woman receiving physiotherapy treatment

Physical Therapies and Mental Health

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual can cope with the normal stressors of life, can work productively, and is able to make contributions to his or her community. Mental health includes different components of life such as having a good relationship with family and having supportive friends, with the ability to talk about personal feelings. For leisure time it is about having hobbies and doing exercise, or any type of physical movement on a regular basis. Mental disorders comprise of a broad range of difficulties. They are generally characterized by a combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and relationships with others.

Exercise is an evidence-based treatment for patients with mental health issues. Physical therapists work with people who may have mental health issues coupled with other long-term health issues. The goal of physical therapy is to be able to help a person move and perform day-to-day tasks without experiencing pain. 

When we have limited movement, experience frequent pain, or suffer from severe injury, we might feel defeated or helpless, and start to become depressed and isolated.  Physical therapy involves exercise, rehabilitation, pain management, and other therapeutic measures to relieve pain and improve strength and mobility. Forms of physical therapy include; massage therapy, osteopathic treatments, physiotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and reflexology. 

Some benefits of physical therapies on your mental health include:

1. Gives hope – Throughout a pain management program, patients may be prescribed a series of exercises to enhance overall physical performance. Regular exercise helps the body produce hormones called “endorphins,” which can block sensations of pain and discomfort.

2. Reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, lowers blood pressure and heart rate and increases serotonin and oxytocin levels – Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in stabilizing your mood and promoting sleep, while oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” has anti-anxiety effects and promotes feelings of relaxation, trust and psychological stability. 

3. Improves the immune system – Regular exercise improves flexibility and helps increase the strength of the body’s immune system, making you less susceptible to future illness and pain.

4. Focuses on long-term management, not just instant relief – While many of us might use the nearest pharmaceutical to numb an ache, physical therapy provides pain relief and helps us prevent the recurrence of injury.

5. Encourages us to keep going – Good physical therapists can encourage a person to keep working and improving through positive reinforcement. When applied effectively, encouragement can make a real difference in a patient’s life.

6. Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression – Exercise tends to improve self-esteem and perceived self-worth, which will allow patients to have increased social interactions. 

7. Improve brain functionality – Patients will also see improvements in their quality of sleep, reduced fatigue, improved mental alertness, and overall a happier mood. 

Acupuncture and massage therapy have proven to be effective forms of stress relief. This can help improve emotional and mental well-being and ease symptoms associated with specific mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. These forms of alternative medicine are able to relieve stress that builds up inside over time. Acupuncture and massage relieve stress by restoring a healthy, balanced energy flow throughout the body. Acupuncture does so through the use of needles placed in specific parts of the body, while massage therapy targets certain muscles and other parts of the body in order to relieve tension.

Here at Ultimate Health Clinic, we carry a well-versed, multi-disciplined, and knowledgeable team, specializing in services such as; Osteopathic Treatments, Massage Therapy, Chiropractic Care, Physiotherapy, Reflexology, and Medical Aesthetics. Independently, or together, we will work to create plan with a diverse approach to a long-term solution to your concerns. Give us a call at (905) 251–0162 or visit our website and book your appointment today! 

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