Imagining can make things better.

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Visualization is a key in most sports and activities if one wants to improve their skill and performance.  Gait retraining through visualization should thus work as well. This study which has yet to be executed, hypothesizes that we should be able to change and improve our gait through visualization of changes.  Motor imagery, envisioning motor actions without actual execution, has been used to improve gait in Parkinson's disease and poststroke. In this study subjects will be asked to specifically imagine walking, imagine talking and imagine walking while talking.  It will be interesting to see what they discover, but we suspect that this should be like improving any other motor task, that visualization improves the task.  Learning occurs on several levels.  One should also consider not only asking clients to do their prescribed corrective exercise homework and movements, but also visualize them even when actual physical execution is not feasible.

Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2017 Nov 22. doi: 10.2217/nmt-2017-0024. [Epub ahead of print]
Motor imagery of walking and walking while talking: a pilot randomized-controlled trial protocol for older adults. Blumen HM1, Verghese J1.