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How IMF Therapy® Works

Below is an full explanation of IMF Therapy.
For more technical clinical information go to
Clinical Information on IMF Therapy

Before proceeding, it is important to understand that
nerve damage is indeed reversible!

Key features of IMF Therapy®:

When a person visualises a given movement, even without actually moving, the brain sends impulses to the intended muscle groups. For example, if a person with a paralysed arm visualises serving at tennis with that arm, the brain sends electrical impulses to all the muscles that would indeed be used for the physical movement of serving the tennis ball. The impulses are too weak to activate the target muscles however, due to the nerve damage.

With repetitive training the CNS (Central Nervous System) increases the amount of impulses reaching the target areas and function of the muscle groups is gradually restored.

This is known as neuroplasticity and is verified by scientific data from luminaries such as Nobel Prize winner Erik Kendal and Marc Jeannerod. In relative terms this approach is very new and has only gained acceptance with more forward thinking medical professionals.

So how does this remarkable process take place in our bodies? There are two types of external plasticity and one internal type, so called for ease of reference. The external types are well recognised:

  • Structual plasticity, where activating the neural pathways encourages the nervous system to find alternative routes for the impulses to reach their destination. We all have an abundance of neural pathways with only a small percentage in use. Visualisation encourages previously unused pathways to take over the task of relaying the impulses from the brain to the target muscles.
  • Synaptic plasticity, where the tip of the damaged neuron is encouraged to grow, rather like the rooting system of a plant and reconnect with another pathway. This is known as “sprouting”. The result is once again the delivery of increased impulse levels reaching the target muscles.
  • This is the internal type of plasticity which we refer to as "memory plasticity" or "memory trace regain". This describes the plastic changes within the brain as we currently understand them, and a short explanation follows:

All nerve damage is accompanied by memory loss. This is an astonishing fact. You can say to anyone who has suffered nerve damage of any kind “After 3-4 weeks of the trauma occurring, you lost the memory of the FEELING of being able to move the affected part of the body.” They will agree with you and it might even be news to them.

So nerve damage is indeed associated with memory loss and here is why; when we develop as children our brains store all the data we need to “anticipate” any given movement.

This data is accessed without conscious application once the movement is fully learned, ie. we don`t need to think about how to reach out for a glass or take a step forward because we`ve learned how to do that. Nerve damage though, affects the ability of the brain to find those original motor programmes, we call these memory traces.

We now know that it is possible for the brain to find those memory traces that connect to the original motor programmes, those that we learned and our brain stored when we were children. It is impossible to predict when this will occur but visualising will encourage this process.

A useful analogy is that of a computer; non-affected people access their memories from their primary hard drive and connection is good. People affected by nerve damage however, are left with a second or post path hard drive where the connection is not good and not all the data that was stored on their primary hard drive is accessible.

So this translates into a practical opportunity where people with nerve damage can become empowered and make definite improvements to their condition.

What you have to do, and the IMF Device:

You must be prepared to work for at least ninety minutes per day, split into 30 minute therapy sessions. You are assisted in finding the best visualisations to work with, those which will best stimulate the nervous system.

You work mentally for the whole session and the IMF Device provides feedback to the muscles, and hence the brain, using electrical stimulation to two adjacent muscle groups.

The IMF Therapy device

When set up, the device waits for the user to overcome the resting potential of the muscle by adding the electrical signals from the brain. These are produced by visualising a movement of the affected area, eg. nerve damage in the arm or hand would require the user to visualise using the arm or hand. Nerve damage in the spine or legs would require the use of visualisations for those areas and so on.

The learning process begins and we track your progress with the EMG on the device, which tells us the strength of the impulse to the target muscles, measured in microvolts (millionths of a volt). You keep a track record of impulse levels and time spent working with the therapy. As the strength of the impulse to the muscles increases, function is gradually restored.

Results come quickly enough to maintain the high motivation levels required - the impulse strength normally doubles within one week - and spectacular results are not unknown.

Please go to the IMF in Action page to see results from users of the therapy or use one of the links below to see the latest clinical data from Germany.