Releasing Muscular Tension

Having to hunker down at home opens up a space for activities such as exploring ideokinesis in ‘constructive rest position’, a term that I learned from my mentor Irene Dowd many years ago. This may be very useful to offer to your students at this time – both for re-patterning movement and releasing excessive muscular tension.

I learned about ideokinesis, which is envisioning a specific action or line of movement happening in the body without actually moving the body. We did ideokinesis lying on our back with our knees bent, feet slightly apart so the knees fell towards each other (I prefer to simply place my lower leg on a coffee table or over a bolster) and hands resting by our side or resting on our abdomen.

The guided ideokinesis clip below has the focus of asking the muscles to get into the state of no-work, or neutral. It starts off with a quick explanation and then goes into a guided visualization of about 18 minutes.

Hoping that you and your students might find this useful in this stressful time! We need to arm our toolkits with many different strategies as you never know which one is going to be effective for our students (and ourselves). Try it – and if you are so inclined share your comments below.

To your success! Deborah

Guided Ideokinesis by Deborah Vogel

A Celebration Gift!

I’m inspired today by Obama’s words – and seeing the energy of hopefulness about the future. (plus the sun is shining today! Always a good omen for NE Ohio in January!)

I’d like to share a mp3 file with you of guided imagery that I created for my students. As I talk about in the Body/Brain connection ebook – your brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. I first learned about ideokinesis (using imagery to change neuromuscular pathways) from Irene Dowd and it has guided my rehab work ever since then. In order to make a real physical change you have to go back to the cortical or brain level and change the message that is being sent out.

The focus of this mp3 file is to simply release all unnecessary tension and to increase your physical state of well-being. When you listen to it you can either be in constructive rest position which is lying on your back with your legs supported over pillows or on a chair – or sitting easily upright, supported comfortably in a chair. (note: it is 26 minutes)

Enjoy! (and if you do listen – please leave a comment!)

click here!

May we all dance today in gratitude and hope!


“Education is the key to injury prevention”