Positive Effects of Water Therapy on PTSD
The men and women who serve and have served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom deserve quality care for the conditions they may experience as a result of their service. Many veterans and service members experience varying levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and we want individuals to know that they are not alone and help is available.
If you treat patients who experience stress and other symptoms following combat, aquatic therapy has many benefits that may help them manage and cope with the symptoms of PTSD. Adding aquatic wellness pools and underwater treadmills can help you offer more treatment options for patients with PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition that affects individuals after they experience or witness a traumatic event such as a car accident, natural disaster, assault or combat. Fear is a natural reaction to dangerous, shocking and scary events, but it is typically a short-term reaction. PTSD occurs when an individual continues to experience fear and stress even when they are in safe situations. A person with PTSD may experience the following symptoms:
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Racing heart
- Frightening thoughts
- Avoiding people or places that remind them of the traumatic event
- Avoiding feelings or thoughts related to the traumatic event
- Difficulty sleeping
- Bursts of anger
- Startling easily
- Feeling tense
- Negative thoughts about the world or oneself
- Loss of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
- Difficulty remembering details about the traumatic event
- Distorted emotions such as blame and guilt
What Is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is physical therapy that occurs in an aquatic environment such as a pool or underwater treadmill under a trained health care professional’s supervision.
Water has been used as a therapeutic and holistic approach for treating both mental and physical pain for centuries. Ancient Romans and Greeks bathed in hot springs to improve blood circulation and cure sickness. In Japan, people have long been known to immerse themselves in warm water to treat skin problems, alleviate constipation, relieve chronic pain, and cure menstrual cramps. In Europe and America, bathhouses became popular in the 1700s and 1800s.
During hydrotherapy treatment, a health care professional helps patients perform movements and exercises in warm water. It is a gentle way to build muscle strength and improve flexibility, endurance, coordination, balance and aerobic capacity. It’s also an excellent way to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy for PTSD
Aquatic therapy for rehab purposes is gaining popularity. It has also been found that there are benefits that the properties of water have on treating symptoms of PTSD. Aquatic therapy is different from other approaches because of the all-encompassing effects it has on the patient physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Physical Benefits of Water
Hydrotherapy is incredibly beneficial for the body. It lets individuals work muscles, bend joints and move around without placing additional stress on joints. Hydrotherapy has the following physical benefits:
- Buoyancy lowers the effects of gravity on injured muscles and joints.
- The hydrostatic pressure of water increases circulation and decreases inflammation.
- Warm water offers a calming environment for aching joints and muscles.
- Creating disturbances in the water allow physical therapists to manipulate their patients gently through their exercises.
- Water-resistance trains the muscles to grow stronger as they adapt to that resistance.
- Water reduces stress and tension.
Mental and Emotional Benefits of Water
Being in water releases endorphins in the brain, creating feelings of well-being, peace and euphoria that can reduce symptoms of depression. The calming effects of water can help those experiencing PTSD manage tension and anxiety to relax their muscles. The more opportunities the patient has to decompress can help them improve their sleeping patterns and maintain a clear and positive mindset.
Hydrotherapy can help individuals with PTSD reduce panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts- all of which are possible symptoms of PTSD. It can also increase a person’s confidence and self-concept, which is incredibly beneficial for mental health.
Provide Hydrotherapy for Service Members and Veterans With Hydroworx Products
You can provide effective PTSD therapy for veterans and service members by offering relaxing hydrotherapy services. Hydroworx offers high-quality aquatic wellness pools and underwater treadmills to help facilities offer the best hydrotherapy for patients. Our aquatic therapy products are made with innovative technology to give your patients the best experience possible.
With marketing assistance and 24/7 customer service, Hydroworx can help you successfully implement hydrotherapy into your facility and provide PTSD therapy for your patients. Contact us to learn more about aquatic wellness pools and underwater treadmills for hydrotherapy.