Additional Notes - Reimagine Yourself
Original Article - Reimagine Yourself.
I don’t remember how old I was when I read that story about the violin player. I think it might have been when I was still in high-school. It really captured my imagination back then because the whole thing sounds like magic. I remember that many have commented on the story, claiming that science shows that mental imagery can almost completely replace physical workouts. I knew that it could not be that good but I was young and dumb then, somewhere inside I kind of hoped it was true.
For a week after reading that story, every person I met had to listen to me talk about it for a while. Even after I stopped bothering people with it, I still thought about it every once in a while. With the passing of time, I looked at it from a more skeptical point of view. I always figured that one day I would try to look it up again and also see what science has to say about this.
From what I’ve seen, mental imagery is a big thing in psychology. I did not dig too deep into that, the idea of using MI for diagnosis and other medicinal aids was a bit of a read on its own. I’ve seen more papers in the subject from recent years than previous years, I’m hoping this means that this gets a lot of scientific attention.
There are also a lot of articles about using MI for sports, it has a lot of supporters. This has all inspired me to try it for myself. Every time I get a few minutes off or before I go to sleep, I use every bit of mental power I possess to imagine me holding a video-game controller, and I practice my technique. This is the closest thing I do to sport.
The two papers that I’ve talked about in the article are both very interesting. Obviously, they go into everything in much more detail than I did, and their conclusions are worth reading. They also shed some light on taking and using hand-grip strength measurements, which seems to be charmingly simple and reliable. I’ll link them here again.
- The power of the mind: the cortex as a critical determinant of muscle strength/weakness - Brian C. Clark, Niladri K Mahato, Masato Nakazawa, Timothy D. Law, James S. Thomas - 2014.
- Grip Strength Is Associated With Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenia and the General Population: A UK Biobank Study of 476,559 Participants - Joseph Firth, Brendon Stubbs, Davy Vancampfort, Josh A. Firth, Mathew Large, Simon Rosenbaum, Mats Hallgren, Philip B Ward, Jerome Sarris, Alison R Yung. 2018.