Mental Illness and the Benefits of Being in the Water


The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center frequently emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of holistic approaches to therapy for addiction and other mental illnesses. Those approaches include yoga, meditation, and even ecopsychology. The individualized, whole-person approach of holistic treatment helps our clients connect their mind, body, and spirit while teaching them tools that will help them achieve recovery and maintain it upon re-entering into their everyday lives. 

There is a whole world out of there of holistic, homeopathic, and spiritual approaches to recovery. The Ohana uses a kind of holistic therapy that may seem a little unorthodox: aquatic (water) therapy. You may have heard of its use for treating physical ailments, but it has also been highly successful in treating mental illness too. There is something special about being surrounded by and submerged in water while you bask in the wonderment of nature. If this approach to treatment sounds like something you would be interested in, consult a counselor, therapist, or mental health professional to learn more about water therapy.

Benefits of Swimming and Being Near the Water

It is widely known that swimming has benefits on our physical health. It can help you to lose weight, build strength and endurance, strengthen your heart and lungs, and help you to manage your stress level and improve your mood. However, swimming, and exercising, in general, can also improve our mental health. The increase in endorphins that occur when swimming can help improve anxiety, depression, and even the damage of chronic stress. What’s nice about swimming is that it offers individuals a low-impact way of getting in shape, which improves the way we feel about ourselves. Just like our bodies, our mental health can be significantly enhanced when we feel better about ourselves overall.

Some studies have indicated that simply being near the water can improve our overall mental health, and it’s even been speculated that those who live closer to the water live longer. For some, hearing the sounds of the ocean, a lake, or waterfalls can offer a sense of calm and peace. Even if you’re not a fan of swimming, going canoeing or sunbathing by the water can be a simple and effective way to improve your mental health. Being around nature, in general, has these effects on our health, and the same goes for water.

Different Kinds of Water Therapy

Just as there are different kinds of clinical modalities or holistic therapies for individuals to try, there are different kinds of aquatic therapies. Flotation therapy is a method that has been around for some time. Floating in water provides individuals a way to experience a meditative state. It can help treat several mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Submerging yourself in cold water can also help with mental distress. The activation of neurotransmitters sparks good feelings that help to improve mood.

Safety First

The method of aquatic therapy that you choose depends on whatever works well for you. If swimming is something of interest to you, it’s important to be cautious. Anytime someone tries any kind of exercise, it’s important to consult a medical professional if you have any underlying health concerns that could be affected by exercise. If you do try aquatic therapy and it just isn’t working for you, that’s completely fine. 

Addiction or mental health treatment is supposed to empower you, not tear you down. If aquatic therapy is effective, though, it can be a great way for you to cope and maintain your recovery long out of treatment.

Considering Treatment at The Ohana

The treatment program at The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center will have ample opportunities for you to test the waters – pun very much intended! – and gauge if aquatic therapy is beneficial to you. During your time with us, you’ll quite literally be surrounded by water each and every day. Take advantage of that. Go for a morning swim, meditate to the sounds of the ocean at sunset, or take an adventure to a waterfall. At the very least, you’ll get to experience the positive effects of some meditation or physical activity.

We encourage anyone looking for an addiction or mental health treatment program that offers more natural and holistic therapy methods to consider The Ohana. Our facilities and programs will allow you to seek treatment without putting your life on pause and create an ohana that can provide support to you throughout your recovery. We can help you start your recovery adventure today, but you have to take the first step.

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