After working for many years in health care as a physical therapist and health care executive, I have witnessed peoples’ life-changing events, illnesses and recoveries. I have seen how powerful the human mind is and how much our mindset affects our mind, our body, our spirit, and, most importantly, our results.

I have often wondered why people feel fatigued, have chronic pain, or get sick for no obvious reason, especially when traditional medicine cannot find a cause. I have also seen amazing recoveries from illness and injuries when physicians and health care providers expected little or no recovery.

After studying with the world’s experts in the field of human potential, I started to realize the power of our mind and now I can see how our mindset affects our physical performance, our health and wellbeing. I am so grateful to share more about this in my book ‘Imagine a Healthy You.’

The power of motor imagery:

Motor imagery is the mind imagining an action or function of the body without performing it actually. This has become more and more important in self-healing and enhancing sports performance. Visualization and imagery activate the same brain cells as if you would actually perform the activity. There have been various studies and they all concluded that if we use both mental and physical practice we improve our results drastically.

Whether you want to progress your golf game, run a marathon, enhance your wellbeing or develop better functioning after surgery or any event causing you pain and weakness, you can use the same mighty approach. You can magnify your motor functions through imagery, you have the capacity to use your mental muscles to amplify your results. In addition, you can build new neural pathways not only with new behaviors, but also through your imagination. We know the body’s performance is an expression of what is going on in our mind! That is why it is so powerful to practice motor imagery.

Here are key steps to start practicing motor imagery:

- You can practice imagery at any time, on our own. For example, while resting or after physical activities, you can practice using your mind to rehearse the desired movements and results.
- When you practice motor imagery, it does not matter if your body is able to complete the physical task fully, partially, or even at all. The mental picture combined with the feeling of excitement, and the imagination of actually performing the movement and its repetition, is the key to your success.
- Take time to imagine your desired goal, the actual movement of performing each step of it. For example, let's go walking or running along the beach. You imagine the detail of the activity and strengthen that picture by using your five senses. You feel the sand under your feet, the wind blowing, you smell the ocean air and hear the waves. You add the feeling of excitement to it, the freedom of being on the ocean, running against the wind or in the sun, whatever resonates with your goal.
You can apply this to any of your desired activities and sports.

These are fascinating concepts and there is so much I would love to share with you. Take your health and wellness in your own hands! Improve your physical performance and wellbeing through the power of imagery and learn more about the human potential we all have, our magnificent mind.

Author's Bio: 

Ulrike Berzau, is a certified Thinking Into Results consultant and holds a Master Degree in Management, a Master Degree in Health Science, Physical Therapy, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executive.

She has an impressive track record as coach, mentor and healthcare executive in the United States, Egypt and Germany leading and coaching individuals and organizations achieving exceptional results.

Ulrike is a consultant with an unwavering passion for igniting the talent and brilliance in others and her international and multicultural experiences allow her to relate to a diverse audience.

Ulrike is the co-author of the International Best-Seller 'Imagine a Healthy You' and uses her coaching, leadership, business and healthcare skills and experiences to be of service to those who aspire excellence and extraordinary results.