Therapeutisches Boxen bei Traumata und Depression

Therapeutic Boxing vs. Anger, Burnout and Depression

People have always boxed to prove themselves worthy in athletic duels. This is known at least since the olympic games of the Greeks in 688 BC. Why has this sport remained this young, now more relevant than ever, and become valuable for basically everyone? And all this despite the fact that some, stuck in stereotypical thinking, dismiss boxing as mere brawling!

Does boxing offer therapeutic benefits for certain limitations or medical conditions? One-on-one fights, the physically intensive training, and the challenge of combining learned techniques with effective tactics will undoubtedly ring a bell for many sports enthusiasts. The fact is, there’s no fitness training more complex for both body and mind. Less well known is its impact on the brain, specifically on the communication between the two hemispheres.

Therapeutic boxing supports bilateral hemispherical stimulation

The numerous cross-body movements in boxing improve the “neuronal traffic” between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This is further supported by the four limbs having to perform different tasks simultaneously and independently. The result is referred to as “bilateral hemispheric stimulation,” which comes with significant benefits.

The right hemisphere (responsible for creative thinking, intuition, and emotionality) connects with the left hemisphere (responsible for logical-analytical thinking and rationality), leading to more creative thinking, learning, and processing methods. This, in turn, often leads to new assessments of old, negatively stored experiences which help with overcoming and coping with traumas and fears. Boxing, through the aforementioned increased neuronal traffic, also allows dealing with pent-up aggression, anger, depression, and burnout.

By the way: I offer therapeutic boxing in Berlin!

Boxing strengthens self-esteem and improves body awareness

Additionally, boxing helps to better perceive one’s own body, channel anger, and create an outlet for it. For individuals prone to lethargy, boxing often reveals how much strength and energy they actually possess. Those who find themselves externalising their aggression frequently discover their sensitive side through humility, respect, and regard for others and the sport itself. They learn to recognise boundaries and confront fears, finding parallel solutions to problems outside the ring. Boxing also trains perseverance, assertiveness, and frustration tolerance.

Body tension and posture improve, which is reflected in a more positive overall body language. When combined, this has a valuable mental effect, boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, and creates a transfer into other contexts and everyday situations in life. It’s worth noting that direct full contact in one-on-one fights, whether in sparring or competitions, is not strictly necessary to achieve these effects, which also apply to traditional boxing training.

Therapeutic boxing for neurological diseases?

Interestingly, boxing training, through the aforementioned brain stimulation, also provides excellent support for neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis. The discussed mechanisms strengthen and train the sense of balance, leading to greater self-confidence in everyday life. The parallels and intersections between boxing and “normal life” are significant.

Definition: Therapeutic boxing is a body-based therapeutic method that can be widely applied within the context of psychoeducation, or as a complementary and supplementary addition to (behavioural) psychotherapy. Its primary goal is improving body awareness, and learning to perceive, express, and regulate feelings and emotions. It improves the coping with traumatic experiences, the control over negative and destructive impulses, and the reduction of internal tensions. Through self-efficacy and self-assertion, it succeeds at strengthening psychological resilience.

In life, as in boxing, we often need to protect ourselves from setbacks, knockdowns, blows, and knock-out’s, either by dodging them or recovering from them. In the end, it’s about landing Lucky Punches. In therapeutic boxing, these aren’t random but the result and reward of intensive training. Boxing doesn’t require much equipment and can be practiced almost anywhere where there’s flat ground. By the way, training doesn’t have to be all serious; laughter is allowed and even encouraged, as humour enhances resilience (psychological durability). There are many good reasons for everyone to consider which sport offers the greatest value. Boxing is pure fitness, has therapeutic benefits, is a matter of the heart, and a soul massage! soulboxer🥊🙏❤️