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Nurturing Emotional Well-Being: The Cornerstone of Pro Health Physio NE

Feb 21, 2024

Emotional Agility

Nurturing Emotional Well-Being: The Cornerstone of Pro Health Physio NE

In our fast-paced world, where physical health often takes centre stage, the significance of emotional well-being cannot be overstated. Emotional regulation is a superpower that can be harnessed if practised and acknowledged. Pro Health Physio NE recognizes the interconnectedness of physical and emotional health, and aspires to provide holistic care that addresses both aspects. In this blog, we delve into the latest insights on emotional well-being, emphasising the importance of emotional intelligence, the role of an enriched emotional vocabulary, and groundbreaking compassion-led physiotherapy interventions.

Emotional Intelligence: The Key to Optimal Well-Being

Emotional intelligence (EI) has emerged as a crucial factor in determining one’s overall well-being. Defined as the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions while also being attuned to the emotions of others, EI plays a pivotal role in various aspects of life, including relationships, work, career success and personal development.

Emotional Intelligence stems from the work of Daniel Goleman who has researched extensively in this area. It is a controversial topic as he does meet some resistance from esteemed psychologists, such as Jordan B Peterson who has downplayed the scientific rigorousness and importance of Emotional Intelligence. 

Pro Health Physio NE understands that emotional intelligence extends beyond the traditional realms of mental health, influencing physical health outcomes. Studies have shown that individuals with higher emotional intelligence tend to experience lower levels of stress and exhibit better coping mechanisms in the face of challenges. By integrating emotional intelligence into our approach, Pro Health Physio NE aims to empower clients not only to recover physically but also to thrive emotionally. When we ignore our emotions, we feel this can escalate and manifest in more mental health imbalances. 

A key tip to identify when struggling with pain, is to consider the affective impact it has on us as individuals; frustration, anger, disgust, isolation, apprehension, agitation and sadness. These can all present at different stages in an individual’s pain experience….. Sadness can relate to the grieving process of stepping away from playing a certain sport, such as football, or the loss of a loved one or pet, or the existential challenge of a shift in our identity as an individual.  

A client of ours was unable to run for around 4 years due to bilateral patellar tendon pain. Following an initial consultation, we identified he felt despondent as he could not do what he loved. We acknowledged this feeling in our consultation, devised a plan to load his patellar tendon, with a graded return to running with some biomechanical alterations and footwear advice. The highlight being he did not need the knee surgery which he was scheduled for, after only 6 weeks of physio at Pro Health Physio NE.  

A little test to enhance your Emotional Intelligence:

-Write down in your journal any memories you have of the last time you were 1/Sad, 2/Angry, 3/Happy, 4/ Scared or fearful, 5/ Disgusted

-Explore these emotions and when in your life, these emotions were heightened or you were unable to regulate them?

What could you have done better in each instance? 

What went well when these emotions surfaced? 

What will you do differently if you experience these feelings in the future?

‘Emotion which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it’ Baruch Spinoza

The Power of Emotional Vocabulary/Agility

An often overlooked aspect of emotional well-being is the depth and precision of one’s emotional vocabulary. The ability to accurately label and express emotions contributes significantly to emotional intelligence. Pro Health Physio NE recognizes the importance of fostering an enriched emotional vocabulary as an essential component of our therapeutic approach.

We all live on a vocabulary of a few terms, such as when someone asks you, ’ How are you?’. When was the last time, you honestly answered this question! We resort to a collection of ‘fine’, ‘grand’ (if you are Irish!), ‘OK’, ‘not bad’ or the worst of them in my opinion, ‘BUSY’. Busy is not an emotion, or a description of how you are doing or feeling. It has become a badge of honour for people to feel important, well respected or to paint an image of success. 

Incorporating the latest research findings from Susan David, Pro Health Physio NE encourages clients to articulate their emotions during our sessions. By doing so, individuals can gain a better understanding of their emotional state, facilitating more effective communication with physiotherapists. This emphasis on emotional vocabulary not only aids in the therapeutic process but also empowers clients to navigate their emotional landscape outside the clinic, promoting lasting well-being.

This is helpful as clients will go through stages of grieving when they have pain- they will be frustrated, fearful, disgusted, angry and in a period of sadness that they are not doing their normal activities, or hanging out with their normal social groups or struggling to take part in family events. This is OK! Learning to express the true spectrum of emotions we experience as humans is not only encouraged, it is crucial to our functioning in society. We have wrongly decided to withhold our emotions as they may be considered a sign of weakness: However, the researcher and  author, Brenee Brown has taught us that there is power in vulnerability and opening up (most importantly to people who care for you, and have your best interest at heart!)

What good has come from keeping yourself closed off…..Has it helped you in the past? Probably. 

Will it always help you move forward? Probably not. 

Being scared, vulnerable and expressing how you feel does not serve you on a battlefield. You need to suppress these emotions in order to survive. But in our day to day lives, this is not a strategy that helps us thrive. We must learn to share how we are honestly feeling, with close friends/family members and having a compassionate, emotionally intelligent line manager or therapist helps  you express when you are struggling. 

Compassion-Led Physiotherapy Interventions: A Paradigm Shift

Traditional physiotherapy often focuses solely on the physical aspects of recovery, neglecting the social, emotional and psychological dimensions. Pro Health Physio NE recognizes this limitation and has embraced a compassionate approach that addresses the entire spectrum of well-being. This should include awareness of our clients physical, emotional, social, psychological and occasionally spiritual domains. 

Compassion-led physiotherapy interventions go beyond treating symptoms; they acknowledge the emotional toll that injuries or chronic conditions can have on clients. Pro Health Physio NE’s practitioners are trained not only in advanced physiotherapy techniques but also in providing emotional support and empathy during the rehabilitation process.

We provide this by ensuring our clients have our phone numbers, with open access and communication channels to talk to us outside of appointments should it be necessary. 

Recent studies have highlighted the positive impact of compassion-led interventions on patients’ overall well-being. The integration of mindfulness practices, guided relaxation, and empathetic communication within physiotherapy sessions has shown promising results in reducing stress, anxiety, and improving overall emotional resilience. Pro Health Physio NE’s commitment to compassion-led care reflects a progressive shift in the physiotherapy landscape, recognizing that emotional well-being is inseparable from physical health.

As evidence of this, our Director, Darren Finnegan, has recently written a book chapter ‘ Mental Fitness’ which is being published in an academic book, Essential Soft Skills for Physiotherapists, due for publication June 2024. This builds on our approach to look at clients holistically, taking into consideration the challenges we face with injury, the factors which we can control and focus on what is important to you as an individual.  

 (3 C’s: Challenge, Control, Commitment of Positive Psychology: Martin Seligman) 

The Pro Health Physio NE Difference

What sets Pro Health Physio NE apart is its holistic approach to health and well-being. By incorporating emotional intelligence, promoting an enriched emotional vocabulary, and embracing compassion-led physiotherapy interventions, Pro Health Physio NE strives to redefine the standard of physio and chiropractic care.

Clients at Pro Health Physio NE not only receive expert physical rehabilitation but also gain the tools and support needed to navigate the emotional aspects of their health journey. This integrated approach ensures that individuals not only recover from injuries or conditions but also emerge stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to face life’s challenges.

We can look at the full spectrum of your health- Lifestyle Design, Health Coaching, Program design for specific goals such as Triathlons/Ironmans/Longevity & Aging Well/Fitness 4 Life/ Gym/Crossfit Injury prevention. 

We strive to be different, to meet the needs of our clients. We often refer to ourselves as chameleons adapting to the needs of our environment and our fantastic clients. 

‘The Healthcare and Fitness Professionals’ Choice’

Conclusion:

Emotional well-being is the cornerstone of optimal health, and Pro Health Physio NE is leading the way in recognizing and addressing this vital aspect of care. By prioritising emotional intelligence, promoting an enriched emotional vocabulary, and embracing compassion-led physiotherapy interventions, Pro Health Physio NE is committed to providing holistic care that goes beyond the conventional boundaries of physical rehabilitation. As we move forward in understanding the intricate connection between physical and emotional health, Pro Health Physio NE stands as a beacon of innovation, fostering a culture of well-being that transforms lives.

Interested to know more? 

Struggling with an injury and the impact on your emotional well being?

Book in now to see one of the team at Pro Health Physio NE

Via this link:  https://prohealthphysione.com/booking/#booking-form-id

Blog written by Darren Finnegan, Co-Director, Pro Health Physio NE.

References:

Fteiha and Awwad  (2020) Emotional Intelligence and its relationship with stress coping style, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656878/

Daniel Goleman: https://www.danielgoleman.info/books/niel

Martin Seligman, https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/#:~:text=The%20mission%20of%20the%20Positive,individuals%20and%20communities%20to%20thrive.

Emotional Agility, Susan David, https://www.susandavid.com/book