How does therapeutic scuba diving help emotionally?


Painful, major injuries dramatically change warriors’ roles in their jobs, in their families, and in society. Sometimes they can no longer contribute. This is devastating to natural protectors, who push themselves to extremes, take charge, and perform courageous acts daily. One result is isolation.

Scuba diving, unlike many therapeutic activities, requires a buddy system. This social side of diving fights the long-term, damaging effects of social separation.

The underwater environment is also an opportunity for wounded warriors to realize how capable they are. Disabilities seem to disappear as they experience pain-free movement for the first time. The wounded warrior’s newfound success contributes to positive, lifelong changes. Everyone benefits: warrior, family, and society.

What are the benefits of therapeutic scuba diving?


Heartbeat’s therapeutic scuba diving can help wounded warriors improve many areas of their health:

  • Motor skills
  • Muscle strength
  • Blood flow
  • Cardiovascular strength
  • Pain reduction
  • Mobility
  • Psychological well-being
  • Confidence

Changes in water pressure sometimes move shrapnel to a safer place in the body for surgical removal. Sometimes it even leaves the body on its own.

How does therapeutic scuba diving work?


Therapeutic scuba diving is a unique healing activity because water reduces the forces of gravity, which are hard on the body. Water offers a weightless and cushioning environment that gently supports muscles and limbs. This allows patients to use body parts previously too painful to move—injuries seem to disappear. This offers a liberation not found on land.

At the same time that water is gentle on the body, it also presents some resistance to movement, as anyone who has swum under water knows. For wounded warriors, this is an opportunity to increase muscle strength with less pain.

In the Scuba Warriors program, adaptive equipment is available for patients who need extra support. Supervisors provide underwater guidance for added safety.

What is therapeutic scuba diving?


Therapeutic scuba diving is an activity that helps patients improve muscle strength, mobility, cardiovascular strength, blood flow, confidence, and psychological well-being. It decreases pain significantly. This popular, rehabilitative activity has produced positive results for many years.

Scuba diving professionals use therapeutic diving for many injuries: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), limb loss, and spinal cord injuries are just a few.

Certified and experienced scuba diving professionals work with wounded warriors’ health care providers—doctors and licensed physical, occupational, and speech therapists—to ensure the best results for each individual. The diving professionals have experience working with the wounded.

Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors®: Let the Healing Begin...®