Have you ever suffered a major injury or struggled with depression? Have you experienced chronic pain or a developmental disability? Do you have anxiety or an addiction? Recreational therapy is an amazing treatment modality for all of these - and many more conditions that can leave you discouraged and frustrated.
February is National Recreational Therapy Awareness Month.
Recreational therapy, also known as leisure education or therapeutic recreation, is an important element of overall health and well-being. It is proven to have significant benefit for individuals who are dealing with physical, mental, or emotional health challenges.
While you are going through a "hard time" it is difficult to find motivation to even begin your recovery, let alone to persist throughout the entire time that your body and mind require. Utilizing leisure and interactive procedures, recreational therapy is a means of improving physical, cognitive, social, and emotional functioning. It can include anything from swimming and hiking, to music or art - whatever best interests you.
The opportunity to engage in activities that are enjoyable and meaningful brings comfort and pleasure, while allowing individuals to connect with others, build social skills, and develop a sense of community.
When an individual is passionate about what they are doing, they are more likely to fully engage and continue with their therapy. This can help to improve physical functioning, increase strength and endurance, and reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
In the long run, recreational therapy provides individuals with a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
They are able to set goals, work towards those goals, and experience a sense of satisfaction and pride in their achievements. This can be especially valuable for individuals who are struggling with low self-esteem or feelings of hopelessness.
This month especially, we must honor and appreciate the effort of Recreational Therapists. Their research and work changes the journey to recovery from daunting and difficult ... to fun and effective. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals work to tailor a treatment plan for individuals and encompass the improvement of both physical and emotional wellness while providing the highest quality of life attainable. They help shine a path forward in times of darkness, and their dedication and compassion can "make all the difference."
At 6Degrees, we believe in the power of this form of rehabilitation, and we are dedicated to exploring the linkage of recreational therapy with targeted gamification. We hope to utilize the paths through which gaming can draw a point of focus away from pain - and towards achieving the goal of helping people on their road to recovery.
Image description: Man paddling while wearing Virtual Reality Glasses