The physical and psychological benefits gained through surfing is something that enthusiasts can attest to. This has prompted scientists to establish the exact value of surfing therapy in treating people who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression.
Benefits of surf therapy
It is easy to convince people to undergo surf therapy; after all, surfing is considered as an adventure, not as a form of treatment. Surf therapy can be fun and requires only the ocean and a surfboard although a trainer may be initially required. This means that surf therapy can be less costly than other forms of treatment.
Surf therapy does not require medications so that no side effects can be expected. It is a holistic form of therapy that is more effective compared to other non-integrated therapies. Holistic forms of therapy can promote mental, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing.
According to a British study on surf therapy, the mental and emotional wellbeing of people who have experienced trauma and psychological issues can be improved through surf therapy. Consistent week-in and week-out improvements in self-management, communication, and cultivation of a positive outlook have been reported among the young participants of the therapy sessions.
Why surf therapy works
Surfing is one of the most popular extreme sports. The surfer rides the waves in the ocean while standing or lying on the surfboard. Participants in surf therapy consider surfing as an adventure instead of a monotonous treatment protocol. Participants know that surfing is fun and enjoyable and would gladly involve themselves physically and psychologically.
Many adolescents find surfing more appealing than traditional therapies. Surf therapy is a better option for adolescents who do not respond to other forms of intervention to treat anxiety and stress. Surf therapy provides young people the opportunity to engage in therapeutic outdoor activities instead of being constantly engaged with their computer or smartphone.
Surfing requires a high level of commitment and concentration. The participant is forced to maintain focus while riding the waves. As a result, the participant tends to gravitate away from negative thoughts for a limited period of time. The feeling may be short-lived but it encourages the participant to look beyond his issues. The fact that surfing is done in the natural environment makes it easier for the participant to keep his mind focused.
Surfing enthusiasts have certainly experienced the adrenaline rush that promotes a sense of mental and physical wellbeing. Several studies have confirmed that exercise can enhance self-confidence and improve the mind’s ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Dopamine which is released during pleasurable situations like exercise can reduce the distress experienced by people who are struggling with a traumatic experience or addiction.
If you are struggling with PTSD, anxiety, and depression, you can visit surf therapists website to learn more about the programme. There are therapists who will guide you in overcoming the mental health challenges that you are going through. You can sign up for the therapy sessions even if you have never experienced surfing before.