February 20, 2020

IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD:

New study asks: Should we replace mental health meds with exercise?: We knew exercise is necessary, but this research takes it to another level. (DEREK BERE, Big Think)

For this study, lead author David Tomasi, a psychotherapist and lecturer at the University of Vermont, alongside the center's Sheri Gates and Emily Reyns, built a gym for the hundred-or-so members of the inpatient psychiatry unit. Tomasi says that most patients in the U.S. are first treated with medications, with exercise-based treatments offered in either a limited capacity or not at all. The center is the first to prescribe exercise as the first form of treatment.

The results were stunning. After leading the patients in structured exercises -- each 60-minute session included a combination of strength training, flexibility training, and cardio -- 95 percent of patients reported feeling better, while 63 percent reported feeling happy or very happy instead of sad, very sad, or neutral. A whopping 91.8 percent said they were pleased with their bodies during the sessions. Tomasi continues,

The general attitude of medicine is that you treat the primary problem first, and exercise was never considered to be a life or death treatment option. Now that we know it's so effective, it can become as fundamental as pharmacological intervention.

Blame, in large part, Cartesian dualism. The mind-body split has destroyed our understanding of our inherent animal nature. The notion that there's an ethereal process inside the biological workings of our bodies -- the ambiguous "soul" -- has resulted in a severe disassociation between physical movement and psychology. We've come to believe we can treat the brain separately from the body.

The key to health reform is reducing consumption.


Posted by at February 20, 2020 7:40 AM

  

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