Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions that vary in severity from mild to chronic. While anxiety is a condition of the brain, the treatment protocol does not have to be one that focuses on medications or counselling. One treatment for anxiety that is a little different is exercise physio treatment.
When most people think of physio, they think of a form of treatment used to treat injuries to the body. However, physiotherapy can be utilised to great effect for anxiety. Everyone knows that exercise can have an incredible effect on your physical well-being, but the effect on your mental well being can be even greater. Your physiotherapist can devise a programme to help you with a whole range of problems linked to your anxiety. Read on for three problems that can be tackled.
Improve Your Blood Pressure
People with anxiety disorders live with fluctuations in blood pressure that tally with feeling sad and stressed. Blood pressure is at its healthiest level when it is neither high nor low. A well-designed exercise programme can help you manage your blood pressure. Regular exercise improves health by making the heart stronger. You should aim to exercise on most days. If you can't get to your therapist daily, ask them to create a programme that you can do anywhere.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
The stress felt by people suffering from anxiety is sometimes debilitating, making life feel impossible. Physio can be a great tool for reducing stress. Massage therapy helps by decreasing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol—the 'fight or flight' hormone that is frequently high in people suffering from anxiety. Cortisol is the reason your heart beats faster, your muscle tense, and your blood vessels constrict. This is a response that is only useful when you're placed in danger and need to respond fast. Prolonged, elevated levels of cortisol can negatively impact the body in many ways—low immune function, weight gain, reduced bone density and heart disease, to name but a few.
Elevate Your Mood
Anxiety sufferers regularly experience low mood brought on by an extreme dip in self-confidence. Regular exercise releases endorphins and neurotransmitters. These feel-good hormones help you remain stable and happy. Most importantly, they have the power to boost your mood and increase your self-confidence levels. Your therapist will be able to teach you several different exercise routines that you can do when your mood is low. Having a variety of exercises will mean that no matter where you are, you'll be able to do some exercise to get you back on track.
Counselling and medication can be invaluable in the treatment of anxiety. Exercise physio can be a great complement to those, or if you'd prefer, an alternative.