How Can Surf Therapy Boost My Well-Being Against Addiction?
Although it sounds completely recreational and unrelated to the struggles of addiction, surf therapy is quickly gaining reputability in the world of addiction treatment. In fact, researchers and therapy programs around the world are now using surfing to help patients overcome a wide variety of cognitive and behavioral conditions, including addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and even autism.
Surf Therapy Holds Global Interest for Addiction Treatment
Researchers in both the United States and Great Britain have been focusing on surf therapy’s application for treatment of addiction and, post-traumatic stress, in particular. In Great Britain the National Health Service is conducting trials to determine whether taxpayers should provide for this type of treatment in lieu of commonly prescribed anti-depressants and other therapies.
In America, where addiction treatment is often innovative, surfing has been implemented in treatment programs on both coasts. Even the U.S. Marines have added surfing to their veteran programs for post-traumatic stress. In keeping with the Marines’ “whole Marine approach” to fitness, ocean therapy – as it is called by the military – is used to help the whole being, as veterans and wounded Marines make progress against PTSD and physical disabilities at the same time.
Ulrike Schmidt, a microbiologist in Munich studying the minute changes of the brain as part of PTSD, also believes surfing offers great promise as a therapy. She said, “We already know that moving your body is fundamentally good for healing, and there’s evidence that through movement and physical effort you can encourage metabolic processes in the brain.”
Surf Therapy Is Proven Effective for Treatment of Symptoms of Addiction and PTSD
Patients suffering from PTSD and those working to overcome addiction share many of the same daily issues that can cause relapse for drug use or PTSD-related problems. Addiction and PTSD often go hand-in-hand, with many people unknowingly suffering from PTSD using drugs and alcohol as self-medication for the effects of post-traumatic stress. The two conditions share many symptoms, including:
- Insomnia or other sleep disorders
- Inability to concentrate
- Episodic anger or rage
- Other symptoms
Many of the struggles of both conditions can be lightened or alleviated through ocean-based therapy, according to Ryan Pittsinger, a surfer who shared his master’s program thesis study results at a convention of the American Psychological Association. Pittsinger found that surfing boosts positivity and tranquility, while decreasing negativity and fatigue.
Pittsinger likens the ocean’s highly unpredictable nature to unpredictability in everyday life. As surfers use their mind, body and spirit to overcome what the ocean presents, the surfers are gaining life skills to cope with everyday symptoms of addiction and mental illness.
Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida
If you or someone you love needs treatment for addiction, Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida addresses the whole being within addiction treatment for more complete wellness of mind, body and spirit. Call Lakeview Health now at 866.704.7692 for more information about programs and treatment modalities for the best possible chance for long-term sobriety, including surf therapy.