How does Physiotherapy Helps to Overcome Depression | Jasrah Javed (PT) | NEED A PHYSIO
What is Depression?
Depression is a type of mood disorder which results in a feeling of misery, despondency, dejection. A state of prolonged sadness which creates a feeling of heavy heartedness and discouragement.
The symptoms may appear as a feeling of sadness, anxiety, low energy, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, difficulty in decision-making, lack of focus and concentration, headaches, cramps, poor digestion, lack of interest and suicidal thoughts in severe cases.
Depression may occur due to some personal and family issues, side effects of certain medications, excessive workload, and stress or major life changes.
“I am exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel…..”
“Sleep just doesn't sleep anymore, it’s an escape…..”
“No amount of sleep could cure the tiredness I feel…….”
“I’ll be alright, one day, someday, just not today……….”
And many more thoughts, emotions, feelings, fears. The unspoken truth, that ultimately drags a person into a world in which there is no end to despair, loneliness, distress, agony, pain, that we all in our common language call DEPRESSION.
Role Of Physiotherapy:
We all know that the common treatment protocol for depression till now is medications, psychological treatments, maybe some counseling sessions or psychotherapy and sometimes electric shock treatment. Can we think of some other alternatives? Which are drug-free, pain-free and involves full participation of the person. Here, physiotherapy might make the things easier. Let’s see how.
Physiotherapist emphasizes on improving muscle strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, maintaining body weight, body mass index, reducing the chances of falls.
Exercise cause increase in blood circulation causing proper oxygen supply and nutrient supply to the blood which results in mood regulation. Physical activities prescribed by a physiotherapist is associated with improvement in the quality of life.
Deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises help in relaxation. Can be done in a sitting position. Relax your body completely, relax shoulders, take a deep breath, inhale and exhale through the nose. This can also be done by exhaling through the mouth (pursed lips).
Muscle Flexibility Exercises
The flexibility exercises include stretching of muscles. It enhances the extensibility of muscles and maintains the normal range of motion of major joints in the body. These exercises can be done very easily on your own also called as the Self- Stretching exercises.
Endurance is the ability to withstand fatigue and stress. It enhances the ability of a person to remain active. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises help maintain the muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and respiratory endurance as well.
Relaxation techniques are very useful for the peace of mind. It helps a person to effectively combat stress. These techniques involve meditation, yoga, deep breathing.
Muscle strengthening exercises are important to overcome body weaknesses. These are done with an external resistance provided while performing exercises. It strengthens the muscles and joints and helps relieve body pain and overcome certain degenerative changes in the body. Causing an increased blood circulation and blood pressure regulation. It helps to maintain metabolism in the body. It helps improve mood and reduce depression, especially in older adults, research from Harvard University
These exercises improve the joint motion and function. It maintains joint range of motion. These exercises can be used as a warm-up.
Hydrotherapy means exercising in water. This is a beneficial way of physical activity as water’s property of buoyancy help put less impact on joints, water provides resistance in all directions to the body helping in muscle strengthening. Underwater exercises are beneficial for improving respiratory function.
Few Words by Author:
Physical activity always increases your self-esteem and self-confidence as it is a kind of self-management which enables you to assess yourself on your own, work on yourself on your own and see the difference. This fact is not yet known by many of us about the ability of physiotherapy to cure mental diseases along with physical. I hope after reading this article, you can have a fair idea about the role of physiotherapists in improving mental health along with physical. If you associate yourself in any way with this article, talk to your physiotherapist and get a prescribed exercise protocol.
Work for your own mental well-being.
Dr.Jasrah Javed (PT), Delhi.
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