24 March 2021

Ideokinesis - “the image or thought as facilitator of the movement”

The importance that imagery or thought has upon muscles patterns is due to what movement is. A movement is a neuromusculoskeletal event, which means for movement to take place, the following systems must be involved:

  • Nervous; is the messenger. It transmits impulses or messages to the muscles to contract or release. Organises the muscles patterns on a subcortical level, that is, the level below consciousness.
  • Muscular; is the workhorse or the support system. Muscles Patterns are a complexity of muscles that perform desired movements: organizing muscle patterns is a highly complex and sophisticated task. The nervous system does below the level of consciousness.
  • Skeletal; is the support system that moved by the work of the muscles.  

One should not try and organise the muscles patterns consciously, as this will interfere with the process. One conscious role in movement is to focus on the movement, because the nervous system, in organizing the muscles patterns, responds to the clarity of one’s concept of what the movement is. 

If the movement is not done well, then the muscle pattern is poor, suggesting the “wrong” message ( an incorrect concept of the movement ) has been transmitted through the nervous system to the muscles. The wrong message is the result of either a lack of clarity about the movement or a previously established poor muscles patter associated with the movement,

The objective of ideokinesis is to change the message and rethink the movement to change the poor muscle pattern.

- Rethinking the movement is formed into an image and used as a means to change the muscle pattern. 

Todd, Mable Ellsworth. The Thinking Body: A Study of the Balancing Forces of Dynamic Man. The Gestalt Journal Press. Kindle Edition.