If you’re a rock climber, you’re familiar with the intense amount of presence given in any expedition. For safety measures, this level of presence is required at all times to prevent injuries, however, there might be more to it. Aside from the therapeutic benefits nature provides, boulder climbing might just prove to have more in store for humanity than once thought.
A paper published in March in BMC Psychiatry found that a climbing-based therapeutic program was a more effective treatment for depression than other exercise regimens that did not involve therapy, and it was as effective as established methods of talk therapy, according to Outside Online.
This study was a result of documenting the experience of 240 patients through different modalities like talk therapy aka cognitive-based therapy (CBT), climbing, and regular exercise. In conclusion, those who spent time climbing had higher levels of improvement in comparison to talk therapy or strict exercise.
“CBT is powerful and has a long history,” says Katharina Luttenberger, pyschology researcher and study lead. “And we could show that bouldering therapy was not inferior to CBT, which is great.”
While the benefits of being active in nature don’t necessarily need to be proved in order to be believed, it does pave the way toward a future that does not solely rely on drugs or pharmaceuticals. These medications do have their place, however, studies like this position the future of humanity on a harmonious beam toward well-being and liberation.
Aside from the health benefits, psychologist Lisa Vigg also mentions, “The way people approach a boulder problem is very similar to the way people approach life outside of bouldering.” Whether you are a seasoned rock climber or not, this quote is a representation of the infinite reflections surrounding us at all times.
If we can face problems with more presence and grace, how might this look on a grand scale? Perhaps bouldering is just one example to the macrocosm of the metaphorical mountain.
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