di Erika Scafuro
Surfers know how riding waves gives calm to their mind, its power of giving awareness with the focus on “here and now”.
But there are people for whom surfing is a real therapy. For several years there are associations and non-profit groups that are dedicated to the surf therapy. In what consists it and for whom is indicated?
People with disabilities, both physical and cognitive find the best cure from their sufferings thanks to surfing.
Helped by instructors people can live more than a physical experience with touch with the water. Almost as if it were a spiritual activity, it is a opportunity to be in a deep connection with the sea.
Focused on riding a wave, people go beyond their disability and surfing allows their body and mind to live a therapeutic activity.
Many surf therapy projects, as part of educational projects directed by medical teams, were born around autism disorder. It is known as the practice of surfing is effective for the body in contact with water. Surfing calm them down, it releases positive feelings, and it increases self-esteem. Every surf session is a precious opportunity for gain self-confidence not to mention the fun component of practicing such an activity like surfing.
People of any age with physical disabilities can take advantage of the water for a smoother movement of the body going over limits.
The power of surfing is also recognized as rehabilitation for people suffering from post – traumatic stress disorder, as soldiers from the return from war missions. There are countries, like the United States, which have set up specific surf therapy programs for veterans. Surf schools with the aim of help soldiers with physical and mental traumas due to the military operations in which they took part. Learning how to surf soldiers learn how to let go of all those thoughts caged in their mind that generate states of stress, depression, anger and anxiety.
Surfing involves all the senses and both body and mind benefit of the thoughts focused on catching waves. Ocean thus becomes a place where healing is experienced by body and soul.