Taking part in physical therapy programs is preferred by scores of people interested in healing the body's ailments. Physical therapy, much like weightlifting in the gym, becomes most appealing when the process is interesting, invigorating, and exciting. Performing the same exercises over and over again, while helpful, is boring and few want to continue with a dull regiment. Shaking traditional physical therapy up by integrating movements from the martial arts could help clients enjoy their sessions more. Patients looking for a unique physical therapy experience and improved results should consider programs integrating martial arts exercises.
The Therapeutic Martial Way
Performing techniques from karate, kung fu, aikido, or modern arts as part of physical therapy services has similar benefits to aerobics, weight training, and other forms of exercise. Through research, doctors have noted movements from the martial arts help increase "pain-free range of motion and flexibility" effectively. Of course, the right exercises do have to be selected to treat the appropriate ailment. Simply adding random martial arts moves to physical therapy sessions is not enough.
A Possible Karate-Style Substitute
One very common exercise in physical therapy sessions is the walking lunge. The exercise strengths the lower and core muscles while promoting good posture. As far as strengthening exercises go, this is a solid, low impact one. While reliably helpful, the exercise is not all that exciting. Importing the basic Chon Ji form of Tae Kwon Do might be a fine substitute for lunges, since the footwork patterns of Chon Ji are very similar.
Asking the Therapist's Advice
Importing any techniques or exercises from a martial art into physical or occupational therapy sessions has to be done carefully. Certain tweaks may be advisable in order to make a martial arts movement appropriate for someone suffering from a particular ailment. Showing a video of the technique to the therapist allowing the therapist to make minor changes is going to be more productive. A therapist may look at the Chon Ji form and suggest making the lunges deeper or shallower. He or she could also suggest avoiding performing any of the hand techniques to avoid strain. Whatever advice the therapist gives is going to make sure the exercise helps recovery and does not hinder anything.
Most importantly, the physical therapist can point out whether or not a martial arts movement is recommended. Having the therapist veto an inappropriate exercise for a particular condition keeps physical troubles from potentially worsening.
For more information about physical therapy, contact a local clinic, such as Bonita Community Health Center.