The Movement Component of our Adaptive Care Model
The basic philosophy of the Alsana movement program is to help clients find enjoyable ways to work with their body, not against their body. The basis of this is simple – the human body is built to move. Movement is how we interact with the world and each other, accomplish daily tasks, and can even affect every aspect of mental, physical, and social well-being.
In short, movement is a necessary part of our daily lives. However, the nuances of how movement can be beneficial are extremely complicated. Misconceptions about movement and exercise may lead to opportunities for any form of movement to become compensatory, be used for emotional regulation, exacerbate nutritional deficiencies and medical complications of eating disorders, hinder treatment progress, and/or contribute to relapse.
Therefore, treatment approaches must emphasize learning how movement and exercise interact with medical, nutritional, psychological, and relational aspects of eating disorders treatment and recovery. To this end, our dynamic movement program helps clients understand a multitude of psychological and physiological factors that interact with medical, nutritional, psychological, and relational aspects of eating disorders treatment and recovery.
Safety is the main emphasis of the Alsana movement program. Therefore, all clients receive a comprehensive screening for medical, nutritional, and psychological factors that are relevant to all forms of movement. Next, we use a wide variety of evidence-based techniques to change the way clients approach movement and exercise. Finally, we help clients rebuild their relationship with movement and exercise from the ground up by integrating experiential opportunities to practice moving and exercising with this new approach.
These proven techniques are the product of a combination of interventions from eating disorder-specific movement therapists from around the world. They include daily stretching, relaxation and meditation trainings, psychoeducation about movement and exercise, yoga, and movement experientials that include a mix of sports, games, recreational outings, dance therapy, art and expressive therapies, and walks.
The Alsana movement program is implemented by our dynamic staff that includes therapists with expertise in sport and exercise psychology, recreational therapy, dance therapy, sport dietetics, and certified personal trainers. We are excited to work with you and your clients to help change the functional relationship of movement and exercise and re-establish a positive relationship with movement and exercise.
It is our hope that the Alsana movement program will challenge clients’ conceptions of what movement and exercise are, help clients find joy in movement and exercise, and provide a safe and supportive environment to re-examine mental, physical, and social aspects of movement throughout the treatment and recovery journey.
Brian Cook, Ph.D.
National Director of Movement and Exercise