North Texas Therapy Innovations
Anxiety is driven by biological, genetic, and psychosocial factors. It can be a positive thing, as it can be used as a motivator. Anxiety becomes a problem, however, when it interferes with participation in day-to-day life. This has become an increasingly apparent problem in America today, where 18.1% of adults are diagnosed with anxiety each year.
The purpose of this therapy essentially trains the brain to change the reactions that it has in response to the sensory system in order to stop the cycle of anxiety. This change in the brain promotes calming and organization. Our occupational therapists complete comprehensive assessments to identify what sensory triggers exist, develop ways to modulate reactions to them through education, cognitive strategies, sensory modulation, and home/environment modifications.
The human body is incredibly resilient. It is equipped with tools such as the sympathetic nervous system, which is what prepares the body for stressful situations, called fight-or-flight. It facilitates the release of hormones that boosts the body's alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles. Then breathing quickens, delivering fresh oxygen to the brain, and an infusion of glucose is shot into the bloodstream for a quick energy boost. These are effective and wonderful responses, however, when we are in fight-or-flight over an extended period of time, the body begins to take a toll. This has been shown to cause hypertension, anxiety, depression and chronic stress. The sympathetic nervous system may over-respond to touch, sound, visual stimuli, and movement which make up our sensory integration system.
Betty, director and owner of NTTI, began to notice something in the parents of the children she was treating, a heightened state of anxiety. These parents were doing everything they could to manage their households and keep their heads above water. Betty, knowing the impact that sensory integration therapy has on managing anxiety in children, began to offer the same services to adults. Upon beginning this, Betty observed adult patients coming out of fight-or-flight, or the body's response to stress or anxiety. Further, she noticed these adults were better able to engage in their work and personal lives due to their decreased anxiety levels. As occupational therapists, we treat the whole person. Our main focus is on neurological, as it is our goal to provide individuals with the tools to change the way they respond to stimuli from their environment. We also aim to improve their physical bodies through manual therapy and exercise and to increase engagement in their daily roles through environmental modifications.
Research has shown a relationship between anxiety and the way our brains perceive sensory stimulation. Some examples of events that can start the spiral loop of anxiety are a room that is too loud, a shirt with an itchy tag, or feeling like there are too many things in life to balance. Sensory Integration therapy includes methods to help the brain modulate and minimize feelings of anxiousness in such situations listed above.
Our expert occupational therapists provide quality care to assist in managing anxiety through improving the physical symptoms and addressing the root of the problem for lasting change.
11886 Greenville Avenue Suite 110, Dallas, TX, United States 214-349-6178
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