One of the most common ailments afflicting elderly individuals is depression. It’s estimated that roughly 35 million Americans aged 65 or older experience depression. What’s more, many people experience depression for the first time their older years (even well into their 90s). The effects of depression on an aging individual can be devastating. Not only the mental impact, but also the physical effects as well. Late-life depression radically increases risk for:
And while seeking professional medical and psychological help is always the best option when faced with depression, there may be additional steps that elderly individuals and their caregivers can do in addition to “traditional” treatments that can help them avoid the effects of depression.
Movement: Scientifically Proven to Improve Mental and Physical Health
For years, doctors have been advocating movement for physical health. However, it’s only in recent years that researchers have begun to probe the link between movement and mental health.
New research suggests that specific types of movement (meditative movement) can actually decrease the risk of depression and alleviate symptoms in some sufferers.
What is Meditative Movement?
Meditative movement is slow, methodical movement accompanied by an attention to bodily sensations. Well-known examples of meditative movement include many Asian exercises including:
Qigong (Chi Kung)