Biarritz doctors are prescribing surfing and SUP lessons for patients with chronic ailments in a clinical pilot programme. From depression to heart disease this miracle prescription is working wonders.
Surfing has been seen as part of the next steps in therapy and rehabilitation. A big shift away from pill popping and more of a healthy lifestyle direction change.
Little do the French know that our “friendly neighbourhood surfing shrink”, Dr Helgo Schomer has been prescribing this form of medication for years with enormous success.
If you surf in Cape Town it’s almost certain you have shared the line up with the Doc. He exudes energy and is always in the ocean regardless of the conditions. Never a dull conversation while waiting for waves and you always end up finishing a surf smiling after an encounter with the Doc.
He is one of the greatest advocates of surfing being integrated into the therapeutic process. When I asked him what made him pick up a surfboard ten years ago he began to share his experience. “Well, I started after experiencing heavy trauma. A friend introduced me so that this new experience would wash away the loss and sorrow…which it certainly did.”
The Doc adds how surfing offers a “total here and now cognitive awareness, engagement and mindfulness. It widens ones skill horizon and builds self- confidence. A fantastic self medication and bliss-production effect. I use it with most of my crisis and trauma clients (if they are not afraid of the water of course.)”
So how often does the doc take a dose of his own medicine? “Very often…whenever I find a gap! Even my fellow health care professionals crisis and trauma intervention crew now remind me ‘hey, there is a gap, go!’ You really have to try it to feel it and you will fall in love with nature, life and the saltwater!”
A surf a day may just keep the doctor away!