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HD Physical Therapy Observes August as National Wellness Month
2020 has been a stressful year. A pandemic, deaths, lockdowns, job loss, protests, storms, cabin fever, quarantine weight gain, no funerals or weddings, mental health challenges, back to school chaos…the list goes on and on. Some stress is good, but chronic stress can lead to detrimental effects on our bodies and minds. Physical therapists can offer techniques to assist in decreasing chronic stress levels and add balance back into the body.
Here are 5 ways physical therapy can help bring your focus back to basic self-care, reduce levels of stress and help get you back into a healthy routine:
1.) Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart and your mind. Whether chemical or behavioral, it has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm and to counter depression and dissipate stress. Physical therapists can create a safe exercise program specifically for you that helps not only areas of weakness or decreased mobility, but targets the body as a whole.
2.) Educate Patients on Prolonged Sitting: As we continue to work and attend school from home, we must be aware that the amount of time we sit during the day is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death, regardless of regular exercise. Physical therapists can educate you on ways to reduce sedentary time, stand up and move throughout your day. One tip: follow the 20-8-2 rule. Sit for 20 minutes, stand for 8 minutes and move for 2 minutes.
3.) Hands-On Manual Therapy: Manual therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered with the hands as opposed to a device or machine. It can include manipulation, mobilization and soft tissue work to reduce pain, relax muscles, increase circulation, break up scar tissue, improve tissue extensibility, reduce swelling, inflammation, or restriction, help with flexibility and alignment and induce relaxation and decrease anxiety. Studies show that there are many moving parts that contribute to the effectiveness of manual therapy. It typically makes people feel better and our goal as physical therapists is to help people feel better, move better and ultimately live better.
4.) Breathing Techniques: In our stressful and fast-paced society many people are susceptible to developing breathing dysfunctions. Breathing is the root of all movement. Daily diaphragmatic breathing is clinically proven to significantly lower cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone), improve relaxation and improve concentration. Talk to your physical therapist about properly learning this breathing technique to lower your overall stress.
5.) Social Benefits: Most people attend physical therapy for assistance with pain and injuries, but what patients often find at HD Physical Therapy is a friendly atmosphere, conversation and a sense of community. Physical therapists listen to each person's story, develop personalized plans and create a setting where patients feel safe, comfortable and successful in their work to achieve their goals.
So, are you not taking care of yourself? Is stress taking over, mentally and physically? Are you off your normal routines? Take a deep breath and seek out physical therapy for help today. Wellness is not a one time thing, it's a lifestyle.
Please note: The health and safety of our patients and staff is always our top priority. We are currently fully open in Wakefield & Burlington, accepting new patients. We are offering one-on-one, in-clinic visits and telehealth services. We are continuing to follow all recommended precautions. Please visit our 'COVID-19 & TELEHEALTH FOR PT' webpage for more information, and never hesitate to call our offices with any questions.
At HD Physical Therapy, we are committed to the health and happiness of our patients. Everyday we work to restore each person's maximal function with consistency and compassion. Offering distinctive, inventive and proven rehabilitation treatment, our devoted professionals strive to deliver a successful and enjoyable experience to every patient we meet. For more information about HD Physical Therapy, please visit https://www.HDPTonline.com and follow us on all social media.
Lauren J. D'Addario