A few weeks ago, I connected with a cousin of mine, Paul Badali, who is a registered Social Worker providing Psychotherapy Services in Toronto (website: badalitherapy.com). He has been working in mental health services for close to two decades. Paul employs a program he calls “Taming the Bull”, and has experience working with patients with:
- Self-regulation difficulties (self-control)
- Stress, Anxiety and Depression
- Anger, Mood and low Motivation
- ADHD and Learning Disabilities (LD)
- High functioning ASD (Aspergers)
- Other mental health-related issues
Besides all this, Paul has extensive martial arts experience, and is a Brazilian Jujitsu black-belt – if you’re not in the BJJ loop, it would be impossible for me to describe how impressive this is (I am merely a white belt).
Paul has discovered that integrating mindfulness, exercise, and psychotherapy was very effective and beneficial to the therapeutic process. (In layterms, he started incorporating exercise into his psychotherapy sessions, and found that this improved the psychotherapy results!).
It’s a topic that I am quite interested in. The following paper Mindful movement: clinical and research implications discusses the neurophysiological and neuropsychological aspects of mindfulness training and movement (i.e., why doing things, as mentioned in the paper, like yoga and tai chi can have these neuro(brain)/mood-altering effects). I’m left wondering, however, if other activities like dance, Jujitsu, and perhaps even table-tennis or golf can have these pro-neuro effects. Perhaps any sport/physical-activity in which one has developed enough expertise and finds oneself in that state of “flow” or “in the zone” can offer such an effect. That’s my hypothesis…