Have you noticed the sense of adrenaline and freedom when you’re on a motorcycle? You and countless other people feel this way on a bike whether it’s a long or a short ride.
Recently, psychologists and researchers looked into this and discovered that riding a bike can be therapeutic. Many people use biking as a way to de-stress and “cool” their heads.
This is known as motorcycle therapy, and it’s an especially important process for veterans and first responders who’ve dealt with different tragic events. There are even organizations and groups of those who use and help others use it for recovery too.
What is Motorcycle Therapy?
Motorcycle therapy is the sense of freedom, adrenaline, and open-road you’re experiencing when you’re riding. You’ve probably heard people saying that biking is an experience more than a form of transportation. So what does it mean?
Have you ever been so stressed you had to go out for a walk? Well, motorcycle therapy is essentially the same thing, but it involves, well, riding a motorcycle.
Riding as such allows you to clear your mind and relax a bit. The entire thing is proven by several psychologists and researches as the therapy is usually used by veterans and First Responders.
It doesn’t have to be an overly long ride in order to work as therapy. It can just be a ten-minute break around the neighborhood if that’s all the time you have. Of course, riding around for hours is far better, but it all depends on how much time you need to relax and let go of the stress.
What Makes it Helpful?
Maybe you’ve known of the benefits of riding a bike has on your physical health. It strengthens your core, neck muscles and thighs among other things. Still, there’s more to it since it’s recently been proven that biking has significant benefits on mental health as well.
As we mentioned, there’s an undeniable sense of freedom you get when you’re out on the road. You get to enjoy being in control of the bike while the air is in your face. It can be a short ride or a long one, but there’s no doubt you’ll feel better after it.
There’s something about it that increases your mental health and happiness. It improves the overall quality and longevity of your life as well.
How are Vets Taking Part?
War veterans go through all kinds of trauma witnessing different tragic events sometimes for years on end. Such exposure to negativity can leave them with several conditions which is where biking comes into play.
PTSD is among the most common conditions veterans struggle with after coming home. Solution or therapy for the syndrome is hard to find, so they must try things on their own.
Vets took it to the next level and are now organizing different groups and road trips on their motorcycles. This allows them to connect and help each other in different ways. Even those that are left physically disabled are welcome in these organizations.
For many vets, the trip of finding relief, recovery, and peace is quite rocky and challenging. Most of them also feel like they’ve lost the sense of community once they leave the army.
There’s a whole team of people working together in the army which is something veterans often feel they’ve lost when they return home. Getting involved with organized tours and motorcycle therapy gives them a sense of working in a team again.
Some of the organizations only ride bikes on different routes while others build their bikes and customize them. Customizable vehicles allow disabled veterans to be involved in “sidecars” that they control in several ways and with someone’s help.
Overall, many veterans have taken this seriously as a form of relaxing, recovering and improving their lives. They’re very involved in these organizations and are a tight community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can vets sign up?
Organizations such as Motorcycle Missions and Motorelief are two of the largest that use motorcycle riding as a form of therapy to help veterans and first responders. Those are non-profit organizations that take on new members all the time.
Different organizations exist in different areas and locations around the world. There’s a vast number of them in the USA, and we’re sure there’s at least one near the area you live in. They continue to welcome vets from everywhere and help them use motorcycle therapy in a team.
Though it’s usually tied to vets and first responders, motorcycle therapy can be used by everyone. The best thing is that you don’t even have to ride the bike in order to use it for recovery. You can wash it, fix some parts, change the oil, or simply work on some customization.
Putting it together can bring you a sense of accomplishment once you see the finished project. It can also give you purpose if you’ve been struggling to find one.
Even if you’ve never heard of this type of therapy, try going for a ride the next time you find yourself in need of stress relief. Still, keep in mind that riding a bike cannot and shouldn’t replace actual therapy prescribed to you by your psychologist.