The Power of Water: Healing for The Mind
Every drop of water matters.
Some say they can’t live a life without romantic relationships, but I say I can’t live without water! Water is as essential as oxygen for living things to grow and stay alive. Humans, plants, aquatic animals, and guess what? Even microscopic organisms such as cells require water to live.
What water can do is endless. Water supports the structure and function of tissues and vital organs such as your heart and brain, all while helping in regulating your body’s temperature. It’s not just inside your body where water can do wonders. Even skin problems can be solved by water intake, and it will show!
To breathe, oxygen and water must go hand in hand. So, do not exclude the power of water that enables us to live and survive. When people breathe air, it needs to have moisture in it. This is to say that water contributes to body respiration. Our lungs need moisture to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. Indeed, our health is much dependent on the quality and quantity of the water that we consume or what we already have.
It has been evident that water wears many hats. It is a solvent, a coolant, a lubricant, and also a medium for transport. It is hardly surprising that being “watered,” both within and outside, is necessary for sustaining our overall health and that the lack of sufficient water comes with several health problems.
Water is a vital nutrient that we need in order for our bodies to function.
Healing Power of Water
Wallace J. Nichols, a scientist and wild water advocate, has researched the ocean’s extraordinary ability to induce a state of what he coined the “Blue Mind” in human beings. Blue Mind is described as “a mildly meditative state characterized by calmness, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life at the moment.”
Nichols reiterates that a human brain is hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can make us experience soothing familiarity and exciting novelty. According to him, water has the power to increase innovation and insight and heal us on a deep level. The ocean lures us into a mildly meditative state of calm focus and awareness.
When we are near or interact with the water, our brains are held in a state of what Nichols calls a “soft fascination;” the brain is interested and engaged in the water, taking in sensory input but not distracted by an overload of it. This state of mindfulness has been proven to have several benefits, including relieving stress, reducing pain, anxiety, and depression, improving sleep quality, and bettering mental clarity and focus.
Being near water is naturally calming, which may help explain why so many of us seek out oceans and beaches.
We have known the draw that we have to the ocean and its healing properties since ancient times. In classical times, Romans and Greeks took the waters to treat a wide range of diseases. Many of them got fatigued by wars, and they treated their sore wounds and tired muscles through natural spring water. Even Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle all recommended time spent immersed in the ocean’s therapeutic and transformational qualities.
At present, global scientists are continually assessing the benefits of being near water too. Research has already found that spending time by the ocean is advantageous for your well-being. According to an analysis of English census data published in the journal Health Place, those who live in coastal areas report improved physical and mental health than those who don't.
The sound pattern of ocean waves and their harmonic frequency has proven to be one of the most relaxing sounds that we can listen to. The sound can mimic the sensation of being in the womb and listening to your mother’s heartbeat. With the human body made up of around 70% water, it seems that we do belong to the sea.
I feel absolutely awakened every time I go surfing. There really is something about the ocean that is therapeutic and calming. I keep coming back and I know it will be forever.
— Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe Founder
Hydrotherapy for Those with ASD
Hydrotherapy is proven to have a tremendous help and is effective for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Properties of water such as buoyancy, temperature, pressure, and density help those with ASD regulate their anxiety and excitement levels. Water helps to relax the muscles and lower stress.
When engrossed in water activities, development for individuals with ASD is manifested through the following domains:
People with ASD experience difficulty in interpreting, processing, and responding to sensory input. These can lead to anti-social and self-harming behavior.
Hydrotherapy is a way to address sensory challenges as this is proven effective in strengthening their sensory processing skills. The hydrostatic pressure of the water can give a soothing and calming effect that people with ASD need.
Water is a friend to every individual with ASD.
Individuals with ASD also struggle in learning skills, and it takes a toll on their confidence and self-esteem. They believe that this separates them from people with no ASD because they can learn skills with less difficulty.
This is being solved through hydrotherapy that increases their chance to interact socially, leading to a sense of accomplishment, hence, increased confidence and self-esteem.
One of the benefits of aquatic therapy and swimming lessons is the changes in social interactions.
When engaging in swimming lessons, people with ASD improve their competence in self-regulation and peer relations. They learn how to interact with their peers, which can also prevent them from developing anti-social behavior.
Water for the Mind
Have you ever gone to the ocean to clear your mind from thoughts that had been bugging you? Like, you go there to let the waves wash away your blues and the negative energy that affects you and your lifestyle. It has the healing power that you treat as your safe place. You have even proven enough that surrendering everything to the oceans rather than trying to speak your mind and emotions to humans can do more.
Oceans do not talk, but for some reason, they can give comfort, and their comfort is unconditional. So, you turn to water for a sense of calm and clarity. You let the ocean or sea invigorate you and truly make you feel alive. Something indescribably relaxing and thrilling is experienced by being gently tossed by the frothy dancing waves and our feet being immersed in the pristine sand.
Surrendering yourself to the waters can be the best option to have a peace of mind.
Whatever you do there, the water won’t judge you. You can sit in silence by the shore, smell the salty water, feel the wind in your face, hear the gentle roar of the waves, all fused to create a sense of peace and calm. Or get crazy and have fun, and it will be alright. Get your enjoyment from water sports like surfing, sailing, swimming, scuba diving; honey, the oceans got you. You can even build your home near the water, and its deity will welcome you.
All because of these, we love to travel and spend our entire vacation on various beaches worldwide. We can attest to the fact that water can sustain our mental well-being. Each time spent near the water leaves us cleansed and feeling awakened.
We should start believing that the simple things in life can bring us the most pleasure. Time spent surfing in the waves, letting the deep blue water tickle our toes, gazing at the sea to witness the kiss of sun, walking along the shoreline, dancing to a summer song-- all of these simple things can be therapeutic and make us feel contented. The combination of stellar sunrise, calming sea, and velvety sand is the most natural and easily accessible form of therapy that we should not take for granted.
My advice is to take any good action with our responsibilities to the oceans and participate in any campaigns and programs to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. It is in this way that we can seize everything the oceans offer while we are alive.
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