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A New Form of Salt Water Therapy

At Ocean Recovery, we like to work our namesake into the various services we offer. And why wouldn’t we? As we wrote in our blog article on saltwater therapy back in March, simply being by the ocean engages your senses and promotes a relaxed, meditative state. Furthermore, the beach is 90 feet away from us. So it would be ridiculous not to use such a wonderful tool that is, essentially, right in our backyard. With this in mind, Ocean Recovery now offers surf therapy as a treatment for men and women suffering from addiction, eating disorders, and other co-occurring disorders.

At the Cutting Edge

The United States Navy is spending $1 million on research to determine the therapeutic value of surfing for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or insomnia. However, that value is already apparent to military personnel who have been working with the program. According to Capt. Eric Stedje-Larsen, “We all know it’s good; we can see it…For some folks, there is nothing like it. But we need science to get the administration on board.” An even more telling quote comes from Nick Horin, a veteran of combat in Iraq: “I had a lot of anger after Iraq; I wanted to hurt people…Surfing is the only way to take the edge off my anger without drinking or taking drugs.”

The Benefits of Surf Therapy

The benefits of surfing read like a list of topics that this blog has already covered.

Mindfulness? Check. Surfing demands the type of attention that requires a person to be present in the moment.

Exercise? Oh, yes. Surfing is physically demanding, and the endorphins that come with it are great for the brain in recovery.

Building a sober support network? In the same article above, Helen Metzger, head of the health and wellness department at Naval Medical Center San Diego, says, “[The veterans] talk about surfing, and then it gets into things that are deeper than that, common experiences, common traumas.”

Build Your Foundation for Hope

While the research is still underway, those on the front lines of recovery know surf therapy works because it implements proven techniques. In addition to surf therapy, Ocean Recovery offers cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, EMDR, individual counseling, nutritional counseling, and more as a holistic approach to treating addiction and eating disorders. So if you or someone you know is suffering, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today.


Ocean Recovery has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our editorial policy.

1. Perry T. Riding the waves to better health: Navy studies the therapeutic value of surfing. Washington Post. Published March 10, 2018. Accessed August 2, 2022.

Last medically reviewed August 2, 2022.