Project Victory Sets Sail to Therapy

The military personnel and veterans in Project Victory’s brain injury rehabilitation program are benefiting from a unique program that is literally setting sail to their therapy. The nonprofit organization is powered by volunteers who provide recreational therapy through sailing for individuals with cognitive and motor deficits. Christine Wiegman, Project Victory Social Worker, and Michael Furtado, Physical Therapist, have accompanied Project Victory clients on numerous outings with Captain Dave McCabe. Day sailing excursions with Captain McCabe have proven highly beneficial for the men and women participants in project Victory. Christine Wiegman said, “The experience of sailing helps our clients practice relaxation strategies that decrease their stress response and anxiety. The rhythmical soldiermovement of the boat and reduced noise create a calm environment that is difficult to replicate to an activity filled rehabilitation center. The sensory stimuli created by a boat as it moves through the waves and changes course with the wind also helps mediate balance deficits often experienced by individuals who have sustained a brain injury. When our clients ambulate around the boat, hoist a sail, or take the helm, they’re integrating their visual field with their physical environment to remain balanced.” The benefits of sailing as a recreational therapy go beyond balance, coordination, and relaxation. There is a lot of teamwork, communication, and social interaction involved in sailing.