We are born out of water. The first nine months of our lives are spent in a warm and comforting waterbed. Water is a natural part of life. Over 75% of the planet is water, as is the human body and the human brain. Connecting to water is therapeutic because it is a natural connection. Water therapy uses this connection to work with the body and the mind to create healing.
Aqua therapy uses the properties of how being submerged in water feels to treat and heal. For example, the buoyancy of water makes range of motion and gravity easier to cope with. Hydrostatic pressure creates feelings of calm by reducing pain, also increasing range of motion. Hydrostatic pressure is the way water creates equal pressure on all parts of the body at once. Water does the work once we are fully submerged in it. That pressure can give a mentally calming relief as well. For clients who have been physically abused or endured physical violence, therapeutic touch can be too triggering. Being submerged in water, however, provides a healing touch without the human hands. Water actually reduces the impact of the reticular system which is where the brain is activated and aroused.
Drug and alcohol addiction, as well as mental health disorders, can be the result of trauma. Trauma is often also the result of addiction. Addiction and mental health disorders affect the mind, the body, and the spirit. Aqua therapy helps to align these things fluidly.
Practicing aqua therapy in the winter months can be challenging due to a limited availability of warm water. Here are some ways to get in contact with water to practice aquatic therapy methods:
Find a heated pool. Some local pools or pools at a gym are heated year round. Additionally, they often have a jacuzzi or heated submerging pool as well.
Spend time in the jacuzzi. Find a local jacuzzi and slip in for a relaxing soak. Use your soaking time to stretch your muscles and mindfully focus on the way your body is letting go.
Take a mindful shower. Showers can be highly sensory experiences. Turn up the heat in the shower and notice how even just being in the water helped you to feel more calm and relaxed.
Stretch out in the tub. Filling a tub with epsom salts or essential oils in addition to the water is very therapeutic. Intermittently stretch your limbs and torso while taking a bath.
Put on a wetsuit and head to the ocean. No ocean is unmanageable during the winter with the right wetsuit. If the ocean is where you find the best aquatic based therapy, put on a warm layer and head out for a swim or a surf.
Avalon By The Sea seasonally incorporates aqua based therapies into our treatment programs as one of the many holistic treatment methods we employ. We believe that recovery should be a healing process of mind, body, and spirit. For a confidential assessment or more information about our residential treatment programs, call 1 888-958-7511.