The way to describe Layne Beachley in the ocean makes it sound almost like a religious experience.
"Soak in the ocean, I feel this sense of being purged from my head & # 39; down to my feet … almost like cleaning my mind, my body and my soul", says .
"It's a place where I feel connected. It's a place where I feel a sense of & # 39; free.
"And as a self-confessed control Freak, is a great place to give – because it is way more powerful force than me."
Beachley, who won seven & # 39; world racing titles before retiring from professional surfing in 2008, is generally considered one of the best women surfers successful in history.
But her time in the ocean has brought more than professional success. Surfing, saying, "f & # 39; saved times [her] life ".
"F & # 39; mid-90s diagnosed with account & # 39; & # 39 syndrome, chronic fatigue, and it was really time & # 39; a challenge because I do not want to acknowledge that I was sick", says.
"I finished in a state & # 39; depression … I was thinking of ways to end my life on & # 39; a daily basis."
After seeking professional help, and make a "mental commitment, a complete physical and emotional [her] health ", Beachley returned to surfing.
"It was the desire to get & # 39; re & # 39; travel that kept alive in the most unfounded and dark moments of my life," she says.
"Surfing gives dose b & # 39; & # 39 of robust, perspective and balance in life. If I ever feel intimidated, I know that I could away from the ocean for too long."
Surfing as therapy
Beachley describes herself as "a big supporter" of & # 39; surfing as a form of & # 39; therapy.
"Going there, you release yourself fears or anxieties or the pressures of life … and indeed ġġibek in your state & # 39; wellness."
Chief Executive Officer of the International Organization of Tourism therapy (ISTO) Primacio Kris says that the idea of the surf therapy is to incorporate therapeutic services activity & # 39; surfing "intrinsically motivating".
"Every program & # 39; the surf therapy takes a structured approach to surfing to achieve therapeutic benefit," she says.
"The programs have been developed to enhance the mental and physical illness through surfing and by doing so, improve the awtoeffiċjenza participants, and provide them with a sense of & # 39; achievement."
The programs & # 39; of & # 39 therapy; Surf typically involve therapy & # 39; group-based talk led by a mental health practitioner or informal peer support, followed by instruction & # 39; Individual surfing.
"We we are not nidħabu wheel again – there & # 39; creative arts therapy, equine therapy, music therapy … we will run after the way ħadtilhom under experiential therapy", says Ms Primace.
The Brisbane psychologist Christine Bagley Jones says although surfing is model & # 39; formally recognized therapy, incorporating physical activity on mental health treatment can & # 39; have enormous benefits.
"Our physical health is closely linked to our mental health, and vice versa. If we do not properly nħossux mentally, is a good idea to start exploring how you take care of our bodies", says.
"It seems the surf therapy in many physiological mental health components."
It adds that in addition to the benefits of physical activity, the surfing – and other forms of & # 39; exercise – can help someone enter the present moment, and creates a sense of & # 39; attention.
"It allows us to be distracted by things that can be & # 39; concern us, to achieve a change in perspective", says.
"With the surfing therapy, must be 100 per cent focused on the business at hand … and while you focus completely on what you are doing, can not be dwelling or are thinking involves anxious or depressive. "
ISTO works with & # 39; 30 therapy organizing surf from around the world, including two of Australia. Participants in the surf therapy include people who have experienced trauma, people with & # 39; autism, people with & # 39; physical impairment and persons & # 39; disorder & # 39; stress after trauma (PTSD).
"Surfing is like physical activity – builds strength and balance – but also builds confidence", says Ms Primacio.
"We know that physical activity reduces our stress and can & # 39; reduce our anxiety. We are now conducting research around the world … to see if people are receiving therapeutic benefit from the ocean, and b & # 39; more specifically, surfing. "
Programs for PTSD
The last year, the Navy & # 39; the United States began a project & # 39; research & # 39; $ 1 million to investigate the therapeutic potential of & # 39; surfing for military personnel b & # 39; PTSD, depression or problems & # 39; sleep.
It follows research by occupational therapist based in & # 39; Los Angeles Carly Rogers, who investigated the therapeutic benefits of & # 39; after surfing had its positive impact on its own mental health.
Dr. Rogers designed a program & # 39; the surfing therapy in 2004 (which has since been used as the basis & # 39; many programs) and conducted a small study with & # 39; veterans experiencing symptoms & # 39; PTSD.
"Our participants attended five sessions, and found that decreased PTSD symptoms and & # 39; depression share themselves", says.
"It was also found that there was an increase in rates & # 39; attending … really showed a preference for such treatment."
Michael Burges, director of the Australian College of Trauma Care, says that exercise has been considered as an effective adjuvant therapy "to reduce the stress and trauma".
When it comes to the treatment of & # 39; PTSD, he says that activities & # 39; Group like surfing can be particularly useful because of their social aspects.
"Social isolation is a well known phenomenon of & # 39; PTSD. The people & # 39; rare and often feel awkward because of the flashbacks," Mr. Burges says.
"When involved in & # 39; sports, help reduce their isolation – a sense of & # 39; contact & # 39; other surfers … and it can & # 39; help with & # 39; dramatically. "
The surfing remove barriers to traditional therapy
The occupational therapist Joel Pilgrim is the chief executive officer & # 39; Waves of Wellness, to conduct programs & # 39; of surfing therapy for people experiencing challenges & # 39; mental health.
Says incorporating surfing in clinical therapy can & # 39; help remove some of the obstacles people face when accessing mental health.
"There are many people who are afraid of mainstream services because they do not want to be associated with & # 39; stigma", he says.
The workshops & # 39; Waves of Wellness been inspired by the work of Mr. Pilgrim b & # 39; Wave Wave, a community & # 39; free surfing purpose & # 39; gains recently made headlines when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle joined the group in & # 39; & # 39 in Bondi Beach, Sydney to raise awareness about mental health.
"The idea that you can & # 39; comes out and focus on your physical health is absolutely essential to maintain positive mental health," Mr Pilgrim said.
"It is not just the act about nature … is able to switch off from the traumas of life & # 39; & # 39 often can, throw us."