Scuba Diving is found to be very beneficial therapy for the disabled and wounded Veterans.
Cody Unser was paralyze at the age of 12 and she describes here 20 years later, how the practice of scuba diving is beneficial to physically challenged as well as wounded veterans.
For Cody , scuba diving offers a respite from the demands of top-side living both physically and mentally. She describes the advantages of achieving scuba certification and how scuba diving is both mentally and physically freeing. Scuba diving offers freedoms for those suffering under the limitation of gravity as well as the emotional scars of PTSD.
Read on and discover aspects of scuba diving that are often overlooked.
What I have found is this: You can’t put the ocean into a pill.
The happiest moments I’ve ever had are when I’m 100 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, hearing nothing but my own breathing for 40 minutes at a time. It’s amazing to look over and see my family, knowing that even though they are using fins on their feet to propel themselves through the water – and I use webbed gloves – I am no different physically than they are, a distinction that can’t be ignored on land. Scuba diving allows the body and mind to be free from the mechanical embrace of a wheelchair.
No pill or session of talk therapy has taught me more about how to pause my demons than the freedom my body has without the demand of gravity. To be able to share this feeling with members of our military who have been injured continues to be a privilege and opens my eyes to the extent that mental wounds, such as PTSD, can hamper a person’s life just as much as physical wounds can.
The moment the world shuts off above, all the worries that puzzle the mind on land disappear. The training required to become scuba certified is intense – it’s an extreme sport, after all – and the fear of something going wrong underwater forces all one’s energy and focus on only one thing.
The frustrating part is to witness how scuba diving helps wounded veterans heal, and yet to know that funding for programs like these has been limited. As a graduate student studying public health and learning how to quantify what programs are cost effective, I appreciate the importance of evidence-based research but also understand how painstakingly long it can take to prove a program’s benefit. The fact remains: We are losing those who have protected our country’s values at an alarming rate to suicide and we owe them a fighting chance at living a full life.
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