How Physical Therapy Helps Manage Stress

How Physical Therapy Helps Manage Stress

Did you know that 70 percent of the adult population in the United States report that they deal with stress every day? Stress is an inescapable part of life. While it's impossible to avoid stress, you can learn to manage it. Many people talk to their friends and family to cope with anxiety. Others exercise, sleep, watch television, or listen to music.


All of these are widely known coping techniques. Movement in any form is a great way to manage stress, but a TV show, art, hobbies, and listening to music are all different ways people may manage their triggers. But other strategies like physical therapy can also be used to help you manage stress. Here are some ways this allied health profession can be beneficial to your health:

 

  • Exercise: Physical therapists are movement experts. Exercise is their primary tool to get you moving better. They will prescribe physical therapy exercises depending on your specific condition. These exercises can help improve strength, range of motion, or flexibility. Others are meant to resolve cardiorespiratory issues, restore functional mobility, or regain balance and proprioception. Physical therapy exercises will help you move better and feel better. As you know, exercise triggers the release of endorphins. Your body produces this natural pain reliever in response to stress or discomfort. Besides, your brain's feel-good hormones, known as dopamine and serotonin, are the bounty of exercise. They can improve your mood and overall well-being. 
     

  • Manual Therapy: Depending on your case, your physical therapist may also introduce other techniques to improve movement and help you feel better. Manual therapy, for instance, is used to treat pain and disability. It generally involves the manipulation of muscles through kneading or massaging. Even if you don't have a musculoskeletal injury, you can still benefit from this technique. It can help relax your entire body and reduce your anxiety levels. Your muscles can be in a state of spasm because of increased stress. With massage, though, you can decrease pain, increase blood flow, and loosen your muscles. 
     

  • Breathing Techniques: You breathe to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. It's an automatic function of your body. When you're stressed, your breathing pattern changes as part of your fight-or-flight response. On the other hand, when you're relaxed, you breathe in a slow, even, and gentle manner. A physical therapist can include controlled breathing techniques to calm your nervous system. Not only will this method lower stress hormone levels in your blood. But it can also increase your physical energy as well as feelings of calm and well-being. Additionally, controlled breathing has been associated with other health benefits. These include reduced blood pressure levels and heart rate and even better immune system functioning. 

     

Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress

 

Physical therapy can only do so much in helping you live your life to the fullest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that you need to take care of your body to cope with stress. These include sticking to a healthy, well-balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly. They also encourage you to stretch, take deep breaths, and meditate. Equally important is to avoid smoking, substance abuse, and excessive alcohol intake. Find time to unwind and connect with others. 



Are you looking for a holistic approach to managing stress, especially during this global health crisis? Contact Apex Wellness of Morganville, NJ today at (917) 809-6752 to schedule your consultation. 

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