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Role of Physio in Mental Wellbeing

When it comes to physiotherapy, most people associate it with the journey of healing from an injury or helping to manage long term pain. As with many aspects of health, there is a major shift from compartmentalising or seeing a person as one dimensional. Human beings are multifaceted and supporting all aspects is not only beneficial but crucial for someone’s wellbeing journey.


The WHO has defined health ‘as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.


In the face of mental health challenges like depression and anxiety, it’s important to be aware that supporting your physical wellbeing is just as important as working on your emotional and social wellbeing, for these are more intertwined than we give credit. It is for this reason that physiotherapy can play a vital role in supporting you in your journey to mental wellbeing.


A physiotherapist can empower you to return to or start engaging in exercise, healthy lifestyle habits and stress-reducing activities. These are known to increase the resilience of the body to stress and breaking the cycle of pain. Experiencing persistent pain has been very closely associated with depression and anxiety. So physiotherapy is a supportive intervention that can assist you and the rest of your healthcare team in the journey to overcoming mental health struggles by managing pain.


Exercise as Your Companion

Exercise has long been recognized as a powerful tool for managing mental health. Regular physical activity has the remarkable ability to release endorphins, natural mood boosters that help alleviate pain and discomfort while fostering feelings of wellbeing. Engaging in exercise not only positively impacts your physical health but also serves as an essential companion in mental wellbeing.


A physiotherapist is able to work closely with you to develop a personalized exercise plan tailored to your unique needs and abilities. By understanding your limitations and goals, we can create an exercise routine that promotes mental wellbeing while taking into account any physical challenges you may be facing.


Unleashing Stress-Reducing Techniques

Stress often intensifies both physical and emotional pain, creating a daunting cycle that feels difficult to break. Together with your physiotherapist, you can explore various stress-reducing techniques that can help you find relief and build resilience. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness practices are just a few examples of the techniques that can be explored.

Through these techniques, we aim to equip you with coping mechanisms that allow you to manage stress effectively. By embracing these practices, you can develop a greater sense of control over your responses to stress and thereby reduce the impact of stress on your overall wellbeing.


Building resilience for bounce back

Although building resilience requires much mental and emotional work with your psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor, you can build a foundation of resilience by supporting healthy function of the rest of your body. Areas of great importance that boost your fuel, are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced healthy diet, drinking sufficient water, moving or exercising regularly, getting regular times of connection with family or friends, setting up your environment to support you and engaging in activities that bring you joy. Sometimes these seem out of reach or even overwhelming for reasons such as pain or discomfort, fatigue, uncertainty or a lack of good support. A physiotherapist can help you plan out and set goals that are attainable.


Collaboration for Comprehensive Care

Your wellbeing is multidimensional, and addressing mental health requires a collaborative approach. With your permission, a physiotherapist, can work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors, to ensure comprehensive care. By integrating physical and psychological interventions, we can create a holistic treatment plan that maximizes your potential for positive outcomes.


Embarking on a journey toward mental wellbeing can feel overwhelming, but with the support of a compassionate and knowledgeable physiotherapist, you are not alone. Through exercise, stress reduction techniques, a nurturing therapeutic relationship and learning ways to boost your body, a physiotherapist will support you on your path to healing and wellbeing.


Remember, you have the power to take an active role in your mental wellbeing. Together, we will work to break the cycle of pain and emotional distress, embracing hope and healing, towards a stronger, more resilient you.

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