It’s likely that addiction has taken hold of your entire life- ravaging the mind, body, and spirit. This is why it’s important to take a holistic approach to heal in addiction treatment. We want to heal the person as a whole in every aspect. Salt Water Therapy is an alternative therapy method that aids in the recovery process by helping clients achieve peace of mind.
The Benefits of the Ocean
Since the beginning of humankind, water has been a symbol of healing and transformation. Today, we still turn to water for a sense of clarity and tranquility with vacations near a lake or on a beach. Studies have shown that the ocean itself has numerous psychological benefits simply by being near it. The color blue itself is associated with openness, depth, wisdom, and calm. The fact is, the ocean has the ability to put both our minds and bodies in a more meditative state.
When an individual is around the ocean, they are giving their minds a break from the over stimuli of everyday life. Our brains don’t shut down, but instead, they process information differently. The gentle movements of the water engage the brain without overloading it with information. This puts the brain in a mindful state where it is relaxed yet focused. Mindfulness is a significant tool used in recovery as it is associated with lower stress levels, improved mental clarity, anxiety relief, and better sleep quality.
Salt Water Therapy
Once a week, we offer Salt Water Therapy lead by Jack Newkirk. From his website:
Salt Water Therapy is born of a passion for the ocean, recovery, and surfing. Our mission is not only to teach surfing but to assist in connecting people with something bigger than themselves and providing our clients with new experiences that have the power to transform their lives. Nature is a powerful force, and when harnessed, can assist with attitude improvement, physical and mental well being, and even help bring people back from the depths of addiction.
Each session starts off with a foundation of ocean safety and basic training on how to surf. This surf lesson is followed by guided meditation and visualization experiences. This innovative combination of physically interacting with the ocean, light therapy, and meditation have helped many people find peace in their lives and achieve their goals.
Founded by Jack Newkirk, who’s personal recovery was supported by a deep connection to the ocean, Salt Water Therapy’s entire goal is to help others obtain the same peace, joy, and connection to the world that Jack found and helped change his life. Jack is a drug and alcohol counselor and RADT. He is a Rescue Relay Champion for the USA, sponsored by Victory Wetsuits for over 2 years, and has years of ocean experience due to his history as a Junior Lifeguard Instructor. In his free time, he loves playing golf, hiking, backpacking, and camping.
On top of the mental benefits, Salt Water Therapy has its fair share of physical benefits.
A Dose of Vitamin Sea
When our clients participate in surf lessons and salt water therapy, they are soaking up vitamin D from the sunshine and negative ions that are released by crashing waves. When we breathe in these negative ions, they enter the lungs and are absorbed by the bloodstream to produce biochemical reactions that increase serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin is known as “the happiness chemical” that relieves stress and uplifts our mood.
There’s no doubt that surfing is a total body workout. Nearly every muscle in the body is utilized as you paddle out, push-up and squat from the lying position, and use your core to stabilize while standing on the board. Exercise greatly improves your physical wellbeing, as it helps cardiovascular health and lowers the risk of illness. The benefits of exercise in recovery reaches beyond physical, as it releases chemicals in the brain that reduces stress, increases happiness, and boosts self-esteem.
A New Community of Support
Those struggling with addiction tend to feel isolated and alone. That’s why having a strong support group is such a huge part of sustaining recovery. When our clients participate in Salt Water Therapy group surf lessons, they are building relationships with others founded on a positive common interest. Group activities can yield lasting friendships and grow a support network that improves the chances of long-term recovery.
Salt Water Therapy offers our clients a chance to experience something new that benefits them both mentally and physically. As they connect with nature, they also connect with themselves in a brand new way. If you’re interested in learning more about Salt Water Therapy or any of our other services, contact us today.