Positive Effects of Water Therapy on PTSD
On this veterans day, we want to take some time to thank the men and women who have served our country and pay our respects to the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We know that so many veterans suffer from varying levels of PTSD and we want you to know that you are not alone and aquatic therapy treatment may be helpful.
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.
Aquatic therapy for rehab purposes is regaining 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 for the patient physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Benefits of Water:
- 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 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.
Benefits of Aquatics and PTSD:
The calming effects of water can help those suffering from PTSD relax their muscles, which can be difficult due to sustaining elevated levels of tension and anxiety through their day-to-day activities. The more opportunities the patient has to decompress can help the individual with better sleeping patterns and assist their mental state to have a more clear and positive mindset. Even the sound of splashing water has been proven to release dopamine, leading to a much calmer and happier disposition. Those suffering from PTSD that have undergone aquatic or float therapy have reported a drop in panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts- all of which are possible symptoms of PTSD.
To learn more about military aquatic therapy, click here
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