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Old 05-13-2015, 07:15 AM   #21
Patrick A Horsman
Affiliate Patrick A Horsman is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Halifax  Nova Scotia - NS
Posts: 34
Re: ACSM, NSCA, ACE, USREPS: Your Aspiring Fitness Overlords

Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr View Post
All this may be so but the attempt to PT away PTSD is misguided. Congress did well to derail that plan.

HPCs are a nice idea, and should be approved, but every NSW gym I've seen was a well equipped combination of athletic department of a Division I school, CrossFit gym and PT office. I expect they'll be fine until these are approved.
I get what you are saying, but there is actually a fair amount of research evidence now that supports physical activity as a treatment for many mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, PTSD and Occupational stress (all of which are intimately linked in the modern soldier).

Most of this work has taken a biological focus (e.g. physical activity --> better sleep -----> decreased anxiety) but the theory work being done now also looks at psychological mechanisms.

Physical fitness, especially when "CrossFit Like" has a few defining characteristics that contribute to individual resource accumulation - social affiliation with others (sense of belonging), physical control (sense of control), mastery experiences (self-efficacy), and detachment (mental separation from the stressor) to name a few. It also teaches a variety of coping mechanisms through participation and tends to lead to reframing. Think of processes such as adopting a long term goal orientation, focusing on process rather than outcome, breaking insurmountable tasks into manageable chunks, etc. Most of this block of items is still theoretical, and to my knowledge hasn't been explored directly in CrossFit or in other fitness protocols, but it is promising stuff. In my opinion part of the overwhelming success of CrossFit stems from the psychological growth of participants in addition to the physical changes.

More specifically to the PTSD piece - in treatment, both routine building and self-care are extremely important. A physical fitness regimen provides a framework for establishing routine and encourages higher quality self-care by participants (nutrition, rest, lower alcohol consumption, etc).

Although we can't "PT away the pain" I don't think they are far off by suggesting physical fitness as a way to build resources, resilience and coping strategies. Itís a total care approach that will win the day.
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