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The Importance of Praxis in Rehabilitation: A Complete Guide


Praxis

Praxis is a set of motor skills that allow us to perform coordinated and purposeful actions.  They go beyond simple reflex movements, involving the planning and execution of gestures and activities that are part of our daily routine. From dressing to writing, praxis is intrinsically linked to our interactions with the world around us.


But what happens when these abilities are affected? This is when rehabilitation and physical therapy come into the picture, offering hope and recovery.


In this KinesixVR article, we explore what praxis is, its different types, and how our software approaches rehabilitation to improve the quality of life for people with reduced mobility. 


What is Praxis?


Praxis is a brain function that allows us to execute movements and gestures in a voluntary, coordinated, and organized way. It is a skill that we use every day, often without even thinking about it, to perform activities such as tying our shoes, writing, or even gesturing while talking.


Unlike reflex or automatic movements, praxis requires conscious planning and execution. This means that, when we talk about praxis, we are referring to our brain's ability to imagine, plan, and perform a movement with a specific purpose. 


This ability is distinguished from other motor skills that may be more instinctive or automatic, such as walking or blinking, which do not require the same level of conscious planning.


Understanding what praxis is, is essential in rehabilitation, particularly for those facing neurological disorders or brain injury. Praxis therapy aims to improve impaired skills, essential for restoring autonomy and improving quality of life. A well-targeted approach allows patients to regain the ability to perform daily activities, facilitating their return to a functional life.


Types of praxis


For correct rehabilitation, it is crucial to recognize the types of praxis and their characteristics and applications. Among the most prominent are ideomotor praxis and ideational praxis, which are fundamental for the design of effective therapeutic interventions.


Ideomotor praxis refers to the ability to perform voluntary movements in response to verbal commands or imitation of gestures.


For example, if we ask someone to make a greeting gesture or pretend to brush their teeth, they are using their ideomotor praxis. This skill is vital, as it allows us to execute everyday actions that are fundamental to our autonomy and social interaction. 


On the other hand, ideational praxis involves the ability to conceive and carry out a series of goal-oriented movements, such as dressing or cooking. Unlike ideomotor praxis, which focuses on individual actions, ideational praxis requires a sequence of coordinated steps. 


This ability is essential for performing tasks that require planning and sequencing, key aspects of daily life, and recovery during rehabilitation.


Correct identification and treatment of ideomotor and ideational praxis difficulties can make a big difference in the recovery and quality of patients' lives. Therefore, the inclusion of strategies aimed at improving these types of praxis in rehabilitation plans is essential to achieve successful outcomes.


The Significance of Praxis in Rehabilitation


Understanding praxis and its significance not only provides a basis for diagnosis and assessment but also influences the development of personalized therapeutic strategies that can lead to more successful patient outcomes.


Improvement of Rehabilitation Plans


By understanding praxis, therapists can accurately identify specific areas of weakness or dysfunction in patients. This knowledge allows for the creation of more targeted and effective rehabilitation plans. 


For example, if a patient has difficulties with ideomotor praxis, activities can focus on improving the ability to perform specific voluntary movements. 


On the other hand, if the difficulties are related to ideational praxis, the focus may be on helping the patient plan and execute sequences of actions. By customizing the rehabilitation approach to the patient's specific needs, more significant and faster improvements can be achieved.


Incorporation of Praxis Understanding in Therapies:


Incorporating an understanding of praxis into therapy requires a holistic approach that not only focuses on the repetition of movements but also the understanding and planning behind these movements. This may include:


  • Cognitive-behavioral strategies: helping patients understand their abilities and limitations and develop strategies to overcome them.


  • Occupational therapy: using activities of daily living to improve praxis skills in meaningful and practical contexts.


  • Specific exercises: design exercises that mimic everyday activities or real-life situations to improve the transfer of skills to the patient's daily life.


  • Use of technology and games: implement technological tools or gaming applications that can make therapy more engaging and measurable, allowing patients to practice praxis in an interactive and fun way.


The ultimate goal of incorporating an understanding of praxis into rehabilitation is to equip patients with the tools and skills necessary to achieve the greatest independence and quality of life possible.


Rehabilitation and Praxis in Kinesix VR


At Kinesix VR we address the rehabilitation of praxis from an innovative and technologically advanced perspective. Our approach focuses on integrating traditional therapy with the latest innovations in immersive virtual reality to provide effective and motivating treatment for our patients.


We specialize in the assessment and treatment of various praxis, including ideomotor and ideational praxis, using a combination of proven and certified methods. Here's how we integrate praxis into our services:


  • Virtual Reality (VR): we use virtual reality to create safe and controlled environments where patients can practice and develop their praxis skills without the risks of the real world. This immersive technology not only helps in improving motor and cognitive skills but also increases patient motivation and engagement through playful and engaging learning experiences.


  • Therapy through gamification: we incorporate gamification specially designed to facilitate the improvement of praxis. These games are not only entertaining, but are also designed to help patients work on specific movements, coordination, and task sequencing, providing instant and objective feedback on their performance.


  • Customized exercises and remote monitoring: We offer customized exercise programs so that patients can perform telerehabilitation in the comfort of their own homes. In addition, through remote supervision, our therapists can monitor patient progress in real-time, adjust exercises as needed, and provide ongoing guidance and support.


  • Motion sensor integration: We implement motion sensors to capture the patient's movements in detail. This allows us to accurately assess praxis performance and tailor rehabilitation programs to address specific areas of improvement.


At Kinesix VR, we believe that the key to successful praxis rehabilitation lies in a balanced combination of traditional approaches and emerging technologies. Our mission is to provide our patients with the tools and resources necessary to overcome the challenges associated with praxis, enabling them to achieve full recovery and significantly improve their quality of life.






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