Woolton Physiotherapy is at the forefront of providing evidence based physiotherapy to address mental health in the work place. We provide a clinically robust and excellent service to support stress, anxiety and depression. Our team have extensive experience in mental health assessment, treatment and work closely with counselling, management and OHU to support swift action to reduce sickness.

All our team have successfully completed DWP recognised training to understand all mental health conditions and have the skill to assess the impact mental health has on daily activities and function.

Physiotherapy has a lot to offer in early intervention and support of stress, anxiety and depression.

We give a thorough assessment and use a scoring tool to evaluate the efficacy of our interventions.

Depression

Depression causes symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, anxiety, irritability low self-esteem, disturbed sleep or appetite, weight change, tiredness, lack of motivation, concentration or libido, physical pain, and suicidal thoughts. Depression is likely to result from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors. It may be triggered by stressful events, such as bereavement, illness, relationship problems, physical conditions and pain or financial difficulties.

Most research on acupuncture for depression has been carried out in China with Western drugs as comparators. Two recent systematic reviews, both drawing on Western and Chinese data, found that acupuncture was similar in effectiveness to anti-depressant medication Given that acupuncture appears to be at least as effective as existing conventional drugs, without their level of side effects, it should be considered as one of the therapeutic options, alongside the existing repertoire.

Acupuncture & mental health

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.

Studies indicate that acupuncture can have a specific positive effect on mental health by altering the brain's mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin (Sprott 1998) and endorphins (Wang 2010). Acupuncture may also benefit mood by acting through other neurochemical pathways, including those involving dopamine (Scott 1997), noradrenaline (Han 1986), cortisol (Han 2004) and neuropeptide Y (Pohl 2002).

Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain which is responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010).  Stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry may be reversed (Kim 2009)

At assessment identifying the contributing factors for a person’s mood will determine our choice of acupuncture points and support.

Stress can manifest in different symptoms and whilst we work to reduce stress at work by educational seminars and well being classes we can also be paramount in treating the symptoms of mental health to assist people to stay at work or return sooner.

Physical causes: Often altered mood is connected to loss of function and pain. We are experts in the treatment of MSK so play an integral part in reducing mental health manifestations due to a physical source.

Low mood and low motivation: certain acupuncture points can elevate mood by altering chemical processes in the body and alongside this treatment we give individual exercise programs and goal setting to increase exercise and hence our bodies natural feel good chemicals and increased energies. We provide group sessions to support each other.

Anxiety: certain acupuncture points will lower the anxious state of the body and this is coupled with relaxation techniques; breathing, massage, trigger point relaxation. A relative is invited to come along and learn how to assist self management.

Women’s Health: Hormonal and pregnancy: Certain acupuncture points and massage techniques are unique to Women’s health conditions and we use evidence based, robust clinical treatment to assist in this area.

Acupuncture reduces symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause by regulating serum estradiol, follicle stimulating hormone and luteotrophic hormone (Xia 2008).

* Increasing relaxation and reducing tension (Samuels 2008). Acupuncture can alter the brain's mood chemistry, reducing serotonin levels  (Zhou 2008) and increasing endorphins (Han, 2004) and neuropeptide Y levels (Lee 2009), which can help to combat negative affective states.

Addiction: Substance abuse and withdrawal from addictions can be helped with acupuncture, relaxation techniques and massage to aid relaxation and sleep.

Headache and insomnia: In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for insomnia, stress headaches and anxiety (Hui 2010).

We work closely with counselling services and the OHU team to provide prevention measures, support people to stay in work or return to work.

We provide education to self manage including relaxation breathing techniques, exercises and life style choices.

Exercise rehabilitation:

Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress. This physiologic influence is probably mediated by the communication of the HPA axis with several regions of the brain, including the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood; the amygdala, which generates fear in response to stress; and the hippocampus, which plays an important part in memory formation as well as in mood and motivation.

We provide individual exercise sessions, group exercise, self management strategies and ongoing support to assist mental health and well being. Provide handouts and educational literature.