Almost any surfer you ask, they will you this; “Surfing cures everything!” From anxiety and depression, bad days, to stress, can easily be countered by spending some time with the waves.

This is due to the meditative qualities of surfing and the extremely humbling force of the majestic ocean. All the elements of surfing help to create a euphoric feeling, from something as simple as waiting for the next set, or gaining control of your breathing while you paddle, to successfully ride a wave. More than that, surfing provides a feeling of self-accomplishment, as with many other sports, which provides the added benefit of a confidence boost by allowing you to set and eliminate goals at your own pace.

In summary, it’s a fantastic way to allow you to come out of your shell and grab some confidence while giving yourself a challenge. The psychological effects of surfing are quite often ignored. However, scientists and health industry leaders around the world have started an investigation into the physical and mental health benefits of surfing. In a recent article, it was stated that although most sports do help boost confidence, surfing, among other activities which take place near a body of water, actually leave a longer lasting effect of serenity and accomplishment. Without diving too deep, it all had to do with the ionization of oxygen found near moving water. So, any water sports are actually beneficial to your mental state by charging you up with ionized oxygen, leaving you feeling a feeling a bit stronger for longer.

Surfing can help improvement in the following cases:

Poly Trauma – suffering from multiple physical and mental impairments from combat wounds. These injuries often affect multiple organ systems in the body and, in addition, the experience in combat can cause anxiety, depression and psychosocial impairment.

Cystic Fybrosis – is a genetic disorder that heavily effects the respiratory and digestive system. Those born with Cystic Fibrosis produce extremely thick mucus in their lungs. This causes drastic coughing and difficulty breathing, and can cause life-threatening infections. Researchers in Australia found that the lungs of surfers with cystic fibrosis were much healthier than the lungs of patients who did not surf. They discovered that the saltwater mist of the ocean helps rehydrate airway surfaces, which in turn lubricates the lungs. This makes it much easier for those dealing with cystic fibrosis to clear their air passages and break up mucus

Autism – Autism is a genetically inherited condition that has no known cause or cure. Children affected by autism frequently experience sensory overload as well as obsessive-compulsive routines that are difficult to break. Izzy Paskowitz, son of legendary surfer and doctor Doc Paskowitz, was one of the first to explore surfing as a treatment for autism, after spending years, seeking effective treatment for his son. Izzy and his wife, discovered nothing worked as well as something that was already an integral part of their family: the ocean. Surfing provided their son, relief from his symptoms that no medicine or therapy could offer. Time in the water forced him to abandon OCD routines, and the ocean offered a calming remedy from sensory overload.

Depression & Mood – This comes as no surprise to anyone that surfs, as we already insist that surfing is a great way to lift one’s spirits, as well as the longer lasting effects of that euphoria due to exposure to the more positively charge ions that exist around moving bodies of water, as mentioned above. To further the scientific research behind this claim, in 2010 the British National Health Services started a pilot program. The program observed 22 participants dealing with mental issues from schizophrenia to psychosis from ages 12 to 23. After six weeks on the coast learning how to surf with the assistance of qualified coaches and recording the moods of participants, researchers found that at participants decreased in negative feelings and an increase of positive ones just in the time of 30 minutes of riding waves. In a similar study conducted at University of Iowa, by doctoral student Ryan Pittsinger, the link between surfing and mental health was researched further, while also providing comparison of the effects of surfing with other sports. While any kind of athletic activity causes the release of endorphins, which cause positive emotions, surfing, more than any other activity, causes feelings of tranquility and serenity. It leaves participants with a sense of accomplishment and a boosted self-esteem. These lasting effects also make surfing helpful in overcoming drug addiction. Many rehab centers, around the world, have now started to integrate surfing into their programs.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Over recent years PTSD has been brought to light in to the public eye and a lot of various research has been done to develop the best possible treatments. The United States Marine Corp has already incorporated surf therapy into effective treatment of PTSD and although involves other stress reducing activities, surf therapy provides fun and camaraderie for all the participants.

 

The fact of the matter is that all sport has  more than just physiological benefits and surfing is definitely one of the most fun waves to reach them. From simply reducing stress levels and boosting confidence, to amazing rehabilitational benefits for those with more specific needs. No matter what the reason, surfing is something everyone should try at least once, cause you never know how it might change your life.

Bali Monkey House – Surf Camp is an accommodation and surf camp located in the heart of Canggu in Bali, Indonesia. It has been a home for travelers from all over the planet! From surfers eager to ride good waves to beginners hoping to catch their first one, to lovers of the local Balinese and Indonesian cuisines, or sporty people and explorers seeking to experience the nature of Bali. For information and details about your experience with us, please feel free to browse our website, especially our packages. If you have any inquiries, please use our contact page or email us at [email protected]

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