National Therapeutic Recreation Week: The Benefits of Recreational Therapy
We've written a lot about physical and occupational therapy and their benefits for people with a diverse set of physical disabilities and chronic illnesses. These aren't the only types of therapy that can benefit patients, however. Therapeutic recreation utilizes recreation and activities to address the needs of people with illnesses and disabilities as a way to improve psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. Read on to learn about the many types of recreational therapy and how they can improve health outcomes!
What is Recreational Therapy?
Therapeutic recreation is the use of leisure activities as a means of helping people with health conditions improve mobility, dexterity, skills, and overall mood and mental health. Pathways for therapeutic recreation can make use of:
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Dance therapy
- Other creative pursuits
- Yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness exercises
- Gaming and puzzles
- Pet therapy
- Outdoor activities
In many cases, therapeutic recreation utilizes the patient's existing interests to create pathways towards improved mobility and physical health, as well as elevating mood and mental health. It can also be used to engender social interaction, improving wellness by fostering community ties for the patient.
Therapeutic recreation can happen anywhere, but it's often utilized in hospitals, schools, mental health facilities and programs, assisted living facilities, substance use programs, correctional facilities, and community centers.
Who can benefit from Therapeutic Recreation?
Recreational therapy is a highly adaptable discipline, which can be useful for just about anyone. It's most often used to help people who are:
- Rehabilitating from injury, illness, or surgery
- Working to improve motor skills or mobility
- Learning how to live independently or adapting to new ways of doing so after a change in health circumstances
- Recovering from a stroke
- Being treated for cancer
- Experiencing anxiety in a hospital setting
- Dealing with feelings of isolation or depression
- Developing the ability to express thoughts and emotions
- Recovering from a substance use disorder
What are the health benefits of Recreational Therapy?
Therapeutic recreation is as varied as the health condition and personal situation of each patient, but benefits include:
- Improvement in functional independence following an injury or in a patient with a chronic, disabling condition
- Increased strength and physical fitness
- Improved mobility and motor skills
- Boosted cognitive ability
- Improved depression symptoms
- Reduced anxiety
- Heightened self-esteem
- Stronger social connections
How Can Mountain Ice Pain Relief Gel Help Reduce Pain and Improve Your Recreational Therapy Experience?
Not all therapeutic recreation programs are aimed at improving physical health, but Mountain Ice Pain Relief Gel can be an extremely effective component of any treatment plan aimed at reducing pain and improving mobility and range of motion. Each ingredient contained in Mountain Ice has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-oxidant properties, all of which help to increase blood flow, reduce joint swelling. Its deep-penetrating formula allows for absorption deep into the muscles and joints, making for effective relief that treats pain at its source. When you need fast, effective relief to help you stay on track for occupational therapy, trust Mountain Ice.
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