Monday, August 24, 2020

Dr. Farahmand of Balance Physical Therapy believes ‘Movement is medicine’ for Physical, Mental health

Dr. John Farahmand believes in his slogan at Balance Physical Therapy in Monterey and Salinas — Movement is Medicine.

Monterey, CA, August 24, 2020 - Throughout a long, distinguished career, Farahmand has shown countless patients how exercise benefits our bodies. But how does physical activity affect our psyche?

“Stay mobile and stay fit,” he said. “Everything in your life starts with a healthy body.”

According to Farahmand, physical activity can improve cognition, quality of life, reduced depression, reduced anxiety and improved sleep. Just 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity or at least 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise shows substantial health benefits.

Farahmand describes the body as a system, with all parts dependent on each other. “Our mind and body are powerful allies,” he said. “How we think can affect how we feel. And how we feel can affect our thinking.”

An example of this mind-body connection is how your body responds to stress. Constant worry can cause tense muscles, pain, headaches and stomach problems.

When you're stressed, your body reacts as if it is under attack. “It doesn’t differentiate between types of stress,” he said. “Physiologically, a lion in your room or struggling to pay your bills are both perceived by the body the same. We can get an overwhelming feeling of fatigue. Just crushing.”

Staying fit through exercise can help enormously. People who exercise regularly report that it gives them an enormous sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it’s also powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges, having a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also helps reduce stress, something sorely needed during these unprecedented times.

Among his many fields of study, Farahmand earned a degree from UCLA in psychobiology, studying the physiological, genetic and developmental mechanisms of behavior in humans.

Farahmand says that stress starts to make our minds a jumbled mess. “All your focus is on the now, and you can’t see the forest through the trees.”

It’s all about setting priorities.

“This is an unknown time for us,” he said. “We all have COVID-19 in common. Remember, all we can control is ourselves. We can’t control the virus and others, so why be stressed?”

Stress can directly affect our physical and emotional health. Too much stress can cause unhealthy lifestyle choices, depression and anxiety. Some stress management tips from Dr. Farahmand include:

Exercise: Any type of exercise (walk, run, bike, body weight exercises) will, and you don't need fancy equipment to get in a great workout!
Relaxation: Try disconnecting from the outside world periodically throughout the day by putting down your electronic devices for a bit.
Mediation or deep breathing exercises: Find a quiet place and take at least 10 minutes to focus on your breathing (4-second inhale, hold breath for 4 seconds, and 4-second exhale).

Eating a balanced diet: Think about what you're eating and why you're eating it! Now is a great time to try some new recipes or ingredients you've never cooked.

Taking a break: Don't forget to take time in your day for yourself

Time management: With many of us working from home, our kids not in the classroom, and not seeing our friends as much, take time to have a balance between all three.

Balance Physical Therapy & Human Performance Center, 143 John St. Salinas and 2260 N. Fremont St, Monterey.

Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 747-7455

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