Launch BioPsychology on Blue Monday: BioCheck takes mental guidance to a higher level
On the most gloomy day of the year – Blue Monday – BioCheck, a Rotterdam institute for burnout and vitality run by former Olympian Patrick van Luijk, launches BioPsychology. With this, BioCheck takes the mental guidance of the participants of its programs to a higher level.
“It’s actually odd to try to get people moving while sitting,” says Fabienne Melchers, psychologist at BioCheck. “As a human being, you are a combination of body, heart, and mind. If you have a problem in one of those areas, it pays off to address all those areas. However, many people with stress or burnout symptoms often only talk to a psychologist or just engage in sports, pushing their exhausted bodies even further.” Fabienne recovered from burnout herself through a combination of exercise and coaching. “I know from personal experience what it’s like to hit rock bottom, and taking rest alone doesn’t lead to sustainable recovery.”
Integral part of programs
At BioCheck, people have been recovering from stress or burnout symptoms for years through a combination of physical exertion (based on data-driven personal capacity), mental awareness, and breathing exercises. With the launch of BioPsychology, this mental awareness is expanded and further professionalized. Psychological guidance is now a permanent part of BioCheck’s Vitality and Recovery Programs. Group sessions are alternately conducted by a physiotherapist and a psychologist. It is assessed for each individual participant whether one-on-one guidance by a psychologist would be beneficial. In addition, people can turn to BioPsychology for mental guidance, combined with measurements such as heart rate, heart rate variability, and breathing.
Connecting with the body
Fabienne: “Feeling better is achieved by better connecting with your body. When people think of feeling, they often associate it with emotions. But feeling also involves physical sensations. A higher heart rate, breathing, tingling. People need to learn to recognize these. Because that’s often where it goes wrong. People don’t recognize how their body reacts to stress, so they keep going until it’s too late. Through real-time data, participants gain more insight into what is happening in their bodies and learn to influence it. This is also used during the 1-on-1 sessions. And that makes our approach truly unique.”
Balancing the autonomic nervous system first
BioPsychology is for those who primarily seek psychological guidance and also for participants who want to (or already do) follow an exercise program. Psychological support begins after the participant has been working within one of the BioCheck programs for a few weeks. Fabienne explains why: “Our programs are designed to rebalance the autonomic nervous system. We want the body to first calm down and get used to physical exertion. When people experience stress, the part of the brain that regulates emotions, impulses, planning, and organizing works less effectively, and information is processed less effectively. Only when that is better balanced are people ready to put a bit more strain on the brain as well.”
The first successes have already been achieved in recent months. For example, one participant with anxiety and panic symptoms was back on track within six sessions. People with this background generally need a longer psychological treatment. Fabienne: “I expect that many people will benefit from our approach.”
Date: January 30, 2024