Complementary Movement Therapies

Today more than ever, we need a sustainable healthcare system. One that implements complementary movement therapies in conjunction with the “pill-it, “cut-it” methods. We can provide a more balanced therapeutic approach to pain management with the addition of complementary movement therapies. Movement therapies that teach the power of the mind and how the mind influences all bodily functions is a cornerstone of a sustainable healthcare system. The power of the mind is inexplicably connected to every functioning part of the body, and the mind influences the healing process on countless levels. Therefore, it is so important that complementary movement therapies teach this powerful connection between mind and body. How the mind effects attitudes, emotions, and behaviors can be useful in the fields of medicine, mental health, and physical therapy–as well as in alternative movement therapies such as Pilates. Complementary therapies—such as Pilates—that treat chronic pain but neglect the mind-body connection are oftentimes less effective and hinder the patient’s ability to facilitate healing. Methods that include relearning different responses to pain, utilizing touch therapy, and mind-body awareness can significantly alter the outcome of movement therapy and improve recovery.

Complementary movement therapies have the greatest potential to improve treatment when traditional therapies are unsuccessful. It has been well documented that patients who opt to go without pharmaceuticals and who use alternative movement therapies such as T’ai Chi, yoga and Pilates reported decreased pain symptoms and improved overall physical well-being. How one feels about the therapy is as important as the therapy itself. To find a movement therapy that works for each individual is extremely important in the success of that therapy. We live in a society where lack of movement is the elephant in the room, and a large majority of treatment protocols are designed simply to address the symptoms and not the underlying problem or issue. Altering the accepted beliefs surrounding therapy, and embracing new approaches, carry limitless possibilities and should be considered.

Your perception or opinion of your state of health is a greater predictor than the actual state of your health. As a movement therapist, I have grown to understand the importance of that statement. It is remarkable to discover the power of energy medicine and the incredible importance the mind-body link holds to a person’s overall well-being and recovery. When the concepts of these methods are discussed with the patient, the success ratio increases. A healthy “minded” individual has greater potential to view movement therapy with excitement, enthusiasm, and confidence, which combine to effect better health and movement potential.

Commitment to an individual’s health, both mentally and physically, is the root of improved performance in life. The drive to live life to its fullest is an important element to feeling healthy, fit, and happy. Oftentimes, individuals who live in a body that functions poorly just want a way out and need proper guidance to find a healthy path. When an individual discovers that the mind-body connection is the “way or path” to living a healthier life, they will discover decreased pain symptoms, both physically and mentally. Learning the skills that improve overall health starts with the mind-body connection. When the current, traditional mainstream healthcare industry embraces the concept of integrating mind-body connection and complementary movement therapies, we will make monumental forward progress toward better health!

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