Sports Therapy and Exercise Therapy
in the Treatment of Mental Illness
The therapeutic effect of physical activity, especially on the cardiovascular system, has been clearly demonstrated and well described in numerous studies. Moreover, the role played by sports and exercise therapy in the prevention and treatment of negative physical changes associated with chronic mental illnesses, such as obesity or diabetes mellitus, is also undisputed. However, new medical research suggests that sports and exercise therapy also have significant therapeutic effects on a number of mental illnesses directly.
In most psychiatric and psychotherapeutic establishments, sports and exercise therapy are already used to varying degrees with the aim of producing general medical improvements. However, the specific application of physical activity in the case of mental illness is usually disregarded. In February 2015, we released a book in the Schattauer Publication, in which we asked ourselves how sports and exercise therapy could be specifically included in an overall psychiatric treatment plan. For this purpose, the status of evidence-based knowledge was prepared in such a way that the current illness-specific possibilities of sports and movement therapy, as well as their limits, were demonstrated.
Our institute seeks to contribute to the integration of sports and exercise therapy as an integral part of psychiatric treatment, and to make the preventive role of sport and exercise in the preservation of mental health more publicly known. In doing so, we seek the intensive cooperation of currently practicing psychiatrists, psychotherapists and general practitioners, as well as health insurance companies as cost carriers.