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Axe Throwing With Heads Up Therapies

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20 December 2022

No Barriers, Only Opportunities!

Here at Heads Up Therapies, we are always looking for opportunities to participate in new, exciting opportunities, which will also provide opportunities to enhance rehabilitation of our clients. One of the challenges faced by occupational therapists is finding age-appropriate therapeutic opportunities, particularly for young males, however, axe throwing has proved to be popular and captured the interest of many of the Heads-Up clients. In fact, it’s become so popular, it’s now a regular feature in our Heads-Up Social Club! But what is it about axe throwing that makes it so beneficial for both the client and the therapist?

Axe throwing has increased in popularity, generally, in recent years and, much more than just being fun, it has many physical, mental health and social benefits. In this blog, we will look at the many benefits of engaging in axe throwing and why it is so popular with our clients and therapists alike.

Significant physical benefits

For clients who are particularly reluctant to engage in physical exercise in a gym, axe throwing provides the perfect opportunity to reintroduce or build on current activity levels. Axe throwing provides excellent opportunities to work on building strength, without even realising. It provides a muscle workout, like the effects of exercising on machines in a gym but, in our opinion, it’s much more fun! The action of throwing the axe provides excellent opportunities to strengthen the core, shoulders, pecs, and legs and can also provide a solid cardio workout. Throwing the axe also increases shoulder mobility and coordination and improves posture and balance, even if standing on the spot. It is also suitable for those in wheelchairs and can help to improve or build upper body strength in those who have limited mobility, making it an inclusive activity, which is perfect for our clients. We’ve found axe throwing to improve co-ordination, agility, and endurance.

Upper body workout and suitable for all abilities

Social skills

Social isolation can be a common problem for many clients following a brain injury and can often lead to depression, loneliness, and other mental health issues. Relationships can breakdown, friendship groups can change, and many clients can find it difficult to establish new friendships, due to physical, cognitive, and social differences post brain injury. Axe throwing is a great way to facilitate social interactions in a fun, relaxed environment, whilst also building on social skills, such as turn taking, patience, self-awareness, rules of conversations and general ability to interact with others in a social setting. When clients are relaxed and having fun, it provides an ideal opportunity to build on social skills in a structured, manageable, and meaningful way, rather than the sometimes-forced interactions in other settings. Axe throwing is perfectly structured to combine periods of social development, without applying too much pressure. It also releases endorphins in the body, making it a stress relieving activity. When stress levels are lower, therapy of any kind is likely to be more successful.

Smiles all round at axe throwing, releasing lots of endorphins!

At Heads Up Therapies, we don’t think that having a disability should place a barrier to engaging in activities. Some clients and their family may have reservations about axe throwing and whether it is safe. Although risk taking does seem to naturally improve as part of the recovery from a brain injury, rehabilitation in this area is important. Assisting our clients to assess risk and develop strategies to manage risk are an important part of the process. Axe throwing is done in a structured environment and clients are given a safety briefing before proceeding. This is an ideal opportunity for therapists to assess a client’s ability to follow instructions, to engage in activities safely and appropriately. There is also the opportunity to model safe behaviour and reasons for the rules in place.

Social benefits continue…

After the axe throwing, the social benefits of our social club continued as a group of us headed out to eat together. These social interactions are invaluable and are as important as the sessions that we run.

In summary, we love axe throwing at Heads Up Therapies for all its social and physical benefits. Our clients give us great feedback and we always have lots of fun. But, if you’re still not convinced, watch the video below of our time at Whistlepunks. It speaks for itself…

With huge thanks to Stella Photography for the amazing photos and video.

If you are interested in joining us at our next axe throwing event or have any questions, email or click on the Eventbrite link here.

#HeadsUpSocialClub #HeadsUpHeadsOut #AxeThrowing

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