Military veterans are among the most challenged individuals when it comes to maintaining good health. Not only do they have to deal with the regular health problems that afflict everyone, but they also have to deal with battlefield injuries as well as mental trauma that causes PTSD. One of the best activities veterans can use to improve their psychological and physical health is SCUBA diving.
One of the ways that SCUBA diving helps veterans the most is by giving a sense of freedom to those veterans who have sacrificed limbs for their country. When they slip into the water with their SCUBA gear on, they gain mobility and weightlessness that temporarily lift them from the physical limitations they are subjected to on dry land.
Many veterans have experienced some of the most horrifying experiences imaginable during wartime. These veterans far too often bring these traumas home with them in the form of PTSD. They need to find ways to combat the devastation of this affliction, and that is one of the greatest health benefits of diving.
When they go underwater, divers have to use a slow, controlled form of breathing. This breathing style naturally induces a meditative state. This not only lowers stress levels, but it also teaches veterans how to calm themselves when they are on dry land by using this meditative breathing technique.
Anyone who has ever gone SCUBA diving knows that it is not usually recommended to go alone. Divers always use the buddy system and dive with another person. This keeps them safe, giving them a buddy who can look out for them underwater, and builds trust between them.
This is a great health benefit of diving for veterans, as many have trouble relating to civilians when they come back from a war zone. This can make it difficult to make new friends. When veterans start SCUBA diving, many find it easy to make great friends with other divers.
Images via Official U.S. Navy Imagery