As a very young child, most kids are frequently asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” At the age of eight, my response was, “An engineer for the government!” You can imagine the confusion this caused, frequently prompting the follow-up question, “Why is that?” Oddly enough, my interest in math spurred the response, “I am going to make a difference in the way tax dollars are spent.”
Although I initially dreamed of turning my engineering skills into those of a NASA astronaut, as fate would have it, I was destined to be in hospital facilities management. I gravitated toward the VA, perhaps following in my family’s footsteps, as my grandfather was the first Merchant Marine to receive a burial in his local Federal Cemetery, my uncle is buried in the Pu’owaina Crater “Punchbowl” in Honolulu, HI, and my father and youngest brother are Veterans.
My service to the United States was not in the form of military duty. This year would have been my 16th anniversary as an engineer for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In August 2011, I took a leap of faith to implement a change to become more involved in the lives of Veterans. I am truly honoured to have served Veterans at the VA but now I serve the Veterans in a different capacity – I help them to overcome their fears, anxiety, and PTSD, by coaching them in the pool. For some, that requires teaching them how to swim. For others, it’s giving them a template to live a healthy lifestyle. Our program works for all levels and abilities. Whether a swimmer has PTSD from being in the military or having had a traumatic childhood experience, we can help them to overcome those fears.
Today, we offer our gratitude to all Veterans and thank you for your service to this great country. I present to you the program below in hopes that you’ll find us when you are ready to take your leap of faith and make a splash!
Utilizing Swimming as a PTSD Therapy in Los Angeles
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a serious mental health condition that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event, and while it can affect any person, today most people experiencing PTSD are Veterans who have returned from active duty. Many Veterans have experienced or witnessed violent acts that can have a deep and lasting emotional impact which can evolve into PTSD. The events that cause PTSD don’t necessarily have to involve physical harm; instead, events can involve severe stress, fear or the threat of harm so significant that for years afterward, seemingly unrelated events can trigger an extreme stress response that can be so devastating, it can interfere with the activities of daily living. In addition to war Veterans, individuals who experience physical or emotional abuse, kidnapping, assault, mugging, car or plane accidents and even natural disasters like flood or earthquakes can develop PTSD.
Because PTSD is a stress-related disorder, engaging in activities that help reduce stress or provide an outlet for nervous energy can be very effective in helping PTSD sufferers cope with their condition. Many medical studies have shown that aerobic activity like swimming can play a pivotal role in a post traumatic stress disorder therapy program by helping those who suffer from PTSD battle depression and anxiety so they can achieve a healthy mind and body.
Benefits of our custom PTSD therapy swimming program
Our PTSD therapy swim program is custom-designed for each individual and provides the following physical and mental health benefits:
- Swimming activity releases endorphins – the body’s natural mood-elevating chemicals
- Improves stamina, strength and endurance
- Improves self-esteem and self-confidence
- Increases energy levels
- Helps to develop discipline
- Get away from it all and lose yourself as you become “one with the water”
- Achieve your weight loss goals
A Customized Approach To PTSD Therapy
Our PTSD therapy in Los Angeles includes completely customized swim programs for individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress. The Program is specifically designed to help PTSD sufferers improve their swim skills, increase their physical fitness and reduce their stress. One with the Water® knows that each swimmer is different and we are dedicated to working with you to develop a PTSD therapy swim program that will meet your unique, individual needs.