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Health and Fitness

Surf Therapy

Naval Medical Center San Diego

The surfing clinic offered by the Health and Wellness Department at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) offers a unique experience, allowing patients to utilize water as a way to rehabilitate their injuries, either with a surfboard, boogie board, stand-up paddle board or by body surfing.


In fact, patients can use adaptive surfing to help increase endurance, balance, body awareness and strength. The clinic meets once a week at a local beach. Health care providers and volunteers work one-on-one with patients to improve their individual skills.

"What it really is about is what the water does to your psyche, to your physical being," said Toran Gaal, a veteran attending the clinic. "It is something that cannot be described; all I can say is that it's much better than any kind of medication, or anything that you can get prescribed from a doctor."

Service members who are wounded, ill or injured and are interested in the clinic require a screening and must be prescribed services by their providers before taking part. The surfing clinic is just one of many wellness classes that can improve a patient's quality of life and level of independence.

For more information about the adaptive surf clinic, as well as other programs offered by the Health and Wellness Department at NMCSD, please visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/hwd/Pages/WIIWellness.aspx or https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd.