When most people think of boxing, they envision heavyweight hitters battling it out in the boxing ring. But there’s much more to boxing than the “fight.” Learning the skill of boxing equips individuals with focus, discipline, resilience, determination and perseverance. And for individuals battling stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or addiction, boxing can become a powerful healing tool.
Think Boxing by Innerpoint is a new curriculum launched this spring by Mount Pleasant counselor Beth Matenaer and entrepreneur and coach Jason Scalzo. Think Boxing is a non-contact curriculum that uses specific patterns of movement and cognition found in traditional boxing to foster brain regulation.
“In our method, boxing is less about the ‘fight’ and more about helping people learn how to win their inner emotional battles,” Matenaer said. “Think Boxing uses patterned boxing movements to increase concentration, improve emotional regulation, and provide meaningful relief of stress and tension. The curriculum draws on elements of mindfulness as well as various ways that exercise can be beneficial to overall improvements in mental health.”
Matenaer has been working to find creative approaches to helping others with mental health challenges for 25 years. She has a background in animal-assisted therapy and experiential approaches to psychotherapy. She currently has a private practice in Mount Pleasant, treating individuals and families dealing with trauma, attachment, recovery and personal growth.
Scalzo has trained and coached both in boxing and Tae Kwon-Do for 30 years and was a member of the U.S. National Tae Kwon-Do team from ages 14 to 16. In 2017, he left a 12-year career in the medical technology industry to pursue his dream of starting a youth boxing program in West Africa for rehabilitated child soldiers and orphans of war. That program is still active today.
“Because boxing is a sport that requires synchronization of one’s body and mind, the physical and mental skills learned while boxing can improve our wellbeing across multiple aspects of our lives,” Scalzo said.
Together, Matenaer and Scalzo are using boxing as a treatment and healing mechanism for children and adults dealing with mental health challenges or recovering from emotionally traumatic events. They are currently using fitness spaces, CrossFit gyms and boxing studios around Charleston. Their goal is to certify additional instructors in their custom curriculum.
While Think Boxing does not involve actual fighting, the training curriculum does allow for the release of tension through the controlled kinetic contact and the added self confidence that comes with the ability to defend oneself.
To learn more about Think Boxing by Innterpoint and how to schedule a session, visit www.ThinkBoxing.co or call 843-696-6127.