The World Health Organization defines health as:
“A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
October 10, 2019 was World Mental Health Day. At a time when many individuals are frustrated with the lack of mental health support in their communities, taking time to highlight the signs, combat stigma, and provide support is integral. One of the biggest pieces from a medical perspective is recognizing the links between mental and physical health in order to improve overall health.
How are they connected?
Individuals with poor mental health are at a higher risk for chronic physical conditions. It goes both ways, too; people with chronic physical conditions are at a higher risk of developing poor mental health. It can seem like a never ending cycle for someone experiencing that connection. Physical symptoms as a result of mental health issues can come from the mental illness itself, or from its treatment. Both the illness and its treatments can alter hormones, sleep cycles, and even cause weight gain, all of which can lead to an increased vulnerability for a number of physical conditions. As well, depending on how one experiences their mental illness, their susceptibility to physical issues can increase even further. People often lack motivation to take care of their health when their mental stability is low, or end up adopting unhealthy habits like smoking, poor diet, and sleep disruption. This pushes one’s mental stability into a negative state, which in turn can cause more chronic physical illnesses. Some of the most common chronic illnesses associated with mental health are diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
What can I do?
While it can be very difficult for someone experiencing poor mental health to exercise, physical activity can play a huge role in maintaining mental well-being. The brain releases endorphins during exercise, which improves mood, energy levels, and sleep. Further, exercise can reduce anxiety, leading to improvement in relationships and body image.
How we can help
Being mindful of your physical health needs and addressing those needs is a great start to maintaining your mental health, and overall health. At Avalon Laser Health, we offer a variety of therapies and treatments to support you in getting your physical health back on track. A Physiotherapist assessment of muscle and joint function provides knowledge to give you a game plan, and to help with motivation when training hurts. Whether it’s physiotherapy, massage therapy, or laser therapy, responding to your physical needs will ultimately help your mental health journey. Call us today to see how we can help you.
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