Surf Therapy

We all process sensations. It’s what keeps us protected, it’s what keeps us alive. Sensations come from the external environment. They flood the brain and quickly and efficiently go to specific brain centers for a motor action. What happens when the way in which we register, process, and integrate sensations is different?

Those who process their world differently, in unique and wonderful ways, don’t always fit into the neurotypical world. Questions may arise such as: “Why is this so easy for others, and not for me?”

As a child, I was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. Over the years, I have discovered strengths within myself, many which I attribute to the specific wiring of my brain. Yet, I have also experienced moments of heartache; when things felt too hard, I didn’t fit in with peers, and lost confidence and sense of self. I now run a surf therapy company for neurodivergent children and teens. Come with me as I dive into  the unique benefits of surf-therapy and how these relate to our sense of self.

Sensory Integration is defined as the organization of sensation for use. Did you know that we have eight sensory systems: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, vestibular (movement in space), proprioceptive (awareness of muscles and joints), interoception (awareness of organs, etc)? Furthermore, these eight individual systems are receiving countless bits of information into the brain at every moment. Our senses give us information about our body and the environment.

Another way to think about sensory integration is by locating the information of a sensation, like noticing sandy feet while walking on the beach. Next, sorting that information; the sand on your feet is painful or harmful. Fin...

 

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