Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, simply referred to as ‘scuba’ is a form of underwater diving which offers an unbelievable underwater experience. It is neither age nor gender exclusive; disabilities are not walls to the incredible underwater experience scuba diving offers. The main aim of scuba diving for people with disabilities is to help such people build confidence, independence and self-esteem.
In fact, recent studies revealed that Scuba diving does not only serve as a recreational activity, but, the enjoyable underwater experience can help people with certain disabilities improve significantly in their condition.
How it helps people with disabilities
- Providing the physically challenged opportunities to scuba dive help them re-adjust emotionally and physically as well as enjoy a different but exhilarating experience.
- As a combination of sport and relaxing recreational activity, scuba diving strengthens participants mentally, physically and emotionally. It provides an astounding connection with the natural world that is very difficult to attain in other environments, while it provides opportunities for discovery of the secrets of nature. It strengthens the body and inspires the mind, and it provides a certain level of challenge which many find enjoyable. People with disabilities who decide to scuba dive find that they are able to push themselves to new levels they may never have believed possible.
- Scuba diving being a form of recreational therapy, produces amazing results in improving the condition of people with disabilities, for example, paralyzed divers often report that they feel changes within their bodies, often experiencing sensations in paralyzed areas. Some divers who are paralyzed from the waist down have been able to regain sensation in the hip and leg areas, with this unbelievable improvement being on an increase with each dive.
- Since muscular strength is an important tool for effective diving, those who decide to participate feel encouraged to participate in physical exercise, which makes them fit and healthy. In turn, weight training improves muscle tone and increases the participant’s level of overall well-being.
- Scuba diving, being a sort of sport that demands a high level of focus, helps to alleviate the stress and anxieties experienced in everyday life in people with disabilities
- Scuba diving has also proved to be a potent pain killer, as participants who reported some sort of pain before scuba diving often report a complete disappearance of the pain after the exhilarating experience.
- Social isolation is a major problem many people with disabilities often have to cope with, however, scuba diving being a highly social activity enables participants meet a variety of other individuals from various walks of life; increasing social interaction and participating in fun activities with others is an excellent way to improve quality of live.
- The more an individual with disabilities scuba dives, the greater his or her level of endurance becomes, consequently, increased endurance improves overall health in people with and without disabilities!
- Also, scuba diving offers a unique sense of freedom by transporting the individual into a world of weightlessness and unlimited intrigue, a world where disability does not matter and ability is not a requirement, giving individuals with disabilities a great sense of ability.
In conclusion, scuba diving is important for the physical, emotional and overall well being of people with disabilities. It gives a unique sense of ‘ability in disability’ which goes a long way in strengthening the will-power of people with disabilities, enabling them to see an opportunity in every difficulty.