On the road to overall health and wellness, physical wellness is an important component. Body awareness, posture, exercise, body image, and nutrition are just some of the key components of physical wellness. All these facets play an important role in helping individuals achieve fulfilled, happy, and empowered lives. As a future professional wellness counsellor, you can use the knowledge you gain during your wellness counsellor training to help your clients thrive.
Read on to learn more about three key physical wellness concepts.
Students Earning a Diploma in Wellness Counselling Learn About Mindfulness Practices and Yoga
It’s no secret that yoga and related mindfulness practices are powerful techniques with immense benefits, which is why you will practice mindfulness and meditation as you prepare to become a wellness counsellor.
Studies have shown that yoga and related practices have a direct impact on physical health (Harvard Health Publications, 2015). In fact, according to one study, “people who practiced yoga for at least 30 minutes once a week for at least four years, gained less weight during middle adulthood” (Harvard Health Publications, 2015). Yoga and related practices are known to have a positive impact on muscle strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health (Harvard Health Publications, 2015).
In addition to the physical benefits that come with regular yoga practice, there are mental and cognitive ones as well. A recent study looked at 133 older adults between the ages of 53 and 96 (Goyanes, 2017). It discovered that the individuals who performed 30 minutes of yoga twice weekly for a month experienced cognitive improvements (Goyanes, 2017). Yoga can also help decrease stress, anxiety, and depression (Goyanes, 2017).
Somatic Therapy Is an Important Physical Wellness Concept
Traumatic life experiences can have a real impact on an individual’s physical wellness. Somatic therapy looks at the relationship between the body and the mind, and how trauma symptoms are related to disruptions to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Once you earn your diploma in wellness counselling, you may notice that clients’ trauma symptoms can present as pain, hormone imbalances, digestive issues, and other physical symptoms (Khan, 2016).
Somatic therapy involves working with your clients to help them track and monitor any physical symptoms of distress. As a wellness counsellor, you can provide your clients with methods for releasing any tension or pain built up in their bodies, which in turn will help them let go of past traumatic experiences. Somatic therapy techniques can include breathing and voice work, physical movement, and massage (Good Therapy, 2016).
Students Earning a Diploma in Wellness Counselling Learn About Body Work and Postural Alignment
Posture has a direct impact on our physical and mental wellness. In fact, studies have shown that posture exercises can decrease stress, improve self-confidence and esteem levels, and increase positive thinking (Larkin, 2015). Postural alignment therapy works with gravity and the natural weight of an individual’s body to strengthen and improve balance and alignment, and naturally reduce body pain (Berry, 2014).
The theory behind posture alignment therapy is based on the fact that the human body has eight loading-bearing joints: ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders, and when these joints get out of line, they can cause discomfort. In order to help your clients improve their postural alignment, you can teach them a simple set of exercises and stretches to help reset their body’s alignment (Berry, 2014).
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Berry, M. (2014). Destroy Pain And Physical Limitation With Posture Alignment Therapy. Retrieved from https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/destroy-pain-and-physical-limitation-with-posture-alignment-therapy
Good Therapy. (2016, August 15). Somatic Psychotherapy. Retrieved from http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/somatic-psychotherapy
Goyanes, C. (2017, June 8). The New Science on the Health Benefits of Yoga. Retrieved from http://www.sonima.com/yoga/health-benefits-of-yoga/
Harvard Health Publications. (2015, February). Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-benefits-beyond-the-mat
Khan, K. (2016, June 10). How Somatic Therapy Can Help Patients Suffering from Psychological Trauma. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/09/12/how-somatic-therapy-can-help-patients-suffering-from-psychological-trauma/
Larkin, Marilynn (2015, July). A wellness approach to posture: feeling the impact. The Journal on Active Aging 48-52.