Aqua Therapy is a form of natural health and healing
therapy that aims to promote natural health- it is considered an alternative
and natural treatment used to enhance a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Welcome to Aqua
Therapy at Natural Earth
Aqua-Therapy, physical therapy is performed in a warm-water pool,
allowing for earlier intervention, greater tolerance of activity,
and easier gains in range of motion with less pain.
Aqua therapy has many natural health and healing benefits applicable
to any type of rehabilitation, especially for individuals who are
not yet ready to perform exercises affected by gravity and weight-bearing
Aqua therapy reduces impact on joints, helps improve overall body
strength and conditioning during post-rehab, and aids individuals
who have weight-bearing problems -- such as back pain -- as the
buoyancy of the water reduces the stress of body weight on a particular
area of the body.
* Warm, Aquatic Environment
* Physical Therapy
* Injury Assessment & Treatment
* Wellness Programs
Who Can Benefit?
* Orthopedic Injuries including
* Post-surgical orthopedic injuries
* CVA’s/Stroke Neurologic
* conditions including: multiple sclerosis & arthritis
Aqua therapy makes big splash
Mercer Business, Oct 01, 1996
At first glance, it's a typical busy afternoon at the community
pool. After all, this is the Hamilton Area YMCA, where the spacious
Olympic-size pool is always full of splashing customers, from children
just learning to swim to adults working to keep in shape in the
At second glance, the visitor notes there must be something special
going on. There are perhaps a dozen people in the pool. And while
all of them are moving, none of them is swimming.
What's going on here is special indeed. It's called aquatic therapy,
and it's a growing specialty in the field of rehabilitation. The
people in the pool are patients and physical therapists from the
Hamilton Regional Rehabilitation Center at Robert Wood Johnson University
Hospital at Hamilton. They are there because the job they have to
do is more easily done in the water than on dry land.
Some of the patients have arthritis. Others have suffered joint
injuries, fractures or muscle strains. One is recovering from the
debilitating effects of cancer and one is a paraplegic. What all
of them have in common is pain, difficulty in moving, and the need
for physical therapy to help restore their flexibility, strength,
and endurance. Some of them can barely move at all when they are
out of the water.
The therapy prescribed for each of these patients is unique, because
every physical therapy program is specifically customized for the
individual patient. But all the therapy programs will involve movement
of the affected joint, muscle or limb. These movements are likely
to be painful. But when the motions are performed under water, the
patients experience less pain--and more mobility. Some of the people
here can perform movements in the water which are impossible for
them to perform on land.
The paraplegic patient, for example, is paralyzed from the waist
down and cannot stand or walk. But here in the pool, with the help
of flotation devices and assistance from the therapist, he can not
only stand, but stretch. These carefully planned movements help
him to control pain and muscle spasms as well as experience weight
bearing that prevents debilitation.
At the pool, Physical Therapist Gayle Thurston guides the group
of patients through their individual programs. At the beginning
of each aquatic therapy session, all the participants do warmup
laps of walking back and forth through the water across the pool.
They move forward, backward, and sideways in order to exercise different
muscle groups. Some of the patients use kickboards placed across
the front of their bodies to give them more resistance. They are
exercising not only their legs, but their abdominal muscles.
"Some of these people are unable to move around at all on
land," says Ms. Thurston. "Before coming here for this
kind of therapy some of them were in such pain that they couldn't
move at all. Most of them cannot tolerate on land what they do here
in the water."
Many individuals suffering from pain develop ways of moving--or
not moving--so as to avoid the pain. These patterns are called compensatory
movements. After a long periods of time, these movements become
habits, and the individuals come to believe that these limited movements
are the only ones possible. When these kinds of patients enter the
new environment of aquatic therapy in a pool, they find that they
can indeed move without pain. This discovery can result in a positive
psychological effect. The patient finds himself free to move, because
he is confident he can move in comfort
Ms. Thurston displays the tools of her trade. In addition to the
kickboards, there are hand-held weights, hydrotone boots, aquaflex
paddles and barbells. She and a patient demonstrate how the barbells
are used. The patient places a floating barbell under each arm and,
thus supported, either "bicycles" or merely hangs in the
water. This activity gives a weight-bearing stretch and relieves
"For those frustrated by the pain and the pace of traditional
therapy, aquatic therapy can be a great alternative," says
Maureen Judd, Director of Hamilton Regional Rehabilitation Center.
"Reduced body weight in water allows patients to gain greater
mobility more quickly and to move more freely without jarring or
straining the body. Buoyancy alleviates pain, and water resistance
strengthens muscles and improves cardiovascular fitness."
Water--specifically, temperature-controlled water in a therapeutic
pool like this one--provides a neutral environment. This environment
eliminates extreme temperatures and decreases the effect of gravity.
"The greatest benefit of aquatic physical therapy is that a
person's body weight in the water is only 10% of what it would be
on land," says Mrs. Judd. "This reduction is the factor
that allows for more mobility in the water and decreases the amount
of stress put on the body while exercising."
Water also creates a traction force on the joints; this is the
catalyst which results in less pain. The decrease in pain allows
the patients to tolerate more strenuous exercise for longer periods
of time. The combination of all these advantages--more resistance,
more mobility, more exercise, less pain--adds up to success. Patients
regain more motion and strength at a quicker pace-and faster recovery.
here to read more about Aqua Therapy
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