The Mind-to-Muscle Pattern

A Case Study with Fernando

Bobby G Bodenhamer, D.Min. 

Fernando as a 27 year old male had experienced blocking/stuttering since he was nine years old.  During our first few hours of therapy, Fernando’s father stood out as the main contributor to Fernando’s problem. The fear of his father drove his anxieties that were behind his blocking. 

As I was questioning Fernando during our fourth session about how it was in his home as a child when he desired to express his feelings, Fernando replied, “I was never allowed to express my feelings. I was made to believe that my feelings were not ‘legitimate.’ I have always thought that my father lay at the root of my problems. Deep inside I always knew that dad was at the root of my blocking.”

I kept on going with this thought when Fernando interrupted. Fernando inquired, “Did you notice?”  I inquired, “Notice what?”  Fernando continued, “When I was telling you about my thoughts concerning dad’s being at the root of my blocking, I was fluent. I felt a ‘lightness’ in my chest and I was totally fluent.”  “Yes, that is correct Fernando, you were totally fluent.”

I picked up on this thought and explained to Fernando how that when a child is not permitted to express honest emotion, that can cause great harm in adulthood. Then I inquired, “And, Fernando, what does it mean to you that you felt that ‘lightness’ in your chest when you were expressing honest emotions and beliefs about your father’s role in your blocking?"

Fernando, “It means that the feeling is right.”  Further inquiry revealed that to Fernando, experiencing that ‘lightness’ in his chest when he was discussing his honest feelings about his father’s role in his blocking, let him know that his feelings were right all along and that his father was the one in the wrong. Fernando summarized it when he said, “My feelings are valid.”

So, picking up on Fernando’s principal that “His feelings were valid,” I proceeded to lead him in incorporating this principal into his very muscles. The fear of his father being incorporated into his muscles drove his blocking. So, Fernando’s ability to honestly express his feelings about his father and getting the affirmation from the internal feeling of lightness provided an extremely valuable resource in Fernando’s gaining fluency.  I proceeded with the “Mind to Muscle Pattern” to install this resource state into his muscles (See Figure 1).

  1. The principal to incorporate into my muscles – The principal that I wanted to lead Fernando in installing in his muscles was, “My feelings are valid.”
  2. Describing the principle as a belief – “So, Fernando, what do you believe about your ‘feelings being valid?’”  Fernando, “I believe that my feelings are valid.”
  3. Re-formating the belief as a decision – “And, Fernando, what will holding the belief that your feelings are valid lead to in your life?  What will you decide to do?”  “I am going to apply it. I am going to be conscious of it all the time.”
  4. Rephrasing the belief and decision as an emotional state/experience – “How do you feel about that, Fernando?”  “It makes me feel like I have some control of myself.  I have a ‘feeling of control.’”
  5. Turning the emotions into actions that express the belief and decision – “And with that ‘feeling of control,’ how will you be changing your behavior?”  “I will be conscious of it all the time especially when the validity of my feelings is being challenged especially with my father. This will certainly give me a lot more ‘hope’ – that’s for sure!”
  6. Stepping into the action and letting the higher levels of the mind spiral downwards – I led Fernando to repeat the above thought-feelings several times. He wrote them down to continue processing. The purpose is to take these thoughts and to continue rehearsing them in one’s mind over and over and putting them into practice so that they become habituated.

Summary Steps to “Mind-to-Muscle”

  1. “I understand…”

  2. “I believe…”

  3. “From this day forward I will…”

  4. “I feel and experience…”

  5. “The one thing that I will do today as an expression of this understanding, concept, belief, decision and state is….”

  6. Step into your higher understandings and bring it back down through numbers 2 to 5. Repeat this looping to install.

Figure 1
Mind to Muscle Pattern
A Case Study



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Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D.Min. is an international trainer in Neuro-Semantics and NLP, author of numerous books, ordained minister, and director of the First Institute of NS in Gastonia NC.


2003 Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D. Min.  All rights reserved.