It is well known that eating disorders (EDs) are not only a condition of the psyche but also of the soma. Why, then, do current treatments fail to include physical therapy in standard practice? Quite clearly, the two are linked!
EDs are multifaceted conditions which therefore require a multifaceted therapeutic approach. Accredited Exercise Physiologists have the potential to occupy a large role in the prevention and management of eating disorders. Working collaboratively with allied health professionals including Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Mental Health Nurses, Dietitians, Doctors and Social Workers, AEPs can fill a dimension currently overlooked in the treatment of these conditions.
Some facts to consider:
This professional development will discuss the categories of eating disorders, their pathophysiology, current treatments and the effect of exercise on psychosocial, emotional and physical functioning. It will also explore the future role of AEPs, practical factors to consider during exercise treatment, medical guidelines, and suggestions for future research.
This is a niche not yet established in standard Australian practice – let’s change this and show the incredible effect we can have!
Alanah Dobinson is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and the Mental Health Programs Coordinator at Iridium Health, South Brisbane. Alanah has a great passion for exercise therapy for disadvantaged populations and those with mental health conditions, particularly in the area of eating issues. She is an established clinician in the Greater Brisbane region as she works with a range of populations and has successfully partnered with 20 mental health organisations within a 50km radius of Brisbane CBD. Alanah is the first Clinical Exercise Physiology graduate from the Queensland University of Technology to enter the mental health sector and she is a key clinician in two PhD studies with Griffith University looking at exercise for mental health conditions. She is a mentor for final year EP students at QUT, an Academic In Charge for Anatomy at QUT and will be completing a PhD on Exercise as Medicine for Eating Disorders to develop Australian exercise guidelines for anorexia in particular.
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