Aquatic therapy for addiction is a unique and effective way of dealing with the struggles and stresses of addiction. In the early stages of recovery, a person may be overwhelmed by emotions and fears (of relapsing or using again). Luckily, there are many different options for dealing with cravings and stresses, including aquatic therapy.
Aquatic therapy uses the incredible physical and mental benefits of swimming, exercise, and other components. Aquatic therapy is used to help a person feel healthier, happier, and more focused on staying sober. Often, juggling life’s stresses and the cravings of your past addiction can be a tall task. Aquatic therapy and other methods of treatment can help you stay on track while staying healthy.
While aquatic therapy alone isn’t enough to simply ‘cure’ a person’s addiction or to rid of all cravings – it can be a great addition during recovery. Aquatic therapy offers a wide variety of activities and exercises to keep the body and mind moving. Over the years it has continued to grow in popularity and effectiveness.
What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy or swim therapy is used to help a person manage the symptoms of chronic illnesses. Specifically, it can also help as a form of therapy for those recovering from addiction. Aquatic therapy may not be for everyone, but for many, it can provide a great way to relieve stress and manage cravings.
Aquatic therapy is a form of adventure therapy and continues to be used by many recovering addicts. There are many different forms of aquatic therapy, each has its own benefits depending on the case. Let’s take a deep dive at some of the techniques that are used during aquatic therapy sessions:
- Ai Chi aquatic therapy (and other specific methods)
- Aqua running
- Halliwick aquatic therapy (for developing balance and core)
- Aquatic therapy with equipment (stationary bikes, barbells, flotation rings, etc.)
There are many different methods apart from this list; some may work better than others. There is no right or wrong way to go about choosing a therapy option like aquatic therapy. As long as you are in the right physical shape to swim and exercise, aquatic therapy can be a great option for recovery treatment. Aquatic therapy is not recommended for those with intense muscular or physical problems. Consult with a medical professional before committing to aquatic therapy.
The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
There are many benefits to using aquatic and swim therapy. Like many relaxing and holistic methods of addiction treatment, aquatic therapy can have a big impact on your mind/body. Those who use aquatic therapy will see changes in their body, mind, and spirit as well. Some of the great benefits of aquatic therapy include the following:
- Helps with chronic pains: Aquatic therapy can help manage some of the chronic pains that come with drug use. Swimming is a great way to reduce pain and stress in the process.
- Improves overall mood: Using aquatic therapy has been shown to increase mood and help people manage stress in both men and women. Many options in adventure and holistic therapy can indirectly help you feel better, both in spirit and body.
- Encourages exercise and fitness: As you can imagine, aquatic therapy offers many benefits in the exercise department. Many activities that require swimming are usually great for many different parts of the body. Aerobics and swimming in general strengthen your core and improve your physical fitness.
- Helps relaxation: Being immersed in water can be a calming and therapeutic experience. Clearing your mind and letting your body float can be a relaxing and beneficial practice. Relaxation is a big part of staying sober and clean.
- Reduces depression and anxiety: Keeping the idea of relaxation in mind, aquatic therapy can help relieve some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Often, those recovering from addiction may experience depression/anxiety, which can be problematic in addicts. Aquatic therapy can help relieve these feelings and refresh your mind.
There are many other benefits to using aquatic therapy during your recovery (early or late stages). Swimming may seem like a normal activity, but in a controlled and relaxed environment, it can have a significant impact on your sobriety and well being. Practicing physical exercise like aquatic therapy will not only make you feel better, but it’ll keep you away from drugs altogether in a healthy way.
Aquatic Therapy and Long-Term Recovery
Many people fall in love with aquatic therapy and the joys of swimming. It’s an interesting and effective way of managing stress and living a better life. Aquatic therapy for addiction recovery can be a wonderful tool in the process. If you are interested in learning more about aquatic therapy, consider the following pointers as a good starting point.
- Practice, practice, practice: Improving your swimming skills are part of the journey. The longer you stick with swimming and other types of aquatic activities, the better you will become.
- Join a swimming team: Swimming can become a big part of your life if you are committed. Consider joining a local swimming team if you are serious about improving and taking part in the swimming culture
- Ocean swimming: If you have an ocean nearby, consider practicing on your own and let it become a part of your routine. Ocean swimming should be done with caution, you should be well versed and knowledgeable on the technique before attempting this.
- Invest in equipment: If you are serious about swimming and aquatic therapy, consider buying better equipment.
The Journey Starts at Rock Recovery
While aquatic therapy can be a great addition to your treatment, you must first take the first step. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, now is the time to get help. Rock Recovery offers many treatment styles through adventure and holistic therapy options. It is never too late to take the first step. It’s time to overcome addiction and start living a better and more exciting life. Contact us today to learn about all our treatment options and addiction resources.