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Rehabilitating mental physiology is all about activating weakened muscular chains and deactivating or stretching the activated compensations.


Developing a complete picture of how to best activate structural muscular chains will probably be many years of work, so this article provides a few basic ideas.

Start with Diagnosis

Naturally the first step is to identify which particular muscular chains are weakened.


Once that’s done it becomes possible to identify which muscles to target.


The basic philosophy is that the more weakened muscles that can be targeted the more beneficial the exercise. However there is of course no way to target all weakened muscles simultaneously, so only some can be activated with any given movement.


Finding new and novel ways to activate weakened chains is a fun thing to do and each new variation tends to lead to benefits.

Example Exercises

The following exercises are by no means exhaustive and are just meant to give a few suggestions for activating chains.


For the Anxiety Pattern - Anterior Curl

  • Lay down with the face to the ceiling/sky

  • Raise the knees to the chest, use the hands to pull them in

  • Place the tongue to the bottom of the mouth

  • Retract the head

  • Breathe out

  • Bring the chin inwards and downwards to the chest as much as possible, but without straining


For the Depression Pattern - Posterior Curl

  • Lay face down

  • Hold the ankles and raise the chin

  • Place the tongue on the top of the mouth

  • Breath out

  • Push the chin forward and upwards


For the Bipolar Pattern - Donkey Kick and Neck Nod

  • Start on all fours

  • Raise the leg on the depression side (weak deep neck extensors) to activate the glutes and hamstrings

  • Raise the hand on the anxiety side (weak deep neck flexors) and create a bicep curl position with the fist facing the head (the position doesn’t have to be exact)

  • Pull the chin inwards (retract) to activate deep neck muscles

  • Breathe out

  • Hang the tongue out of the mouth slightly through opened teeth

  • Pull the chin inwards to activate the weakened anterior chain, push the chin outwards to activate the weakened posterior chain 


Exercises for the ADD pattern can be a combination of all the exercises for other patterns, the key is to balance out the activation of the anterior and posterior chains and the left and right chains.


Note: more specific instructions with images and videos will be posted in the future.

Chain Activations - The Key to Rehab