Getting to know: Walking Therapy / Scoprire la walking therapy
September is one of those “new beginning” month where mind-creativity is over stimulated by the expectation of new ideas, projects and activities. For all the stress that, unfortunately, getting back to the work routine might bring, I’ve launched a September Special Offer, as you might have noticed at the top of the blog page.
September is also the month when I’ll start a new service based in areas around South East London: the walking therapy.
As you can read in the snappy infographic above the text, walking has in itself a truly powerful series of benefits as:
• Reducing Stress
• Lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure
• Boosting creativity
• Promoting concentration
• Facilitating weight loss and muscular tone
• It’s good for your skin
• Providing better sleeping patterns
But why walking should be also good to improve a therapeutic setting?
From initial studies during the 80s (recommended reading could be Thaddeus Kostrubala’s The Joy of Running) has been advanced the hypothesis that “rhythmic exercise, such as walking, can be conducive to the process of self-discovery” (quoted from). Also, being a fostering activity for relationship, it facilitates the therapeutic alliance. Walking can also be very crucial to ease the stress associated with talking about delicate issues.
A research carried out in Japan in 2014 comparing physiological and psychological effects of walking and stay-in Forest therapy, rings similar bells. The results show clearly how “the forest environment was associated with a higher parasympathetic nervous activity, a lower sympathetic nervous activity, and a lower heart rate than the urban environment. The subjective evaluation scores were generally in accordance with the physiological reactions and were significantly higher in the forest environment than in the urban environment. Profile of mood states measurements showed that the forest environment was psychologically relaxing and enhanced psychological vigour”.
Licensed clinical social worker Carlton Kendrick, who has a long experience from the early 70s, in working with incarcerated or institutionalized patients, says that walking offers a “a multi-sensory experience, with the result that the patients were much more talkative and relaxed”.
Finally, there is a rich symbolic power connected with the combined experience of walking and therapy. Getting on the ground, sharing a journey, in a neutral space, wearing comfortable outfits, working together to find a common rhythm while moving forward… it is just beautiful.
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. – Friedrich Nietzsche