practice Benefit Stroke Recovery?

Mental practice involves visualizing yourself doing something — ideally something that you want to get better at.

This visualization can help with stroke recovery because it activates neuroplasticity, the mechanism the brain uses to rewire itself and recover lost functions after stroke.

Neuroplasticity is activated through repetition. This is why your physical therapist wants you to repeat rehab exercises over and over and over.

The more you repeat something (whether it’s a thought or action), the more your brain rewires itself to get better at that thing.

For example, repetitive leg exercises after stroke will help improve leg function. Similarly, repetitive visualization of leg exercises may also help improve leg function.

This is where mental practice comes in to play.

Mental Practice May Help Post-Stroke Paralysis

When you mentally practice something, you activate neuroplasticity the same way that physical practice does.

Studies report increased blood flow, electromyographic activity, and resulting changes in organization of the motor cortex in stroke patients after mental practice.

And the hard science doesn’t stop there.

Studies have shown that combining mental practice with physical practice helps improve mobility more than just physical practice alone.

This provides hope for all stroke patients – whether you have some movement or struggle with post-stroke paralysis.

Because even if you can’t do stroke recovery exercises at all, you can still visualize yourself doing them, which starts the rewiring process.

How to Use Mental Practice for Recovery

Wherever you are in your stroke recovery process, try to add mental practice to your daily regimen.

Ideally, do your mental practice right before your daily physical therapy for the best results.

If you struggle with paralysis and cannot exercise on your own, you’ll need to start with smaller steps.

First, choose one movement that you want to get better at, like bicep curls. Then spend time every day visualizing yourself doing bicep curls.

Afterwards, use your non-affected side to assist your affected arm through bicep curl movements. This passive paralysis exercises will help stimulate the brain and “wake up” your arm.

Continue to combine mental practice with passive exercise every day. Results will likely come slowly, but hopefully daily practice will help bring movement into your affected arm.

While the chances of recovery from stroke paralysis very greatly from patient to patient, you’ll never know what’s possible unless you try.

Start Your Practice Today

As you can see, mental practice can have a massive impact on your recovery.

It helps activate neuroplasticity and rewire your brain faster than just physical practice alone.

While there’s no guarantee that it can help you recover from paralysis, it provides a hopeful reason to try!

Keep It Going: Download Our Stroke Recovery Ebook for Free

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See how Steve is recovering from post-stroke paralysis

“My husband had a massive stroke in Feb 2018. He was released from the hospital in April 2018, however after he left the hospital he was unable to get therapy for over a year.

In August 2019 we purchased the FitMi, because his right side is paralyzed quite often he must use both hands and feet to do the suggested exercises… and the most amazing thing is… He IS making progress.

The doctors are astonished because he is now able to move his his right leg, foot and toes. As well as his arm and wrist. His wrist had spasticity. Very bad but the program is truly helpful.

I am so happy with this purchase. It’s working! Still a long way to go but Steve is making improvements!”

FitMi is our best-selling home therapy tool because it helps patients see REAL results, just like Steve.

To see how FitMi works, click here »

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