Swimming pools, whether residential or commercial, small or big, basic or luxurious, can serve a much greater purpose than fun under the sun. That purpose is its ability to assist those with physical disorders and illnesses in the restoration of good health following an injury or surgery. Individuals with various health conditions who are in desperate need of physical therapy rehabilitation are unfortunately the same ones who have the most difficult time exercising on land, making aquatic therapy their only chance at living a longer life in good health. Now let’s take a look at the various types of aquatic therapy as well as health benefits these swimming pool activities provide us with.
1. Ai Chi – This method of aquatic therapy was started in 1993 by Jun Konno of Aquadynamics Institute in Yokohama, Japan. Customarily, this specific type of therapy is done with patients standing in shoulder-depth water. Ai Chi places great emphasis on patterns of deep breathing. Basic breathing techniques are incorporated with gentle movement, advancing from the upper extremities, trunk, lower extremities ultimately to the full torso with a slow and measured narrowing of the base of support. Movement during this form of therapy is steady and continuous. Ai Chi increases oxygen and caloric consumption.
2. Aqua-Jogging – Also referred to as Deep-Water Running or Aqua-Running. This form of aquatic therapy was developed in the United States, an excellent method of exercise for both pre-surgery and post-surgery patients. This water-based form of cardiovascular has shown to be especially beneficial for the elderly and overweight individuals due to its low impact on the muscles. A flotation device is crucial for this particular method, either a belt or a vest, in order to support the head above water and keep ones body in an upright position.
3. Bad Ragaz Ring Method – Initially started by physiotherapists in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. This water based strategy is therapist assisted at all times, consisting of strengthening and mobilizing exercises as patients lay horizontally in the water, with support provided by rings or floats around the arms, legs, neck and pelvis. This form of aquatic therapy covers a wide range of orthopedic and rheumatology conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis, osteoarthritis, including pre- and post surgery, fibromyalgia, and ankylosing spondylitis); post fracture (e.g., spine, pelvis and lower limb); soft tissue injuries; thoracic or breast surgery; and neurological conditions (e.g., cerebrovascular accident, spinal injury, Parkinson’s disease, head injury).
4. Halliwick Concept – This very unique method of aquatic therapy focuses on biophysical principles of motor control in water, in particular developing sense of balance and core stability. This particular aquatic therapy programs focal point is to teach physically disabled individuals balance control, swimming and independence.
5. Watsu – Started in the early 1980s, originally developed by Harold Dull in Harbin Hot Spring, Northern California, fuses elements of joint mobilization, Shiatsu, muscle stretching massage and even dance, executed in chest-deep warm waters. This method usually occurs in one on one sessions where a therapist gently cradles, moves, stretches, and massages a patient. . Watsu has been applied for treatment of patients with orthopedic and neurologic impairment, in particular for limitations in range of motion from soft tissue restrictions, muscle spasm (hyper-tonicity), and pain. By improving soft tissue mobility and decreasing spasm, patients can respond better to functional activities. For psychological rehabilitation, Watsu has been used to improve psychological function by calming the nervous system, enhancing relaxation, increasing body awareness and decreasing general anxiety.
So there you have it. Swimming pools not only create happy memories, but can help improve the quality of our lives so we can continue to cherish special moments.
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Produced By: Artistic Visual Studios