Stage 2 - Explicit Motor Imagery.
This involves thinking about moving without actually moving your effected limb. With approx. 25% of the brain’s neurones being mirror neurones that start firing when we simply see or imagine something. We call this empathy and are why when we see someone yawning, we have the impulse to do the same or we see someone eating bugs on I’m a celebrity we can feel physically sick. This in turn encourages the brain to find new pathways and rewire.
You may not realise but we use Explicit Motor Imagery (EMI) everyday, when we plan a journey, we may walk through it in our mind before setting off or when were about to prepare a meal we run through the process first to ensure all the ingredients come together at the right time, sportsman/woman imagine their goals whether it be the high jump or taking a penalty.
Explicit Motor Imagery (EMI) can be practised any time at home, work or even on the bus. Just sit, stand or lie down and start to think of making movements with your affected limb but do not actually make the movement. If it becomes uncomfortable imagine the limb at rest for a while and then try again.
Movement can be anything from open and closing a clenched hand, waving, bending and straightening a limb, to wiggling your toes.