Exercise Naturally Heals Psychiatric Patients: Study

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A new study has recommended exercise as a natural way to treat patients with mental disorders and mood disorders – from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia, suicidality and acute psychotic episodes.

“The general attitude of medicine is that you treat the main problem first, and exercise has never been considered a life or death treatment option. Now that we know it is so effective. , it can become as fundamental as a pharmacological intervention “, explained David Tomasi. , psychotherapist and group therapist in inpatient psychiatry at the University of Vermont Medical Center and principal investigator of the study.

Practitioners in inpatient psychiatric facilities – often overcrowded acute care settings in which patients experience severe distress and discomfort – typically prescribe psychotropic medications first, rather than natural remedies like exercise, to relieve pain. patient symptoms such as anger, anxiety and depression.

In fact, Tomasi estimated that only a handful of inpatient mental hospitals in the United States provide psychotherapist-supported gymnastics facilities exclusively for these patients. Instead, practitioners rely on conventional psychotherapeutic and pharmacological frameworks to treat psychiatric symptoms, which they monitor to determine when a patient is ready to be discharged from the facility.

Tomasi built a gym exclusively for around 100 patients in the inpatient psychiatry unit of the medical center and led and introduced structured 60-minute exercise and nutrition education programs into their treatment plans. Psychotherapists asked patients about their mood, self-esteem, and self-image before and after exercise sessions to assess the effects of exercise on psychiatric symptoms.

Patients reported lower levels of anger, anxiety, and depression, better self-esteem, and overall improvement in mood.

Tomasi found that an average of 95 percent of patients said their mood improved after doing the structured exercises, while 63 percent of patients said they were happy or very happy, as opposed to neutral, sad. or very sad after the exercises. An average of 91.8 percent of the patients also said they were satisfied with the way their body felt after doing the structured exercises.

“What’s fantastic about these results is that if you are in a psychotic state you are somewhat limited in what you can do in terms of talk therapy or psychotherapy. It is difficult to receive one. message through talk therapy in this state, whereas with exercise you can use your body and not rely solely on emotional intelligence, ”explained Tomasi.

“The priority is to come up with more natural strategies for the treatment of mood disorders, depression and anxiety,” he added.

(This story was not edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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