Water is the source of life, and incorporating aqua therapy into an addiction recovery program can bolster the function of both mind and body to promote healing and restore balance. Aqua therapy is comprised of various types of exercise that are performed in the water, and it’s widely used for physical rehabilitation and for emotional healing, particularly in an addiction recovery setting.
The Benefits of Aqua Therapy
There’s no doubt that water relaxes us. The buoyancy of the body in water slows us down and makes us graceful and fluid, and its warmth envelops us and brings a sense of calm and wellbeing. The benefits of aqua therapy are many, and they combine to add an extra, dynamic layer of healing to any recovery program.
Aqua Therapy Has Circulation and Sensory Benefits
Hydrostatic pressure is the force of fluid molecules against a submerged body. It decreases pain and helps increase range of motion, and it promotes blood circulation to improve mental clarity and the body’s ability to detox.
According to Brainline.org, hydrostatic pressure also dampens tactile sensory input to the brain, enabling participants to focus more clearly on the present moment and feel a keen sense of calm.
Aqua Therapy is Gentle Exercise
Exercise has proven mood-boosting powers, but beginning an exercise routine can be difficult and painful for those in recovery who have neglected their physical health. Aqua therapy is a gentle but effective way to get the body moving again. Water’s viscosity provides excellent resistance for toning the muscles, and it makes the heart work harder, giving you a solid cardio workout as well.
Aqua Therapy Enhances Wellbeing
Just being in the water reduces stress and anxiety and can help improve your sense of wellbeing, particularly during aquatic yoga and Pilates, which focus on breathing, core strength, flexibility, and balance.
Other popular water fitness programs include Ai Chi, a graceful water-based strengthening and relaxation exercise that integrates your physical, mental, and spiritual energy, and Ai Chi Ne, an exercise performed in pairs to help restore physical and emotional balance.
Aqua Therapy is Meditative
The gentle rocking and lilting of water offers a meditative quality, especially when performing aquatic therapies like Watsu, a form of passive, one-on-one therapy with a trained practitioner that takes place in warm, chest-deep water. Watsu combines flowing moves, massage, rocking, and floating to produce a deeply relaxed state that helps heal the spirit and quiet the mind.
An ever growing body of research shows that a holistic approach to addiction recovery, which nurtures the mind, body, and spirit to achieve a sense of wholeness, is the most effective model for promoting meaningful, mindful and lasting healing from the physical and mental damage that results from drug or alcohol addiction.
Finding a program that incorporates aqua therapy and other alternative forms of treatment offers the best chance for successful long-term recovery while helping you improve your overall health and sense of well-being.