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It has been long known that the Ocean has its ability to stimulate calmness in the mind and body.

“Surfing as a form of therapy is gaining traction around the world, and has been used to help ex-soldiers cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the UK and the US.” Professor Michael Baigent is a psychiatrist who sits on the board of Beyond Blue. He’s also a surfer.

Since surfing is like a number of other high-impact, high-energy activities, it really requires your focus and your energy. It’s fun, does well and truly take you into the moment and away from other things. Being in the moment means thinking what you are doing exclusively. You are not preoccupied with other issues that might be concerning your mental health. That tremendously be beneficial.

Another example would be someone with PTSD can have flashbacks that bring back a wave of emotions and physical sensations that mimic the intensity of when the incident originally happened. People with chronic PTSD often lose interest in things they used to enjoy. Surfing creates a new sense of purpose and passion for life (Izenberg, 2015). Josh Izenbergis a surfer and award-winning documentary film director based in San Francisco. Recently, Izenberg has been exploring the power of “surf therapy” and being in the ocean to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Basically the energy that you put into it get transformed into something much favourable, not only to your body, but also to your mind. Instead of feeding energy into these negative thoughts that turn into worries, your body actually create a higher level of endorphins. 

If you, or someone you love, is suffering from PTSD, surfing and ocean therapy is a holistic and effective non-pharmacological therapeutic option. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, schedule a trip to the nearest beach you!

If you need help in a crisis, call Philippine Mental Health Association(02) 921 4958. For further information, contact local health professional or someone you trust.

References:

Verdouw, Emily. (2016). More Than A Sport: How Surfing Can Help Mental Health Recovery. Retrieved from  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/surf-therapy-and-being-in-the-ocean-can-alleviate-ptsd

Bergland, Christopher. (2015).  “Surf Therapy” and Being in the Ocean Can Alleviate PTSD. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/surf-therapy-and-being-in-the-ocean-can-alleviate-ptsd

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