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Need Another Reason to Run?


I discuss the benefits of running on here all of the time. Although I still consider myself somewhat new to running, this certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the positive effects that result. Running allows me to release energy, de-stress, and feel better about myself. Now that I have started running, I can honestly say that I love it.



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Just in case I needed another reason to keep running, my social work professor provided me with one in class earlier this week.




We were talking in class about a particular type of therapy known as EMDR. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This form of therapy combines talking therapy (where the client discusses a stressful/traumatic event) with bi-lateral stimulation (where either side of the client’s brain is stimulated back and forth). Bi-lateral stimulation may be done by using alternating taps on the client’s shoulders or legs. Also, the therapist could use headphones which send tones back and forth (alternating between either ear). The point of bi-lateral stimulation is to allow the brain to process the event being discussed. The stimulation also allows for the client to feel calm and in a less-emotional state. Following multiple sessions of therapy, the client is then able to think of the stressful situation/traumatic event without experiencing any negative feelings. (Read more about EMDR here).


What does all of this have to do with running?




Running results in bi-lateral stimulation of the brain. This means that while you are running and thinking about negative situations/events you are able to process them. When you are running, your legs are moving back and forth which causes the bi-lateral stimulation and creates a calming effect. While you are running you are able to think about stressful events of the day, process them in your mind, and then feel less affected by the induced stress. You end up feeling calmer, less stressed, and less emotional after completing a run (despite how you may have felt before you started your work-out).






I think it’s true when people say that running is a form of therapy! 🙂




2 Comments leave one →
  1. ashley permalink
    01/27/2012 9:37 pm

    I cried reading this because I think you’re right, and I can’t thank you enough for pointing it out. My Fiancee left for Afghanistan last Sunday, and i’ve had a terrible time dealing with it. I started a running program tonight, and I actually did feel calmer when I was done. Thank you.

    • 01/27/2012 9:42 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Ashley. I can’t even imagine what you must be going through with your fiance leaving for Afghanistan. I’m glad you could find some comfort in running. Running does different things for different people, but if it can help you through this rough time–it’s worth it.

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